This article is from the Bee Gees FAQ, by David Garcia email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
It's an interesting situation. All music recorded by the
brothers Gibb since 1967 remains under their own control, and
nothing can be released without their approval.
Not too many artists are blessed with such circumstances.
Witness the contractual stuggles that o+> (the artist formerly
known as Prince) and George Michael have gone through.
Some performers -- Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, and the late
Frank Zappa, to name two -- have made a point of getting as many
rarities out there as possible, both to appease die-hard fans and
to beat bootleggers at their own game. The Bee Gees, by
contrast, have chosen to keep their unreleased tracks unreleased.
There's certainly enough material in the archives to work
with, if they so chose. In 1973, Atlantic records shelved Bee
Gees album "A Kick in the Head is Worth Eight in the Pants"
shortly before its scheduled release. All three brothers have
abandoned at least one solo album each. And more than one Bee
Gees studio LP has left behind extra songs on the storage reels.
Also, let's not forget several albums worth of songs written
for other artists. Virtually all of these tracks began as demos
with one or more brothers singing. In addition, if they wanted
to go the route the remaining Beatles have gone, they could mine
the vaults of the BBC and countless other radio and television
performances. Finally, there's at least a few demos and
unreleased songs by Andy that remain withheld.
Some of these items have been made available on bootleg CDs,
put out by underground outfits such as Ladybird and Brothers Gibb
Records. Among these have been the "Kick in the Head" album,
both early and recent live performances, solo works and leftover
songs from the "Hawks" soundtrack. Unfortunately, recent
crackdowns in the US by Customs and FBI officials have made these
even harder to find than ever.
Ironically, sixty songs from the brothers' Australian years
have been sold -- legally -- with maniacal enthusiasm around the
world. One song, "I Was a Lover, a Leader of Men", has been
released on ten seperate albums! Festival Records has been
licensing these songs worldwide successfully simply because the
Bee Gees have no creative control over their Australian
recordings of 1963-1966. (Now, if only the brothers would turn
over the Middle Ear Studio vaults to the troops at Festival, they
could give bootleggers a good run for their money...)