Barry Gibb

Barry Alan Crompton Gibb, CBE (born 1 September 1946), is a singer, songwriter and producer. He was born on the Isle of Man to English parents. With his brothers Robin and Maurice, he formed the Bee Gees, one of the most successful pop groups of all time. The trio got their start in Australia, and found their major success when they returned to England. Known for his high-pitched falsetto singing voice, Gibb holds the record for consecutive Billboard Hot 100 Number Ones as a writer with six. He also is the only songwriter to have written or co-written five songs that were simultaneously in the Top Ten.


Early life

Barry Gibb was born to Barbara and Hugh Gibb on the Isle of Man. He has an older sister, Lesley (b. 1945), and three younger brothers, fraternal twins Maurice (1949–2003) and Robin (b. 1949), and Andy (1958–1988). He and his family moved to Chorlton-cum-Hardy in Manchester in 1953. When he was 12 years old, his family moved to Brisbane, Australia, settling in one of the city's poorest suburbs, Cribb Island. The suburb was later bulldozed to make way for Brisbane Airport. It was in Australia that Gibb and his brothers Robin and Maurice starting performing as the Bee Gees. The Gibb family returned to England in 1967. Shortly afterward, the Bee Gees became international stars.


The Bee Gees rank sixth on the all-time top-sellers list. Only Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, and Garth Brooks are known to have outsold the Gibb brothers. The trio's contribution to Saturday Night Fever pushed the film's soundtrack pass the 40 million mark in sales. It reigned as the top-selling album in history until Michael Jackson's Thriller. They are the only group in pop history to write, produce, and record six straight #1 hits. They have sixteen Grammy nominations and nine Grammy wins.

As a songwriter, working alone and with his brothers, Gibb has had great success. In 1978, he had five songs simultaneously in the Top Ten of the Billboard Hot 100, and for one week in March, four of the top five songs were written by him. His songs were #1 for 27 out of 37 weeks from December 24, 1977 to September 2, 1978. As a songwriter Gibb has had #1 songs in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, when (Barry) Islands in the Stream became number 1 in the UK as the Comic Relief single for 2009. His songs have been recorded by hundreds of artists, including Elvis Presley, Janis Joplin, Barbra Streisand, Destiny's Child, Celine Dion, Al Green, Diana Ross, Kenny Rogers, Dionne Warwick, Luther Vandross, Sarah Vaughn, and Wyclef Jean.

Gibb has written and produced successful albums for Andy Gibb, Barbra Streisand, Dionne Warwick, Kenny Rogers, and Diana Ross.

The Bee Gees are inductees of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.[1][2][3][4][5][6]

Personal life

Barry Gibb married a former "Miss Edinburgh (Scotland)" Linda Gray on 1 September 1970, choosing his birthday "so he wouldn't forget [their] anniversary" according to his wife from a 1979 biography of the Bee Gees. At that time they lived in Abbey House, a mansion block in London near the Abbey Road crossing made famous by The Beatles. They have five children: Stephen (b. 1973), Ashley (b. 1977), Travis (b. 1981), Michael (b. 1984), and Alexandra (b. 1991). Michael Jackson was the godfather of Gibb's son Michael. Gibb's son Steve Gibb has toured with the Bee Gees and has played guitar with the bands Crowbar and Kingdom Of Sorrow.

According to the biography Tales from The Brothers' Gibb..., Gibb had a heart attack in the early 1990s, which was brought on by morphine during a back operation. He also suffers from arthritis. Gibb thought that his career might be over because his hands were so badly affected. He sometimes wears a glove to keep his hand warm while playing the guitar.

In January 2006, Gibb purchased the former home of country legends Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash in Hendersonville, Tennessee, intending to restore it and turn it into a songwriting retreat.[7] The house was destroyed by fire on 10 April 2007 while under renovation.[8]

On 2 May 2004, Barry and Robin Gibb received the CBE award at Buckingham Palace with their nephew Adam, who collected the award in honor of his late father, Maurice Gibb.[9]

On 10 July 2009, both Barry and Robin were made Freemen of the Borough of Douglas. The award was also bestowed posthumously on Maurice, therefore confirming the freedom of the town of their birth to all three brothers.

