Welcome to ISC HiFi. Explore new records daily from our growing collection of classics and rarities from around the world. Discover the stories behind the records. Experience the ISC listening space from home through our (( ROOM RECORDING )) audio player below.

“To hear more, say less.”

Our website uses cookies
Read our privacy policy.

I Agree

Everly Brothers – Roots

The Everly Brothers
Roots
Style: Country, Rock
Label: Warner Bros. Records
Catalog Number: WS 1752
Released: 1968, 60's
Hi-Fi Stream:
Standard Stream:

In 1968, the Everly Brothers had nothing to lose, at least as pop artists. They hadn’t charted in three years, hadn’t been in the Top 10 for a decade. Formerly a pair of hit-making, high pompadoured brothers whose blood harmonies cascaded through songs like “Wake Up Little Susie” and “Cathy’s Clown,” during the Summer of Love the Everlys had become a cultural afterthought.

But not to Warner Bros. producer and soon-to-be president Lenny Waronker. Then busy working out of Warner Bros.’ Burbank offices on debut solo albums from Van Dyke Parks and Randy Newman, Waronker teamed with brothers Phil and Don in a Los Angeles studio to make a totally grooving country rock record. They did so a year before the Flying Burrito Brothers released Gilded Palace of Sin, considered the gold standard for L.A. country rock. Listen to Roots. It has better songs and just as much amphetamine energy.

The Bros.’ version of Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried” seems to skitter with excitement. Their version of a young Randy Newman’s “Illinois” glides along as they sing of “clean Prairie winds” that “blow from Rockford to Cairo / Over the cornfields that gleam in the sun.”

But when it slows down, things get as grim as a blood-soaked nudie suit. The brothers rework “I Wonder If I Care As Much,” a song they first released in 1958, and you can hear the decade’s wear and tear. Don’s still bemoaning lost nights weeping over his lover’s betrayal, but he seems more … sick and tired of it all.

My heart can’t thrive on misery
My life, it has no destiny
When things get more than I can bear
I ask myself, ‘Do I still care?’

The song crawls along as if drenched in cough syrup, with arrangements accented with psychedelia. Roots was recorded just after the Beatles “Sgt. Pepper” dropped, so Waronker and the brothers couldn’t help but toss in a few muted trumpets and trippy strings. They also created a few kinda-sorta suites through quick-edit segues between songs.

Unlike the Beatles’ art-rock record, though, the central conceit isn’t an imaginary brass band, but familial ties: the album is bookended with recordings from the early 1950s of Don and Phil, then in their teens, hanging with their parents, on the cusp of fame but not yet there. That rear-view glimpse tints the entire enterprise with an idyllic nature, one born of blood and bond.

– E. Little

Recommended – A5 I Wonder If I Care as Much, B1 Illinois, B2 Living Too Close to the Ground

Tags: Pastoral / Psychedelic
Tracklist:

A1 “The Introduction: The Everly Family (1952)”
A2 “Mama Tried”
A3 “Less of Me”
A4 “T for Texas”
A5 “I Wonder If I Care as Much”
A6 “Ventura Boulevard”
A7 “Shady Grove”
B1 “Illinois”
B2 “Living Too Close to the Ground”
B3 “You Done Me Wrong”
B4 “Turn Around”
B5 “Sing Me Back Home”
B6 “Montage: The Everly Family (1952)

Credits:

Don Everly – vocals, guitar
Phil Everly – vocals, guitar
Lenny Waronker – producer
Frank Bez – photography, cover photo
Perry Botkin, Jr. – arranger
Nick DeCaro – string arrangements
Ron Elliott – arranger
Lee Herschberg – engineer, mastering

