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Thursday, January 19, 2017

How Deep Is Your Love (Part I)

For those people from my generation who were teenagers in the 90s, do you still remember a band called Take That? The boys were hugely popular back then, with hits such as Back For Good and Never Forget. However, I only got to know them through their so-called last single (they broke up afterwards before regrouped again many years later), How Deep Is Your Love. The music video was heavily played by MTV and Channel V that it was virtually impossible to escape from it.

Anyway, it was a good song and it surely gave a lasting impression. The only thing that bugged me was -I can't recall if I was told by somebody or I figured it out myself, which could be tricky as this was 1996 and internet only came to Pontianak two years later- the little fact that the song wasn't written by Gary Barlow and friends, but by some group called the Bee Gees.

I didn't know much back then, so imagine my curiosity when I heard of the group name. I couldn't help wondering that it was weird name, but a group that was able to write such a song shouldn't be that bad. I remember I was visiting my parents in Bekasi then (we didn't stay together as I was doing my high school in my hometown) and equipped with only the knowledge of the group band's name, I went to search for the album that contained How Deep Is Your Love. I got the cassette (this was back in the days where cassette ruled and was definitely much more affordable than CD), an album called Tales from the Brothers Gibb: A History in Song, Volume III.

I rushed back home, put the audio cassette into the player, fast forward to almost the end of side A to play the original version of How Deep Is Your Love, and it blew me away immediately. Regardless of how good Take That's version was, the original sounded as it was intended to be. It was beautiful. After that, as I couldn't be buying an album and listening to just one song, I played the entire album. The songs, apart from Boogie Child (and, to certain extent, Jive Talkin', which I never really like) are brilliant. I mean, we're talking about stuff such as Stayin' Alive, Tragedy, Too Much Heaven and so forth! Good stuff!

Needless to say, I was sold. I noticed that what I had was volume III, so I started saving money and bought the rest of the albums. The four albums were filled up with songs recorded from 1967 to 1989. One song in particular, First of May, was like a blast from the past. This was one of the songs from my Dad's collection that I used to hear in a living room when I was a toddler! From then on, through the experience of listening to those four albums, I grew to love the Bee Gees. By the time my friends were into Words sung by Boyzone, I just laughed and told them, "but that was actually the Bee Gees' song, you know."

And the reply would be like, "Bee Gee... what?"

Like I said earlier, this was the pre-internet era. They just didn't understand what I meant...

The first Bee Gees album I ever bought...

How Deep Is Your Love (Bagian Pertama)

Bagi mereka yang melewati tahun 90an sebagai remaja, apakah anda masih ingat dengan grup bernama Take That? Grup ini sangat populer dulu dengan tembang-tembang seperti Back For Good dan Never Forget. Meskipun demikian, saya baru mengenal mereka lewat lagu terakhir yang mereka tulis (mereka bubar setelah ini, sebelum akhirnya reuni lagi bertahun-tahun kemudian), How Deep Is Your Love. Video musiknya sering diputar di MTV dan Channel V sehingga saya tonton berulang kali.

Lagu tersebut bagus dan berkesan, tapi konon itu bukan lagu yang ditulis oleh mereka. Saya jadi penasaran, tapi ini adalah tahun 1996 dan internet baru masuk di Pontianak dua tahun kemudian, jadi belum ada Google saat itu. Seseorang, mungkin paman saya, memberitahukan bahwa penyanyi aslinya ada sebuah grup bernama Bee Gees. 

Nama grup yang aneh itu kian memicu rasa ingin tahu saya. Di dalam hati saya berpikir, grup yang bisa menulis lagu sebagus ini tentunya bukan grup yang buruk. Sewaktu saya mengunjungi orang tua saya di Bekasi (kita tidak tinggal bersama karena saya sedang menyelesaikan SMA saya di Pontianak), saya akhirnya mencari album Bee Gees yang berisi How Deep Is Your Love. Saya mendapatkan kasetnya (ya, dulu kaset lebih gampang dicari dan lebih terjangkau bila dibandingkan CD), sebuah album berjudul Tales from the Brothers Gibb: A History in Song, Volume III.

Saya bergegas pulang ke rumah dan memutar kaset itu hingga ke bagian terakhir sisi A, lalu memainkan versi asli How Deep Is Your Love, dan saya pun terkagum-kagum mendengarkannya. Sebagus apa pun versi Take That, karya Bee Gees lebih memukau. Setelah itu, karena tidak ekonomis bagi saya untuk membeli sebuah album hanya untuk mendengarkan satu lagu, saya memainkan album tersebut dari awal. Kecuali lagu Boogie Child dan juga Jive Talkin' yang tidak pernah benar-benar cocok bagi saya, lagu-lagunya luar biasa. Kita bicara tentang lagu seperti Stayin' AliveTragedy dan Too Much Heaven di sini!

Tak pelak lagi, saya langsung menjadi penggemar. Saya perhatikan bahwa yang saya beli adalah kaset ketiga, jadi saya mulai menabung untuk membeli yang lain. Empat album tersebut berisi lagu-lagu yang direkam dari tahun 1967 sampai 1989. Lagu First of May sangat berkesan karena ternyata pernah saya dengar dulu. Ini adalah lagu yang saya dengar di ruang tamu sewaktu saya masih kecil, karena ayah saya juga memiliki lagunya dulu. Saat teman-teman saya mulai menyukai lagu yang dinyanyikan oleh Boyzone, saya hanya tersenyum dan berkomentar bahwa itu adalah lagu Bee Gees. 

Dan jawabannya adalah, "biji? Biji apa?"

Seperti yang saya katakan tadi, ini adalah zaman sebelum internet. Mereka tidak mengerti biji apa yang saya bicarakan...

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