The Clarke, Hicks & Nash Years collection stands out as the jewel in the crown of EMI's series of inexpensive box sets that span their catalogue from acts as diverse as the Seekers to the Edgar Broughton Band. The other sets gathered their material onto four CDs - but here we now have a massive six CD collection for the price of a Greatest Hits!
Another project from Tim Chacksfield, who is a very safe pair of hands with EMI's treasures, this package is superb value - and worth the price for the bonus material alone. The tracks have been re-mastered by Peter Mew at Abbey Road - but most were not done especially for this collection. Amazon's current track-listing shows the year of re-mastering and you probably have a fair few of these versions in your collection already.
The compilers have chosen to present the material in order of recording date, which makes for a very interesting listening experience and makes this collection unique. There is a mixture of stereo and mono tracks and it seems stereo has been used as first choice if a stereo mix exists - there are arguments for each format but including both was beyond the remit of this collection!
The booklet is very well produced and features a Q & A interview with Graham Nash himself - which many fans will want to read. There are some good photos, a UK discography from 1963 - 1968 and a track listing detailing the recording date and first release format for every track. All the material was recorded between April 1963 and October 1968 and this set includes 7 EPs, 7 LPs, singles A's & B's and many rarities as well as a bonus live concert from May 1968 issued here for the first time.
I don't know how long Amazon will hold the current very low price so I suggest ordering a copy soon - before it goes up. My pre-ordered copy was considerably more expensive but Amazon's price guarantee ensured I only paid the lower price on the day. This is a truly remarkable collection of material from a great band at the peak of their power; even if you have much of the material already you will not regret buying this set as well. It's almost a gift from EMI!
on 18 May 2011
Recently, the Hollies have been subject of some well deserved attention from the world of music. With their induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year and the successful 'Midas Touch' compilation ensuing, EMI have been quick to capitalise on the renewed love for one of the most successful and enduring acts of the 1960's.
'The Clarke, Hicks and Nash Years' is exactly what is says on the tin, a compilation of everything recorded by the Hollies during their most successful period - between 1963 and 1968. This was a very diverse time for the Hollies from their early roots in rock and roll, a period of classic pop and finally full blown psychedelia. The box set comprises of the entire seven studio albums from this period (easily £ per album if bought separately), all of the Parlophone single A and B sides, some rare alternate versions of well known songs, every foreign language track recorded by the Hollies and an eagerly anticipated intriguing charity concert with the Mike Vickers Orchestra from the Lewisham Odeon in May 1968 - all presented in chronological order. I hear you ask, "All this less than £?! What's the catch?"
Well this box set is the latest in a long line of budget compilations from EMI. Unlike previous more expensive box sets from EMI (such as the Beatles Remasters), the box set utilises previous remasters (from 1993, 1999 and 2003) to save production costs. There are a few tracks that have been treated to some much needed new remastering - namely the previously unreleased tracks. These do stick out slightly as being sonically better quality than some of the previous remasters, it's a shame EMI didn't extend the remastering to every track. This would however dramatically raise the cost of the set, and most people won't notice the difference as the previous remasters are actually pretty decent. The new ones just seem to sound a bit 'fresher'. Both stereo and mono mixes have been used. The set is generally stereo, with the exception of songs taken from singles and ones where the stereo mix uses the typical 1960's EMI stereo mix of instruments in the left channel, vocals in the right. EMI have elected to use the mono masters for such recordings. The stereo mixes are mostly the original stereo masters too, unlike the ones created for recent compilations that have a significantly narrower stereo field. EMI has also saved costs on presentation. Six discs are squeezed into a box that was originally designed to hold three or four, The booklet is much smaller than it could be (although it packs plenty into it) and there is a photo used in the box that is obviously a scan of the US Epic label's 1967 LP 'Dear Eloise/King Midas In Reverse' as you can actually see the ringwear towards the bottom of the picture! A set like this should be presented in a similar format to the 'Long Road Home' box set from 2003, but you can't really grumble, it looks like EMI have tried quite hard to make the set look more luxurious than it is.
These are, in the grand scheme of things, very minor niggles. Despite the tight budget, EMI has pulled off another excellent and very pleasing package. This is the first time that everything from the Graham Nash period of the Hollies has been presented in one package. There are some amazing unreleased recordings, and many are here that have been released before but are spread across various compilations (some long out of print). It's great to have everything finally all in one place.
