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Echo of the Past into The Present.
on 3 October 2011
The Manchester group 'The Hollies' are represented on this DVD with their own skill and artistry put together on film by director David Peck who said, "My goal with all music films is to educate the public". Not only do we hear and see 22 performances, we have the benefit of the history of the band via talks with the group members detailing their careers, problems, personnel changes, challenges with acceptance in America. These aren't just fillers. They enhance the story and are interspersed between the songs. The 60's were a marvellous time for further musical progress. Looking to the Beatles, Stones, Searchers, Kinks etc were a delight. The Hollies songs were by no means less awaited with expectancy and did not disappoint. Their hallmark was their harmony, energy and as usual neatly attired and attractive!
The initial covers of 'Rockin' Robin','Stay','Baby That's All', were followed by the better known hits. The DVD 'complete performances' are memorable. Mimed performances are well-synchronised, the live versions note-perfect. The harmonies were apparently based on the influence of the Everly Brothers. Graham Nash and Allan Clarke were at infant school together, sang in the choir, were known for their vocal harmonies, (even including 'The Lord's Prayer') and decided to form a group. Allan Clarke's vocals are instantly identifiable as are Nash's high-pitched complimentary hallmark unison.
The 'Hollies' name came from a combination of Buddy Holly and Christmas!
The songs are all vital to the period and are still fresh. Graham Nash's departure after a meeting with David Crosby was a dent but well-explained. The last filmed Hollies with the established line-up are here. 'Listen To Me' and 'Do The Best You Can'. They did impact on America but they remain British.
Allan Clarke went and came back. Tony Hicks and Bobby Elliott were no means just in there. They were integral to the sound. Tony Hicks vocals and guitar work were vital. Elliot's fluent driving, likewise. They are part and parcel of the Hollies' sound. Nor miss the contribution of Terry Sylvester, later joining having been with the 'Swinging Blue Jeans'.
They are all highlights. 'King Midas In Reverse', 'On a Carousel', 'I'm Alive', 'Here I go Again', 'Air That I Breathe','Bus Stop','Carrie Anne' and the emotional 'He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother'. The others are here to see and hear.
Superbly produced, well-filmed with great sound. They have done 'Dylan' and 'Buddy Holly' tributes with distinction. This is a wonderful group and a precious reminder of their talent and influence. They stayed together through a period of rapid evolution.The film and music are everlasting.Took a while to be inaugurated into the American 'Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame' in 2010.
The 12 page booklet and interviews are most informative. The menu gives the choice options for flexibility. 184 minutes of running time including interviews. Home movies (knocking Elliot's hat off when he had hair) and backstage films are an added attraction. The Hollies have a unique sound and place in music. Highly recommended and lends to repeat viewing.