About the song

A name synonymous with soaring falsettos, disco swagger, and undeniable pop brilliance. But before they conquered the dance floor and soundtracked a Saturday night fever, the brothers Gibb were a young, untamed force, experimenting with a sound that blurred the lines between pop and psychedelia.

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This brings us to “Barker of the UFO”, a hidden gem nestled on the B-side of their 1967 hit, “Massachusetts”. Released at the peak of the psychedelic era, the song is a fascinating departure from their usual pop fare. It’s a whimsical, almost childlike exploration of a UFO sighting, filtered through the Gibb brothers’ signature vocal harmonies and a dash of studio trickery.

The song opens with a sense of anticipation. The gentle strumming of an acoustic guitar sets the scene, punctuated by the melancholic wail of a harmonica. Then, the unmistakable voices of the brothers Gibb enter, weaving a tale of a man named Barker, a solitary figure “counting trees” and “collecting airplane numbers.” But Barker’s routine is disrupted by something extraordinary – a sighting of a UFO.

“Barker of the UFO” is more than just a novelty song about aliens. It’s a commentary on the human yearning for connection, the desire to break free from the mundane and glimpse something beyond the ordinary. The lyrics, though seemingly simple, are laced with a touch of melancholy. As Barker witnesses the “shiner of the light,” a sense of wonder washes over him, followed by a poignant realization: “Never before have I seen the light, Mr. Barker.”

The music reflects this emotional journey. The gentle acoustic guitar gives way to swirling psychedelic effects, creating a sense of disorientation and wonder. The brothers’ vocals become increasingly urgent, pleading with “Mr. Barker” to sing a song, to share his experience. But the UFO remains silent, leaving Barker (and the listener) with a lingering sense of awe and a touch of disappointment.

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“Barker of the UFO” may not be one of the Bee Gees’ biggest hits, but it stands as a testament to their artistic exploration and willingness to experiment. It’s a song that captures the zeitgeist of the late 60s, a time when the boundaries of music were being pushed and the possibilities seemed endless. So, put on your headphones, crank up the volume, and prepare to be transported to a world of shimmering lights, plaintive pleas, and the eternal mystery of the unknown.

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