This set of five CD's replicating five of the Everlys vinyl LP's from 1960 onwards is a necessity for any long time fan. Like many I have the originals(UK versions)which over the years have deteriorated and to hear the tracks in mint condition is something else. The publishers have kept faith with the track listings on the original albums and with the exception of 'A Date with the Everly Brothers',the cover artwork mirrors the UK originals. The three earliest of these albums were released in the UK by Decca on behalf of Warner Bros and so the UK catalogue numbers and distributor's name is missing on these replica covers but that really is nitpicking given the attention to detail overall. 'Everly Time' contains so many superb tracks, highlights include the Bryants 'Sleepless Nights' and 'Nashville Blues', 'So Sad (to watch good love go bad)' and the Ray Charles classic 'What kind of Girl are You'. 'A Date With..' provides 'Cathy's Clown','Love Hurts','Baby what you want me to do' and more. As though they needed to prove they could cover straight rock and roll 'Rock and Soul' gives a new sound to some 50's and 60's favourites. 'Roots' is an unusual concept album which calls for careful listening. There are some gems, listen to Randy Newman's 'Illinois'. 'Two Yanks in England' looks at the time that Don and Phil came to the UK to record British material and ended up with eight songs from the Hollies. The tracks sound fresh and professional and take you back to the days!. The cover notes alone ' The New Guide to London Town' are worth the price of the CD. A Gem.
Being old enough to have been around when the Everly Brothers hit the big time here in the fifties I have always been a fan and I have owned just about all of the records they ever released in the UK. This collection of Warner Brothers recordings is a bargain with the Roots album worth the price on it's own. I bought the original vinyl version when it was released in the sixties and along with most fans at the time considered it to be the best recording they ever released.
First a confession, I don't have this set but I have a lot of material which duplicates stuff that's in here. However I felt that even a semi-informed review was better than none. I can't comment on the sound quality, obviously but would not expect any serious issues due to the track record of the issuing company. First I thought it was worth listing all the EB's Warner albums. Those in this set I've asterisked:
It's Everly Time * A Date with the Everly Brothers * Both sides of an Evening Instant Party The golden hits of the Everly Brothers The Everly Brothers sing Great Country Hits The very best of the Everly Brothers Gone Gone Gone Rock'n'Soul * Beat'n'Soul In our image Two Yanks in England * The hit sound of the Everly Brothers Roots * The Everly Brothers Show (live at the Grand Hotel)
So what we have are the first two Everly Brothers albums recorded for Warner (while the Bryants were still on board as songwriters and everything was still largely as it was at Cadence), one of the pair of rock'n'roll and R&B covers albums, the rather intriguing one produced in association with the Hollies, and their critically acclaimed but poorly selling concept album, "Roots". A good grouping but there's still sufficient left for another set to be released.
On the first pair of albums the boys are very definitely in their pomp and there's no real break from the sounds they were making at Cadence. The early Warner hits are all here, "Cathy's Clown", "Lucille" (yes I know it was a B-side but what a B-side), "So Sad" and there are plenty more great songs from the Bryants who just don't seem to know how to write a bad one. "Just in Case" and "Donna, Donna" are two excellent examples. In between they fit in a great Ray Charles cover in "What kind of Girl are you". They'd specialised in Ray's material from their very start. This one has that kind of edge they sometimes manage in their singing. There's also an excellent cover of the easy-listening "Memories are made of this", best known via the Dean Martin version from '56. Both of this pair are straight five star albums up there with anything the boys had recorded.
"Rock'n'Soul" is the album I know least about but the concept of producing an album of r'n'r covers in 1965 does suggest a distinct paucity of ideas at Warner. It's true that their alternative versions of r'n'r classics on the first Cadence album were strikingly different to the originals but those songs were current when that album was recorded. These numbers are a decade old on average and nothing short of major reinvention would have been called for to attract the punters. From what I've heard here most of the tracks are at least well executed but not sensational - bear in mind they were often competing with strong and in-grained in the brain originals. Their version of "That'll be the Day" does stand out however. Slowed down and with greater intensity than Holly's original.
The cover and title of "Two Yanks in England" are suggestive of even more desperation from Warner, however the album is a bit more worthy than that. Much of the album comprises covers of songs (eight in all) from the English band, the Hollies, a group which had claimed a major debt to the EB's. I have to admit to a bit of a blind spot with much of this stuff. Put it like this, would you prefer the Everly's doing songs by Alan Clarke and Graham Nash or songs by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant - I rest my case. It's decent Brit pop I guess but not for me (though I don't dislike the Hollies). As an individual abum I wouldn't have scored this above three stars but I`m conscious this could be a matter of taste.
I have reviewed the "Roots" album at length already - see individual review - and will limit myself here to stating that it's both magnificent and flawed. However those are words which could be applied to many albums which are routinely described as classics. Certainly the Everly's themselves were on great form throughout, but some of the production ideas (possibly from the Everly's themselves) got in the way of the songs. It's country and country folk and country rock, however you define these terms but much of the contents of most of the preceding albums was also country rock - they were quietly producing this stuff but not too many people were listening (and most of those were over here in the UK).
Three of these albums are five stars so I'm happy to go for five overall (quite apart from the remarkable value).
This is an outstanding box set and incredible value for money. A long time Everly brothers fan I am purchasing their back catalogue as far as possible. Unfortunately quite a lot isn't available in the UK or if it is they are asking ridiculous prices. This is a wonderful collection at a wonderful price. Roots is worth the money on its own.
Bought this to replace my vinyl 'Two Yanks in England', which I considered the finest album I had heard when I bought it. Believe (if memory correct) that a lot of tracks were written by 'The Hollies under the name L. Ransford ?? ). No matter, this collection is really great and incredible value.
When you look at the wealth of Everly Brothers' material, you realise how prolific they were as recording artists. I already owned a good cross section of their work but this "box" set really adds to the collection. It's not really a box set, it's a sleeve but what's in the sleeve is magic. And hey, for the price, who's complaining about the packaging? Not me!
The technical quality of the discs is very good and the mix of the five albums gives you a real cross section of the Everly's work.
If you are an Everly Brothers fan, this is a must - if you're not, time to find out what you have been missing all these years!
I like this idea of original albums because you get unreleased versions of songs and that is good for complete recordings of an artist. I would recommend this to any Everly Fan, or indeed, anyone who likes late 50`s and very early 60`s music.