Spicks and Specks (album)
|Spicks and Specks|
|Studio album by Bee Gees|
|Recorded||April – June 1966
St. Clair Studios, Hurstville
|Genre||Psychedelic rock, blues rock, garage rock|
|Label||Spin Records (AUS)|
|Bee Gees chronology|
|Singles from Spicks and Specks|
Spicks and Specks is the Bee Gees' second album.1 It was released in Australia in 1966 as Monday's Rain with "Spicks and Specks" released as the album's first single. The album was quickly re-released as Spicks and Specks to capitalise on the success of the single.2 The success of "Spicks and Specks" across Australia, where it was a top-five hit in every state, propelled them to move to England in 1967 to further their musical career.3
Nat brought the Bee Gees to St. Clair Studio, Hurstville outside Sydney. It was a small place in a strip mall owned and operated by Nat's friend Ossie Byrne, a sound engineer who was working wonders with even more modest facilities than Festival Studio. Both Nat and Barry recall that the recording equipment was just two one-track tape decks and a mixer. But many Festival acts would make the trip to Hurstville to get the benefit of Ossie's talents and the more relaxed artist-oriented atmosphere. Among them were the band, Steve and the Board, led by Nat's son, Steve Kipner, all of whom became friends with the Bee Gees because both groups were allowed the run of the studio whenever it was not booked for other performers, the Bee Gees had never had much studio time before. Nat gave them plenty of feedback on their music. Ossie let them experiment with sound effects and overdubs. The first group at St. Clair recordings were an excellent set of songs that show the brilliance of the Bee Gees set loose and of Ossie Byrne as a recording engineer. They were recorded mainly by the three brothers themselves. On some tracks the drums were played by Colin Petersen from Steve and the Board, who would later be the Bee Gees' regular drummer, Maurice had a piano to play and electronics he was allowed to try out, Robin learned to double-track his voice, Barry had precious time to work with his group to make recordings as good as those by the other performers who had recorded so many of his songs. The one-track tape machines required the used of sound-on-sound for all overdubs. An instrumental base track was recorded first. Then that was played back while the group sang or played, the playback and microphones mixed together and recorded to other tape machine. If another track was needed, the process could be repeated. Each track however added another layer of tape hiss. Some of these recordings must have gone to at least a third track. The exact chronology of the St. Clair sessions remains a mystery, one that will not be solved since the studio documentation is long gone. The two songs for "Monday's Rain" single were certainly recorded by 8 May, based on a press report. Also listed above are the other songs sequenced into the Monday's Rain LP, which was not released. The album compilation pre-dates the song "Spicks and Specks", which seems to date from early July.4
This proposed album would have followed the single "Monday's Rain". Some number of albums were actually manufactured, but it was not released, or possibly it was released and immediately withdrawn. This album was proposed to released about July.
Monday's Rain album was used as the basis of the Spicks and Specks album after "Spicks and Specks" was released and became a national hit record late in that year. Side 1 of two albums was exactly the same (but in the Spicks and Specks album, "All of My Life" was omitted), and early copies of Spicks and Specks had labels side 1 with the Monday's Rain title, indicating that Festival, thrifty to a fault, had been saying the printed labels and probably the LP stampers as well. Only side 2 had to be re-mastered, "Spicks and Specks" replacing the first song, quite likely edited to the old side 2 master tape. Although such mechanical considerations may have forced Nat's hand on choosing material, the Monday's Rain album was a good one and worth release.
- Side one
- "Monday's Rain"
- "How Many Birds"
- "Second Hand People"
- "I Don't Know Why I Bother With Myself"
- "Big Chance"
- Side two
- "All of My Life"
- "Jingle Jangle"
- "Tint of Blue"
- "Where Are You"
- "Born a Man"
- "Glass House"
In 1968,US ATCO and UK Polydor,under contract from Festival,reissued this Album,resequenced,as "Rare,Precious & Beautiful,Vol. 1".
The only catch was getting the elusive hit record, the Bee Gees ended up recording two albums in 1966, the first delayed until they had a hit song to sell it, and the second finally scrapped and used as a publisher's demo reel to sell the songs to other performers. The hit was "Spicks and Specks", their first national best-seller, but it came so late that they were on the boat to England when they heard about it in late 1966.
Nat Kipner tore up his contract with the Bee Gees, but he did reserve the Australian rights to whatever they recorded over the next several years.
All songs written and composed by Barry Gibb except where noted.
|1.||"Monday's Rain"||Robin and Barry||2:58|
|2.||"How Many Birds"||Barry||1:57|
|3.||"Playdown"||Barry, Robin and Maurice||2:54|
|4.||"Second Hand People"||Barry, Robin and Maurice||2:10|
|5.||"I Don't Know Why I Bother With Myself" (Robin Gibb)||Robin||2:43|
|6.||"Big Chance"||Robin and Barry||1:40|
|1.||"Spicks and Specks"||Barry||2:52|
|3.||"Tint of Blue" (Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb)||Barry||2:05|
|4.||"Where Are You" (Maurice Gibb)||Maurice||2:10|
|5.||"Born a Man"||Barry||3:10|
|6.||"Glass House" (Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb)||Robin||2:25|
- Bee Gees
- Barry Gibb – vocals, guitar
- Robin Gibb – vocals, harmonica, guitar
- Maurice Gibb – vocals, guitar, bass, piano
- Guest and additional musicians
- John Robinson – bass
- Steve Kipner – vocals
- Colin Petersen – drums
- Russell Bamsley – drums
- Geoff Grant – trumpet
- Ossie Byrne – sound engineer
- The Australian music-themed television quiz show Spicks and Specks was named for the album's title track, which was also the show's theme song.
- Johnson, Pete (21 January 1968). "The Bee Gees Learn ABCs of Pop Success". Los Angeles, California: Los Angeles Times. p. O9. Retrieved 15 March 2010.
- Wahlquist, Gil (16 July 1978). "Records". Sydney, Australia: The Sun-Herald. p. 78. Retrieved 15 March 2010.
- "How the Bee Gees write so fast". Sydney, Australia: The Sun-Herald. 11 December 1966. p. 109. Retrieved 15 March 2010.
- Joseph Brennan. "Gibb Songs: 1966".