BEE GEES -- Spirits Having Flown, RSO 1-3041.
What the music from "Saturday Night Live" had going for it was the lyric energy which exactly captured the urban tension of Tony Manero's life. "Fever" had sass and spunk and a directness which seemed to auger a new and impressive Bee Gees sound: "You can tell by the way I use my walk/I'm a woman's man, no time to talk." Manero and his ilk were more perfectly realized in those few lines than in the first hour of that laborious script.
But whatever spark lit the fever seems to have been extinguished in the meantime. "Spirits Having Flown," predictably the number one album in the country, is tiresome and repetitious. That delicate vocal balance the Bee Gees mastered in "Stayin' Alive" has been lost; here the falsetto founders shrilly. The best the lyrics offer is a kind of puppyish ingenuousness: "I'm the man who loves you inside and out/Backwards and forewards with my heart hanging out." The rest is even worse, and overblown. "Tragedy, when you lose control and you got no soul" is a pop pretension of awesome dimensions.
Even more abominable, the album includes a flyer for Bee Gees merchandise.