To most the Bee Gees are kings of disco, but the Brothers Gibb's career goes all the way back 1958 playing skiffle as a novelty boys act in Manchester, England (as the "Rattlesnakes"). They relocated to Queensland, Australia, where they performed and recorded very-typical pop for some years, and worked with lots of local musicians including the band Steve & The Board, with whom they hatched a best-buddies deal to each record songs written by the other group. "Lonely Winter" is one of those tunes. The songwriter (Carl Keats aka Carl Groszmann) would later have hits with Ringo Starr and Status Quo; "Steve" (aka Steve Kipner) remains very successful writing hits with the likes of Olivia Newton-John and Christina Aguilera. Anyway, I heard "Lonely Winter" go by and hadn't realised the Bee Gees dipped into California-tinged hippie music. I thought it might be fun to do it up bit less ploddy and with a tinge of 60s flower-child psychedelia. With a 12-string. And a bit of Wishbone Ash. And my new buddy, reverb.
The Bee Gees recorded "Lonely Winter" in 1966 and never intended to release it: the recording apparently slipped out in France and Germany with a bunch of other early stuff on a subsidiary of the Bee Gee's record label in 1970. The story is that the Bee Gees found out the record existed when Maurice saw one in a shop on a skiing holiday in Switzerland.
(Released January 2019)