In 2009, The Sunday Times estimated that Gibb and his brother Robin's combined net worth at $180 million.[10]

Gibb resides in Miami Beach, Florida and Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire.

Legislation lobbying

On 7 December 2006, Barry Gibb, along with around 4,500 other musicians, took out a full-page advertisement in the Financial Times newspaper calling for the British Government to extend the existing 50 years copyright protection for sound recordings in the United Kingdom. They proposed that the copyright be extended to the American standard of 95 years. The fair play for musicians advertisement was viewed as a direct response to the Gowers Review published by the British Government on 6 December 2006, which recommended the retention of the 50 year protection for sound recordings.[11]

Recent work

  • As a preview to his forthcoming country album, Gibb released the song "Drown On The River" to iTunes. The song is also be featured in the 2008 movie Deal, starring Burt Reynolds.
  • On 14 March 2009, Gibb teamed with Olivia Newton-John to present the one-hour finale performance at a star studded twelve-hour live concert at Sydney's Sydney Cricket Ground, part of Sound Relief, a fundraiser to aid victims of the February 2009 Victorian Bushfires that devastated large tracts of heavily wooded and populated south-eastern Australia. The concert was televised live nationally across Australia on the Max TV cable network.
  • In late 2009, Barry and Robin announced plans to record and perform together as the Bee Gees.[12]

The Barry Gibb Talk Show

"The Barry Gibb Talk Show" has been a popular satirical segment on Saturday Night Live. It features Jimmy Fallon as a temperamental Barry Gibb and Justin Timberlake as his brother Robin.

On 16 March 2010, Barry and Robin Gibb appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. They talked about their 50-year career, their recent appearance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, and "The Barry Gibb Talk Show." [13]

The Kid's No Good

1970 (unreleased)

Side 1

  • Mando Bay (or Born)
  • One Bad Thing
  • The Day Your Eyes Meet Mine
  • Happiness
  • Peace In My Mind
  • Clyde O'Reilly

Side 2

  • I Just Wanna Take Care Of You
  • I'll Kiss Your Memory
  • The Victim
  • This Time
  • What's It All About
  • Born (or Mando Bay)

Album Notes

  • The album is known by this title but it is not definite. The line 'the kid's no good' features in a Bee Gees song by Barry Gibb, "Come Home Johnny Bride", on the 1973 album Life In A Tin Can.
  • This is most likely the intended lineup, though available sources differ as to the placement of the first and last tracks. Bootleg versions add a number of additional tracks, and one claims to be a Polydor release.
  • "I'll Kiss Your Memory" and "This Time" were released on a single (Polydor in much of the world, Atco in North America), which did not chart. A second single of "One Bad Thing" and "The Day Your Eyes Meet Mine" was pressed by Atco Canada but not released.

1984: Now Voyager

Polydor, 1984 (MCA in North America)

Side 1

  • I Am Your Driver
  • Fine Line
  • Face To Face
  • Shatterproof
  • Shine Shine

Side 2

  • Lesson In Love
  • One Night (For Lovers)
  • Stay Alone
  • Temptation
  • She Says
  • The Hunter

Album Notes

  • To tie in with the album, Gibb filmed a "video album" version with a storyline, including nine of the songs and an instrumental title theme that is not on the LP or CD albums. The Now Voyager film is currently available as a Region 0 (all region) NTSC DVD. The video for "Fine Line" features a rarely seen Barry Gibb minus his trademark beard.
  • "Shine Shine" reached the Top 40 in the U.S. and the Top 10 in Adult Contemporary Charts.

Moonlight Madness

Polydor, 1986 (unreleased)

Side 1

  • Moonlight Madness
  • My Eternal Love
  • System Of Love
  • Where Tomorrow Is
  • In Search Of Love
  • Cover You

Side 2

  • The Savage Is Loose
  • Not In Love At All
  • Words Of A Fool
  • Distant Strangers
  • Change
  • Letting Go

Album Notes

  • Also known as When Tomorrow Comes and My Eternal Love.
  • Several songs would later appear on the Hawks soundtrack.
  • A bootleg version exists, titled The Original Hawks. This disc features the entire unreleased album, as well as a number of bonus tracks.

