There's a myriad of possible reasons why The Everly Brothers faded from the charts soon after signing a large contract with fledgling Warner Brothers Records in 1960. They broke with their manager, who cut them off from access to the Acuff-Rose stable of songwriters for a couple years, which, even more unfairly, kept them from recording their own songs because they were under contract to the publisher. This led them to record some material in a more treacly pop direction that didn't really fit their style. Then they joined the Marines for a couple years, and there were other distractions and personal issues, etcetera.
Despite the waning of their commercial fortunes, the Everlys created a pile of records after their return from the Marines that stand up very well musically. It's just hard to resist those harmonies when the brothers are mostly left to their own devices.
By 1966, the duo finally responded to the British Invasion's appropriation of their harmony style by heading to England themselves and cutting an album with their devotees The Hollies. It's an interesting choice if you look at the timing. When the album came out, The Hollies were just becoming well-known in the U.S., having had only a couple hit singles stateside. The group isn't even credited by name on the album, with only their collaborative writing credit "L. Ransford" appearing on the label copy for the eight songs they penned. However, at the time, The Hollies were one of the biggest bands in the U.K., and the Everlys had some hits on the British charts in 1965, so perhaps this album was really aimed more at expanding the brothers' audience overseas than at reviving their fortunes in America. It didn't work, as those '65 singles were their last big ones in England.
Whatever the backstory, the concept of pairing the Everlys and Hollies harmonies is a great one. But the resulting album, Two Yanks in England, isn't nearly as good as it could have been. For one thing, the Hollies just play and don't sing -- not even backups. While they were fine instrumentalists, that means the backing band could have been anyone and it wouldn't have made much difference in the sound of the record.
The Everlys' choice of material is top-notch for the most part, as they cover lesser-known Hollies gems like "So Lonely," "I've Been Wrong Before" and the folk-rock oriented "Hard Hard Year." They earn negative points for recording the lyrically goofy "Fifi the Flea," which, unbelievably, was also released as a single. The only hit content is supplied by others, including a fuzzed-out take on the Spencer Davis Group's "Somebody Help Me" and Manfred Mann's "Pretty Flamingo."
While it's sequenced somewhat strangely, leaving all the slower material in the last third, it did maintain their string of above-average mid-'60s rock 'n roll albums. (Warner Brothers, 1966; available on CD from