DVD review: THE EVERLY BROTHERS – Harmonies From Heaven

THE EVERLY BROTHERS - Harmonies From Heaven

Eagle Vision [Release date 09.09.16]

Between 1957 and 1962 Don and Phil Everly dominated the pop charts on both sides of the Atlantic. With hits like ‘Wake Up Little Susie’, ‘Cathy’s Clown’, ‘Crying In The Rain’, ‘Bye Bye Love’ and ‘All I Have To Do Is Dream’ they seemed untouchable.

Originally broadcast on BBC4 earlier this year, ‘Harmonies From Heaven’ tells the brothers story from the early ‘50’s of performing on their father’s radio show, to their move to Nashville and on to worldwide success.

This expanded version of the documentary features input from the likes of Art Garfunkel, Tim Rice, Graham Nash, Keith Richards and Waddy Wachtel, all of whom recall when they first heard the Everly Brothers and the impact that had- and to be fair, the brothers influenced most of the early ‘60’s groups that followed.

Through the use of archive footage, later interviews and recent interviews with surviving Everly Don, the brothers tell us their story- one that shows that simple songs can say a lot.

We also get a look into the close relationship they enjoyed with song writing team of Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, one that flourished until problems with the publishing company that represented all of them meant that not only could they no longer release songs by the Bryant’s but were prevented from recording songs they had written themselves. This, plus a spell in the marines, saw the Everly Brothers lose ground to the newer up and coming groups of the British Invasion.

The boys did keep performing though (until a fall out between them in 1973 saw a 10 year hiatus in their partnership) and on the bonus disc we get the 1968 Australian live TV special ‘Chequers Nightclub’ which features a selection of their hits and finds the brothers in fine form and almost like a comedy double act at times.

We also get 1971’s ‘Hippies With Money’ also filmed for ABC and still sounding great- here they also perform a rendition of ‘Folsom Prison Blues’.  Both of these shows are previously unseen and a great addition to the main feature.  ****

Review by Nikk Gunns

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