Thursday, August 18, 2016
SHG: Everly Bros.: "Problems"
The Everly Bros.: “Problems”
Entered the chart on: 11/24/58
Peaked on: 12/15/58
Weeks at #2: 1
Song at #1: “To Know Him Is to Love Him” by the Teddy Bears
October 27th, 1958.
That is the magical date. The date that Billboard Magazine consolidated all their various charts into the Hot 100. The magical date where my work on this feature suddenly becomes less of a confounding boondoggle. If I were to do another similar feature like this, I think I’d start it from that date instead of January 1st, 1955.
Anyway, another day, another Everly Brothers tune. “Bye Bye Love” is, of course, a classic, but this one’s not ringing a bell for me for whatever reason. Let’s investigate this one together.
God, how I love the acoustic guitar strumming on this. Like a lot of Everly Brothers tunes, there’s a real bluegrass feel to this. You can feel the link from old-timey hillbilly music to this in everything they do. At least I can. There’s not really so much separating old folk tunes like “The Cumberland Gap” to this.
The electric lead is another nice touch. Lyrically, this isn’t your typical stuff. I mean, they put it in teenager terms by making references to high school, but there aren’t many songs from that era that are basically saying, “life is confusing and I don’t know which way to turn.” Not only that, there doesn’t seem to be any clear-cut solution to the protagonist’s titular problems.
Rather existentialist for 50s rock & roll.