Title - $10.99w

11

GVC 1011

barcode:

827565 05732 0

Single CD

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THE EVERLY BROTHERS
1960
Cathy's Clown


This unique compilation..
features The Everlys’ first two Warners’ LPs - which of course includes their first two Warners’ singles - their significant 1960 Cadence releases, and a couple of outtakes from the Warners’ sessions. It is as fine a body of work as anyone recorded during 1960 and includes several of their own career highlights, most notably ‘Cathy’s Clown’, their all-time biggest hit.
Having exploded onto the Pop, Country and R&B charts in the Spring of 1957 with the multi-million-selling ‘Bye Bye Love’, they’d swiftly consolidated and gone on to enjoy three years of almost unimagined success. Their contract with their record company, Cadence, was winding down Don and Phil felt stifled. Their manager, Wesley Rose, subsequently did the rounds of the major record companies the best offer came from the label who were in the most need of a marquee name act. Warner Brothers’ - The Everly Brothers were just about the hottest Rock & Roll act on the market (i.e. remembering that Elvis was away in the army). It was a match made in heaven. The Evs pulled off the record industry’s first $1 million deal: a ten-year contract at a guaranteed minimum of $100,000 a year. The very first of its kind.

Tracklisting:
IT'S EVERLY TIME - So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad): Just In Case: Memories Are Made Of This: That’s What You Do To Me: Sleepless Nights: What Kind Of Girl Are You: Oh True Love: Carol Jane: Some Sweet Day: Nashville Blues: You Thrill Me (Through And Through): I Want You To Know: A DATE WITH THE EVERLY BROTHERS - (Girls, Girls, Girls) Made To Love: That’s Just Too Much: Stick With Me Baby: Baby What You Want Me To Do: Sigh, Cry, Almost Die: Always It’s You: Love Hurts: Lucille: So How Come (No One Loves Me): Donna, Donna: A Change Of Heart: Cathy’s Clown: BONUS TRACKS - Let It Be Me: Since You Broke My Heart: When Will I Be Loved: Like Strangers: Silent Treatment: Why Not.

