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The Everly Brothers were one of the most influential duos in the history of popular music, with their signature close harmonies and songwriting skills that captured the hearts of millions of fans worldwide. From the late 1950s to the mid-1960s, they churned out hit after hit, becoming one of the most successful acts of their time. Their unique blend of country, rock and roll, and pop music, coupled with their outstanding musicianship, made them a favorite of many generations of music lovers. In this article, we will take a look at the top 10 best The Everly Brothers songs of all time, exploring the lyrics, melodies, and significance of each track. From their earliest recordings to their biggest chart-toppers, this list will showcase the incredible talent of this iconic duo, who helped shape the sound of modern music. So sit back, relax, and prepare to be transported back in time to a world where rock and roll was king and The Everly Brothers were its undisputed rulers.
1. ALL I HAVE TO DO IS DREAM
“All I Have to Do Is Dream” is a timeless classic by The Everly Brothers, released in 1958. The song features their signature harmonies and a gentle, dreamy melody that captures the essence of romantic longing. The lyrics express the yearning of a lover who wishes they could be with their beloved in their dreams. The track reached the top of the charts and became one of the biggest hits of their career. The song has been covered by many artists over the years, but none have matched the emotional resonance of the original.
2. BYE BYE LOVE
“Bye Bye Love” is a classic song by the Everly Brothers that was released in 1957. It’s a catchy and upbeat tune with a simple but memorable melody that’s sure to get stuck in your head. The song’s lyrics tell the story of a man who has just ended a relationship, and is trying to cope with his feelings of loneliness and heartbreak. Despite the sad subject matter, the song remains upbeat and hopeful, with the Everly Brothers’ trademark tight harmonies and catchy guitar riffs. “Bye Bye Love” was a huge commercial success for the Everly Brothers, reaching number two on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and number six on the UK Singles Chart. Today, it remains one of their most beloved and iconic songs, and is often cited as a classic example of the early rock and roll era.
3. WAKE UP LITTLE SUSIE
“Wake Up Little Susie” is a classic rock and roll song released by The Everly Brothers in 1957. The song is about two young lovers, Susie and her boyfriend, who fall asleep during a movie and wake up after curfew, causing them to fear the consequences from their parents and the town. The song has an upbeat, catchy melody and features the trademark harmonies that made The Everly Brothers famous. The catchy chorus of “Wake up, little Susie, wake up” has become a memorable part of rock and roll history. The song was a huge commercial success, reaching the top of the charts in the United States and other countries. Its controversial lyrics about teenage love and fear of punishment from parents caused the song to be banned in some areas, adding to its reputation as a rebellious rock and roll classic.
4. CATHY’S CLOWN
“Cathy’s Clown” is a classic hit by The Everly Brothers that was released in 1960. The song became an instant success, reaching the top of the charts in the US and the UK. The song is a tale of a man who is left heartbroken after being dumped by his girlfriend, Cathy. The lyrics are powerful and emotional, capturing the feeling of betrayal and the struggles of moving on from a lost love. The harmonies of the two brothers are mesmerizing, creating a unique and memorable sound. The upbeat tempo and catchy melody make the song an easy one to sing along to, and it has become a timeless classic that is still loved by many today.
5. WALK RIGHT BACK
“WALK RIGHT BACK” is a beautiful love song that was released by The Everly Brothers in 1961. The song features a lovely melody that is highlighted by the brothers’ impeccable harmonies. The track has a distinctive sound with its lush strings and gentle acoustic guitar, creating a soothing and romantic atmosphere. The lyrics express the longing of a lover who is away from his beloved and the anticipation of returning to her. The Everly Brothers’ performance is emotive and poignant, capturing the essence of the song’s sentiment. The track was a huge commercial success, reaching number seven on the US Billboard Hot 100 and charting in several other countries. The song has been covered by several other artists, including Glen Campbell, Anne Murray, and Linda Ronstadt, among others, but The Everly Brothers’ version remains the definitive and most beloved version of this classic track.
6. (’TIL) I KISSED YOU
“(’Til) I Kissed You” is a classic Everly Brothers song, written by their lead guitarist and Don’s younger brother, Phil. The song was released in 1959 and became a hit in the United States, reaching number four on the Billboard Hot 100. It features the duo’s signature harmonies and a catchy melody that is impossible to forget. The song’s lyrics are a declaration of love, describing the moment the singer realizes they are in love with their significant other. The song’s opening guitar riff is instantly recognizable and sets the tone for the song’s upbeat, romantic vibe. The Everly Brothers’ distinctive harmonies give the song a dreamy, almost ethereal quality that makes it an enduring classic. The song has been covered by many artists over the years and remains a staple of oldies radio stations.
“Temtation” is a classic Everly Brothers song that showcases their impeccable vocal harmonies. Originally written by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed for the movie “Going Hollywood” in 1933, the Everly Brothers released their own version of the song in 1961. The song is about the struggles of temptation in a relationship, with lyrics like “You came, I was alone, I should have known, you were temptation”. The melody is slow and haunting, with a melancholic tone that captures the feelings of being drawn into something that you know isn’t good for you. The brothers’ voices blend beautifully together, with Don taking the lead on the verses and Phil harmonizing on the chorus. The song is a testament to the Everly Brothers’ ability to take a classic song and make it their own, adding their unique style and emotion to create a timeless piece of music.
8. WHEN WILL I BE LOVED
“When Will I Be Loved” is a classic rock and roll song by The Everly Brothers, released in 1960. Written by Phil Everly, the song features a driving beat and catchy melody, with lyrics about a woman waiting for someone to love her. The upbeat tempo and harmonies of the Everly Brothers make this song a timeless classic. The song has been covered by many artists over the years, including Linda Ronstadt, who had a hit with her version in 1975. The Everly Brothers’ original version features their signature close harmonies, and Don Everly’s distinctive guitar playing. The song was a hit for the duo, reaching number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. “When Will I Be Loved” has since become a staple of classic rock radio, and is considered one of the best songs in the Everly Brothers’ catalog.
9. SILVER THREADS AND GOLDEN NEEDLES
“Silver Threads and Golden Needles” is a classic country song originally recorded by Wanda Jackson in 1956. However, it was the Everly Brothers’ 1962 version that became a hit and is now considered a timeless classic. The song features a strong rhythm guitar and a memorable harmonica riff that perfectly complements the brothers’ signature harmonies. The lyrics describe the singer’s frustration with a lover who only cares about material possessions, and the chorus sees them making the decision to end the relationship: “Silver threads and golden needles cannot mend this heart of mine, And I dare not drown my sorrow in the warm glow of your wine”. The Everly Brothers’ version of the song features a slightly faster tempo and a more upbeat feel than the original, making it a perfect example of their ability to take classic songs and make them their own. It’s a song that showcases their unique blend of rock and roll and country music, which would go on to influence countless artists in the years to come.
10. SO SAD (TO WATCH GOOD LOVE GO BAD)
“So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad)” is a heart-wrenching ballad from The Everly Brothers, released in 1960. The song tells a story of a lover’s lament over a broken relationship, and the pain and sadness that come with it. The brothers’ vocal harmonies are as crisp and affecting as ever, making this song one of their most memorable and enduring hits. The lyrics evoke a sense of nostalgia and regret, as the singer ponders how love can slip away so easily, leaving only memories and heartache in its wake. The song’s simple yet poignant melody, paired with the Everlys’ impeccable vocal delivery, make it a timeless classic in the world of pop and country music. “So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad)” is a testament to the power of music to express the deepest emotions and feelings of the human heart.