Bee Gees – I.O.I.O.

The vocal harmonies, disco beats and falsetto melodies of the Bee Gees probably mean “white music” to many people, though this song has been described as “world music” (by Allmusic). The tune does have an African-style arrangement, when “world music” came to mean non-Western styled music.

Perhaps the designation ties into globalization. Globalization is about countries and their economies and the people in them, as societies, becoming more and more connected and interdependent. This closeness is brought about through trade, technology and it being much easier to traverse the planet than in previous centuries. It speaks to a growing awareness of the world around people, and in some, even a rejection of their Western culture as being somehow inauthentic. So, find an obscure djembe player from Cameroon and now, that’s real!

While the song goes back to 1970, world music has always been around, being a rather broad category. It has been criticized for being a catch-all term too vague (wouldn’t the Bee Gees be “world music” to a Zambian?), a corporate designation intended to boost sales, and even somewhat patronizing if music from far away countries is somehow deemed “exotic.” Perhaps the Bee Gees tune here, taking it as “world music,” exemplifies these criticisms.

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One thought on “Bee Gees – I.O.I.O.

  1. From Africa to Australasia, from Europe to the Pacific, and from Asia to the Americas there is a wealth of amazing distinctive music being created and we look forward to bringing this to your ears via this online radio website.

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