Thursday, March 29, 2018

THE CHANCELLOR reviews PHIL EVERLY's There's Nothing Too Good For My Baby/Mystic Line CD!



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As one half of The Everly Brothers, Phil Everly helped build the foundation of Rock ‘n’ Roll. While Elvis may be considered the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll and Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis wrote the blueprints, it was the more melodic song stylings of Buddy Holly and the harmonies of The Everlys that held it all together.  Without Phil and Don, there’s a good chance that The Beatles would not have sounded quite the same… and Rock music would sound very different today.

With that being said, I’m not here to discuss the early days of Rock – I’ve come here to review Phil Everly’s THERE’S NOTHING TOO GOOD FOR MY BABY/MYSTIC LINE release on Morello/Cherry Red Records. This digitally remastered two-fer contains a pair of albums that the Everly brother recorded immediately following the duo’s acrimonious 1973 split. And while the mid ‘70s may not have been the best time for most ‘50s legends, Phil Everly’s albums from 1974 and ’75 are certainly a cut above the rest. And it all rests on that man’s incredible voice…

THERE’S NOTHING TOO GOOD FOR MY BABY (titled PHIL’S DINER in the U.S.) – produced by Phil with Terry Slater - was released in 1974. Some may have expected a Country Music album but Phil offered up a wonderfully eclectic Pop album that blended the classic Everlys sound with a then-modern ‘70s groove.  “Feather Bed” is a Pop gem with a distinct early Disco vibe (including soaring strings). “Invisible Man” takes that Disco vibe and adds some funky guitar while still maintaining a distinct Pop sound. “Goodbye Line” is a lovely ballad with a stunning vocal from Phil. “Sweet Music,” “Summershine,” and “Caroline” still sound sweet and savory over 40 years later. “We’re Running Out” finds Phil and the band attempting Reggae to mixed results. “New Old Song” incorporates classic ‘50s songs into its fade (including the EB’s “All I Have to Do Is Dream”). The album’s title track recalls the jolly nods to vaudeville that Paul McCartney was known for. With nearly ever track co-written by Phil, this is really a treat that has held up over time. The sound of the album is not unlike a mix of what Neil Sedaka, Neil Diamond, The Beach Boys and 10cc were doing at the time. 

1975’s MYSTIC LINE offers up another great set of Pop and Rock songs – this time featuring arrangements and additional piano from future Rock sensation Warren Zevon (who had previously worked with the EB’s live band before the split). While not as strong as the previous album, MYSTIC LINE was proof that Phil was still a viable and worthwhile singer/songwriter. “Better Than Now” is a Pop treat that stands out on first listen. More highlights include the stunning opener “Patiently” and the epic beauty of “January Butterfly.”

This set reveals that Phil Everly was far from washed up during the ‘lost years’ between stints with his brother Don. Certainly worthy of your hard-earned dollars!

(Note: this CD contains two complete albums PLUS two bonus tracks)

Keep on truckin',

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