THE EVERLY BROTHERS
A-side: Cathy's Clown
B-Side: Always It's You
(Warner Brothers 1960)
I like to think that I have a fairly eclectic taste in music - I'm pretty much prepared to give anything a chance, but where I'm most comfortable and the music that I like that best is largely that which originates in the late 50's and early 60's, and so we come to a record from that very period, and a wonderful record it is too.
As rock 'n' rollers The Everlys may have been a bit on the soft and gentler side - although they could rock out when necessary - their true metier is in the ballads. There's something about sad songs sung in close harmony that just kicks you right in the heart and gets the tear ducts opening up. The Everly Brothers knew this and exploited it to the hilt.
Is Cathy's Clown Don and Phil's crowning glory? I reckon it probably is. There' yearning and self-delusion in the lyrics - he doesn't want to be Cathy's Clown anymore, but you know he can help it he loves Cathy and he's going to go back there again regardless of what he wants. This comes out so well in the Everly's voices. Combine that with that distinctive drum sound, rising and falling, makes a record that I think sounds timeless. Sends a shiver down the spine every time I hear it.
Always It's You was never going to live up to the A-side if this record. It's a slow pleasant love song that follows the formula of so many Everly Brothers songs. Nice to listen to, but there's no extra special ingredient to it to make it rise up to the upper echelons of their catalogue.
That's been a couple of downbeat singles in a row there, all change next time with some shouty punk.