'The Everly Brothers - Harmonies From Heaven'
(The Everly Brothers / Blu-ray+DVD / NR / 2016 / Eagle Vision)
Overview: 'Harmonies from Heaven' tells the story of the Everly Brothers, Phil and Don, focusing on the heyday of their careers in the fifties and sixties.
Blu-ray Verdict: The Everly Brothers were American country-influenced rock and roll singers, known for steel-string guitar and close harmony singing. The brothers toured with Buddy Holly in 1957 and 1958 and according to Holly's biographer Philip Norman, they were responsible for persuading Holly and the Crickets to change their outfits from Levi's and T-shirts to the Everlys' Ivy League suits.
Indeed, and rightfully so, Isaac Donald "Don" Everly and his late brother Phillip "Phil" Everly were also elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001.
This recently-released 'The Everly Brothers - Harmonies From Heaven' Blu-ray tells the story of the Everly Brothers, from birth up to the passing of Phil in 2014 - and slightly beyond. That said, for their bulk of famous works was a heyday of yesteryear, this documentary focuses more on their careers in the fifties and sixties.
Featuring new interview footage with surviving brother Don and archive interviews with Phil, it follows their career from child performers on their father's radio show, through their move to Nashville and their relationship with publishers Acuff-Rose. In particular we linger on their beloved relationship with the songwriting team of Felice and Boudleaux Bryant who provided many of their early hits, including their first million-seller "Bye Bye Love".
The film also features interviews with those inspired by the Everly Brothers including Art Garfunkel, Keith Richards, Graham Nash, Dave Edmunds, Tim Rice, Albert Lee, Waddy Wachtel and on into a younger generation with Jake Bugg.
But, if you all thought that was good enough to wet your appetites into spending your hard earned money on something new from/about the boys, well hold on to your britches as there is also a live DVD here included! And boy, what a doozy it is, for it is from a 11968 show they put on at the Chequers Nightclub in Sydney, Australia! Filmed by Australian TV and never before released, this live show is AMAZING to watch, trust me.
Crammed with hits and soon-to-be classics, this grainy black and white visual joy begins with "Lucille" and carries onward with "Walk Right Back", "Susie Q", "Wake Up Little Susie" and both "Cathy's Clown" and "All I Have To Do Is Dream". The hits keep a comin' with "All I Have To Do Is Dream", "Bye Bye Love", "So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad)", "Bowling Green" and then both "(Til) I Kissed You" and "Bird Dog". "We think it's the most beautiful song we ever had the privilege of recording" is how Phil introduces "Let It Be Me", before the show, sadly, comes to an end with both "Be-Bop-A-Lula" and "Kentucky".