Going back in time with the HOLLIES
This is the story of one of our greatest band from the 1960s until late, The Hollies had a unique Harmony sound that was so different at that time,No other band ever sounded like them ! So read on and enjoy the info bellow '
|The band on stage|
|Here is some background information|
|Genres||Beat music, rock, pop rock, psychedelic rock, soft rock|
|Labels||Parlophone, Epic (US), RCA, Polydor, EMI|
|Associated acts||Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young|
The Hollies are an English pop and rock group, formed in Manchester in the early 1960s, though most of the band members are from throughout East Lancashire. Known for their distinctive vocal harmony style, they became one of the leading British groups of the 1960s and 1970s. They enjoyed considerable popularity in many countries, although they did not achieve major US chart success until 1966. Along with The Rolling Stones and The Searchers, they are one of the few British pop groups of the early 1960s that have never officially broken up and that continue to record and perform. The Hollies were inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.
The original line-up included Allan Clarke as lead vocalist, Graham Nash as guitarist and vocalist, Vic Steele (born Victor Winston Farrell, 8 May 1945, Manchester) on guitar, with Eric Haydock on bass guitar and Don Rathbone on drums (born Donald Rathbone, October 1942, Wilmslow, Cheshire). Steele left in February 1963, shortly before they signed to Parlophone as label-mates of The Beatles. Tony Hicks, who replaced Steele, and Bobby Elliott, who replaced Don Rathbone, joined the band in quick succession in 1963; both had played in a Nelson-based band, The Dolphins. Bernie Calvert, who replaced Haydock in 1966, was also a member of The Dolphins.
The group's first US album release was in 1964 as part of the first wave of British Invasion acts. It has been suggested that Haydock named the group after the green garland for Christmas. In a 2009 interview, member Graham Nash said that the group decided just prior to a performance to call themselves "The Hollies" because of their admiration for Buddy Holly and wrote that same year: "We called ourselves The Hollies, after Buddy, and Christmas."
The Hollies were known for their bright vocal harmonies. Though initially known for its cover versions, the band moved towards written-to-order songs provided to them by such writers as Graham Gouldman. Soon after, the group's in-house songwriting trio of Clarke, Hicks and Nash began providing hits.
The group was discovered and signed by EMI's Ron Richards, who produced most of their music between 1963 and 1979. Their EMI debut single, "Ain't That Just Like Me", was released in May 1963, and hit no. 25 on the UK Singles Chart. Their second single, a cover of The Coasters' "Searchin," hit no. 12. They scored their first British Top 10 hit in early 1964 with a cover of Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs' "Stay", which reached no. 8 in the UK. It was lifted from the band's Parlophone debut album, Stay With The Hollies, released on 1 January 1964, which went to no. 2 on the UK album chart. A version of the album was released in the US as Here I Go Again, on The Hollies' US label of the time, Imperial.
They followed up with "Just One Look" (February 1964, UK no. 2), and the hits continued with "Here I Go Again" (May 1964, UK no.4); the group's first self-penned hit, "We're Through" (Sep. 1964, UK no. 7); "Yes I Will" (Jan. 1965, UK no. 9); the Clint Ballard, Jr.-penned "I'm Alive" (May 1965, UK no. 1, US no. 103); and "Look Through Any Window" (Sept. 1965, UK no. 4) which also broke The Hollies into the US top 40 for the first time (No. 32, Jan. 1966). However "If I Needed Someone" (Dec. 1965), the George Harrison song originally recorded by the Beatles on Rubber Soul, charted significantly lower, only reaching no. 20 in the UK.
They returned to the UK Top 10 with "I Can't Let Go" (Feb. 1966, UK no. 2, US no. 42) and "Bus Stop" (UK no. 2, US no. 5, 1966) (written by future 10CC member Graham Gouldman). Their only non-charting single in this period was the Burt Bacharach-Hal David song "After the Fox" (Sep. 1966), which featured Jack Bruce on electric bass and Burt Bacharach himself on keyboards. It was the theme song from the Peter Sellers comedy film of the same name, which was issued on the United Artists label.
The Everly Brothers' 1966 album 'Two Yanks in England' consisted largely of covers of original Hollies compositions, with members of the group (notably Clarke, Hicks and Nash) and guitarist Jimmy Page assisting the American duo on the album.
