The Everlys made it up with Wesley Rose – and this called for celebration as Wesley bought a wig (contrast pages 16 and 94 in the book). The resulting album, Gone Gone Gone, had a driving title song but it was a mish-mash. Far and away the best performance from 1964 was the highly dramatic The Ferris Wheel with Buddy Harman drumming to rival Cathy’s Clown. Their albums of beat group favourites, Rock’n Soul and Beat & Soul, feature top musicians like Billy Preston, but they were standing still. Much better was their raucous single, The Price Of Love: this deservedly climbed to No.2 in the UK but it didn’t even make the US Top 100. The massed guitars of Hollywood contributed to two further great cuts, Love Is Strange and Man With Money, their own composition and later revived by The Who. That takes us to the end of 1965 and a second box will complete their career with Warners, which lasted until their break-up in 1972.
The nine hour marathon includes every song that the Everlys recorded for Warners between 1960 and 1965, frequently with outtakes. Does anyone need five outtakes of Dancing On My Feet? I would have preferred hearing the outtakes of Ebony Eyes as I’m sure Don had trouble nailing that narration. And what about that infamous session where they had a fight in the studio? Why are we given the backing tracks for He’s Got My Sympathy, I’m Walking Proud and Night Time Girl? If Bear Family intend us to sing along, they should have provided the lyrics. The Coca-Cola commercials are as pointless as them fluffing promotional cues.
Bear Family claim that the CDs contain 29 previously unissued recordings. I made it 25, and they are not new songs but outtakes of songs we’ve heard before. Of the songs which weren’t issued at the time, I loved the slow harmonies of Nothing Matters But You and the folk-rock of I’ll See Your Light.
As always with Bear Family, the packaging is inspirational and the full colour, 188 page hardback book is packed with information and photographs. Admittedly the Ev’s often look as though they were posing for Knitwear Korner or Tuxedo Times. No wonder they got on each other’s nerves: they had to agree what clothes to wear every day.