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on 11 May 2012
For years, both Hollies fans and fans of general 1960's music have often wondered why the Hollies have never had their own 'Live at the BBC' type compilation. Just about every other major 1960's artist has had one, and the Hollies are rumoured to have recorded over 60 tracks for the BBC over the years. Whatever the reason it took them so long to get around to it, you can imagine the excitement that this compilation generated when it was announced back in March.

What we have here is an excellent collection of rare live recordings. Not much survives or was ever recorded of the Hollies performing live on tour with Graham Nash in their 1960's heyday. Bizarre when you think about it, especially as the Hollies frequently topped the polls in various music magazines of the day for being the best live act. There's no less than 32 tracks here - and all of the performances are excellent. There's virtually no 'fillers' to be found here. Some real highlights include "Wings" (with alternative lyrics), "Shake", "Ride Your Pony", "I Take What I Want", "Hard Hard Year", "To You My Love", "Too Young To Be Married" and "The Games We Play". The packaging is tasteful and features a few rare and unseen images of the band from the early 1960's. There's also an excellent commentary from Bobby Elliott himself.

However, there are some things to bear in mind with this compilation;

Firstly, the BBC erased most of the original master tapes for the Hollies' sessions over the years. So most clips here are either from transcription discs or from amateur recordings made at the time. This is acceptable, but the remastering isn't particularly anything to write home about. There is certainly room for improvement.

Secondly, the tracks are in no particular order - much like most Hollies' greatest hits collections. This makes the listening experience a little difficult. For example - to hear them sing "Look Through Any Window" and launch into "Too Young To Be Married" really disrupts the flow of the album.

Thirdly, and most importantly, there's no ambience on the album at all. All other BBC compilations from other artists feature introductions from radio presenters and dialogue with the band. All of this has been cut from 'Radio Fun' at the expense of the first and final few seconds of each track, making the already complicated running order much more jagged. As a huge Hollies fan myself, I have many bootlegs of the Hollies performing at the BBC (some even better quality than those presented here, which shows up the remastering on this set), and they sound so much better with the introductions in place. Not only that, but the interviews with the band themselves were always interesting and humorous.

It's a shame that this set has these issues because most of them could have been rectified. It has to be said though, the music is what really matters - and it is truly excellent. These few issues don't detract from the sheer talent that those five lads from Manchester had. Whether you are a big Hollies fan or just enjoy general 1960's music, this compilation is a worthwhile addition to your collection.
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on 3 June 2012
It's great to hear this music been released after all those years. A great group with great songs. Just a little comment: why has this cd no "radio" atmosphere? All the other BBC-recordings from other artists have choosen for radio comments and interviews and why not on the Hollies? I think some intros and outros have a little bit abruptly vanished and after all, these were radio shows. Positive is more space for the music, but my suggestion is to re-release it as a double-album so that other BBC-recordings and interviews of this swell group might see the light of day as well
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on 15 May 2012
Considering the music on this cd is between 40 and 50 years old, its about time we heard these versions.
This cd proves just how great the Hollies were, their unique harmonies, amazing guitaring and drums. But I think this proves how great Eric and Bernie were on the bass. Im so bored with music writers banging on about the prowess of the fabs, stones etc. Yes they were great , yes they were successful but the Hollies to my mind deserve more respect for what theyve acheived.

The fact that many of these songs werent singles proves the strength of their back catalogue. Wings is such a strong song that most bands would have been proud to have it as a single. Its also great to hear some songs from 1967 with orchestras (im not sure if theyre tapes or a real orchestra)

Id recommend this to anyone whether they are a fan already or someone who just loves live music from one of historys greatest bands.
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on 10 May 2012
I bought this cd in advance (Of course, I'm a "Hollies' Graham Nash era" fan) and I must say that left me a taste of...hmmm..."it's okay, but..." on my ears.
The highlight of this cd is the audio. Just awesome. As usually, The Hollies sounds like in their records.
Nice Bobby Elliot's note.

Now, the weakest points of this cd:
*Tracks are not in chronological order. Too bad.... so, first track is "Here are go again" (1964) and the second "Jennifer Eccles" (1968) -for example-
*No interviews with the guys or presenter introducing the next song.
*Thanks to the point above, some songs lost few seconds of intro.
*Poor booklet, just 4 pages,5 pics and a few of info. that's all. Strange... Bernie Calvert doesn't appear on any picture!)
Again, is good to have a "new" Hollies cd with us,but we deserved something else close to "Beatles at the bbc"...
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on 23 May 2013
I am one of their biggest fans although I don't support new lead singer-the Hollies died for me when Clarke retired. That voice will never be repeated/replaced. Must be more stuff in the archives come on BBC!!
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on 27 March 2014
Loved it, enjoyed CD very much. Gets a good airing in my auto as well. A great collection of Hollies music.
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on 2 February 2015
Everything is OK. Thank you.
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on 14 June 2013
the great groups group, great musos and vocals. every car should have this cd. forget most modern garbage. my good friend eric j haydock on bass, i hope more live recordings appear soon.
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on 27 August 2013
I have been a Hollies fan for over forty years. In fact, I am going to Aberdeen in October to see them live!
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on 10 September 2013
THE HOLLIES WERE THE BEST VOCAL GROUP BRITAIN HAS EVER PRODUCED, AND NOTHING WILL EVER GET CLOSE TO BEING AS GOOD AGAIN.
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