From this point until Nash's departure, the single A-sides were – with the exceptions of 'Jennifer Eccles' (Clarke-Nash) and 'Listen to Me' (Tony Hazzard) — all Clarke-Hicks-Nash collaborations; "Stop, Stop, Stop" (Oct. 1966, UK no. 2, US no. 7), known for its distinctive banjo arrangement; "On a Carousel" (Feb. 1967; UK no. 4, 1967, US no. 11, Australia no.14); "Carrie Anne" (May 1967, UK no. 3, US no. 9, Australia no. 7) (the song from which actress Carrie-Anne Moss got her name, having been born at the same time as it was on the charts). An attempt to make a more ambitious, less poppy piece with "King Midas in Reverse" only made no. 18 in the UK charts and this relative failure was a factor in Nash deciding to leave the group. The last original Hollies single of the '60s to feature Graham Nash was "Jennifer Eccles" (Mar. 1968, UK no. 7, US no. 40, Aust. no. 13), while Nash's final sixties Hollies single was "Listen to Me", issued in September 1968.
As with most British groups during this period, The Hollies' US releases usually featured different track listings from their original UK albums. Their second album, In The Hollies Style (1964), did not chart and none of its tracks were released in the US. Their third album, simply called Hollies, hit number 8 in the UK in 1965. Their fourth, Would You Believe?, made it to no. 16 in 1966. Released in the US as Hear Here and Beat Group, respectively, they failed to crack the top 100. Meanwhile, a US Imperial Bus Stop album made of songs clipped from earlier albums climbed to no. 75, the group's first US album to enter the Top 100. Several of their early albums included group compositions, usually listed under the pseudonym, "L. Ransford".
In October 1966, For Certain Because (UK no. 23, 1966) was the group's fifth album, their first album consisting entirely of original compositions by Clarke, Hicks and Nash. Released in the US as Stop! Stop! Stop! it reached no. 91 there and spawned a US release-only single, "Pay You Back with Interest", which was a modest hit, peaking at no. 28. Another track, "Tell Me to My Face", was a moderate hit by Mercury artist Keith, and would also be covered a decade later by Dan Fogelberg and Tim Weisberg on their Twin Sons of Different Mothers album. The Searchers and Paul and Barry Ryan each had a minor UK Chart hit with The Hollies song "Have You Ever Loved Somebody" in 1967 – while Graham Nash co-wrote John Walker's first solo hit "Annabella" that year – and later in 1968, Nash took a guest vocal on The Scaffold's UK Chart topper, "Lily the Pink" (which referenced The Hollies 1968 hit "Jennifer Eccles").
Their next album Evolution was released on 1 June 1967, the same day as The Beatles' Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was also their first album for their new US label Epic. It reached UK no. 13 and US no. 43. The US version included the single "Carrie Anne".
Graham Nash's departure
Nash left in December 1968 due to a number of issues. Nash was by then feeling something of a prisoner of his early pop success; like John 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. Furthermore, he disagreed with the group's decision to make their next album composed entirely of Bob Dylan songs. 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."
The Hollies' last single prior to Nash's departure was the Tony Hazzard-penned "Listen to Me" (Sep. 1968, UK no. 11), which featured Nicky Hopkins on piano, and was backed by "Do the Best You Can", the last original Nash-Clarke-Hicks song to appear on a single (apart from "Survival of the Fittest", written by Clarke-Hicks-Nash but re-cut with Terry Sylvester and issued as a USA single in 1970). The Hollies, like The Beatles, also donated a unique song to a charity album in aid of The World Wildlife Fund around this time. The Clarke-Nash song, "Wings", joined the original version of Lennon's "Across the Universe" on the album, No One's Gonna Change Our World, issued by EMI on a budget label in 1969.
Graham Nash was replaced by guitarist-singer Terry Sylvester, formerly of both The Escorts, a second generation Merseybeat group who had a minor UK chart hit in 1964 with "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" and from 1966–1968 was with The Swinging Blue Jeans. In time, too, Sylvester proved a capable substitution for Nash as part of the group's songwriting team.
Their next album was Hollies Sing Dylan, which reached the no. 3 position on the UK chart while the US version, Words And Music by Bob Dylan, was ignored. The next album Hollies Sing Hollies did not chart in the UK, but the US version called He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother included the hit single of the same name and reached US no. 32.