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In the early months of 1960, The Everly Brothers were about to sail into uncharted waters. Having exploded onto the Pop, Country and R&B charts in the Spring of 1957 with the multi-million-selling ‘Bye Bye Love’, they’d swiftly consolidated and gone on to enjoy three years of almost unimagined success. Their current release, ‘Let It Be Me’ - which represented a radical change of style, being a cascading French ballad which they’d recorded in New York with a full orchestra - was riding high in the Top 10, so record-wise it was pretty much “Business As Usual”. But their contract with their record company, Cadence, was winding down and it was decision time; should they re-sign, or seek their fortune elsewhere? Realistically, they were never going to renew. In spite of all their successes Don and Phil felt stifled, both creatively and artistically, and wanted considerably greater control. They wanted to write more of their own material, call the shots on the sessions and ultimately, get their teeth into the burgeoning albums’ market. Furthermore, after fifteen hit records in less than three years they no longer wanted to be dependent on royalty cheques; they were after a substantial advance and a guaranteed minimum income - neither of which would be forthcoming from Cadence. Their manager, Wesley Rose, subsequently did the rounds of the major record companies and in the end, the best offer came from the label who were in the most need of a marquee name act. Warner Brothers’ record division had been launched in 1958, accompanied by an avalanche of publicity, and had thus far failed to deliver. Only Edd Byrnes’ ‘Kookie, Kookie (Lend Me Your Comb)’ had been a significant Pop hit and their other major signings, Tab Hunter and Bill Haley, had both been well past their respective commercial peaks. Having lost an estimated $3 million in two years they were desperate to turn it around, and The Everly Brothers were just about the hottest Rock & Roll act on the market (i.e. remembering that Elvis was away in the army). It was a match made in heaven - the only real question was, how much? As is well-documented, The Evs pulled off the record industry’s first $1 million deal: a ten-year contract at a guaranteed minimum of $100,000 a year. The very first of its kind, it allowed them full artistic control - they even had approval of their albums’ artwork! - and also included the provision for a movie test. Of course, once the deal was done Phil and Don had to deliver - and deliver fast. Their first session for Warners took place in Nashville on March 8th 1960, less than three weeks after their final Cadence session. They cut three tracks, Felice and Boudleaux Bryant’s ‘Sleepless Nights’ and ‘Nashville Blues’, and their unusual arrangement of Ray Charles’ ‘What Kind Of Girl Are You’, before going off to play a handful of live dates. Nine days later they were back in the studio to record the Bryants’ ‘You Thrill Me’ and Dave Rich’s ‘Carol Jane’, whilst the following day they nailed Fats Domino’s ‘I Want To Know’, the Bryants’ ‘Oh True Love’ and ‘Always It’s You’ - and rather more pertinently, Don and Phil’s ‘Cathy’s Clown’. Warners had begun hounding them for a single before the ink had dried on their contract, but Don and Phil knew it had to be the right one. Resisting the label’s pressure to go with ‘What Kind Of Girl Are You’, from their first session, they certainly got it right. Drenched in echo, driven by powerful, strident drums and a crescendo of harmonies, ‘Cathy’s Clown’ was in essence The Everlys’ first ‘Heavy’ record. Moreover, it very swiftly became their biggest-ever hit, topping the US charts for 5-weeks, the UK charts for 8 or 5 4 9-weeks (i.e. depending on which oracle you consulted), and going on to sell some four million copies worldwide. Interestingly, it also made No.1 on the US R&B charts, yet failed to make any impact on the C&W listings. The flip, ‘Always It’s You’, also made the US Top 100, peaking at No.56. Over and above its almost unparalleled commercial successes, ‘Cathy’s Clown’ would prove to be a hugely influential recording, changing the face of ‘The Nashville Sound’ as more and more record companies and producers sought to imitate it. The key to its very ‘slam’ had been drummer Buddy Harman, who - for once - had been allowed to cut loose, at Don and Phil’s prompting. They’d also added extra guitars to the session, which helped ‘thicken’ the sound, further distancing themselves from their earlier, Cadence output, where they’d had very little opportunity to stamp their own personality on the sessions. Hot on its heels Warners rushed out It’s Everly Time, an LP which broke with what would have been considered virtually de rigueur for a Pop/R&R act by not including either side of their current, all-conquering, worldwide hit single. The album further broke with ‘tradition’ by offering no nods to  contemporaneous hits, comprising almost entirely new material (six by the Bryants including the aforementioned ‘Sleepless Nights’), with only their revival of ‘Memories Are Made Of This’ standing as a readily-identifiable point of reference. It was a revelation, sounding entirely more powerful and energised than their earlier, 50s recordings, as reviewers were quick to point out. The album immediately took up residence in the US album charts, eventually peaking at No.9, whilst it climbed to No.2 in the UK. Meanwhile, Cadence still had a couple of unissued Everlys’ gems in the can and in late May they issued ‘When Will I Be Loved’, a song by Phil which it seems that no-one (apart from Phil) had thought much of. Ironically, it would go on to become one of the most successful Everly copyrights (Linda Ronstadt would enjoy a massive hit with it some fifteen years hence) - and it certainly did OK the first time around, reaching No.8 in the US and No.4 in the UK. 1960 was also a busy year for Don and Phil in touring terms as they began to spend more time overseas, visiting the UK in April (during which they memorably appeared on Sunday Night At The London Palladium, backed by The Crickets) and Australia in May, in addition to their seemingly endless swirl of dates and TV appearances in the US. By common consensus the outstanding track on It’s Everly Time was Don’s ‘So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad)’, which had been duly earmarked as their next A-side. But in case it wasn’t quite strong enough to follow the all-conquering ‘Cathy’s Clown’ under its own steam, the lads played another ace with the flip, an extraordinary revival of Little Richard’s ‘Lucille’ which wholly eclipsed the original version. Whereas Richard’s intro had featured parping saxes, underpinned by piano, Don and Phil reworked the number, with a long, powerful guitar introduction. They’d also slowed it down, dropped it to a lower key and given drummer Buddy Harman another free rein, resulting in their heaviest recording to date. That guitar intro had been achieved by the simple means of using just about every session guitarist in town on the session - as Phil Everly later recalled: “We cut it live with eight of the main session guitarists in Nashville all playing the same riff. We had no multiple recording, then - that large guitar approach was Donald’s idea...” Phil Spector has always been credited with inventing ‘The Wall Of Sound’ with multiple instrumentation - but Don Everly was doing it nearly three years beforehand, and in Nashville, of all places! Both sides of the disc made the US charts, ‘So Sad’ peaking at No.7, ‘Lucille’ at No.21, whilst in the UK both sides reached No.4. Around the time it was peaking Cadence sneaked out another 45, the Bryants’ ‘Like Strangers’. This had been in the can for a while and had earlier been rejected as a single as it hadn’t been considered “up to the required standard”. But like ‘When Will I Be Loved’, it proved to be a strong release and climbed to No.22, whilst in the UK it reached No.11. Towards the end of the year their second Warners LP, A Date With The Everly Brothers was released. This time around the record company insisted on the hits being included, so it featured ‘Cathy’s Clown’, ‘Always It’s You’ and ‘Lucille’, alongside nine ‘new’ songs (of which the Bryants supplied five). The album’s standout track was Boudleaux Bryant’s ‘Love Hurts’, followed closely by the boys’ cover of Jimmy Reed’s perennial ‘Baby What You Want Me To Do’. ‘Love Hurts’ has become a much-covered song over the years, with hit versions by Roy Orbison, Nazareth, Jim Capaldi and Cher, among others, whilst Mel Tillis’ ‘Stick With Me Baby’ was spectacularly revived on Robert Plant & Alison Krauss’ multi-platinum 2007 album, Raising Sand. Elsewhere, Phil’s ‘(Girls, Girls, Girls) Made To Love’ would become a hit in the hands of Eddie Hodges a couple of years later (on Cadence, ironically enough) whilst Kris Jensen would enjoy regional success with a revival of ‘Donna, Donna’ in 1963 - the same year that the The Beatles would sing Felice & Boudleaux’s ‘So How Come (No One Loves Me)’ on their BBC radio series Pop Go The Beatles! (a performance which would, in due course, appear on the multi, multi, multi, million-selling Beatles Live At The BBC). Another massive success, A Date With... reached No.9 in the US and No.3 in the UK. This unique compilation features The Everlys’ first two Warners’ LPs - which of course includes their first two Warners’ singles - their significant 1960 Cadence releases, and a couple of outtakes from the Warners’ sessions. It is as fine a body of work as anyone recorded during 1960 and includes several of their own career highlights, most notably ‘Cathy’s Clown’, their all-time biggest hit.

Arwol Jackson