Following on from similar releases from artists on EMI, joining the ranks of Gerry and the Pacemakers, Billy J Kramer, Manfred Mann and others, is this box set of The Hollies encompassing everything they released from April 1963 up until the departure of Graham Nash late on in 1968, hence the title. Whereas most of the other sets in this series (and I guess it could be termed that) have consisted of three or four discs and between sixty and ninety tracks - though that includes both stereo and mono versions - this has a stupendous 158 songs spread across six CDs. The only duplications here are in the form of live, foreign language versions or a couple of alternate versions. Value for money? Too right it is!
Much of what is available has already been issued in remastered form since the early 1990s, and is available on various reissues and compilations, but it's the tracks that have been remastered for this and the versions never before released which make this collection worth getting. The three songs in French are interesting enough, but it's obvious some leeway had to be taken in their translation to make the lyrics scan and fit the music. (Whereas The Beatles rerecorded the backing for their two German language songs, The Hollies merely dubbed the foreign words onto the original backing, on which, if you listen carefully, you can just make out the English vocals.) Yes, there are some throwaway songs on here but lots of stuff to recommend, especially the eight live songs. Recorded at the Lewisham Odeon in May 68, it shows how the audience had matured somewhat by the lack of screaming. Yes, there is a bit of that heard inbetween but maybe songs such as `Butterfly', `The Times They are A Changing' (available elsewhere in mono), and `King Midas In Reverse' (an unrewarded classic) were too sophisticated to align themselves with the scream circuit. ('Carrie Anne' surprises the audience, and no doubt everyone listening to this, with its steel drums instrumental being replaced with violins.)
Other than the eight live songs at the end of the compilation, everything on here is in recording sequence, so it gives a taste of how the Clarke/Hicks/Nash writing team progressed. The accompanying booklet has a question and answer session with Graham Nash and a UK discography, as well as some nice photos, though it would have been nice to see it expanded, particularly the Q&A part. What's also good to see is each CD is a reproduction of the Parlophone single label. It would have been better had there been some alternate takes and other unissued material included, but I guess you can't have everything. One can only speculate how different it might have become had the group committed `Marrakesh Express', `Lady of the Island', and `Teach Your Children' to tape when Nash offered them up for recording.
1 This is the definitive edition of the Hollies, with the most complete and comprehensive coverage from 1963 to 1968, containing every single (a and b-sides), plus all the album tracks. I have done a Complete Singles Discography and found that Hollies have an amazing 85 singles from 1963 – 2006). There are many rare gems making their CD debut.
2 There are 6 CDs with 158 songs. Foreign language versions and 8 songs from “Live at Lewisham Odeon” on May 24, 1968 are also included, making their CD debut.
3 The sound is wonderfully produced and remastered: clean with no hiss. Hollies’ harmonies were in full display. All the backing instruments are clearly defined. The songs have become my new reference standards.
4 There is a wonderful 24-page booklet, containing an informative essay by Mick Houghton, with an intimate Q&A with Graham Nash. All the 45 rpm single picture sleeves and EP picture sleeves were included. Discography was included. There are also many pictures of the group, with the front cover taken at Niagara Falls.
The Hollies was a supergroup formed in 1963, originally consisting of Allan Clarke, Graham Nash, Tony Hicks, Eric Haydock and Don Rathbone, who was replaced by Bobby Elliott in 1966. From 1966-1968, Eric Haydock was replaced by Bernie Calvert. This current set includes all the singles and album tracks during the Clarke, Hicks & Nash Years. Graham Nash left the group in October 1968. Beside the current set, I would also highly recommend the upcoming release “Changin’ Times (The Complete Hollies 1969 – 1973)(5 CDs). This latter set will cover the Hollies from 1969 to 1973. If you want part of the 70s hits, I would recommend “Best Of the 70’s” (Disky, 2000). From 1973 to 2006, there is still no complete coverage CDs available. But if you want the definitve edition of the Hollies (1963-1968), this set is very highly recommended. You don’t need to buy anything else. Lastly, for all you Hollies fans, I would also highly recommend “Look Through Any Window” DVD, with 22 complete performances with original footage. Precious!
