The Bee Gees release To Whom It May Concern
To Whom It May Concern is the Bee Gees' tenth studio album (eighth internationally), released in October 1972.
It was the follow-up , and continued the melancholic and personal sound of its predecessor Trafalgar. The album was recognised as "a farewell to the old Bee Gees". The album marked the end of an era for the group in several ways as it was their last album to be recorded at IBC Studios, in London, their last with conductor and arranger Bill Shepherd who had guided them since 1967, and their last under their first contract with Robert Stigwood. Even some of the songs were old ones finished up or rewritten for the occasion (in the case of "I Can Bring Love").
To Whom It May Concern has sold approximately 350,000 copies worldwide.
After touring in 1971 to promote their previous album, Trafalgar, the Bee Gees worked quickly to complete another album. They recorded the song "Paper Mache, Cabbages and Kings" on 3 January 1972 which was the last song recorded with the Australian drummer Geoff Bridgford. He left the group before their tour of East Asia and was replaced on tour by Chris Karon. Recording resumed in April, 1972 with a Robin song called "Never Been Alone" and a song Barry did on his fan club recording from 1971 called "I Can Bring Love". The drummer on the April sessions was a veteran session player, Clem Cattini, who has appeared on many top recordings going back to 1960.
The album was primarily recorded between June 1971 and April 1972 (except for "We Lost the Road", recorded in January 1971 during the Trafalgar sessions). The Bee Gees saved a non-album single, "My World", from the sessions which was released in January 1972, becoming a UK/US Top 20 hit. The album came in November 1972 supported by very positive reviews, and preceded by the UK Top 10 hit "Run to Me", in July. Despite the critical acclaim of the variety of styles and strong tracks, To Whom It May Concern only reached #35 in the US and became their third consecutive studio album to fail to appear in the UK album charts. It performed better in other European countries. In Italy reached #10, and peaked at #6 in Spain. The subsequent single "Alive" was a modest sized hit in the US, reaching the Top 40, and a major hit in Australia, reaching #4.
The album is also notable for containing a relative variety of song types – rock and roll ("Bad Bad Dreams"), power ballads ("Alive"), choral performances ("Please Don't Turn Out the Lights"), bizarre and psychedelic songs ("Paper Mache, Cabbages and Kings", "Sweet Song of Summer") and nostalgic love songs ("Sea of Smiling Faces"). The band never showed approval to the album, but for many fans it is an unusually authentic Bee Gees collection, closer in spirit to what the brothers found interesting to do than what they thought they owed the public. In the 2010 documentary In Our Own Time, Maurice was shown explaining (in archival footage) that by 1972 they didn't really know who their audience was, hence the title To Whom It May Concern.