fter reviving their wilting career with "Jive Talkin'," their first number one single in four years, the Bee Gees proved their comeback was no fluke. A second single from Main Course, "Nights on Broadway," sailed to number seven in December 1975. It marked the first significant use of falsetto, which combined with their new, funky style, resulted in a distinctive sound that prompted even the critics to take notice of a band they had written off. A third single from Main Course, the balladish "Fanny (Be Tender With My Love)," went to number 12 in March, 1976.
The Gibbs turned to producer Richard Perry, who had crafted number one singles for Nilsson, Carly Simon and Ringo Starr. But it was not a match made in heaven, and two days later they parted company.
Rudderless, the brothers decided their best plan of attack would be to re-create the environment that produced Main Course. During the recording of that LP, the Bee Gees had been impressed with the work of two men at Criteria Studios. Albhy Galuten, who had studied at the Berkeley School of Music, had been brought in to assist on engineering chores by his old friend Karl Richardson, the engineer and co-producer of the sessions. Albhy's technical expertise had been vital to the commercial success of Main Course, so the Gibbs added them to their production team.
Without Mardin's genius, Albhy's schooling was critical in communicating with the musicians on the new album, Children of the World. The Bee Gees had never been formally trained in music, so they relied on Galuten to be their liaison with the orchestra. We were a little scared because we were used to working with Arif," Maurice Gibb said in the group's authorized biography, written by David Leaf. "Now I've got great respect for Albhy and Karl as well. The things Arif brought out in us, they have perfected... to a better point and improved it more. We never used to experiment before. Now we might do the harmonies in voices, double them in falsettos, all sorts of things to get a different tone. We're mad perfectionists, and Albhy and Karl are both perfectionists as well. I don't think there's anyone who can beat them yet."
If the Bee Gees were worried about their chart fortunes without Mardin at the helm, their fears subsided when "You Should Be Dancing" was released as the first single from Children of the World. It entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number 67 on July 3, 1976, and nine weeks later became the Bee Gees' third number one single.
- Fred Bronson, The Billboard Book of Number One Hits, Billboard, 1988.
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