Nash's departure saw The Hollies again turn to outside writers for their single A-sides, but the group's British chart fortunes rallied during 1969 and 1970 and they scored four consecutive UK Top 20 hits (including two consecutive Top 5 placings) in this period, beginning with the Geoff Stephens/Tony Macaulay song, "Sorry Suzanne" (Feb. 1969), which reached no. 3 in the UK, followed by the emotional civil rights–themed ballad "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother", which featured the piano playing of Elton John, and which reached no. 3 in October 1969.
Their next single, "I Can't Tell the Bottom from the Top", again featured the young Elton John on piano and reached UK no. 7 in April 1970, charting in twelve countries. The UK hits continued with "Gasoline Alley Bred" (Sep. 1970, UK no. 14, Australia no. 20) while Tony Hicks' song, "Too Young to Be Married" — merely an album track in the UK and the USA – became a no. 1 single in Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia, also reaching no. 9 in Singapore. Allan Clarke's hard edged rocker, "Hey Willy", made UK no. 22 in 1971, and charted in eight other countries.
Like Graham Nash before him, frontman Allan Clarke by 1971 was growing frustrated, and he too began clashing with producer Ron Richards over material; he was eager to cut a solo album. Clarke departed from The Hollies in December 1971, a move which surprised both the band's fans and the public in general. With the end of their EMI/Parlophone contract, they signed with Polydor, and Swedish singer Mikael Rickfors formerly of the group Bamboo (who had supported The Hollies in Sweden in 1967) was quickly recruited and sang lead on the single "The Baby" (UK no. 26, 1972) and the album Romany (which reached no. 84 in the USA).
When Mikael first auditioned for them, he tried to sing in Allan Clarke's range and the results were terrible. The rest of the group decided it may be better to record a song with him, starting from scratch. Terry Sylvester and Tony Hicks blended with Mikael's voice instead of forcing him to blend with their original harmonies There were rumours Mikael couldn't speak a word of English and had to learn the words of "The Baby" phonetically. The rumour about him not knowing English was false, however, he did struggle understanding English words he himself had not put together.
Meanwhile EMI lifted a track from their album Distant Light, which had Clarke on lead vocal and lead guitar, the Creedence Clearwater Revival-inspired song, "Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress"; EMI released it as a rival single, and although it fared relatively poorly in the UK (no. 32), it peaked at no. 2 in the US and no.1 in Australia. "Long Dark Road", another track from Distant Light with vocals by Clarke and distinctive three-part harmonies throughout, was also released as a US single, reaching No.26. A second Rickfors-sung single, "Magic Woman Touch" (1972), failed to chart in the UK, becoming their first official single to miss since 1963, although it did chart in seven other countries, reaching the Top Ten in Holland, New Zealand and Hong Kong. A second Rickfors-led Hollies album, Out On the Road (1973), was recorded and issued in Germany. However, no UK or USA release was made as Rickfors then stepped down, giving this lost Hollies album legendary status among the band's fans – and high prices on the original German release. Rickfors departed as Allan Clarke rejoined the group in late summer 1973 and they then returned to the UK Top 30 with another swamp rock-style song penned by Clarke, "The Day That Curly Billy Shot Down Crazy Sam McGee" (UK no. 24, 1973).
In 1974 they scored what was to be their last major new USA and UK hit single with the Albert Hammond/Mike Hazlewood-composed love song, "The Air That I Breathe" (previously recorded by Hammond and by Phil Everly on his 1973 solo album, Star Spangled Springer), which reached no. 2 in the UK and Australia and made the Top 10 in the US. The Hollies continued to have worldwide singles chart hits for the rest of the seventies, notably in Europe and New Zealand.
