To Whom It May Concern (Bee Gees album)

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To Whom It May Concern
Album To Whom It May Concern.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 1972
RecordedJanuary 1971 ("We Lost the Road")
January and April 1972
Studio IBC (London)
Genre Pop rock, soft rock
Producer Robert Stigwood, Bee Gees
The Bee Gees chronology
To Whom It May Concern
Life in a Tin Can
Singles from To Whom It May Concern
  1. "Run to Me"
    Released: July 1972
  2. "Sea of Smiling Faces"
    Released: November 1972 (Japan)
  3. "Alive"
    Released: December 1972
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svg [1]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide Star full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [2]

To Whom It May Concern is the tenth album by the Bee Gees. Released in October 1972, it is the follow-up to, and continues the melancholic and personal sound of its predecessor, Trafalgar .[ citation needed ] The album was recognised as "a farewell to the old Bee Gees" as the album marked the end of an era for the group in several ways:[ citation needed ] it was their last album to be recorded solely at IBC Studios, in London, their last with conductor and arranger Bill Shepherd, who had guided them since 1967, and their last under their first contract with Robert Stigwood. Some of the songs were old ones finished or rewritten for the occasion (in the case of "I Can Bring Love").


Background and recording

After touring in 1971 to promote their previous album, Trafalgar , the Bee Gees worked quickly to complete another album. They recorded the song "Paper Mache, Cabbages and Kings" on 3 January 1972 which was the last song recorded with the Australian drummer Geoff Bridgford. He left the group before their tour of East Asia and was replaced on tour by Chris Karan. Recording resumed in April 1972 with a Robin song called "Never Been Alone" and a song Barry did on his fan club recording from 1971 called "I Can Bring Love". The drummer on the April sessions was a veteran session player, Clem Cattini. The first song recorded for this album was "You Know It's For You", a song written and performed by Maurice Gibb, on which he played guitar, bass, keyboard and mellotron. [3] Karan did not participate with the Bee Gees on studio as Clem Cattini recalls:

On the album it's got a photograph of Chris Karan which is ridiculous really, because it wasn't Chris playing on the album, it was me!. As far as I'm concerned, I think they [Bee Gees] have an unbelievable talent - I'd give anything just to have written one of the songs that they've written, especially the later stuff. [4]

The album was primarily recorded between June 1971 and April 1972 (except for "We Lost the Road", recorded in January 1971 during the Trafalgar sessions). The Bee Gees saved a non-album single, "My World", from the sessions which was released in January 1972, becoming a UK/US Top 20 hit. Shepherd's arrangements are relatively toned down and the background vocals sometimes seem to take the place of what could have been string sections.

Release and reception

The album was released in November 1972. Stephen Holden's contemporary review in Rolling Stone commented that he felt the Bee Gees occupied "a very limited territory of pop music", dealing mainly in ballads of "momentary pathos", and that the album was "headphone mood music that makes no demands beyond a superficial emotional surrender to its perfumed atmosphere of pink frosting and glitter", and that the Gibbs vocal style had developed to the point where "they sound more like reed instruments than singers". [5] Bruce Eder in a retrospective review for AllMusic feels the album makes for pleasant and satisfying listening, and is "one of their most fully realized works". [1]

To Whom It May Concern only reached No. 35 in the US; it was their third consecutive studio album to fail to appear in the UK album charts. It performed better in other European countries. In Spain reached No. 6. The subsequent single "Alive" was a modest sized hit in the US, reaching the Top 40, and a major hit in Australia, reaching No. 4. In the 2010 documentary In Our Own Time , Maurice was shown explaining (in archival footage) that by 1972 they didn't really know who their audience was, hence the title To Whom It May Concern. The original album cover was a gatefold with pictures of business associates and family members on a drawing of the Bee Gees and a band. The band shows Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb (Maurice is playing Rickenbacker 4001) Alan Kendall and tour-only drummer Chris Karan, with Bill Shepherd conducting the orchestra.

"Paper Mache, Cabbages and Kings" entered the Danish charts in the first week of 1973 and stayed in the charts for 5 weeks, peaking at #8. [6]

Track listing

All tracks are written by Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb, except where noted

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocal(s)Length
1."Run to Me" Barry and Robin3:05
2."We Lost the Road"Barry Gibb, Robin GibbBarry and Robin3:27
3."Never Been Alone"Robin GibbRobin3:11
4."Paper Mache, Cabbages and Kings" Barry and Robin4:59
5."I Can Bring Love"Barry GibbBarry2:06
6."I Held a Party" Robin and Barry2:35
7."Please Don't Turn Out the Lights" Robin and Barry1:59
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocal(s)Length
1."Sea of Smiling Faces" Barry and Robin3:07
2."Bad Bad Dreams" Barry and Robin3:47
3."You Know It's for You"Maurice GibbMaurice Gibb2:57
4."Alive"Barry Gibb, Maurice GibbBarry4:04
5."Road to Alaska" Robin2:38
6."Sweet Song of Summer" Barry and Robin5:04

Alternate track listing

Some publicity material featured an alternate trackorder although no commercial release of it exists.

Side one

"Alive" / "I Can Bring Love" / "Bad Bad Dreams" / "I Held a Party" / "Sea of Smiling Faces" / "Road to Alaska" / "Run to Me"

Side two

"Paper Mache, Cabbages and Kings" / "We Lost the Road" / "You Know It's For You" / "Never Been Alone" / "Please Don't Turn Out the Lights" / "Sweet Song of Summer"


Bee Gees

Additional musicians and production staff


Australian Kent Music Report [7] 13
Canadian RPM Albums Chart [8] 50
Japanese Oricon LPs Chart [9] 53
Spanish Albums Chart [10] 6
US Billboard 200 [11] 35

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  1. 1 2 Bruce Eder. "The Bee Gees To Whom It May Concern".
  2. Cross, Charles R. (2004). "The Bee Gees". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp.  58. ISBN   0-7432-0169-8.
  3. "Gibb Songs : 1972". Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  4. Brennan, Joseph (2009). The Bee Gees - Tales of the Brothers Gibb. ISBN   9780857120045 . Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  5. Stephen Holden (1972). "The Bee Gees To Whom It May Concern". Rolling Stone . Archived from the original on 2 October 2007.{{cite magazine}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  6. "". Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  7. Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book. ISBN   0-646-11917-6.
  8. "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 18, No. 23". RPM . 20 January 1973. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  9. Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN   4-87131-077-9.
  10. Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN   84-8048-639-2.
  11. "Allmusic: To Whom It May Concern : Charts & Awards : Billboard Albums". Retrieved 5 May 2013.