- A superb early WB Green Label Stereo LP, with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on both sides – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
- Our early pressing here showed us a wonderfully Tubey Magical midrange for the Everlys that most audiophiles have never heard
- So much good material here – Cathy’s Clown, Crying In The Rain, So Sad, That’s Old Fashioned, Lucille, etc.
- “There are few sounds in American popular music more thrilling and sublimely satisfying than the harmonies of Don and Phil Everly…”
In stereo, on the early WB Green Label, with really quiet vinyl — this copy will be tough to beat!
It took us a long time to find enough records to do this shootout. How many extremely popular 50 year old records survived into the present era in such clean condition? We can’t be sure when the next shootout will be, but we can be pretty sure it won’t be any time soon.
Our early Green Label stereo LP here has the MIDRANGE MAGIC that’s no doubt missing from whatever 180g reissue has been made from the 50+ year old tapes. As good as that pressing may be, we guarantee that this one is dramatically more REAL SOUNDING. It gives you the sense that Phil and Don are right in the room with you.
They’re no longer a representation — they’re living, breathing persons. We call that “the breath of life,” and this record has it in spades. Their voices are so rich, sweet, and free of any artificiality, you immediately find yourself lost in the music, because there’s no “sound” to distract you.
Warners pressings are all over the map. When you find a good one, you can be pretty sure it’s the exception, not the rule. This has been our experience anyway.
What the best sides of The Golden Hits… have to offer is not hard to hear:
- The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
- The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1962
- Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
- Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre
- Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional space of the studio
No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.
What We’re Listening For on The Golden Hits…
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
- The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
- Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness common to most LPs.
- Tight, note-like bass with clear fingering — which ties in with good transient information, as well as the issue of frequency extension further down.
- Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the players.
- Then: presence and immediacy. The musicians aren’t “back there” somewhere, way behind the speakers. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would have put them.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
That’s Old Fashioned
How Can I Meet Her?
Crying In The Rain
I’m Not Angry
Don’t Blame Me
Walk Right Back
This 1962 collection was the first Everly Brothers best-of released by Warner Bros, and the fact that it represented just two years of the duo’s career only underlines the degree to which Don and Phil were on a roll in those days. Even without the late-’50s hits on Cadence that kicked off the Everlys’ career, The Golden Hits is still a stunning statement.
The pair’s influences are well represented by their versions of Little Richard’s rock ‘n’ roll milestone “Lucille” and Merle Travis’ country stomp “Muskrat.” The Everlys’ way with bespoke songs comes through on the sorrowful, Carole King–penned Brill Building ballad “Crying in the Rain” and Sonny Curtis’ lonesome stroll “Walk Right Back,” but it’s the brothers’ own compositions that really take this set over the top. “So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad)” is a marvel of poignantly plainspoken regret, and “Cathy’s Clown,” with its majestic, classical-inspired sound and drama-drenched lyrics, is not just one of the duo’s greatest moments, but one of the most moving songs of the era.