Life in a Tin Can

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Life in a Tin Can
Bee Gees studio album


March 1973

Label (s) RSO records

Format (s)


Genre (s)


Title (number)



Bee Gees

Studio (s)

Record Plant , Los Angeles

To Whom It May Concern (1972) Life in a Tin Can Mr. Natural

Life in a Tin Can is the ninth international music album of the Bee Gees .


"Life in a Tin Can" marks a new beginning for the Bee Gees in many ways. It was the first album the band released on RSO Records . For the first time, the Gibb brothers were - formally - solely responsible for production. It was the first album that was produced entirely in the USA . And it was the first without her long-time companion, arranger Bill Shepherd .

And also musically, the Bee Gees were looking for new ways. For the recordings, which took place in the second half of 1972, they were able to win arranger Johnny Pate , who brought the musicians Jane Getz and Jerome Richardson into the studio. Although these three musicians were more oriented towards jazz , you can hear more influences from country music on the album . Three more acoustic-sounding songs, "South Dakota Morning", "While I Play" and "Come Home Johnny Bride", all Barry Gibb compositions, make this impression clear.

In contrast, "Saw A New Morning" is a track that opens the album with its brilliant orchestral arrangement and was consequently also released as a single in January 1973 . In the USA the album was also released in January, less than four months after their last studio album - in Europe in March.

All compositions are from 1972.


Track list

  • A1. Saw a New Morning (Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb)
  • A2. I Don't Wanna Be the One (Barry Gibb)
  • A3. South Dakota Morning (Barry Gibb)
  • A4. Living in Chicago (Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb)
  • B1. While I Play (Barry Gibb)
  • B2. My Life Has Been a Song (Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb)
  • B3. Come Home Johnny Bridie (Barry Gibb)
  • B4. Method to My Madness (Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb)


The album was released in 1973 by RSO , distributed in Germany by Polydor and in the USA by Atlantic Records . The album was first released on compact disc in 1990 . Since 2008 it has only been available digitally in Europe.

  • 1973: RSO 2394 102 (LP)
  • 1990: Polydor 833 788-2 (CD)


Although the album received good reviews, it was not commercially successful (only around 500,000 copies were sold worldwide). The Musik Express wrote at the time:

“Although the Gibb brothers have received a lot of criticism lately, they still hold their own. This LP was also recorded again in collaboration with a large orchestra, just like the old Bee Gees success story and yet this disc has something very special. Between the first two numbers 'Saw a new morning' and 'I'd don't wanna be the one' there is such a big transition as if you were walking out of a thunderstorm night into a sunny morning. Fortunately, Robin doesn't sing a number alone anymore. Barry wrote most of the pieces and sings solo if not all three. What is striking is the incredibly good sound of the acoustic guitars and Barry is also very much involved in this. But Maurice Gibb, Allan Kendall and Sneaky Pete also show their skills on this LP. After 'South Dakota Morning' with Tommy Morgan and his harmonica, the highlight of the LP follows: 'Livin' in Chicago '(5.3 min.) With Jerome Richardson and his flute. The lyrics are also more demanding than usual. It is noticeable that the Bee Gees mostly sing about America and record all their records there. Probably because they are still most successful there. The first number on the second page is a bit out of the Bee Gees framework, but that's no less perfect. Rick Grech plays the bass and violin, Jim Keltner drums. The information on the record pocket is detailed, the design of the case hideous. But the record is better than ever. "

- Music Express

A Kick in the Head is Worth Eight in the Pants

The poor sales of "Life in a Tin Can" prompted the record company, which planned for autumn following album, the working title "The Bee Gees album," wore, but later as "A Kick in the Head is Worth Eight in the Pants" became known not to publish.

The album should contain tracks that were also recorded in Los Angeles in 1972. However, the arranger for these tracks was Jimmie Haskell . The only compositions that were published at that time were "Wouldn't I Be Someone", in an edited version in June 1973 as a single, "King and Country", in a heavily abridged version in Germany as the B-side of the single, and "Elisa" which was published as B-side in England and USA. "It Doesn't Matter Much to Me", re-recorded a year later by the Bee Gees, appeared in England in 1974 on a compilation album with other rare Bee Gees titles. All other titles have remained unpublished to this day.

Track list

All compositions by Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb

  • A1. Elisa
  • A2. Wouldn't I be someone
  • A3. A lonely violin
  • A4. Losers and Lovers
  • A5. Home Again Rivers
  • B1. Harry's Gate
  • B2. Rocky LA
  • B3. Castles in the Air
  • B4. Where is your sister
  • B5. It doesn't matter much to me

Bootlegs from the album, which have been in circulation since the 1990s, usually list four additional tracks, but these were not recorded in London until 1973 .

See also

RSO Records discography


  • The Ultimate Bee Gees Biography: Stories of the Gibb Brothers by Melinda Bilyeu, Hector Cook, Andrew Môn Hughes, with Joseph Brennan and Mark Crohan. Starcluster Verlag, Balve, 2007. ISBN 978-3-925005-66-4 .
  • The Essential Rock Discography by Martin C. Strong, Canongate Books, 2006. ISBN 978-1-84195-985-6 .
  • Everything about the Bee Gees by Norbert Lippe, published in Oldie-Markt , Nuremberg, March 1983

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Musik Express, June 1973