Their record releases reviewed
Here are some of my random thoughts and words about The Everly Brothers over the years. All of the original Everly Brothers blog posts on my old website have since been deleted so no label scans or picture sleeves are available. Instead, I’ve used images scanned from weekly teen music magazine ‘Fabulous’.
THE EVERLY BROTHERS – ’Somebody Help Me’ (Warner Bros W 1708) July 1967
During mid 1967, the Everly Brothers released a collection of songs that would pretty much all get a mention on ’Flower Bomb Songs’. Their sound had definitely been influenced by psychedelia but their dalliance was not full blown acid psych but harmony pop with some touches of lysergia.
I doubt very much that Don and Phil were into the chemical trips but that didn’t stop them creating some beautiful music such as ’Bowling Green’, ’Talking To The Flowers’, ’Mary Jane’ and ’Mercy, Mercy, Mercy’.
With ’Somebody Help Me’ they rocked out with a mod take of the Jackie Edwards song better known as a Spencer Davis Group hit. Listen out for the fuzztone guitar that is a constant throughout giving this recording an edge of coolness.
THE EVERLY BROTHERS – ’Good Golly Miss Molly’ (Warner Bros 1676) January 1967
It’s strange to think that the Everly’s were bucking the trend in 1967 but they were. Everywhere was going psychedelic and day-glo with regards to album covers but they opted for a moody black and white shot for the front sleeve of ’The Hit Sound Of’. They were even recording old 50s / early 60s hits such as ’Blueberry Hill’, ’Oh, Boy!’ and ’The House Of The Rising Son’.
The clever thing that the Everly’s did was to update those songs with a mod/beat touch utilizing some very tasty hammond organ and thunderous bass lines and guitar riffs on most of the songs.
None worked better than the killer version of ’Good Golly Miss Molly’ which would make those Euro mod DJs freak-out if they knew where to look. It was never used as a 45 which was an oversight. Sometimes record company’s didn’t know their arse from their elbow.
THE EVERLY BROTHERS – ’Glitter And Gold’ (Warner Bros W 1620) January 1966
By 1966 the Everly’s were more or less ignored in their home country USA, but in Britain they were still huge pop stars. ’In Our Image’ is a solid album with some absolute gems including many that became 45s including ’Leave My Girl Alone’, ‘(You Got) The Power Of Love’ and ’The Price Of Love’.
’Glitter And Gold’ written by the prolific Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil was an obvious choice of a single in Britain but it never was. By now fuzztoned guitars were being used to colour their rich sounding harmonies.
The album liners written by Stan Cornyn suggested.
”Their voices…their harmony…that’s their image. It lifted them out of back country Tennessee obscurity and rode them into the big town in matching Cadillacs. Their sound is more immediately identifiable than The Green Hornet’s third gear.”
THE EVERLY BROTHERS – ’Lonely Weekends’ (Warner Bros W 1578) March 1965
This early 1965 release saw the Everly’s recording R’n’B songs written by the likes of Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Ray Charles and Leiber & Stoller but with their touch of harmony of course. Their versions of ’That’ll Be The Day’, ’Mabellene’ and ’Slippin’ And Slidin’ are particularly good.
Most interesting for me is their recording of Charlie Rich’s ’Lonely Weekend’ which I know from The Remains. The album was recorded in Nashville.
THE EVERLY BROTHERS – ’Lonely Avenue’ (Warner Brothers W1605) August 1965
(updated entry from 08/07/07)
This morning I paid a visit to my favourite vinyl dealer who sells records from a stall at Chester-le-Street market. I usually come away with something and this morning was no different. This little beauty by The Everly Brothers cost me £10 and it’s stone mint. It didn’t look like it had ever been played. It plays like a dream. Perhaps the reason I’m so pleased to add this copy to my collection is the fact that it is in glorious mono. All previous re-issues have used the stereo mixes.
This LP from the Everly’s catches them in beat mode and I must say the album is a genuine must have for anyone into 65/66 beat and RnB. All songs except the original ’Man With Money’ are late 50s/early 60s covers.
I really dig the original version of ’Man With Money’. This was the flip of the hit 45 ’Love Is Strange’ and I’m in no doubt this is where obscure English freakbeat bands like The Eyes and The Wild Uncertainty heard the song first. Both bands made the song into a mod killer. The Who also covered ’Man With Money’ but their version remained unreleased until it was placed on ’A Quick One re-issue CD by Polydor in the 90s.
Other stand out’s on Beat & Soul is the cover of ’C.C. Rider’ I wasn’t expecting fuzz guitars but classy fuzz action is what you get. Rockin’ versions of ’Walking The Dog’, ’Money’ and ’Hi Heel Sneakers’ also get the EXPO67 seal of approval. The melancholic downer, ’Lonely Avenue’ is a personal favourite.
I’m not sure if this music could have sounded dull because after all the Everly’s used session greats such as Glen Campbell, James Burton, Sonny Curtis on guitars, Billy Preston on piano, Leon Russel on keyboards, Larry Knechtel on bass and Jim Gordon on drums.
THE EVERLY BROTHERS – ’The Collector’ (Warner Bros WS1620) July 1966
This superb album by The Everly Brothers is an essential addition to anyone’s record collection. Their move into the beat era sound was a requirement during this period in music history where the 50s and early 60s rock’n’rollers would be and often were left behind if they didn’t move with the times.
The Everly Brothers were helped greatly on this recording by English hit makers The Hollies. Eight of the songs on ’Two Yanks In England’ are Hollies tunes and it is believed that some of the Hollies provided instrumentation. I’ve also read that Jimmy Page was responsible for the killer guitar break during ’Hard, Hard Year.’
The weird and wonderful ’The Collector’ was written by Sonny Curtis and is the same song released by an American group called The #1 on Kapp Records. They were previously called The Blue Beats.
“I’m a collector of beautiful things.
I capture and keep them and pin down their wings.”
Contrary to popular beliefs The Hollis did NOT play on these sessions at all! The London sessions were done at Decca Studios and feature Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones bass, Andy White drums, Arthur Greenslade keyboards, other personnel unknown. The rest of the sessions (The Collector was one) were done at Hollywood United studios A and feature the Wrecking Crew (James Burton, Glen Campbell)
EVERLY BROTHERS – ’Love Is Strange’ EP (Warner Bros 1445) 1965
I’ve written about the Everly Brothers a couple of times on ’Flower Bomb Songs’ over the years and here’s a moody picture of them dressed in black on this terrific four song EP from Portugal. Each cut is killer folk-rock ’n’ roll with their beautiful harmonies. They’ve still got their late 50s/early 60s haircuts but the music on this EP is the up to date ’65 sound.
’Man With Money’ influenced several English mod groups and was recorded by The Who and The Eyes that I know of. There must be more, I’m sure.