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    The Hollies

    Stay With The Hollies 5 ( 1964 )
    Talkin' 'Bout You / Mr Moonlight / You Better Move On / Lucille / Baby Don't Cry / Memphis / Stay / Rockin' Robin / Whatcha Gonna Do 'Bout It / Do You Love Me / It's Only Make Believe / What Kind Of Girl Are You / Little Lover / Candy Man

    Released on The Beatles record label, The Hollies reached number two on the UK album charts with this debut set of covers and one lone original. The 122 second long original is the fairly tame Clarke/Nash original 'Little Lover' and the best that can be said about it is that it fits alongside the material by the likes of Chuck Berry and Gordy Jr, etc. So, what can we say about this album? Well, it's well played and no doubt fairly closely resembled the groups live set at the time. The sound is Merseybeat circa 'Please Please Me' by The Beatles but The Hollies fail to show the range The Beatles had even with their debut, this being fourteen songs that all chug along in much the same fashion as each other. The nasal vocal style of The Hollies is more akin to Lennon than McCartney and The Hollies lack the wild abandon of The Beatles circa the cavern club days. The hit single here is 'Stay' which is at least as impressive as the first couple of Beatles singles, but for the fact The Hollies didn't write it themselves. The likes of 'Rockin Robin' is hideous, much better is 'You Better Move On'. The Hollies have a mean guitar sound though, some of the solos outstrip the efforts of The Beatles around this time. Did you find this page by searching for The Beatles? May as well have done! Ok, i'll try not to mention them again. For all the bands pouring out of Liverpool, EMI were smart enough to also look right towards nearby Manchester. The Hollies had stage charisma, could harmonise and seemed a good bet, as later would be proved. The Hollies never got the respect other acts did on the albums front, however and to this day are seen as a singles act by many. The released a lot of albums too and a reappraisal is perhaps due.

    Compared to these days of course, 'Stay With The Hollies' is fairly dreadful but at the time a competent set like this would be snapped up and the fact of bands writing their own material was still pretty novel, anyway. The lack of variety here is the main killer, the sound becomes a whine and this brief thirty four minute set becomes difficult to sit through. As well as 'Stay' though, other highpoints arrive with the chugging 'Memphis', one of the tunes here to benefit from a great guitar solo. The bluesy closer 'Candy Man' also fares well, assuming you manage to make it that far into the album without going mad. All in all, hardly essential stuff and even fans of The Hollies many hit singles can probably steer clear of this debut LP set.

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    Readers Comments

    Steve fabgear65@yahoo.com
    Yep...lack of originals and lask of three part harmony. The Hollies are still searching for their vocal sound at this point.Not to worry...their next disc would be a huge improvment!


    top of page In The Hollies Style 6 ( 1964 )
    Nitty Gritty-Something's Got a Hold on Me / Don't You Know / To You My Love / It's in Her Kiss / Time for Love / What Kind of Boy / Too Much Monkey Business / I Thought of You Last Night / Please Don't Feel Too Bad / Come on Home / You'll Be Mine / Set Me Free

    The majority of songs second time out are Hollies originals and it makes a big difference. The bands instrumental attack has also improved and although The Hollies remain very rough around the edges at this stage in their career, eg, a good 12 months behind The Beatles in terms of development, there are some pleasing things on this LP. No hit contained on the LP, by the way - The Hollies released their singles seperately from their LPs at this stage and had much success with them. Having said that, this LP is far more consistent than their debut, even if very few of these songs would have been able to trouble the hit-parade, had they actually been singles. Still, the three part harmonies make an entrance, the guitar playing is far better. A song such as 'Time For Love' has very decent harmonies and is actually a pretty well developed pop song for 1964 in the UK beat-group scene. The covers fare less well, particularly when they do something like 'Too Much Monkey Business', where the comparisons with The Beatles become more inevitable and you wish The Hollies had a rock vocalist as good as Lennon.

    'To You My Love' borrows heavily from the kind of songs Paul McCartney was singing at the time, 'Please Don't Feel Too Bad' hints at the more popular songs The Hollies were releasing as singles. It's also remarkable to note that 'In The Hollies Style' was the groups second LP of 1964, although according to everyhit.com, this one didn't trouble the hit parade in the same way their debut had managed to do. Well, the charts were in their infancy and not particularly reliable back then, either. What else? Well, I like the jazzy tones of 'I Thought Of You Last Night' and it also brings much welcome variation to an LP that's often one-dimensional, a criticism of their debut also, of course. So, The Hollies have yet to really find themselves as far as being an albums band is concerned and still owe too much to other artists. Having said that, at thirty minutes long, 'In The Hollies Style' doesn't outstay its welcome.

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    Steve Potocin USA
    Yep...they're coming around.Of special note is 'You'll be Mine', a great melodic song which has no trademark Hollies Three part harmony. The rave up 'Set Me Free' never fails to jump start a party.


    top of page Hollies 65 7 ( 1964 )
    Very Last Day / You Must Believe Me / Put Yourself in My Place* / Down the Line / That's My Desire / Too Many People* / Lawdy Miss Clawdy / When I Come Home to You* / Fortune Teller / So Lonely* / I've Been Wrong* / Mickey's Monkey

    This album could be 'Hollies 65' or 'Hear Hear' or 'Relection' depending on where you live or what version/year you bought it. The original LP was titled 'The Hollies' and was mixed entirely in mono, reaching number eight in the UK album charts. 'So Lonely' was the single in the UK, although the more enduring 'Look Through Any Window' (recorded during the same sessions) was also a single and a fairly sizeable hit. Imperial Records released the album as 'Hear! Here!' slightly altering the tracklisting and I assume that's the version our US friends obtained. Musically then, the Merseybeat influences are still here yet covers of soul tunes, Roy Orbision and the appearence of the odd slower tune ensure The Hollies could claim to be making artistic progress. Five original Hollies compositions this time around and generally they are the ones that stick in your mind and differentiate The Hollies in 1965 from the dozens and dozens of other hopeful Merseybeat-like hopefuls. Twelve songs here in total then running to twenty nine minutes with only 'Lawdy Miss Clawdy' being mostly forgettable, although the harmonica solo is worth hearing more than a few times. Harmony wise we don't get too much from The Hollies across the LP, although there are signs of development. The opening 'Very Last Day' for instance is a quality slice of early 60s pop, the energy is here and the harmonies during the chorus are acomplished enough. 'Put Yourself In My Place' is the first real gem of the set, a self-penned effort and good enough to have been a hit single. The chorus is memorable, the vocals arranged well especially during the outro - a clatter of drums and we're done, a decent song done in 'hollies style'. 'Down The Line' by contrast is exactly the sort of thing you heard from any number of UK groups in 64/65, a take on American rhythm and blues, complete with tentative brit-guitar solo.

    It will come as no surprise to you if I state 'Too Many People' and 'So Lonely' are also highlights, both once again self-penned Hollies efforts that take them away from generic meserybeat type stuff, 'Too Many People' showcases the same kind of growing vocal harmonies and way with a chorus that 'Put Yourself In My Place' did. 'I've Been Wrong' may well be a little too in debt to The Beatles to be a noteworthy original Hollies moment but surprisingly their cover of Curtis Mayfield's 'Mickey's Monkey' ensues a satisfying end to an LP that even with a few mis-steps is enjoyable to listen to without having to wince and feel the ancient age of it all.

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    top of page this page last updated 14/07/12


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