It was sometime in 1964 and I was in bed with the flu, a British music show on the tele and out pops Just One Look by the Hollies. I was taken by the harmonies and the overall sound of the band. Graham Nash said that the group decided just prior to a performance to call themselves the “Hollies” because of their admiration for Buddy Holly.
Released in 1964 Here I Go Again included their first charted single Just One Look.
It really was an album of covers but their unique harmony was already established. Talkin Bout You
I really don’t remember when my sister got to know lead guitarist Tony Hicks. All I can say is in December of 1965 she took me to the taping of Hullaballoo and the Hollies performed Look Through Any Window. I figure she had to have known him for about a year. BTW, I played his Vox 12 string backstage! I’m Alive which was a hit in England was also on this LP and is still a top favorite. One of the cool things for me as a kid was the “Promo Copy.” Denyse got lots of promos from the Hollies Imperial Records releases. The 45′s were all white with black writing and the LPs were the normal Red, Green, and Beige with “Audition Record” across the label.
One of the promos she received was their British single, the George Harrison penned If I Needed Someone. British 45′s had the little spindle in it .It was released in December of 1965 so I would assume Tony gave it to her when he was in NY at the Hullaballoo taping. I really liked this version!
I Can’t Let Go is another of my favorite Hollies songs. Released as a single it reached #42 in the US and gave us the Beat Group LP.
Another single without an LP to call home in the US was .Released in January of 1965, the Gerry Goffin & Russ Titelman tune, Yes I Will was recut in 1966 by the Monkees as “I’ll Be True To You.”
Finally, after all my hard work promoting this band in Prep School and at Sleep Away Camp they finally break the US Top Ten!
Bus Stop may be one of their most recognizable songs was written by Graham Gouldman soon to be a member of 10cc. We’re Through A fitting song for what was next to happen. In 1966, bassist Eric Haydock was fired from the Hollies, with whom he had played since 1962. He put together a short-lived band of his own, Haydock’s Rockhouse, who specialized in more of an R&B sound than the Hollies had been generating of late. He was replaced by Bernie Calvert. He worked with several rock and roll groups during the early 1960s, most notably Rickie Shaw and the Dolphins, where he worked with future Hollies Tony Hicks and Bobby Elliott. Originally a pianist, Calvert, on Hicks’s suggestion, switched to bass. Calvert was delighted when, on an American tour, jazz bassist Ray Brown approached him and praised his bass playing on “Bus Stop“. In 1969, Calvert was invited to play bass on a still-unreleased album with the Bread and Beer band, which included Caleb Quaye, Roger Pope, Elton John and two Jamaican percussionists, Lennox & Rolfo.
Another of my favorite tracks was written by Burt Bacharach & Hal David. After The Fox (Sept. 1966), which featured Jack Bruce on Bass guitar & Burt Bacharach himself on keyboards was the theme song for the Peter Sellers comedy film of the same name, which was issued on the United Artists label.
About a month later, this LP came out. Stop Stop Stop was a substantial hit for the group and features Tony Hicks on banjo, not your normal rock and roll instrument! I liked the song but the track that did it for me was Pay You Back With Interest. Another track that got a lot of mileage was Tell Me To My Face a moderate hit for the singer Keith(Remember 98.6 and ain’t Gonna Lie?) and covered a decade later by Dan Fogelberg and Tim Weisberg on their “Twin Sons Of Different Mothers” album.
I remember being in Mr. Mengual’s Spanish class at the McBurney School, sitting in the back row with my friend Joey Clapper (who is apparently a top Poker player) listening to my cassette player with Hollies, Who, and some other obscure Bands. It is amazing we didn’t get into to much trouble!
Another single without an LP to call home is On A Carousel. This clip was recorded in 1967 as they were filmed by Granada Television for a documentary about the Pop Music business. ANother interesting fact is the Hollies fanzine is entitled Carousel! The “B” side is the first attempt by the Hollies at psychedelia All The World Is Love
Evolution was released on 1 June 1967, the same day as The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was also the Hollies debut album for their new U.S. label, Epic Records. But, like many American issues of British albums, this was remixed using heavy echo and reverb. In addition, three songs were left off the album (with Carrie Anne added), thus making the U.S. version somewhat less desirable than its British counterpart. Many Hollies fans regard the UK stereo version of Evolution (or the 1997 EMI UK CD containing both mono and stereo mixes) as superior.
One of, in my opinion, the best Hollies tunes
Sorry that there is no video
Sorry that there is no video
Another track off the LP is Stop Right There BTW, The album cover artwork was created by “The Fool”, with the psychedelic cover photo by Karl Ferris, who is credited with creating the first truly psychedelic photograph for an album cover.
Released in 1968 in England as “Butterfly” it was retitled Dear Eloise/King Midas in Reverse by Epic Records for the US market.
The last single in the US to feature Graham Nash was Jennifer Eccles. Unfortunately, not one of my favorites! When Nash left in December 1968 it was due to a number of issues. Nash was by then feeling something of a prisoner of his early pop success; likeJohn Lennon and George Harrison he too disliked the screaming of fans drowning out the songs in concerts. He felt imprisoned within The Hollies “pop group identity” too, when he wanted to write more personalised songs of a reflective nature not necessarily utilising vocal harmonies, and was clashing with producer Ron Richards over material. He relocated to Los Angeles, where he joined forces with former Buffalo Springfield guitarist Stephen Stills and ex-Byrds singer David Crosby to form one of the first supergroups, Crosby, Stills & Nash. Nash told Disc magazine, “I can’t take touring any more. I just want to sit at home and write songs. I don’t really care what the rest of the group think.”
Even before I was performing in bands, I always had an innate sense that when a band member was replaced, there was a certain chemistry that was gone. Unfortunately, this is how I felt when the decade changed. Granted “He Ain’t Heavy” was a big hit, just not for me.
Along with the Rolling Stones and The Searchers, they are one of the few British pop groups of the early 1960s that has never officially broken up and which continues to record and perform to the present.
The Hollies were inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010
I always felt that the Hollies were my little secret! As big as they became, I still remember the promos my sister gave me and how astounded I was that it took so long for them to really make it! It was a great pleasure seeing them inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.