Robin Gibb — “Mother and Jack”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — June 26, 2022


497) Robin Gibb — “Mother and Jack”

What an unexpected and cool song by Robin! Bruce Eder calls “Mother and Jack” a “calypso-flavored piece that . . . ended up on the B-side of [Robin’s hit] “Saved By the Bell” and “offered possibilities for a new, leaner, different sound”. ( Dave Furgess notes that the song “closes side one [of Robin’s solo album Robin’s Reign] and on first impression sounds like a cheery number until you realize it’s a song about a family getting evicted from their flat.” ( and Ed Whitelock says that it “highlights both Robin’s compassion and whimsy as he weaves a social commentary disguised as a fairy tale”. ( “

Whitelock gives some context:

By January 1969 it seemed like the Bee Gees . . . and especially Robin, their vibrato singing teen idol — were on top of the world. . . . But clouds were quickly forming. Rumors of drug addiction swirled around 19-year-old Robin, heightened by a nervous collapse and ongoing personal health crises that forced cancellation of an American tour. The actual cause of Robin’s tenuous physical and emotional condition was actually post-traumatic stress brought on in the aftermath of Robin having survived the Hither Green rail crash in November 1967 where 49 people died. While unharmed, Robin was trapped for a time in his car, forced to watch the dead and injured as they were removed . . . . Adding to his personal insecurities, familial tensions in the form of competition with older brother Barry were reaching a head. Odessa producer Robert Stigwood . . . saw Barry as the group leader and favored his songwriting and singing over Robin’s. The final straw occurred when Stigwood released Barry’s “First of May” as the next Bee Gees single, relegating Robin’s “Lamplight” to the B-side. Shortly after this perceived slight, Robin announced his departure from the band.

[During t]he 12-month period of Robin’s absence . . . . Barry and Maurice released Cucumber Castle which, while including the hit single “Don’t Forget to Remember”, stalled on the UK album chart at #57 . . . . Robin[‘s] initial single “Saved By the Bell” reached #2 on the charts, but its parent album Robin’s Reign charted disappointingly and plans for a follow up record were shelved . . . .

When asked why he chose “Saved by the Bell” as the A-side, Robin explained that:

Everything I write I write to the best of my ability. That is every song I have written could be a single – I never write A-sides that would be an insult to my ego. Mother And Jack on the flip of Saved By the Bell could just as well have been an A-side. All the tracks for my first LP could be singles.

Check out the site’s new page: Stick It to the (Fish)Man: Feedback — the coolest comments I have received!

I have added a Facebook page for Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock! If you like what you read and hear and feel so inclined, please visit and “like” my Facebook page by clicking here.

Pay to Play! The Off the Charts Spotify Playlist! + Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock Merchandise

Please consider helping to support my website/blog by contributing $6 a month for access to the Off the Charts Spotify Playlist. Using a term familiar to denizens of Capitol Hill, you pay to play! (“relating to or denoting an unethical or illicit arrangement in which payment is made by those who want certain privileges or advantages in such arenas as business, politics, sports, and entertainment” —

The playlist includes all the “greatest songs of the 1960’s that no one has ever heard” that are available on Spotify. The playlist will expand each time I feature an available song.

All new subscribers will receive a Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock magnet. New subscribers who sign up for a year will also receive a Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock t-shirt or baseball cap. See pictures on the Pay to Play page.

When subscribing, please send me an e-mail ( or a comment on this site letting me know an e-mail address/phone number/Facebook address, etc. to which I can send instructions on accessing the playlist and a physical address to which I can sent a magnet/t-shirt/baseball cap. If choosing a t-shirt, please let me know the gender and size you prefer.

Just click on the first blue block for a month to month subscription or the second blue block for a yearly subscription.

One thought on “Robin Gibb — “Mother and Jack”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — June 26, 2022

  1. Robin’s Reign is my favorite album. I’ve been listening to it the past 3 days. Often I don’t get past Autumn October . So beautiful and perfect for Robin’s voice . Mother and Jack is so good too. All the songs on this album are magnificent. I just get lost in his voice and the problems of the world drift away.
    It’s true, everyone of these songs should be an A side.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: