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Classic of the Week

August 04, 1994|RANDY LEWIS

The Everly Brothers

"Walk Right Back: The Everly Brothers on Warner Bros. 1960-1969"

Warner Archives

This is the Everlys compilation to get after you've picked up the A-list late-'50s recordings that established them as the premiere vocal duo of the rock era, if not in all of pop music.

In switching labels from Cadence to Warner Bros., which offered them one of the richest contracts of the era, Phil and Don continued the hit streak they'd had with the likes of "Bye Bye Love," "Wake Up Little Susie," "All I Have to Do Is Dream" and "When Will I Be Loved." The first single for the new label was "Cathy's Clown," which quickly went to No. 1. On the five albums encompassed on this bargain-priced double-CD, they continued their remarkable string with the country classic "So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad)," "Walk Right Back," "Love Hurts," "Lucille," "Ebony Eyes" and "Crying in the Rain."

What's particularly fascinating to students of rock history about this set is watching their recordings evolve over the next decade, at times seamlessly adapting to shifting styles in rock ("The Price of Love"), other times straining to sound hip ("Love of the Common People"). But no matter what the year, their singing remained rooted strongly in country music, and they delivered some of their best work at the end of the '60s, nearly a decade after their commercial peak, in such hauntingly beautiful records as "Bowling Green" and "Sing Me Back Home."

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