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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 3 June 2011
"Butterfly" is often regarded the strongest album by the Hollies. Released in 1967 it was to be last to feature high-pitch vocalist Graham Nash, who left in late 1968 to join David Crosby and Steve Stills. Sadly the Hollies were never quite the same after his departure - they did record some fine album later, but some of the magic somehow had gone.

With the "For Certain Because" (1966) the Holles had begun to write all their material for their albums, and the this continued on the following two albums "Evolution" and "Butterfly". All 3 album contains some of the finest songwriting the Hollies ever did. Their playing and singing is impeccable like on most of their recordings - some might say that their lyrics at times tend to be a little too naive or silly.

"Butterfly" is their most adventurous album and the closest the Hollies ever came to psychedelia. Apart from "Dear Eloise" which was released as a single in some countries it is very much an "album" - not just a collection of songs built up around 3 or 4 hit singles.

It seems the Nash was the dominating force at this point, taking the lead vocal on more songs than usual lead-singer Clarke. Nash abilities as lead-singer are obvíous here, but it's usually a pleasure to listen to all singer, not least when they change lead-vocals or join in on harmonies.

It's hard to bring forward particular tracks, because all are great. Tony Hicks cute "Pegasus" was always a favourite, but the songs like "Try it", "Would You Believe" and "Dear Eloise" with Allan Clarke up-front are all classic Hollies. Nash's laid back-songs like "Wish You a Wish" are "Postcard" are close to the sound of Simon & Garfunkel. On the instrumental side, there is a lot experimenting with various instruments like citar, different keyboards and several tracks feature string-arrangements.

The Hollies actually recorded at least an albums worth of material before Nash finally left. With strong material like "Wings", "Open Up Your Eyes" , "Tomorrow When it Comes", "Man With No Expression", "Do the Best You" and the two fine singles "Listen to Me" and Jennifer Eccles" another fine Hollies album (with Nash) could have been made; insted they gave us the deeply disappointing "Hollies Sing Dylan"

"Butterfly" is probably their finest moment.

Here we have as bonus-tracks most of these potential final-album songs. The Nash version of "Blowing in the Wind" was another possible inclusion. As song called "Ashes to Ashes" is also said to have been recorded.

The music on this release is all great, but the lack of additional notes is very disappointing.
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on 3 November 2017
Very nice to hear again after all these years.
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on 9 February 2010
Like most people reading this i've always considered The Hollies as an above average pop band of the 60s. Then when cruising the airwaves of obscure radio stations I heard Pegasus from this album and had to hear more.
Immediately bought and was not disappointed. This is a beaifully crafted album that I have to admit does sound a little dated
I'm certain anyone who buys it will love it You may therefore ask why only 4 stars. The answer is that the disc has mono and stereo versions of the original which seems pointless
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on 16 March 2011
This period of the Hollies musical history is a special one. Much of the album's production was done in Italy (including promotional videos).I regret so say the album was underrated in a way or not well promoted even thoug the songs are beautiful. However, I like it very much. Roberto from Argentina
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on 13 May 2015
What a great era the sixties was, and the Hollies were one of the best bands around. The pride of Manchester.
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on 20 September 2016
Bit of nostalgia
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on 7 November 2015
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on 3 February 2016
good cd
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VINE VOICEon 8 December 2009
i have heard so much about this album over the years so when i saw it on amazon for not alot of money i thouht why not.i cannot see the point of putting both mono and stereo versions on the same album on one cd.i think it would have been better to add a few more hollies tracks from about the same period.Still having said that there are a few graham nash highlights i am pleased to add to my collection .john tuck
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VINE VOICEon 4 April 2009
There's a photo on the back of this album showing The Hollies wearing the band fashions of 1967, and the kaftans and fancy shirts look about as convincing on them as they do on The Rolling Stones on 'Satanic Majesties'. It parallels the musical style featured here, which makes all the right pop psych noises without sounding as if it has much heart. 'Butterfly' is a good album all right, produced and executed to the usual high standard, but the trimmings too often obscure what the band are good at.

'Dear Eloise' is the shining exception, a great melody and lyric with a striking intro. At the forefront of this and several other tracks is Graham Nash, who, I suspect, was the most enthusiastic protagonist. His departure, fuelled by the aspirations which he saw as exceeding the the band's potential, wasn't far away. Aside of this are several good songs, but the insistence of hiding them behind delicate orchestral arrangements means that the band's involvement is often inhibited.

'Maker' is the token sitar and tabla track. It's OK, but you get the feeling that it's as if there's a rule saying you have to have one 'Indian' track. The title track is Nash and an orchestra, while the lyric to the musically creditable 'Pegasus' is one of the era's more embarrassing examples of fairytale whimsy.

To be fair to The Hollies, their vocal harmonies are still out in force, and their albums, including this one, deserve more recognition than they get, but this is nearer 3 stars than five.
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