Sunday, May 7, 2017

"On the Wings of a Nightingale" by The Everly Brothers

Song#:  2033
Date:  09/01/1984
Debut:  85
Peak:  50
Weeks:  12
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  Prior to the time when Hall & Oates dominated the Pop chart, The Everly Brothers were the top charting duo of the rock era. Between 1957 and 1962, the brothers scored thirteen Top 10 hits including three #1's. But as the 60s wore on, the hits stopped coming for the duo. Although they had many difficulties during that time (including addiction to amphetamines), they continued to tour and record. However, by 1973 the brothers were not getting along and after a farewell tour of sorts, the pair split. Phil and Don each pursued their own projects that had minimal success. Things changed when Phil released a self-titled LP in 1983 that became a hit in England. It rejuvenated interest in the duo and ten years after they split, they got together in England for a reunion show that was recorded for an LP and filmed for a TV special. Soon the brothers were in the studio recording a new album. This time around, they got some assistance from a few artists who have cited the pair as influences. Rocker Dave Edmunds would produce EB 84 while ELO's Jeff Lynne would play bass, do the arrangements, and contribute a song. Paul McCartney would also help out by contributing this song that became the LP's first single. The song was well-received at AC getting to #9. However, it wasn't quite the return they hoped for at Pop (#50) and Country (#49). Still, it was their first single to chart at Pop since 1967. It would also be their last to reach the Pop chart. A follow-up album also produced by Edmunds, Born Yesterday, scored a middling hit in 1986 with the title track. It got to #17 at both AC and Country. They continued to perform over the years and even toured with Simon & Garfunkel in 2003. Phil would end up dying in 2014 from lung disease.

ReduxReview:  This was a lovely little song written by Sir Paul that fit the brothers like a glove. Edmunds' production was spot-on as well. All involved did their best keeping the Everly's sound intact while shining it up in a more modern way. It was perfect for those who remember or were fans of the Everly's, but for a new generation of MTV-er's the nostalgia was lost on them. That's too bad as this was a really nice return for the brothers. Luckily AC picked up on it and gave it some love.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Phil and Don's solo efforts didn't yield much in the way of hits in the US. In his career, Don only recorded three solo albums. None of them did much business and his best charting single was 1976's "Yesterday Just Passed My Way Again," which got to #50 on the Country chart. Phil had a little more success. He ended up recording five solo albums and his best single outing was in 1980 when "Dare to Dream Again" got to #9 at AC (#63 Country). On his final self-titled solo album in 1983, Phil recorded a duet with Cliff Richard titled "She Means Nothing to Me" that got to #9 in the UK. Years later in 1994, a live radio recording done in 1981 of Richard and Phil sing The Everly Brothers' 1958 #1 hit "All I Have to Do Is Dream" was released as a one-off single. It got to #14 on the UK chart.


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