Mr. Natural is the Bee Gees' twelfth album (tenth
worldwide), released in July 1974. It was the first Bee Gees release to be
produced by Arif Mardin....
The decision to work with Mardin came after the RSO label
rejected the brothers' post-Life in a Tin Can album, which had been
provisionally entitled A Kick In The Head Is Worth Eight In The Pants. Their
manager Robert Stigwood was not ready to give up on the Bee Gees, but he did
not believe in the musical direction they were taking. At the suggestion of
Jerry Wexler and Ahmet Ertegun of Atlantic, Robert Stigwood sent them to work
with Atlantic producer and arranger Arif Mardin, who began to draw out their
love of rhythm and blues music. Mardin brought the band's attention to the
dance scene unfolding at the time, and the brothers Gibb in turn adapted their
songwriting and arrangements to a more upbeat style.
The Bee Gees are not pictured anywhere in the exterior album
package. The front and back are an art concept of a man in a bar, looking
blissfully out the window on the front and being ejected smiling on the back.
There is a small monochrome photo on the inner sleeve, which some have said
Atlantic had the idea of hiding the fact that they were white Englishmen.