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SpartyScott Post subject: Liner notes-Everly Bros "Two Yanks in England" CD
Lead Guitar


Lead Guitar
Joined: 15 Oct 2004
Posts: 661
Location: Gahanna, Ohio USA

No, I didn't type all this. My scanner has character recognition software, so I just scanned the CD insert into Microsoft Word. Cool, huh? It doesn't scan all characters perfectly, particularly if the original is in an unusual font. But, I think that I fixed all scan errors.

This is the text of the CD liner notes for the Everly Brothers' "Two Yanks In England," CD reissue, which as we know featured a bunch of Hollies songs. Happy reading.

Oh, by the way, I'd love a report on "Somebody Help Me" by the Spencer Davis Group. I'll bet that song really rocks, as I absolutely love the Everly Brothers' cover.

*************************************************


Of all the American rock stars who began recording in the 1950s, the Everly Brothers were among the most influential on the British Invasion, from the Beatles on downward. And among the great 1950s rock stars, the Everly Brothers were among the ones most influenced by the British Invasion. Too, by the mid-l960s the Everly Brothers were tar more popular in the UK than they were in the US, scoring two big hit singles (“The Price of Love” and “Love Is Strange”) in Britain in 1965. It made sense, then, to arrange for the Everlys to record an album in London in mid-1966, with mucho help from one of the British Invasion hands most indebted to the Everly Brothers’ harmonies, the Hollies. If the resulting album, Two Yanks in England smacked of a gimmick concept, it wasn’t of any great consequence. For the music it yielded was in tact quite good, enduring as one of the duo’s better Warner Brothers 1960s albums.

Pseudo-concept albums were in tact nothing new to the Everly Brothers. In 1961, Both Sides of an Evening and Instant Party had both posited themselves as accompaniments to an evening’s entertainment, although those records leaned inordinately hard on popular music standards and tunes from musicals. In 1965, the more satisfying Rock’ n Soul and Beat & Soul were devoted almost entirely to covers of rock’n’roIl oldies and soul hits. In 1963 they’d interpreted country songs on Sing Country Hits, and way hack in 1958 they’d done something similar, with a more traditional and folk hearing, on Songs Our Daddy Taught 1/s. Two Yanks in England was a different sort of project, however, in that Don and Phil Everly would opt to record material that was new to both themselves and their public. The main suppliers of that material would he the Hollies, who wrote no less than eight of the twelve tracks, all credited to the collective “L. Ransford” pseudonym used by the Hollies’ Allan Clarke, Tony Hicks, and Graham Nash. The Hollies, Phil Everly has recalled, also played on most of the album; it has also been reported that Jimmy Page contributed some guitar as a session musician.

It was perhaps a hit odd that the Hollies played such a strong role in the album, when then were no doubt other worthy British rock musicians and songwriters who would have been interested in contributing as well. But Don Everly had already met Graham Nash previously in New York, and the Hollies had a hunch o songs already written to submit to the Everly Brothers It should he noted that most of these tones were not donated to the Everlys for exclusive use, and that over half of them had already been on Hollies vinyl. The Hollies had just released a couple of them, “Fifi the Flea” and “Hard, Hard Year,” on their US Beat Group album (and on the nearly simultaneous UK Would You Believe LP). “Don’t Run and Hide” had just been on the B-side of their classic hit “Bus Stop”; “So Lonely” had first appeared back in the summer of 1965 on the B-side of another classic Hollies hit, “Look Through Any Window”, and “Signs That Will Never Change” would come out later as yet another B-side, of 1967’s “Carrie Anne. “I’ve Been Wrong Before” had been issued, with the slightly different title “I’ve Been Wrong,” in late 1965 no the US Hear! Here! and the UK Hollies LPs. “Have You Ever Loved Somebody” would become the Searchers’ final British chart single later in 1966, with the Hollies placing their awn version on their 1967 album Evolution. Even “Like Every Time Before” would come out as a Hollies 1968 B-side in Germany and Sweden.

So no, the Hollies weren’t exactly giving Don and Phil Everly the cream at their crop. But although the eight songs might have been a rather haphazard assortment of Hollies B-sides and LP tracks, it shouldn’t be assumed that they were inferior far this reason. The Hollies wrote many more fine sons beyond their hit singles than many listeners realize, and the ones chosen by the Everlys were actually quite good. Also, as was par far the brothers when covering songs by others, the Everlys versions were substantially different than the sees waxed by the Hollies. The arrangements, probably in keeping with what the Everlys were seeking by recording in London in the first place, were brasher and more British Invasion-sounding than the mid-1960s sides they’d cut aver the past year or twa in Nashville and Hollywood, using same fuzz guitar and orgon. The dramatically melancholy “Hard, Hard Year” is a particular highlight, as is the longing “So Lonely.” “I’ve Been Wrong Before,” in contrast, is as close to Merseybeat as the Everly Brothers came, while the far mare delicate “Like Everytime Before,” like several Hollies snags at the period, dabbles in bossa nova rhythms. “Signs That Will Never Change” was indicative of the more tender, mature approach the Hollies would move into in the last years at the 1960s.

Not everything on Two Yanks in England came from the repertoire at the Hollies, or even of British artists. Yes, there were two other British Invasion covers in “Somebody Help Me,” which had recently tapped the UK charts far the Spencer Davis Group, and “Pretty Flamingo,” which had done the same for Manfred Mann (in fact, “Pretty Flamingo” made #1 just two weeks after “Somebody Help Me” had vacated that position). But there was also the haunting, mysterious “The Collector,” credited to Sonny Curtis, who’d written a few tunes for the Everlys in the past, including their big 1961 hit “Walk Right Back.” This unusual composition was based on the British novel of the same name (also made into a 1965 film) by John Fowles, which both Don Everly and Sonny Curtis had read. (Curtis, incidentally has said that “The Collector” is really Don Everly’s song, despite what the songwriting credits say.) While Don and Phil Everly didn’t write as much original material on their mid-1960s LPs as many fans would have liked, they did at least contribute one composition to Two Yanks in England, “Kiss Your Man Goodbye.” which they’d actually written (and previously attempted in the studio) some time earlier.

Despite its quality, Two Yanks in England didn’t sell well, and the Everly Brothers would soon move in a country-pap direction. Along with many other recordings, however, it proved that the due could play straightforward rock as well as anyone when the spirit moved them.

—Richie Unterherger
PostPosted:Mon Jan 29, 2007 3:28 am
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