Andy had kicked off his career in convincing style with two US #1 million-selling records, aided and abetted by big brother Barry, and he now looked to capitalize on his chart momentum, and went into the recording studio in late 1977 to record his second album – Shadow Dancing
By this time Andy was being labelled a teen idol, his toothy good looks and impressive voice reminded fans of a young Barry Gibb, no doubt, these comparisons would become tiresome for Andy, but there was always going to be a price to pay, for enjoying the cache of being a Gibb and one of the most famous family of brothers in popular music.
Andy and his production team of Galuten and Richardson relocated to the Wally Heder Studios in Los Angeles and again assembled a group of crack session musicians. All four Gibb brothers have writing credits on the title track Shadow Dancing, and Barry wrote An Everlasting Love, the second hit single taken off the album, he also co-wrote (Our Love) Don’t Throw It All Away with regular Bee Gees collaborator Blue Weaver. When Shadow Dancing was lifted from the album it climbed to US #1 and stayed there for 7 weeks selling over two million copies in the US alone, brassy orchestration and funky keyboards contributed to Andy’s classiest record to date, he became the first solo artist in the history of US pop charts to have his first three singles hit #1.
He looked and sounded like a Bee Gee, his breathy falsetto tenor vocals, the slickly-produced SNF-style orchestration, the brothers generic dance music cadences, had Barry’s fingerprints all over them. His brothers dominated the backing vocals in the chorus, there seemed little young Andy could do to project his own musical tastes and get his original country-rock songs released as singles, he was smothered by the creative behemoth that was Barry Gibb.
Barry also wrote An Everlasting Love, the second hit single taken off the album, it was a rather anodyne, overproduced song on which Andy seemed to struggle to project his voice, he never had the vocal range that Barry possessed, and his falsetto was still a work-in-progress. Yet at this time he could do no wrong, and this one climbed to #5 in the US, but it stopped Andy’s stellar run of three consecutive #1 hits, a chart position he would never attain again as his cocaine addiction began to spiral out of control, and his voice became tight and strained.
By this time Andy’s partying and bingeing on cocaine and the synthetic barbiturate Quaaludes had caused his wife Kim to relocate back to Australia in late 1977 to have their first child, Andy stayed in LA and started to date other women, particularly actress Victoria Principal. He filed for divorce from his estranged wife days before she gave birth to their little daughter Peta in 1978; (Kim and daughter Peta above), he would not physically see his daughter until 1980, when she was two years old, and Kim brought her to LA, they met at the Beverley Hills Hilton and Peta spent time with her father, but she would never see Andy again. In separating from his first wife whilst overseas, and subsequently divorcing her, Andy was following a path already well-defined by Barry who had exited Australia in 1967 leaving his first wife Maureen Bates behind, and subsequently divorced her after he met and then married Lynda Gray in the UK in 1970. Below L-R Andy with Susan George, Marie Osmond, and Victoria Principal
Following brief flings with British actress Susan George, Kari Michaelson, and Marie Osmond, Andy met his pin-up favorite, Victoria Principal, a star of the TV series Dallas, in 1981 on the day-time John Davidson TV show,. The host had lined her up as a surprise guest on the show, knowing Andy was a big fan, and he could capitalize on their on-screen chemistry. Principal was 31 and Gibb 23 at the time, she had been an Air Force brat who had grown a hard protective outer shell and adaptive social dexterity, as a result of her rootless upbringing. She was a sometime dancer and movie starlet who had stripped for Playboy to further her career in 1973, but by 1975 she had quit acting to become a theatrical agent. Her return to acting via a long-running role in Dallas, as Pamela Ewing, was just one more step in her career path, she was formidable, assured, self-focused, and vastly more worldly and experienced than the relatively naïve, sweet-natured, Andy Gibb.
They co-habited for thirteen months, Principal was accused of cradle-snatching, and exploiting her relationship with a pop idol to promote her career, but in reality, she was at least as famous as Andy anyway, and his career was waning by then as well, she was also aware of his growing drug addiction and fearful of the fallout for both of them, if Andy didn’t kick the habit. They appeared regularly on several vacuous, sycophantic US talk shows with people like Phil Donohue and John Davidson, and gave equally mind-numbing interviews with US Magazine, People, and other publications, who were eager to feature the golden union of two besotted lovers; including their teeth-grindingly saccharine duet on Andy’s show Solid Gold, and then later to document their estrangement, the physical rows, walk-outs, and public -slanging matches that accompanied their split in 1982.