Originally released in a long boxed set, this collection now comes in a 4CD jewel case. This may have compromised the presentation a little, but it made the set much more affordable. I bought the jewel case version, which contains a booklet that runs to around 72 pages, but without page numbers (so I could have counted wrongly). This is not a hits collection although plenty of hits are featured. Because of that, the booklet does not included an overview of the Bee Gees' biography and career, but it does have plenty of pictures and tributes from family members and others. I was particularly interested in the comments from some of the singers who worked with one or more of the Bee Gees. I found Kenny Rogers' comments about the recording of Islands in the stream particularly amusing. (Buy or borrow the set to read them.)
I already owned several compilations of Bee Gees music when I bought this, so I already had some of the tracks on the first two CD's, but not as many as I expected. I never bought any of Andy's music but I'm pleased to find it here. However, I bought this compilation because I like the idea of each brother having one CD featuring songs with their voices prominent. Their voices are not all that different from each other, so it's not always easy to distinguish them. This set makes the differences clearer.
The tracks were chosen by Barry and Robin, both still alive at the time the original set was compiled, and relatives of the other two brothers. (By the time I wrote this review, only Barry was still alive.) Personally, I liked all aspects of the Bee Gees' music, although I always hoped to hear more of their late sixties folk-pop music eventually. I was therefore pleased to find a good sprinkling of non-hits from the era featured here.
I do not know exactly how the family made their choices, but the CD's for Barry and Robin feature plenty of Bee Gees hits and some versions of songs they wrote that were hits for others (Heartbreaker, Love me, If I can't have you, More than a woman, Islands in the stream) as well as some comparative obscurities. One famous song not featured is Nights on Broadway, which was a Bee Gees hit in America, but a UK hit for Candi Staton. From the sixties, a notable omission is World. These are not the only omissions, as you'll find if you look at a list of their hits.
There are other songs that the Bee Gees wrote that other artists recorded and with which I am familiar, not all of which were recorded by the Bee Gees. The one omission that I am most familiar with that they definitely recorded was recorded by Olivia Newton-John and became the title track to her album Come On Over during her country music phase. Olivia appears in this box via a duet with Andy on his CD. She is also one of the singers whose tribute is featured in the booklet.
Maurice's CD features no big hits. As I used to own E S P on vinyl, I must have heard Overnight, but I don't remember it (I got rid of most of my vinyl collection in 1993), nor do I recognize any of the other tracks on his CD. The CD for Andy features his big hits, which is inevitable as this is the first time that he has featured on a Bee Gees compilation.
If you`re only interested in hits, you'll likely think that this collection contains far too much filler. If, like me, you want to explore the album tracks without necessarily buying a lot of their original albums, this will suit you ideally.