ARTIST: The Everly Brothers
TITLE: The Everly Brothers
YEAR RELEASED: 1958
CHART ACTION: #16
SINGLES: Bye Bye Love (#2 US, #1 Country, #5 R&B, #6 UK), Wake Up Little Susie (#1 US, #1 Country, #1 R&B, #2 UK), This Little Girl of Mine (#26, #1 Country), I Wonder If I Care As Much (#2)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: They covered Ray Charles and Little Richard here as well.
LINEUP: Don Everly, Phil Everly + session players not credited (of course).
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: First album from brotherly icons that fused country and R&B together to make good rock-and-roll with the added bonus of outstanding harmony singing.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Songs like “Bye Bye Love” and “Wake Up Little Susie” are so much part of our culture and history that you tend to forget that at one point they were new, fresh, and controversial. Listening to an entire set of the Everly Brothers from 1958 and you understand – you KNOW why they crossed over to all audiences. They are sincere performers.
Whether they wrote the song, they covered a known song or were singing songs from the husband and wife team of Boudleaux and Felice Bryant, they exuded a joy in their singing and performing. Their harmonies are chilling to this day, especially on “I Wonder If I Care As Much”. The production puts the focus on the voices without diminishing the band.
A couple of the covers seem a little bit out of their league, really. They really shine on the new material and that’s why they became stars.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Thirty acts rejected “Bye Bye Love” before the Everlys took it and struck gold.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.
GRADE: A: Probably one of the defining albums of 50’s rock-and-roll, and one that works for the most part as an artistic statement.