Robin Gibb is gone more than two years now. But his widow, Dwina, and son R-John Gibb are making sure he didn’t go without a final word.
Gibb’s 50 St. Catherine’s Drive comes out Sept. 30, featuring what was intended to be his final solo album. The 17-track set, named after the home Gibb – one of three brothers who comprised the Bee Gees – was born in Douglas on the Isle of Man, also includes several extra tracks, including a fresh version of “I Am the World” from 1966, which was the B-side of the Bee Gees’ first single, “Spicks and Specks.” The set also includes “Sydney,” the final song Gibb ever recorded, during July of 2011 at his home in London, using keyboards and a GarageBand iPad app in his bedroom.
Listen to the lead single “Days of Wine and Roses” from the album, premiering exclusively on Billboard.com:
“Robin was a poet, a songwriter, a composer, a bard and wonderful human being who serenaded the world with his unique voice,” Dwina writes in her liner notes for 50 St. Catherine’s Drive. “I feel as if I have had the most fortunate romantic life possible, living in the presence of genius and listening to the creation of beautiful songs that both he and his brothers produced and that are the soundtracks of millions of lives over the past decades.
“Robin was always clear on what tracks and which versions should be included on this album, and I have respected his wishes here… Robin planned the album to be a reflective, sometimes autobiographical, album and this intent has been heightened by the inclusion of what is almost certainly the last song Robin ever wrote or sung, ‘Sydney’… Although the quality of the recording is lower than Robin’s usual high standard, it is a track that I feel Robin’s fans should hear. It is fitting that it closes the album as a perfect and poignant bookend to a remarkable career.”
“Days of Wine and Roses” comes from the phrase penned by Ernest Dowson and popularized by Oscar Wilde. Dwina writes that “Robin admired Oscar Wilde’s works, and his wit, and having found this phrase, he was inspired to compose a song. This song is about remembering beautiful things from the past. It is a song about a lover having gone away or a lost love from the past. It is about a man who wonders if his call would ever be answered if he dared to call a past love again. It is also remembering the carefree, happy days of childhood that are all too short. “
50 St. Catherine’s Drive is the ninth solo album by Gibb, who died May 20, 2012 at the age of 62, and follows his ambitious Titanic Requiem from 2012. Gibb co-wrote all of the album’s tracks, while Robin-John Gibb contributed to several. The set was produced by Peter-John Vetesse. Other notable tracks include “Alan Freeman Days,” dedicated to the famed British radio DJ; “Mother of Love” for his mother, Barbara Gibb; “Cheris,” which was originally written for Barbra Streisand; and “Avalanche,” which Gibb wrote during the 60s for his unreleased Sing Slowly Sisters album.