Sort By
2020
Abbey Lincoln
Aboriginal
Abstract
Acid Archives
Acid Folk
Acid Punk
Acoustic
Adrian Sherwood
Africa
African
Afro
Afrobeat
Alan Greenberg
Amazon Music
Ambient
AOR
Aquarium Drunkard
Archival
Art & Design
Art Pop
Art Rock
Article
Avant-Garde
Avant-pop
Avant-Rock
Balearic
Baroque Pop
Berlin-school
Best of 2020
Big Band
Black Jazz
Blues
Bob Marley
Boogie
books
Bossa
Bossa Nova
Brazilian Folk
Breakbeat
Breezy
Brian Eno
Bruce Weber
Cabaret
CAN
Cape Verde
Caribbean
CD
Channel One Studios
Chanson
Chet Baker
Chicago
Choral
City Pop
Classical
Compass Point
Compilation
Conny Plank
Contemporary Jazz
Cosmic
Cosmic Folk
Country-Rock
Cult Classic
Dance
Dancehall
David Bowie
Deep Dive
Deep Listening
Detroit
Devotional
Disco
DIY
DIY / Amateur
Documentary
Don Cherry
Downtempo
Dream Pop
Drone
Drum Break
Drum n Bass
Drums
Dub
dublab
Dubwise
Düsseldorf School
Early Electronic
East African
ECM
Electric Lady
Electro
Electronic
Electronica
Elegant Pop
Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam
Enossified
Esoteric
Essential Listening
Essential Listenning
Ethereal
Ethiopian Jazz
Ethnic
Events
Exotica
Experimental
Field recording
Fingertracks
Floating
Folk
Folk-Rock
Fourth World
Free Jazz
Friends of ISC
Funk
Fusion
Garage Rock
Gospel
Graphic Novel
Guitar
Hard Bop
Harold Budd
Haruomi Hosono
Heavy Metal
hi-fi
Highlife
Hip Hop
history
Holiday
Holy Grail
Home Listening
House
Hypnotic
IDM
Indie
Indie Rock
instock
Instrumental
ISC Classic
ISC Collection
isc guide
ISC Record Store
ISC Selects
Isolation
Italy
Jamaica
Japanese
Jazz
Jazz-funk
Jazz-rock
K. Leimer
Kankyo Ongaku
Kosmische
Krautrock
Laraaji
Larry Levan
Laswell
Latin
Lebanese
Left-field
Leftfield
Lena Horne
Les Baxter
Library
Listening bar
Live Performance
Live Recording
Los Angeles
Lost & Sound
lost and sound
Lounge
Lovers Rock
Mad Professor
Meditative
Melancholic
Mellow
Metal
Minimal
Minneapolis Sound
Mixes
Mizell Brothers
Modern Classical
Mono
Mort Garson
MPB
Music from Memory
Mwandishi
Narrative
New Age
New Wave
News
Nina Simone
Noise
Northern Soul
Now Sound
Nubian Pop
Nubian Soul
OBI
Obscure
Obscure Sound
Organic
Outsider Pop
Paradise Garage
Pastoral
PBS
Percussion
Piano
Plantasia
Plants
playlist
Playlists
Political
Pop
Post Bop
Post Rock
Post-Punk
Power Pop
Private Press
Productions
Progressive
Progressive Rock
Psychedelic
Punk
Qobuz
Quadraphonic
QUARK
R&B
Rare Groove
rca victor
Record Stories
Reggae
Reissue
Reissues
Remix
Rock
Roots Reggae
Ryuichi Sakamoto
Samples
Sci-fi
Shamisen
Shoegaze
Sly & Robbie
Smooth Jazz
Soft Rock
Songwriting
Soul
Soul-jazz
Sound Collage
Soundsystems
Soundtrack
speakers
Spiritual
Spiritual Jazz
Spoken Word
Staff Picks
Stoner Rock
stores we love
Streaming
Street Soul
Sun Ra
Sunn O)))
Surround Sound
Suzanne Cianni
Synth
Synth-pop
Synthesizer
Synthwave
Taarab
Tapes
Techno
Techno Pop
Third Stream
Traditional
Trip-hop
Tropical
Tropicalia
Vanity Fair
vinyl
Vocal
Vocoder
Walearic
Water
West Africa
West African
World
Yacht Rock
Yma Sumac
YouTube
Zamrock
ISCHiFi ((ROOM RECORDING))
0:00 / 0:00
0:00
0:00