I purposely put the song listing at the end (with label & number, chart position, date of release, album source), because it is very long. If you are interested to know the details of the content, please read on (UK=British Singles Chart; BB Pop=Billboard Hot 100; CB Pop=Cash Box Singles Chart; RW Pop=Record World Singles Chart):
01 Whole World Over (Parlophone R-5052)(UK b-side, August 1963)
02 (Ain’t That) Just Like Me (Parlophone R-5030)(a-side)(UK 25/1963)(May 1963)*first single
03 Hey What’s Wrong With Me (Parlophone R-5030)(UK b-side, May 1963)
04 Now’s The Time (Parlophone R-5077)(UK b-side, November 1963)
05 Little Lover (Parlophone A-8127)(UK b-side, August 1964)*rare gem.
06 Zip A Dee Do Dah
07 I Understand
08 Searchin’ (Parlophone R-5052)(a-side) (UK 12/1963)(August 1963)*second single.
09 Stay (Parlophone R-5077)(a-side)(UK 8/1963)(November 1963)
10 Poison Ivy
12 Talkin’ Bout You
13 It’s Only Make Believe
14 Lucille (Parlophone A-8127)(uncharted UK a-side, August 1964)*rare gem.
15 Baby Don’t Cry
16 Do You Love Me
17 Mr. Moonlight
18 You Better Move On
19 Whatcha Gonna Do ‘Bout It (Imperial 66240)(US b-side, May 1967)*rare gem.
20 What Kind of Girl Are You?
21 Rockin’ Robin
22 Keep Off That Friend of Mine (Parlophone R-5104)(UK b-side, February 1964)
23 Just One Look (Parlophone R-5104)(a-side)(Imperial 66026) (UK 2/1964; BB Pop 98/1964; CB Pop 84/1964; RW Pop 83/1964)(February 1964) and re-released (Imperial 66258)(US a-side)(BB Pop 44/1967; CB Pop 65/1967; RW Pop 65/1967)(September 1967)
24 Candy Man
25 When I’m Not There
26 What Kind of Love
27 Here I Go Again (Parlophone R-5137)(a-side)(UK 4/1964; BB Pop 107/1964; CB Pop 118/1964)(May 1964)
28 Baby That’s All (Parlophone R-5137)(UK b-side, May 1964)
01 Time For Love
02 Don’t You Know
03 You’ll Be Mine
04 It’s In Her Kiss
05 Come On Home
06 Too Much Monkey Business
07 I Thought Of You Last Night
08 Come On Back (Parlophone R-5178)(UK b-side, September 1964)
09 Set Me Free
10 Please Don’t Feel Too Bad
11 What Kind of Boy
12 We’re Through (alternative arrangement)
13 We’re Through (Parlophone R-5178)(a-side)(UK 7/1964)(September 1964)
14 To You My Love
15 Nitty Gritty/Something’s Got A Hold On Me
16 Put Your Self In My Place
17 She Said Yeah
18 Yes I Will (alternate version)
19 When I Come Home to You
20 Nobody (Parlophone R-5232)(UK b-side, January 1965)
21 You Know He Did (Parlophone R-5287)(UK b-side, May 1965)
22 Yes I Will (Parlophone R-5232)(a-side)(UK 9/1965)(January 1965)
23 Mickey’s Monkey
24 That’s My Desire
25 Very Last Day (Parlophone SD-5991)(uncharted UK a-side, 1966)*rare gem.
26 Honey and Wine
01 Listen Here To Me (Parlophone R-5733)(a-side)(UK 11/1968; BB Pop 129/1968)(September 1968)
02 So Lonely (Bell Studios version)
03 Bring Back Your Love To Me
04 I’m Alive (Parlophone R-5287)(a-side)(UK 1(3)/1965; BB Pop 103/1965; CB Pop 84/1965; RW Pop 94/1965)(May 1965)
05 Look Through Any Window (Parlophone R-5322)(a-side)(UK 4/1965; BB Pop 32/1965; CB Pop 34/1965; RW Pop 41/1965)(August 1965)
