” Massachusetts ” is by the Bee Gees. The song was written by brothers Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb with production by the Bee Gees and Robert Stigwood, who is known for his work on theatrical productions like Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar.
” Massachusetts ” was initially intended for the group The Seekers, after an unsuccessful attempt to get the song to the group, the Bee Gees recorded it themselves.
The Bee Gees wrote the song without having been to the US New England State at the time, they just loved the word and felt there was something magic about American place names.
Robin Gibb said that “It only works with British names if you do it as a folk song. Roger Whittaker did that with Durham Town. ”
The Bee Gees recorded ” Massachusetts ” in 1967 at the IBC Studios in London. The former studio is now used by Musion Das Hologram Ltd and uses the space to run demonstrations of life-size holograms.
The group suffered a blow when Australians Colin Petersen and Vince Melouney faced deportation and would have left the group as a result.
British fans of the Bee Gees protested on their behalf at the cottage of the then prime minister Harold Wilson. Another fan chained herself to Buckingham Palace reminiscent of the women from the Suffragette movement who were led by Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst. Both Colin Petersen and Vince Melouney were allowed to stay.
Initially released in the United Kingdom with the title ” Massachusetts ( The Lights Went Out in ) “, the group dropped the subtitle to favour just ” Massachusetts “.
Despite the fact that the slight shaving of the name the song was a massive success across the World. In the United States, the song reached number eleven on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, in Canada the Bee Gees scored a number two on the RPM Chart ( Records Promotion Music ).
In the United Kingdom, ” Massachusetts ” entered the UK Singles Chart and climbed to Number One where it spent four weeks. The song spent eight weeks in the Top Ten and a total of seventeen weeks on the chart.
The song was the second to be played on the then-new British radio station Radio One after ” Flowers in the Rain ” by The Move.
” Massachusetts ” was also the first Number One non-Japanese single to reach the top spot on the Oricon Singles Chart in Japan in 1968.
BillBoard Highest Chart Position: 11
UK Highest Chart Position: 1
Other Countries Highest Chart Positions: Australia (Kent Music Report) 1, Austria (Austria Top 40) 1, Belgium (Ultratop 50) 1, Canada (RPM) 2, Denmark (Tracklisten) 2, France (SNEP) 4, Germany (Media Control Charts) 1, Ireland (IRMA) 2, Italy (FIMI) 5, Japan (Oricon Singles Chart) 1, Netherlands (Dutch Top 40) 1, New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ) 1, Norway (VG-lista) 1, South Africa (Springbok Radio) 1, Sweden (Sverigetopplistan) 1, Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade) 2
Official Website: Beegees.com
FaceBook Page: Facebook.com/beegees
Wikipedia Page: Wikipedia.org/BeeGees
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