The front cover of this recently issued Isle of Man presentation pack shows singer, songwriter and producer Sir Barry Gibb at the Glastonbury Festival, England (June 25, 2017) photographed by Samir Hussein/Redferns.
With more than five decades at the top of the music industry, from the Bee Gees in the 1960s to his performance at Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage in 2017 and recent “Greenfields” album release, Sir Barry Gibb has enjoyed a peerless musical career which is celebrated in the landmark set of seven stamps shown here.
Isle of Man Post Office worked closely with Barry Gibb to select the most personally-significant images from his life and career. The Bee Gees 1969 Cucumber Castle TV special, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band film and his “Music Legend” spot at the 2017 Glastonbury music festival are particular highlights picked out for the presentation pack.
A proud Manxman, Sir Barry has commented: “I’m very proud of my Manx roots. I was born and bred on the ancient, mystical, magical Isle of Man, and I have very fond memories of growing up there, so to appear on a set of its stamps is not only a wonderful surprise, but also an honour and a privilege.”
The two stamp sheets above, issued by the Isle of Man in1999, have images of the Bee Gees printed on a disc containing circular stamps. One of the most renowned and celebrated musicians of the modern era, Barry Gibb’s success with the Bee Gees included contributions to over a thousand film soundtracks and over 200 million albums to date, while as a solo performer his achievements include nine number one singles and a further sixteen as songwriter to add to many awards and honours.
The Gibb brothers are famously from the Isle of Man, with roots firmly planted on the Island, the importance of their upbringing still evidenced today by the title of his latest album, Greenfields. Sir Barry has commented that the green fields referred to were those of the Isle of Man during their childhood. The 2021 postal issue is a tribute to Sir Barry from the nation in which he was born. It recognises his Manx history, illustrious career and charitable work, in which he has been hugely generous with his time and talent to support numerous causes close to his heart.
As part of the Island’s 1999 “Legends of Music” issue the above stamps include the titles of recordings by the Bee Gees. “Massachusetts” was recorded in London in 1968, “Ellan Vannin” is known as the unofficial anthem of the IOM with lyrics taken from a poem written written by Eliza Craven Green in 1854. “Words” was produced at the IBC (International Broadcasting Company) Recording Studios in 1969. IBC had recording studios located at 35 Portland Place in London. In the 1960s and 1970s, the studios become internationally famous after being used by some of the biggest recording artists in the world. “You Win Again”, 1987, was a chart-topper in many countries and saw the Bee Gees become the first artists to achieve the number one spot in the record charts in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. The song was produced in Miami by Arif Mardin, the most consistently successful record producer of the 50 years leading up to his death in 2006. “I’ve Just Gotta Get a Message to You” is a hit from 1968 and has been re-recorded by Barry Gibb and Keith Urban and is featured on Gibb’s latest album Greenfields. The Bee Gees recorded “Night Fever” at Chateau d’Herouville, France, in 1977 to avoid the high tax rate at that time in Britain. They also laid down the tracks for the soundtrack to the immensely popular film Saturday Night Fever at the Chateau.
The small West African island nation São Tomé and Príncipe produced the above Bee Gees stamp sheet in 2008 as part of their “Music Stars” issue.
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