06 Lawdy Miss Clowdy
07 You Must Believe Me
08 Little Bitty Pretty One
09 Down The Line
10 Fortune Teller
11 Too Many People (Parlophone SD-5991)(UK b-side, 1966)*rare gem.
12 So Lonely (Parlophone R-5322)(UK b-side, August 1965)
13 I’ve Been Wrong
15 She Gives me Everything I Want
16 I Can’t Get Nowhere With You
17 I’ve Got A Way Of My Own (Parlophone R-5392)(UK b-side, December 1965)
18 You In My Arms
19 Don’t Even Think About Changing (Parlophone SD-6000)(UK b-side, 1966)
20 If I Needed Someone (Parlophone R-5392)(a-side)(UK 20/1965)(December 1965)
21 Running Through The Night (Parlophone R-5409)(UK b-side, February 1966)*rare gem; CD debut.
22 Don’t You Even Care (What’s Gonna Happen To Me?)
23 I Can’t Let Go (Parlophone R-5409)(a-side)(UK 2/1966; BB Pop 42/1966; CB Pop 59/1966; RW Pop 48/1966)(February 1966)
24 Oriental Sadness
25 Stewball (French lyric version)
26 Look Through Any Window (French lyric version)
27 You Know He Did (French lyric version)
28 We’re Through (French lyric version)
01 I Take What I Want
02 Hard Hard Year
03 A Taste of Honey (1966 version)
04 That’s How Strong My Love Is
05 Take Your Time
06 Fill The Flea
07 Sweet Little Sixteen
08 I Am A Rock
09 After The Fox (The Hollies with Peter Sellers)(United Artists UP 1152)(uncharted UK a-side, September 1966)*its b-side “The Fox Trot” was an instrumental not done by the Hollies.
10 Don’t Run And Hide (Parlophone R-5469)(UK b-side, June 1966)
11 Bus Stop (Parlophone R-5469)(a-side)(UK 5/1966; BB Pop 5/1966; CB Pop 5/1966; RW Pop 3(1)/1966)(June 1966)
12 Peculiar Situation
13 Suspicious Look in Your Eyes
14 Stop Stop Stop (Parlophone R-5508)(a-side) (UK 2/1966; BB Pop 7/1966; CB Pop 8/1966; RW Pop 5/1966)(October 1966)
15 Tell Me To My Face
16 Pay You Back With Interest (Imperial 66240)(US a-side)(BB Pop 28/1967; CB Pop 29/1967; RW Pop 30/1967)(May 1967)
18 It’s You (Parlophone R-5508)(UK b-side, October 1966)*rare gem.
20 What’s Wrong With The Way I Live (Parlophone SD-6000)(uncharted UK a-side, 1966)*rare gem; CD debut.
21 What Went Wrong
22 High Classed
23 All The World Is Love (Parlophone R-5562)(UK b-side, February 1967)*rare gem; CD debut.
24 When Your Light’s Turned On (Epic 5-10251)(US b-side, November 1967)
25 Have You Ever Loved Somebody
26 Non Prego Per Me
27 Devi Avere Fiducia In Me
01 Lullaby To Tim
02 On A Carousel (Parlophone R-5562)(a-side)(UK 4/1967; BB Pop 11/1967; CB Pop 7/1967; RW Pop 10/1967)(February 1967)
03 We’re Alive (Parlophone 16410) (UK b-side, 1967)*rare gem.
04 Kill Me Quick (Parlophone 16410)(uncharted UK a-side, 1967)*rare gem.
05 Leave Me
06 The Games WE Play
08 Rain On The Window
09 Then The Heartaches Begin
10 Ye Olde Toffee Shoppe
11 You Need Love
12 Stop Right There
13 Water On The Brain (Epic 5-10234)(US b-side, September 1967)*rare gem; CD debut.
14 Heading For A Fall
15 Carrie Anne (Parlophone R-5602)(a-sdie)(UK 3/1967; BB Pop 9/1967; CB Pop 10/1967; RW Pop 10/1967)(May 1967)
16 Signs That Will Never Change (Parlophone R-5602)(UK b-side, May 1967)
17 King Midas in Reverse (Parlophone R-5637)(a-side)(UK 18/1967; BB Pop 51/1967; CB Pop 54/1967; RW Pop 46/1967)(September 1967)
