Movie Review: “The Everly Brothers – Harmonies From Heaven”

the-everly-brothers-harmonies-from-heaven-cover-dvd-lrAbout three minutes into “The Everly Brothers – Harmonies From Heaven,” you start to wonder why exactly this hasn’t been made years before. Keith Richards, Graham Nash, and Art Garfunkel are in the opening sequence, and they remind you (in case you’ve forgotten) just how big an influence the Everly Brothers were on popular music. It’s right out there in the open with Garfunkel, and it’s kind of obvious when you think about it with Nash, but Keith Richards?  Yep, its all there in the flick.

The film takes you through the birth of the group, from their humble beginnings on the “Everly Family Show” on KMA Radio in 1950, through a string of successes, to their tragic parting, reconciliation, and parting again, right through to the death of Phil in 2014.  I guess The Everly Brothers were the first in a string of “bands of brothers” where the infighting got so bad, the group and the relationships were damaged for life (The Kinks, CCR, Oasis, to name a few).

You’ll hear how some of the hits were inspired in some strange but not uncommon ways; the scandal that was “Wake Up Little Suzy”; the numerous links between their music and Country, Rock and Roll, and many other genres.  Keith “The Archeologist” Richards, bless him, shines a light on some of the sidemen on the records, stating that “The Everly Brothers could pull your fucking heart strings out.”

The running time on the first disc is 90 minutes, but I could swear it felt like half that time, probably because the story is so engaging.  There are interviews with Waddy Wachtel, Dave Edmunds, Albert Lee, and Don and Phil (recorded in 2010).  The film was originally shown in the UK on BBC4, but this release includes some added footage, plus a second disc, which features the brothers performing live at Chequers nightclub in Sydney in 1968, featuring a bunch of never-before-seen footage.

The release is set for September 9 and is available on DVD, BLU-RAY, and Digital formats.

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