Top positive review
on 8 August 2014
The sound quality of this double CD is excellent and offers a good overall selection of the Hollies early and later hits, many written by themselves. It shows that this band could rock with the best of them or move you to tears - their diversity is truly amazing. Some of the later songs I have found particularly refreshing as I lived and worked abroad for many years and lost touch with the music scene. Personally, although I enjoyed their earlier pop songs, I much prefer the post-Nash years when Terry Sylvester joined the band. His superb, close harmony is second to none, plus as an accomplished musician he took on the role of rhythm guitar - a great complement to Tony Hicks’ amazing guitar skills. Worthy of particular mention on CD 1 are Magic Woman Touch, Sandy, I’m Down and Gasoline Alley Bred (a great up-tempo piece).
CD2 contains the beautiful From Boulder to Birmingham which, for me, is the definitive version. There are those who will disagree in favour of EmmyLou Harris (who co-wrote the song), but the Hollies tight harmony, particularly in the closing bars of the song between Terry Sylvester and Tony Hicks, is absolute perfection. A performance of this song is featured on the Dutch Collection DVD – worth buying for this alone! Other lovely ballads of note are Lonely Hobo Lullaby and rock-ballad Write On, and the slow rock Son of a Rotten Gambler. In total contrast, we have the rockin’ numbers The Day That Curly Billy Shot Down Crazy Sam McGee, Hey Willy (featuring some fantastic guitar work by Tony) and Star. Sadly, the brilliant Daddy Don’t Mind is somewhat subdued on this CD – catch the raunchy live version on the Dutch Collection DVD or on YouTube – it’s an amazing ‘powerhouse’ performance!
Less memorable (for me) are How Do I Survive, Searchin’ and the awful Jennifer Eccles.
Whilst they had some of their greatest hits in early 1970s, the Hollies developed and matured and were not afraid to diversify from their original happy pop sound. This period saw some of their best work. Unfortunately, this was not appreciated by the public, the media or their promoters as it should have been, certainly not in the UK and USA – to their shame!
In conclusion, a useful anthology of the songs, composers and recording dates is included. This bargain-priced CD is a must for Hollies fans, old and new, and given the fast delivery and quality packaging, you really can’t go wrong.