Saturday, 4 January 2014

Vale Phil Everly

Sad to hear of the passing of Phil Everly, his contribution to popular music alongside his brother Don can hardly be measured. The influence of the duo continues today as strong as ever, as can be seen in the recent album release Foreverly from Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day and Norah Jones which covers some of the material from the Everly's 1958 album Songs Our Daddy Taught Us. Their songs were a timeless combination of country and R&B, their harmonies matched against the brilliant musicianship from the stalwarts of Nashville. Their songs perfectly captured the angst of post World War teens, that struggle to be free of the conservative chains of their parents. Those scratchy chords on Bye Bye Love open a pandora's box of great pop songwriting, the wry humour of Wake Up Little Susie where they fall asleep at the drive in, yeah right! The brilliant Cathy's Clown for me one of the greatest pop singles ever released, the yearning of When Will I Be Loved with the brothers delivering a really soulful vocal. The melancholy ache of their balladry was also unsurpassed, All I Have To Do Is Dream, the sorrowful Crying In The Rain and the mournful Ebony Eyes.

In the space of six years the duo created a body of work most artists strive decade to achieve. In the mid 60's even though they were no longer a chart fixture the duo continued to make interesting records, their 1965 album Rock and Soul featured covers of earlier rock and roll hits like That'll Be The Day and Maybelline. They continued the same idea on the follow up album which featured more R&B oriented material. The following year they record Two Yanks in England with help from The Hollies. By this time the brothers were finding it increasingly difficult to work together and after a firey final performance in 1973 they didn't work together for more than a decade.

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