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Everly BrothersI've never been quite so disappointed with a Christmas record as I was with Christmas With The Everly Brothers And The Boys Town Choir. You see, I adore the Everly Brothers - can't get enough of 'em, really. But this record (recorded for Reprise as the duo's star was beginning to fade) is nearly a total wash. Nary a hint of the brother's fabled Appalachian artistry graces this stiff, uninspired excuse of a record. Geez, talk about phoning it in....

Just when the Everlys work up a good head of steam and you think they're about to take off into realms of harmonic glory, slipping the bonds of these leaden arrangements, the Boys Town Choir kills the buzz by stomping in like pre-pubescent linebackers intent on sacking the Christmas spirit. Christmas With The Everly Brothers was not issued on CD (with good reason) till 2005, when Rhino Records finally snuck it out on their budget-oriented Flashback label. I, of course, own a copy, but I can only recommend the album for the most stalwart collectors. (Another label, Friday Music, reissued it again in 2013.)

Thankfully, ten years after the Boys Town incident and shortly before their (first) breakup, Phil and Don Everly redeemed themselves with a brilliant (if disturbing) holiday song, "Christmas Eve Can Kill You." Written with malice aforethought by Dennis Linde (best known as the author of Elvis Presley's "Burnin' Love") and featured on the Everly's RCA album, Stories We Could Tell (1972), the tune could well be the most depressing Christmas song in existence. As one reviewer warned, "Do not listen to it with a loaded gun in the house." Also featured on Rhino's like-minded Bummed Out Christmas (1989). [top of page]

Albums Albums

SongsSongs

  • Christmas Eve Can Kill You (1972)
  • The First Noel (1962)
  • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (1962)

Further ListeningFurther Listening

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