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Music DVD Review: The Everly Brothers – Reunion Concert: Live at the Royal Albert Hall

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Written by Hombre Divertido

After an incredibly successful career, Phil and Don Everly split up in 1973 and according to many reports, did not speak to each other for ten years. In 1983 this legendary duo reunited at London’s Royal Albert Hall. On September 14th, Eagle Records re-released the concert on DVD. Though the concert has been released in many formats over the years, this release includes the documentary Rock and Roll Odyssey.

The Everly Brothers had an amazing career that included 26 Billboard Top 40 Singles. They were among the first ten artists inducted into the Rock and toll Hall of Fame, and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997. Many artists of the fifties and sixties credit Phil and Don with being an influence on their music including The Bee Gees, the Beach Boys, and the Beatles.

For a duo with this much talent to go silent for ten years, a reunion was a huge event, and it certainly was in 1983. Twenty-seven years after the fact; the event has lost a bit of its cache. Sure, this is an enjoyable way to spend some time if you have not already seen it, but most people already have. These two men are amazing, and they sound great here, but there is not a lot going on to watch as the two stand side by side with their acoustic guitars and sing the classics. There is little banter, much less movement, and the stage lighting is somewhat annoying, and so it makes a better show to listen to than to watch.

The production seems to have missed some obvious opportunities. As the show opens with the two men entering the performance area through the audience, one cannot help but wonder where the behind-the-scenes shots are. Pre-show performer and audience interviews are fairly standard on concert films as are performer arrivals, accelerated shots of the auditorium filling up, etc. What you get here is the concert. Not a bad product, but one that certainly fails to capture the excitement of the event.

The draw here should be Rock and Roll Odyssey the documentary which is touted on the packaging as telling “the whole story of the Everly Brothers rise, fall, and renaissance.” Unfortunately the documentary fails to live up to the hype. Rock and Roll Odyssey is nothing more than a collection of poorly recorded segments that lack continuity and provides little information or entertainment.

Recommendation: If there are Everly Brothers fans out there that do not own this concert, this will be a great purchase. Don and Phil look and sound great on this DVD and the sound quality is excellent. Those looking for more insight into the career of one of the greatest musical duos of all time by owning the documentary Rock and Roll Odyssey are sure to be disappointed.

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