The New Album: Previously Unreleased Songs from the Early Sixties

The Everly Brothers

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The New Album: Previously Unreleased Songs from the Early Sixties Review

by William Ruhlmann

The Everly Brothers completed their contract with Warner Bros. Records in 1970, and they broke up in 1973. It is an interesting question, therefore, how the British division of Warner Bros. could have released an Everly Brothers LP pointedly called The New Album in 1977 (an album belatedly issued in the U.S. by the mail-order company Collectors' Choice Music 28 years later in 2005). The answer, of course, is that the deceptively titled collection consists of tracks recorded by the Everlys for Warner Bros. in the '60s, all of them, with the exception of the 1968 B-side single "Empty Boxes," are previously unreleased. "Nancy's Minuet" was also a B-side, but the version here is an alternate take, and Don Everly re-recorded "Omaha" for his 1970 solo album Don Everly. Otherwise, these are songs that never got out of the recording studio. They provide a short history in the Everlys' work of the '60s, with the earlier tracks, such as the opening number, "Silent Treatment" and the closing one, "Why Not," both recorded in 1960, harking back to their classic '50s sound; mid-'60s efforts like "Nothing Matters But You" and "I'll See Your Light" chasing the post-British Invasion trend; and 1968 recordings "Omaha" and "Empty Boxes" showing the reinvented acoustic style they would pursue on the Roots LP released at the end of that year. Songwriters include the Brill Building teams Gerry Goffin/Carole King and Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil, as well as Roger Miller, John D. Loudermilk, and the Everlys themselves, so the quality of the songs holds up, and it's possible to imagine several of these tracks being hits in an alternate universe in which the Everly Brothers continued to be big recording stars after the early '60s.

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