18 Try It (Epic 5-10298)(US b-side, February 1968)
19 Everything Is Sunshine (Parlophone R-5637)(UK b-side, September 1967)
22 Step Inside (Odeon OR-1850)(uncharted Japanese a-side, 1968)*rare gem; CD debut.
24 Dear Eloise (Epic 5-10251)(US a-side)(BB Pop 50/1967; CB Pop 53/1967; RW Pop 40/1967)(November 1967)
01 Elevated Observations? (Epic 5-10361)(US b-side, July 1968)*rare gem; CD debut.
02 Would You Believe
03 Away Away Away
04 Charlie And Fred (Odeon OR-1850)(Japanese b-side, 1968)*rare gem; CD debut.
07 Open Up Your Eyes (Parlophone R-5680)(UK b-side, March 1968)*rare gem.
09 Jennifer Eccles (Parlophone R-5680)(a-side)(UK 7/1968; BB Pop 40/1968; CB Pop 54/1968; RW Pop 37/1968)(March 1968)
10 Tomorrow When It Comes
12 Do The Best You Can (Epic 5-10361)(US a-side)(BB Pop 93/1968; CB Pop 133/1968)(July 1968)
13 Like Every Time Before
14 Man With No Expression
15 Blowin’ In The Wind (Nash version)(Parlophone SC006.04137)(uncharted UK a-side, 1968)
16 A Taste of Honey (1968 version)
17 Listen to Me
LIVE AT LEWISHAM ODEON MAY 24TH 1968:
18 Stop Stop Stop (live)
19 Look Through Any Window (live)
20 The Times They Are A-Changin’ (live)
21 On A Carousel (live)
22 King Midas in Reverse (live)
23 Butterfly (live)
24 Jennifer Eccles (live)
25 Carrie Anne (live)
I hope the above is helpful to you.
on 28 May 2011
BETWEEN April 1963 and October 1968 - a period of just five and a half years - The Hollies released seven albums (eight if you count the Greatest Hits). Seven EP's and 19 singles. 18 of the singles and five (or six) of the albums charted.
This highlights the consistency of the quality of music from this group.
Throughout this period of time, the ever-presents in the band were Allan Clarke, Graham Nash and Tony Hicks (drummer Bobby Elliott joined the band in July 1963 and bassist Eric Haydock departed in March 1966),
Clarke, Hicks and Nash perfected the trademark three-part harmony that is still a recognisable facet of the band today - nearly 50 years on (but now it's Howarth, Hicks and Lauri).
They also formed a songwriting partnership that was on a par with Lennon & McCartney or Jagger & Richards; sometimes using the name Chester Mann, but more usually L Ransford.
Eventually, L Ransford was `outed' as Clarke, Hicks and Nash.
This writin partnership was responsible for many of the band's hits and a vasy number of b-sides and album tracks.
This six CD collection gathers together all the tracks from the albums, singles and EP's recorded during the Clarke, Hicks, Nash timeframe, and for good measure some previously unreleased material which includes some foreign language versions of songs and an octet of songs recorded at a live show in 1968.
We are all aware of The Hollies' hits, but amongst the rest of the tracks are some gems such as Keep Off That Friend Of Mine - a rare Bobby Elliott co-composition - and both sides of an Italian release from 1967.
In actual fact, of 158 tracks in this release, the trio were responsible for writing 86 of them!
It's a superb retrospective of an important era, not just in The Hollies career, but in British pop music as a whole.
Included with the discs is a 24-page booklet full of photos and an interview with Graham Nash.
I can't wait for the Clarke, Hicks, Sylvester years.
on 15 July 2011
I bought the Hollies' singles "Just One Look", "On a Carousel" and "Carrie Anne" when they first came out. I also bought their album "Evolution" when it was released, partly because I liked the band, but also, I must admit, because of the psychedelic cover. Their truly progressive album (and that's not a word you hear associated with The Hollies much) "Butterfly" (from 1967 of course), my friend had, so I didn't get a copy until 1979 when I we'd lost touch and I hadn't heard it for some years.
Decades pass and I still listen to the old stuff and borrowed a copy of a recent compilation from a local library (use libraries you fools!). All the great stuff was still great but there was some later stuff that was distinctly less than that. And then I saw that this set was out, with the perfect title and a rediculous price, definitely a "must have".
Fabulous collection and a completist's dream, with the live concert and the foreign language versions of some songs and both my much loved and similarly played albums there. Now I can rest the vinyl and just get "Evolution" out once in awhile to enjoy the cover. I wonder if my friend bought this? Must mention it on this year's Christmas card.
on 22 June 2011
This box with the Hollies contains everything the group released during the period when Graham Nash with the band. Besides the original releases, there is a wealth of rarities, outtakes and live recordings.
