The Golden Hits of the Everly Brothers
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.