Life In a Tin Can

Life In a Tin Can

The Bee Gees were in transition for this 1973 album; they’d just relocated from the U.K. to L.A. and signed to a new L.A.-based label, RSO. The leadoff tune, “I Saw a New Morning,” is absolutely majestic, its weighty theme of escape rising on strings and harmonies to cathedral-like levels. The gentle “South Dakota Morning,” with its faraway harmonica, acoustic guitars, and McCartney-esque bassline, is as perfect a blend of country and melancholy power pop as you’ll ever hear. Then that sadness is equaled on “Living in Chicago.” “Come Home Johnny Bridle” blends pedal steel, piano, and acoustic guitars to tell a story of a murderous kid returning home. The finale, “Method to My Madness,” foreshadows some Bee Gees ballads to come, but it's still shrouded in the baroque-ish, melodramatic sensibilities the band honed in the '60s. For The Bee Gees, the ’70s didn’t really start until their 1974 album Mr. Natural. This relatively poor-selling album shows that an obscure early-’70s Bee Gees effort can have all the harmonic beauty and undercurrents of sadness and optimism of their very best work.

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