In short, this is a goldmine for fans of the very best British 1960s pop . The group had during this period 17 top twenty hits, several successful EPs and released 7 albums on Parlophone, which was also the label of the Beatles. Several of these albums have rightly attained classic status.
Songwriter team Clarke / Hicks / Nash, who initially wrote under the pseudonym L. Ransford, wrote in the period a wealth of fine songs and you can't help regretting that Nash in 1968 chose to seek new pastures - with David Crosby and Steven Stills. Although the group continued to release excellent singles such as "He Is not Heavy, He's My Brother, " "I Can not Tell the Bottom From the Top" and "The Air That I Breathe", some of the magic had disappeared with Nash - emphasized by the fact that the majority of the group's subsequent singles were no longer Hollies originals.
The box contains 6 CDs, which are filled to the brim with very fine music. It contains a brief 24 page booklet, with key information about the group and the songs.
It would have been nice to sit with the original covers, but at this price you can obviously not get everything. Moreover, all originals are still available as individual albums.
At any rate a great purchase.
Released May 2011 in the UK and USA - "The Clarke, Hicks & Nash Years: The Complete Hollies April 1963 to October 1968" is a jam-packed 6CD set (in a double-sized jewel case) on EMI 5099909624221.
Across 158 tracks are the A&B-sides of 19 British 7" singles, 3 songs exclusive to two British EPs (as well as the other 18 tracks from all 7 British EPs), 6 Foreign Language versions (5 of which are Previously Unreleased), 3 English language sides on Italian and German singles, 20 compilation exclusives, 7 full British albums and an 8-track Previously Unreleased Live Concert from 1968 in Stereo.
The CDS are sequenced in recording-date order - with the album tracks often spread across different discs. So in order to give an easier-to-read picture - I've posted a HOLLIES UK Singles and LPs Discography in the 'comment' section attached to this review. It references track-by-track where those 45's and LPs are on this massive 6CD set and the following individual disc breakdowns give you the straggler songs 'outside' of that Discography...
Disc 1, 28 tracks, 64:34 minutes:
Tracks 6 and 10 are "Zip A Dee Do Dah" and "Poison Ivy" - released 1985 in the UK on "The Hollies" LP on EMI Music For Pleasure 41 5727 1
Track 7 is "I Understand" - released 1993 in the USA on the 3CD Box Set "30th Anniversary Collection 1963-1993"
Tracks 25 and 26 are "When I'm Not There" and "What Kind Of Love" - released 1964 on "The Hollies" UK 4-track EP on Parlophone GEP 8909
Disc 2, 26 tracks, 64:29 minutes:
Track 12 is "We're Through (Alternative Arrangement)" - released 1997 on "The Hollies At Abbey Road 1963-1966" (previously unreleased at the time)
Track 17 is "She Said Yeah" - released 2003 on the 6CD Box Set "The Long Road Home"
Track 18 is "Yes I Will (Alternate Version)" - released 1964 in the UK on "Hollies' Greatest Hits" LP on Parlophone PCS 7057
Track 26 is "Honey And Wine" - released 1965 in the UK on the "I'm Alive" 4-track EP on Parlophone GEP 8942
Disc 3, 28 tracks, 64:24 minutes:
Tracks 1 to 3 are "Listen Here To Me", "So Lonely" and "Bring Back Your Love To Me" - released 2003 on the 6CD Box Set "The Long Road Home"
Tracks 15, 16 and 18 are "She Gives Me Everything I Want", "I Can't Get Nowhere With You" and "You In My Arms" - released 1993 in the USA on the 3CD Box Set "30th Anniversary Collection 1963-1993"
Track 27 is "Look Through Any Window (French Lyric Version)" - first released on the 1988 CD "Rarities"
Tracks 25, 27 and 28 are "Stewball (French Lyric Version)", "You Know He Did (French Lyric Version)" and "We're Through (French Lyric Version)" -all three are Previously Unreleased
Disc 4, 27 tracks, 69:57 minutes:
Track 3 is "A Taste Of Honey" - released 1966 in the USA on the Hollies LP "Beat Group!" on Imperial LP 12312
Tracks 26 and 27 are "Non Prego Per Me" and "Devi Avere Fiducia In Me" - the A&B sides of an Italian 7" single - Previously Unreleased Stereo versions
Disc 5, 24 tracks, 64:11 minutes:
Tracks 3 and 4 are "We're Alive" and "Kill Me Quick" - Italian A&B-sides of a 1967 single; B-side is Stereo version with Backing Vocals
Track 7 is "Schoolgirl" - released 1997 on "The Hollies At Abbey Road 1966-1970" (previously unreleased at the time)
Disc 6, 25 tracks, 73:15 minutes:
Track 8 is "Wings" - released 1969 on the UK on the Various Artists album "No One's Gonna Change Our World" (on Behalf of the World Wildlife Fund) on Regal Starline SRS 5013
Tracks 10 and 11 are "Tomorrow When It Comes" and "Relax" - first released on the 1988 CD "Rarities"
Track 14 is "Man With No Expression (Horses Through A Rainstorm)" - released 1997 on "The Hollies At Abbey Road 1966-1970" (previously unreleased at the time)
Track 15 is "Blowin' In The Wind" - A B-side In Germany and Sweden to ???