1988: Hawks (OST)

Polydor, 1988

  • System Of Love
  • Childhood Days
  • My Eternal Love
  • Moonlight Madness
  • Where Tomorrow Is
  • Celebration De La Vie (Theme From Hawks)
  • Chain Reaction
  • Cover You
  • Not In Love At All
  • Letting Go

Album Notes

  • The final incarnation of the unreleased Moonlight Madness album.
  • "Chain Reaction" is performed by Diana Ross.

2006: The Guilty Demos

private, 1979 (unreleased) / iTunes, 2006

  • Guilty
  • Woman in Love
  • Run Wild
  • Promises
  • The Love Inside
  • What Kind Of Fool
  • Life Story
  • Make It Like A Memory
  • Carried Away
  • Secrets

Album Notes

  • Recorded as a guideline for Barbra Streisand.
  • Finally released on iTunes in 2006 as The Guilty Demos.
  • A demo of "Never Give Up" was also recorded, but remains unreleased.
  • "Carried Away" and "Secrets" were not used on Streisand's version.

2006: The Heartbreaker Demos

private, 1982 (unreleased) / iTunes, 2006

  • Heartbreaker
  • It Makes No Difference
  • Yours
  • Take The Short Way Home
  • Misunderstood
  • All The Love In The World
  • I Can't See Anything (But You)
  • Just One More Night
  • You Are My Love

Album Notes

  • Recorded as a guideline for Dionne Warwick.
  • Released on iTunes in 2006 as The Heartbreaker Demos.

2006: The Eyes That See in the Dark Demos

private, 1983 (unreleased) / iTunes, 2006

  • This Woman
  • You And I
  • Buried Treasure
  • Islands In The Stream
  • Living With You
  • Evening Star
  • Hold Me
  • Midsummer Nights
  • I Will Always Love You
  • Eyes That See In The Dark

Album Notes

  • Recorded as a guideline for Kenny Rogers. The released versions include instrumental tracks from these demos.
  • Released on iTunes in 2006 as The Eyes That See In The Dark Demos.
  • Gibb's demo of "Islands in the Stream" was not used when the song was chosen for inclusion on the 2001 Bee Gees compilation, Their Greatest Hits: The Record. Instead, Robin and Maurice, sans Barry, recorded a brand new version.

2006: The Eaten Alive Demos

private, 1985 / iTunes, 2006

  • Oh Teacher
  • Experience
  • More And More
  • I'm Watching You
  • Love On The Line
  • (I Love) Being In Love With You
  • Crime Of Passion
  • Don't Give Up On Each Other

Album Notes

  • Recorded as a guideline for Diana Ross.
  • Released on iTunes in 2006 as The Eatin Alive Demos. The spelling of "Eaten" was later corrected.
  • Notable for their absences are "Eaten Alive" and "Chain Reaction." Though a demo exists, the album's title track was not included as the song is currently the property of its co-author, Michael Jackson. Gibb and Albhy Galuten did not send any demo of "Chain Reaction" to Diana Ross, and evidently Gibb did not want to release whatever work tape they had of it.

Guilty Pleasures Demos

private, 2005 (unreleased) / Barry Gibb Radio, 2006

  • Come Tomorrow
  • Stranger In A Strange Land
  • Hideaway
  • It's Up To You
  • Night Of My Life
  • Above The Law
  • Without Your Love
  • All Our Children
  • Golden Dawn

Album Notes

  • Recorded as a guideline for Barbra Streisand.
  • As of yet, the full-length demos have not been released. All nine songs appeared on the online "Barry Gibb Radio" as two or three minute fragments, with a fade at each end.
  • Two songs are missing from the above tracklist - "(Our Love) Don't Throw It All Away" and "Letting Go." As both songs were previously released, no new demos were necessary.


  • 1970: The Kid's No Good (Unreleased)
  • 1984: Now Voyager
  • 1988: Hawks (Soundtrack album)
  • 2006: The Eaten Alive Demos (iTunes)
  • 2006: The Guilty Demos (iTunes)
  • 2006: The Eyes That See In The Dark Demos (iTunes)
  • 2006: The Heartbreaker Demos (iTunes)[14]