Cucumber Castle

Cucumber Castle

Likely the most ignored Bee Gees album—and named after a tune on the trio’s 1967 debut—1970’s Cucumber Castle brims with the band’s classic pre–Saturday Night Fever sound: autumnal pop-psych and finely wrought strings mixing with unironic lyrics and lost-love melancholia. While both “Then You Left Me” and the gospel-hued “Bury Me Down by the River” are the sonic equivalents of hearts breaking, the sugary power of “I.O.I.O.” might be that year’s best pop song, upheld by Barry Gibb’s Lennon-tinged vocals and Maurice Gibb’s McCartney-ish bass lines. Contrastingly, the country-ish “Sweetheart” and the ironic “The Lord” hum like the young Aussies wrote them after a string of cold November nights spent in London clubs listening to Louvin Brothers covers. This album dropped after the group's 1969 double-LP doozy Odessa. The brothers Gibb had had enough of each other by then and all but split up, which might explain the eyebrow-raising King Arthurian suits of armor on the album’s cover. In fact, Robin Gibb is no-show here, but you’d hardly notice.

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