1967: Massachusetts by the Bee Gees

Composed by Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees and recorded by the same band for their fourth studio album, Horizontal. Robin Gibb was the lead vocalist for the song. It was originally intended for the Australian group The Seekers to record the song but the Bee Gees were not able to get the song to the group so they recorded it themselves. The Seekers did record the song as a tribute to Bee Gees member Maurice Gibb following his death in 2003. The full title of the song was (The Lights Went Out In) Massachusetts, and vice-versa, Massachusetts (The Lights Went Out In). The subtitle was eventually dropped. The Bee Gees had never even been to Massachusetts when they recorded the song. Said Robin Gibb in an interview “We have never been there but we loved the word and there is always something magic about American place names. It only works with British names if you do it as a folk song”. Massachusetts was recorded at the IBC Studios in London, UK. Before its release, Bee Gees Australian band members Colin Petersen and Vince Melouney were facing deportation from the UK over their work permits. British fans staged a protest on behalf of the musicians at the cottage of then Prime Minister Harold Wilson, with one fan (Deirdre Meehan) even chaining and handcuffing herself to the railings of Buckingham Palace. In the end, the musicians were allowed to stay. The song was the second to be played on the newly founded BBC Radio 1 and was the first No. 1 single by a non-Japanese artist on Japan’s official music chart. Genre: Pop.

Chart (1968) Peak Position
Australia2
Austria1
Belgium1
Canada2
Denmark2
France4
Germany1
Ireland2
Italy5
Japan1
Netherlands1
New Zealand1
Norway1
South Africa1
Sweden1
Switzerland2
United Kingdom1
USA Billboard Hot 100 Chart11