- This page is about the song. For the album, see: Spicks and Specks
"Spicks and Specks" is a song by the Bee Gees, It was written by Barry Gibb. An instrumental version of the song is part of the soundtrack for Melody, which also featured several other Bee Gees songs. When the song released in September 1966, The song reached #3 in Australia, and when the song was released in the other countries in Europe on February 1967, it reached #28 in Germany, #2 in Netherlands, #1 in New Zealand and #9 in the United Kingdom.
Like several other pop titles, such as "Streets of London"(1969) by Ralph Mc Tell, "Rain and Tears"(1968) by Aphrodite's Child, and several French songs of that period, the harmony of this song is directly taken from the famous Pachelbel's Canon, and the fascination this harmony generally captures always helped songs to become big hits. By the way, "Spicks and Specks" was historically the first hit to re-use Pachelbel's harmony.
Background and release
"Spicks and Specks" is dated to early July by the memory of Geoff Grant (Geoffrey Streeter) who played the trumpet. He recalls working three nights in a row on four songs, "Spicks and Specks", "I Am the World", "All by Myself", and "The Storm". There were no charts, Barry sang what he wanted live, and Geoff copied it. Some of the artists whose disks came out in August recall hearing "Spicks and Specks" being worked on or completed, further confirming that early July is about right. "Spicks and Specks" was a ballad around a strong piano beat, Barry writing off a riff by Maurice in a way that would later get a joint writer credit.
The single entered the Sydney charts at the end of September and stayed in the top forty for nineteen weeks, peaking at number 3, and elsewhere in Australia it reached number 1. By the middle of October the Bee Gees were dead set on returning to England. It did finally convince Nat and Festival to release an LP, and it must have helped convince Polydor (England) to sign the group. This was the first single released in England. In also this year they performed on the Australian Television. In 1971 they performed in Festival Hall at Melbourne, Australia, and filmed in a black and white version in July. In 1974, they also performed in Melbourne from their Mr. Natural tour. In 1989, they also performed in Melbourne from their One For All Tour.
- Barry Gibb — lead and backing vocal
- Maurice Gibb — piano, bass
- Russell Barnsley — drums
- Geoff Grant — trumpet
- Steve Kipner — backing vocal
- Robin Gibb — backing vocal
- Nat Kipner — producer
- A version of the song performed and produced by The Dissociatives was used as the theme song of the Wikipedia:Australian Broadcasting Corporation's music-based quiz show Spicks and Specks (2005–2011).
- Status Quo covered the song on their debut album Picturesque Matchstickable Messages from the Status Quo.
- The Puhdys song Wenn ein Mensch lebt is based on this song; it was recorded for the 1973 East German film The Legend of Paul and Paula, for which it would have been impossible at the time to secure the rights to the Bee Gees' song. Other songs in the film are also derived from specific western pop songs.
- Bee Gees discography
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