Three overlooked gems by the Everly Brothers
– all very different than their early hits, and very much in the hippest territory the duo would ever hit! First up is The Hit Sound Of The Everly Brothers
– a really amazing little album, and not a set of the pair's earlier hits, but instead an all new recording that has the duo moving into rootsier modes that rub shoulders with the same country rock territory of The Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers
! In truth, Don and Phil Everly are probably more important to the rise of the sound than anyone else – as their early work took a bluegrass harmony style, and moved it onto the rock charts – yet here, they almost seem to move backwards, and nod back to their roots – while still showcasing plenty of electric guitar in the mix. Most tunes are hits by other artists, but transformed with very hip late 60s Warner presentation – think Beau Brummels on Bradley's Barn – and titles include "Devil's Child", "Legend In My Own Time", "I'm Movin On", "Let's Go Get Stoned", "She Never Smiles Anymore", and "Sea Of Heartache". Sing is a record that has The Everly Brothers
in a completely different mode than before, as you might guess from their look on the cover – a record that has Don and Phil moving into some very cool rootsy territory – really opening the door towards a generation of country rock to come, but at a level that reminds us that they maybe got the whole thing going in the first place! Production is in a very cool late 60s Warner Brothers
mode – echoes of folk, psych, and sunshine in the mix – but all handled with this mature style that's at once sophisticated, yet completely down to earth – in a set of original tunes by the brothers
, plus some gems from Terry Slater too – completely wonderful music that includes "Bowling Green", "A Voice Within", "I'm Finding It Rough", "Do You", "Mary Jane", "It's All Over", and "Talking To The Flowers". Roots is sublime country rock and superb vocals from the Everly Brothers
– an album as close to our hearts as the much more hipster-celebrated work of the era by Gram Parsons, the Byrds and others! The Everlys grasped onto their significance throughout the 60s by hopping from trend to trend with little success – but they finally nailed it in 1968 with this effort. (Artistically, if not commercially.) The boys apply their staggering harmonies to country and country-ish material, adding their own unique spin to the tunes – and earnestly work in some montages of their family radio shows from the early 50s! It's easily their most endearing work of the 60s. Produced by Lenny Waronker with strings by Nick DeCaro. Includes wonderful versions of Jimmie Rodgers' "T For Texas", "Shady Grove", Randy Newman's "Illinois", Ray Price's "You Done Me Wrong", Merle Haggard's "Mama Tried" and "Sing Me Back Home", plus "Ventura Boulvard" and "Turn Around" written by Ron Elliot of Beau Brummels. 3CD set features lots more bonus tracks – including "When Eddie Comes Home", "Empty Boxes", "Milk Train", "Lord Of The Manor", "My Elusive Dreams", "You're Just What I Was Looking For Today", "Omaha", "Mr Soul", Shop Girl", "Human Race", "A Little Bit Of Crazy", "Nothing But The Best", and "Love Of The Common People".