An engaging ragbag of antiques and curios from The Hollies’ archives, boasting no less than 28 British chart singles alongside a varied assortment of album tracks, including several extracts from “Hollies Sing Dylan,” the rather incongruous musical project whose planning prompted the increasingly ill at ease Graham Nash to leave the fold in late 1968 and join forces with Messrs, Crosby and Stills in sunny California. The likeable Lancastrians had already ensured their place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by this stage however, having already crafted a string of infectious ditties such as “Bus Stop,” “Look Through Any Window” and “On A Carousel” with producer Ron Richards, who first discovered the band and signed them to the Parlophone label in 1963.
Bargain 2-CD set of the best mid-‘60s Manc band from its R&B/soul influenced start (Just One Look) to early psych (King Midas In Reverse) via fine self-penned pop (On A Carousel) with inventive harmonies.
Manchester’s finest The Hollies dominated the UK charts back in the 60’s and sporadically in the 70’s with a multitude of hits that included, Jennifer Eccles, Bus Stop, On A Carousel, Look Through Any Window and Her2 I Go Again vocalised by lead singer Alan Clarke.
By the time the 60’s were closing the band had released their iconic hit He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Bother but the pigeon holed pop band were finding it harder to get hits in a scene dominated by glam rock.
Following a Midas touch period Clarke went his own way for a solo career being replaced by a relatively unknown Swedish singer in the early 70’s. Clarke’s solo career was a non starter and he returned to the Hollies in 1972 fronting the bands huge hit The Air That I Breathe. Still touring with two original members the Hollies have left behind an impressive catalogue of tracks which are all featured here along with a terrific set of covers including A Taste Of Honey and Dylan’s The Times They Are A Changin’ and Blowin’ In the Wind.
Britain’s leading vocal harmony group of their era, The Hollies racked up 27 Top 40 hits between 1963 and 1974, and this 45-song double disc retrospective accommodates all of them and adds later 45s, and notable album tracks to provide a feast of melodically magnificent polished pop. The band’s top chart-toppers – 1965’s I’m Alive and 1969’s He Ain’t Heavy (He’s My Brother), which didn’t get to number one until used in an advert in 1988 – are obviously going to be big draws but there are even better options available.
Among the hits, the highlights are Bus Stop; We’re Through, the band’s sixth hit and the first of many they penned themselves, although they were so unsure of their writing skills that they used the pen name Ransford; and the behemoth that is King Midas In Reverse, a lavishly orchestrated ballad that most Hollies fans regard as a career highlight despite its lacklustre number 18 chart peak. Intelligent track selection means we also get the fabulous After The Fox film theme collaboration with Peter Sellers and hard to find 1993 minor hit The Woman I Love.