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The Clarke, Hicks & Nash Years: The Complete Hollies, April 1963-October 1968
The Clarke, Hicks & Nash Years: The Complete Hollies, April 1963-October 1968
Price: £14.68

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A complete catalog with unexpected surprises, 28 Mar. 2013
This one's a true bargin. For $33 This set presents the Beatles and later Byrds influences of their pop material but also gives a view of the grittier side of the band. Say what you want about Tony Hicks being over conservative (He was all for using outside writers for their material), he did bring something to the table with his blues tinged vocals and his innovations with reverb. Tracks like "Little Lover","Candy Man" and "Keep off that girl of mine" showed Tony to the fore with the attitude vocal. Later there was "I take what I want", "Don't even think about changing" (an ingenious double rip-off of The Stones version of "Everybody needs somebody to love" and The Beatles "She's a woman"), and "I was wrong" (an ingenious rip off by the rip-off meister's themselves; The Kinks "I need you").

This is not to detract in any way their folk inspired stuff, the best facet of the group. From this camp there's a bevy of tracks that stand as the best of the genere; There's "Have you ever loved somebody", "So lonely" (which I liken to the Paul McCartney's "and I love her" turned on it's head), and my all time favorite, "Leave me" which should have been relased as a single. Again, the over cautious attitude had them fall back on "Bus stop", a great but I feel inferior track composed by outsider Glen Gouldman. "Wings", from their "Butterfly" album is another favorite. That one goes down with the Byrds "Dolphins smile" as some of the most beautiful pop I've ever heard.

If you want to hear some dynamic approximations of bluegrass ("Set me Free"), a country waltz ("I understand") and Everly Bros type folk ("I dreamed of you last night") you realize listening in that they had these influences early on but instead brought in some outside writers to supply them with way inferior Beatlish style vamps like "Here I go again" and "What kind of girl do you think I am?". The tracks I mentioned above - all recorded in 1963 - would have made them sound more advanced, as in "Beatles for sale" or "Mr. Tambourine man" instead of "Meet the Beatles" or "Second album".

One minor gripe, I would have had some input from other members of the band in the booklet included with the set. Graham's insight was good but it was the view of someone who moved up to better things. Insight by Tony Hicks and Bob Elliot (especially his odd but effective drumming techinque, for which I have dubbed him "magic wrists") would have been welcome.

If you want to hear the complete picture of a first rate "second rate" band I would highly recommend this 6 disk set.

Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 15, 2013 5:41 PM BST

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