Saturday, February 28, 2015

Andy Gibb - After Dark

This month marks the thirty fifth anniversary of After Dark, the third and final studio album from Andy Gibb. This 1980 release reached number 67 on the US Billboard R&B chart, number 65 in Australia, number 24 in Canada, number 23 in Sweden, and number 21 in Norway and on the US Billboard Album chart. It spent a total of fifteen weeks on the US Billboard Album chart. Older brother Barry assisted on the record by penning all of the songs.

Side one opens with the title track. "After Dark" has a mid-tempo urban swing to it rhythmically. It makes me think of the alluring siren song of the neon lights of an active city night life.

The first single "Desire" hit number 90 in Australia, number 48 on the US Billboard R&B chart, number 38 in New Zealand, number 36 in Germany, number 21 in the Netherlands, number 10 in Canada, number 9 on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, number 8 in Belgium, number 7 in Spain, and number 4 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Brothers Barry, Robin and Maurice all contributed backing vocals on this mid-tempo love song. I have always savored how their vocal harmonies worked so well together.

"Wherever You Are" picks up the pace with a strong bass line and a snappy beat.

"Warm Ride" was originally a song the Bee Gees recorded for the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack but it did not make the cut. Andy's version is a slightly slower take on the tune. The lyrics propose a night of heated passion.

"Rest Your Love on Me" is the first of two duets on the record with Olivia Newton-John. The two had first sung this country song about two lonesome people falling in love at first-sight together at a 1979 UNICEF show, so he asked her to record it for his next album. The Bee Gees recorded the song first back in 1978 and released it as a B-side to their single for "Too Much Heaven".

Side two starts with the soft and intimate "I Can't Help It", the other duet with Newton-John. As the second single, it went to number 62 in Australia, number 32 in Canada, number 27 in Belgium, number 23 in Spain, number 12 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and number 8 on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.

"One Love" is next.

The B-side to the second single was "Someone I Ain't", a slow number about staying true to yourself. The song has a country element to it that easily could be tweaked further for that particular genre.

Next up is another slower ballad "Falling in Love With You". It describes a man falling for a woman to whom he really should be saying goodbye.

The album closes on the lighter note with the mid-tempo "Dreamin' On". It is a nice and easy way to fade things out.

As a big Bee Gees fan in the late 70's as well as an avid watcher of Solid Gold, I had a good bit of exposure to Andy Gibb's songs - especially the hits. Like many, I was struck by his heavy spiral into drug abuse on the early 80's and his death towards the end of that decade. From this album, I have three of the tracks in my library so far (gleaned from a greatest hits collection). Given how much I enjoyed the rest, I'll likely add the remaining ones to my library as well at some point.

For more from Andy Gibb, click here.

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