1980s–2000s and beyond
In 1980 The Hollies returned to the UK charts with the single "Soldier's Song", written and produced by "Mike Batt", which was a minor hit in 1980 reaching number 58 in the UK. They also released an album of Buddy Holly covers aptly named "Buddy Holly". In 1981, Calvert and Sylvester left the group. The Hollies issued their last Polydor single "Take My Love and Run" in November 1981 but this failed to chart. Just before that in August 1981 they released "Holliedaze" on EMI, a medley edited together by Tony Hicks from their hit records, which returned them to the UK Top 30. At the request of the BBC, Nash and Haydock briefly rejoined to promote the record on Top of the Pops. They continued to record and tour throughout the mid-1980s. Graham Nash joined them for the recording of an Alan Tarney song "Somethin' Ain't Right" on 10 September 1981 which led to a proper reunion album What Goes Around... issued on WEA Records in July 1983. The Hollies last hit the US Top 40 with a remake of The Supremes' "Stop in the Name of Love", which reached No. 29 in 1983, taken from the album What Goes Around.... A live album featuring the Clarke-Hicks-Elliott-Nash re-grouping, Reunion, was recorded at Kings Island Amusement Park in Ohio, during a USA tour that followed that same year, finally being issued first in 1997 as "Archive Alive", then retitled "Reunion" (with two extra tracks) in 2004.
After its use in a TV beer commercial (for Miller Lite lager) in the summer of 1988, "He Ain't Heavy" was reissued in the UK and reached No. 1, thus establishing a new record for the length of time between chart-topping singles for one artist of 23 years. By this time bassist Ray Stiles, formerly a member of 1970s chart-topping glam rock group Mud, had joined the permanent line-up.
The Hollies were awarded an Ivor Novello Award in 1995 for Outstanding Contribution to British Music. They were inducted into the 'Vocal Group Hall of Fame' in the USA in 2006.
The Hollies still tour with two original members, Hicks and Elliott. After Clarke announced his retirement in February 2000, he was replaced by Carl Wayne, former lead singer of The Move. A New Zealand "Hollies Greatest Hits" compilation made Number One in that country in 2001, dislodging The Beatles' "One" Collection from the top spot. While re-establishing the band as a touring attraction over 2000 to mid-2004, Carl Wayne, however, only recorded one song with them, "How Do I Survive?", the last (and only new) track on the 2003 Greatest Hits (which reached no. 21 in the UK Album chart). After Wayne's shock death from cancer in August 2004, he was replaced by Peter Howarth. The Hollies' first new studio album since 1983, Staying Power, was released in 2006.
The group released their new studio album Then, Now, Always, in late March 2009, featuring Peter Howarth on lead vocals.
The Hollies in the USA
The Hollies were one of the last of the major British Invasion groups to have significant chart success in the United States. Their first single was not issued in the US and it was not until "Look Through Any Window" that the band reached the Top 30. Many of their other singles that had been hits in the UK, including "I'm Alive", "Yes I Will" and "We're Through" were virtually ignored in the US. From 1965 until they signed to Epic in 1967, the band had their most concentrated success in the US. In 1966 "Bus Stop" reached No.5 in the USA, while their own song "Stop Stop Stop" made No.7, After the initial Epic single "Carrie-Anne" reached No.9, the band records continued to sell poorly in the US, with the exception of 'On A Carousel' (no.11 in 1967), "He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother" (No.7), "Long Cool Woman" (No.2) and "The Air That I Breathe" (No.6). They did however have additional USA chart hits with the non UK singles; 'Pay You Back With Interest' (no.28 in 1966), 'Dear Eloise' (no.50 in 1967) and 'Long Dark Road' ( no.26 in 1971)
Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame
On 24 September 2009, The Hollies were nominated for induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and on 18 December 2009, were announced as inductees, to be inducted on 15 March 2010.
It was announced that the band would be reuniting with Graham Nash and Allan Clarke for a live performance at the induction ceremony. However, the current incarnation of the band (with HOF inductees Tony Hicks and Bobby Elliott) was unable to reschedule a performance in London to attend. The Hollies were represented at the RRHOF ceremony by Clarke, Nash, Terry Sylvester, Eric Haydock and Bernie Calvert. 60 years after first singing together Allan Clarke and Graham Nash gave a reunion performance consisting of "Bus Stop", "Carrie Anne" (accompanied by Adam Levine and Jesse Carmichael from Maroon 5), and "Long Cool Woman (in a Black Dress)" (accompanied by Steve Van Zandt on guitar and Pat Monahan from Train). The performance was received with standing ovations and rapturous applause.
As you can see from the pictures,They have changed a lot over the years, But as with all good bands, they still hit the right note in lots of peoples hearts !
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