Track 16 is "A Taste Of Honey (1968 Version)" - released 2003 on the 6CD Box Set "The Long Road Home"
Tracks 18 to 25 are "Stop! Stop! Stop!", "Look Through Any Window", "The Times They Are A-Changin'", "On A Carousel", "King Midas In Reverse", "Butterfly", "Jennifer Eccles", and "Carrie Anne" - all recorded LIVE AT LEWISHAM ODEON, 24 May 1968 and are Previously Unreleased
Fans will know that the digital remasters are mostly from 1999 and 2003 and were by done by expert tape man PETER MEW at Abbey Road - the sound quality is uniformly great (as I find it is on anything he remasters). The 24-page booklet features an introduction by MICK HOUGHTON, A Q&A with GRAHAM NASH, a UK Discography for the period with the seven EP and LP sleeves pictured in colour and then a song-by-song breakdown (itself broken up with collages of publicity/in-the-studio photos. It's well done (the cover photo taken at Niagara Falls in December 1967 sees the boys in period Gladrags) and for such a huge haul of music is priced cheaply too.
I love the album foursome "Would You Believe?", "For Certain Because", "Evolution" and "Butterfly" that really saw Allan Clarke, Tony Hicks and Graham Nash take off as writers - superb album nuggets like the pre CSN vibe of "Stop Right There", the Beatlesque "You Need Love", the Ogdens Small Faces whimsy of "Dear Eloise" and the Northern Britain social commentary of "Charlie And Fred". And the brilliant "Elevated Observations?" from October 1967's "Evolution" album gave that "Sgt. Peppers" mob a run for their Liverpudlian money (lyrics above). The live show is also far better than I thought it would be - clearly showing how accomplished they were as a band - nailing down difficult stuff like "King Midas In Reverse" with ease.
Further glory would follow for The Hollies on both the Parlophone and Polydor labels with Alan Clarke taking the song-writing ascendancy - while Graham Nash went on to conquer the West Coast of America and then the entire world with David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Neil Young.
"All that summer we enjoyed it..." - they sang on "Bus Stop". Great sound, top songs and quality presentation - there's so much to enjoy here...
on 31 July 2011
Along with The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Kinks, the Hollies went through a short period - 3-4 years - of amazing and unparalleled change and progression, beautifully illustrated here. From the clumsy and raw covers of the first couple of albums, through the development of a highly distinctive Hollies sound, to the exquisite sounds of Butterfly - surely their greatest achievement - in 1967, all the tracks are here in chronological order. This set is amazing, incredible value for money, neatly packaged, and a must for any fan of the Hollies and of 60s music in general.
on 19 July 2011
This complete six CD collection of Hollies output between 1963 and 1968 is obviously a must for collectors, and for me it was a great way to once again hear those those much loved and elusive songs - like the fabulous "Baby That's All"
But what is most interesting, is the way the material - thankfully presented in chronological order of recording - shows how the band begins to lose it's way towards the end of the Nash period, and how work that Nash would later go on to create with Crosby Stills and Nash begins to creep in, like the wispy and fey "Butterfly" on CD 6.
But, unlike The Everly Brothers, who harmonised with a cadence and feeling, those fabuluos Hollies harmonies do somehow lack subtlety, and sometimes have a "just listen to this one - it's a real belter" quality about them, that becomes tiresome in large doses.
But the figures show that this was one of the most successful British bands of all time, and this great collection shows just why they were a huge part of the sixties.
Great value and good listening. It made an old rocker very happy!