It has not been the best week for disco. In just a few short days, two of the artists most identified with the era both passed away after battles with cancer: Donna Summer, and Bee Gees co-founder Robin Gibb.
Unlike Summer, though, Robin Gibb’s voice isn’t exactly front-and-center on the songs most identified with the genre: “Stayin’ Alive,” “How Deep is Your Love,” and “Night Fever” all feature vocal harmonies with brother Barry Gibb singing lead. It was the group’s earlier, pre-disco work in the 1960s and early ’70s where Robin’s tender voice was best on display, on songs like “Massachusetts,” “Lonely Days,” “I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You,” “I Started a Joke,” and “New York Mining Disaster 1941.” (In fact, Robin’s perceived lack of support as the group’s lead singer led Robin to split briefly with the Bee Gees in 1969 and try for a solo career that led to moderate success.)
Check out our playlist below for some of the best examples of Robin Gibbs’ singing — including a classic, “Sesame Street Fever.”