The Second Album That Proves Their Talent!
Martin A Hogan | San Francisco, CA. (Hercules) | 01/27/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wrapped in a snug fold-out digipak, this Rhino re-issue of Bee Gees Horizontal is a wonder to behold. Being the second album by the three brothers, Rhino has beautifully remastered the original into one CD that has all the original twelve songs in Stereo and Mono. These are different sounding recordings and not simply Stereo condensed into Mono. Classics like, "World" and their first #1 hit in the U.K., "Massachusetts" is given new life.
Disc 2 contains fantastic Alternate Versions and previously unreleased material. Compare "Swan Song" or "Really And Sincerely" to the original takes. Also included on album for the first time are singles, "Words", "Barker Of The UFO", "Sinking Ships" and "Sir Geoffrey Saved The World". Other new delights are the vibrant, "Out Of Line" and "Ring My Bell". Eastern influence is obvious on "Deeply, Deeply Me" and the second CD concludes with two Christmas songs, the second being a medley never before released. With 37 songs and a running time of nearly 100 minutes, this is a long awaited release. "Massachusetts" went to #11 on the Billboard Charts and #1 in the U.K. (Their first #1!). The album hit #12 in the USA! Also includes a colorful booklet packed with trivia, history, album and single photos as well as comments from Barry and Robin Gibb.
Jiri Schwarz | Prague, Czechia | 08/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The basic dozen of songs of the BG's 2nd LP was recorded in the second half of 1967 (soon after the BG had finished work on their debut called simply "1st") and was issued early in 1968 to enter the top 20 (US and UK) in February. The hallmark of the BG on their early albums is their incredible creativity in making memorable melodies, sung in perfect harmonies of the 3 Gibb brothers' vocals. The BG were a British pop group that certainly did not dramatically influence the quick developments of rock music of that time. On the other hand, on Horizontal, one can hear reflections of the new developments, e.g. psychedelia, r'n'b, and time-to-time, interesting sounds come from Vince Melouney's guitar. The creativity of the group between 1967 and 1971 (to Trafalgar) was really great - with the exception of the Beatles, I think only a few other groups were able to write so many tunes that you can preserve in your head at first listening. Of course, the most memorable tunes of Horizontal are the biggest hits, i.e. World, Massachusetts, and Horizontal, which regularly appear on divergent compilations. Superficially, you can take BG's music as a romantic hit pop group. However, the group has the inner power to sound very appealing, pleading and expressive.
The remaster of Horizontal is a very delightful thing. You get the whole original LP (total time 36:40 min) both in stereo and mono versions on Disc 1 (73:20 min). The sound is extremely pure and deep and thus to me much better than on the original vinyl. You can admire the outstanding orchestral arrangements which still seem to sound up-to-date. Disc 2 (34:59 min) contains additional melodies, most of them previously unissued. Among them, there are also interesting alternate versions of songs which do not appear on Horizontal (e.g. Swan Song). Some of the tracks sound as superb as those on Disc 1, but some sound inferior and flatter. In addition, Disc 2 offers also another famous BG single, Words. The 20-page booklet introduces details of each of the recordings.
Horizontal is one of the masterpieces of the first BG's era (along with Idea, 1st). Although I think that artistically, an even more interesting album is Odessa, I can recommend Horizontal to collectors, to fans of the old BG and to those, whose vinyls are getting poor - they will appreciate this luxurious reedition (and I suspect that the original 1CD recording is probably currently unavailable). The newcommers to old BG should rather buy one of the numerous greatest hit compilations."