HomePosts Tagged "The Hollies"

The Hollies Tag

This autobiography from the Hollies/Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young mainstay isn't your standard book of revelations.  It is one of those rare musical life reflections that, although dishing some "dirt", isn't filled with the usual bitterness, accusatory sniping at former band mates or lovers or

In recent years Shout Factory! has become one of the premier reissue labels, giving a second chance to everything from ’80s kids shows to classic rock and soul. On July 23 Shout Factory will release the splendid new box set Otis Redding: The Complete Stax/Volt Singles Collection. A full review of the set by my colleague Dw. Dunphy will be appearing on Popdose soon. Today I would like to focus on just one of the 70 songs in the collection.

Yesterday I wrote about the new splendid new Hollies DVD. This week’s featured song is very much connected to the Hollies. In 1964 their cover of Doris Troy’s “Just One Look” made it all the way to #2 on the UK charts.

The Hollies were hardly the only artists to cover Troy’s smash hit. There were also versions by Linda Ronstadt, Bryan Ferry, Anne Murray, and Harry Nilsson.

The original version of “Just One Look” was co-written by Troy (under the name Doris Payne) and released by Atlantic Records in 1963. How she got to Atlantic Records is a subject of some dispute. Some say that Troy was introduced to Atlantic by James Brown who saw her performing in a club. There is another account in which she took her demo to Sue Records first, and when they didn’t show any interest she brought it to Atlantic’s Jerry Wexler.

In 2010 the first four discs in a DVD series entitled British Invasion were released to great acclaim. That first release featured discs focused on the Small Faces, Dusty Springfield, Herman’s Hermits, and Gerry & the Pacemakers that could be purchased separately, or as a set which included a bonus disc.

The hallmarks of the series were classic, often live performances from  European television appearances and concerts, blended with contemporary interviews with the artists. The audio and video was newly remastered, so everything looked, and sounded great. There were also new essays from respected music writers like Rob Bowman. The bonus features for this embarrassment of riches often included even more performance footage.

The newest entry in the British Invasion series is The Hollies – Look Through Any Window 1963-1975, and like its predecessors it is the definitive chronicle on its subject. There is no commentary on these discs. The story is told bythe  interviews with the artists, and by the music which is arranged chronologically to accompany the story. The detailed liner notes are by the legendary Ben Fong-Torres.

Last Christmas, we gave you our heart, but you were too busy doing real stuff. Hey, it's perfectly understandable. We launched a "special gift" on Christmas morning 2009 with zero fanfare. Is it any wonder that so few knew something was waiting for them under the

Hi again, everyone! Thanks for all the fantastic comments on the all-Michael Jackson edition of CHART ATTACK! Did you notice that Motown jumped all over his death and released Michael Jackson: The Stripped Mixes? And it’s scary to think that this is only the tip of the iceberg. But that’s all I’m going to say about it — I’m all MJ’d out and I imagine you are, too — so this week, let’s go back a full 35 years and see what was at the top of the charts for the week ending July 20, 1974!

10. If You Love Me (Let Me Know) — Olivia Newton-John  Amazon
9. The Air That I Breathe — The Hollies Amazon iTunes
8. You Won’t See Me — Anne Murray  Amazon iTunes
7. Rikki Don’t Lose That Number — Steely Dan Amazon iTunes
6. Rock the Boat — The Hues Corporation Amazon iTunes
5. On and On — Gladys Knight & the Pips Amazon iTunes
4. Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me — Elton John Amazon iTunes
3. Rock and Roll Heaven — The Righteous Brothers  Amazon
2. Annie’s Song — John Denver Amazon iTunes
1. Rock Your Baby — George McCrae Amazon iTunes

10. If You Love Me (Let Me Know) — Olivia Newton-John

This song is a pretty simple pop-twinged country tune (it peaked at #2 on the Country chart and remains her highest charting song there), and is a fine vehicle for ONJ’s beautiful voice. However, the choruses feature a backing vocal by what can only be described as a drunk bullfrog. There are a number of voices joining in behind Olivia on the chorus, but this guy is just way lower (and louder in the mix) than the others, and it sounds odd. I mean, clearly it was done to achieve a certain feel, but I just can’t get behind it. What I can get behind, though, is any clip of Olivia Newton-John, ever, because she is SO DAMN CUTE.

9. The Air That I Breathe — The Hollies

I really love this song. For me, it’ll always be one of those songs that just transcends time and genre. That being said, it’s a cover fave for many “light” artists: Barry Manilow, k.d. lang, Air Supply, Judy Collins…the list goes on. The Hollies version is actually a cover itself; it was co-written by Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood and recorded by Hammond in 1972. Phil Everly covered it in 1973, and in 1974 the Hollies had, by far, the greatest success with it, reaching #6. It wound up being the last of their numerous top 10 hits. I like Hammond’s original version, and I’m also partial to a cover by Semisonic; those links will take you to the excellent Coverville podcast where I heard both for the first time.

I was thinking about including a clip of the Hollies performing the song, but then I’d be turning down a perfectly good opportunity to look at Olivia Newton-John again. So here’s her cover.

8. You Won’t See Me — Anne Murray

Aw, crap. Who the hell asked for this? Did the Beatles split affect us so much that we just allowed any cover to reach the Top 10? When Paul sang it, he had irritation in his voice; I don’t know if Anne Murray has ever sounded irritated in her whole life. She gets rid of the awesome “ooh la la la” backing vocals, and confuses the listener by featuring a somewhat funky fade-in, creating a vibe that is completely eliminated by the time she starts to sing. And yet, according to the liner notes of her greatest hits album, Lennon apparently told Murray that her cover was his favorite Beatles cover. Like, ever. If this is true, then clearly John had a soft spot for Captain & Tennille, because this track sounds like it was ripped right off of them. In fact, I’m unconvinced that this isn’t actually a C&T track with Murray singing over it.

And just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse…check out those shoulder pads!

Welcome back to another edition of CHART ATTACK!, everyone! Sick of the ’90s? Sick of the ’80s? Sick of … uh … the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s, 1970, 1971, and 1973 – 1979? (I’m reaching here.) Then have we got a year for you! This time last year, guest writer Beau Dure covered a 1976 CHART ATTACK!, and he’s back to tackle 1972! By the way, Beau runs his own fantastic blog, Mostly Modern Media, and is also all over the Sports section at USA Today. Between the two sites, it’s almost like you were at the Olympics yourself! But for now, enjoy Beau’s fine writing right here at Popdose! – JH

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Are you ready to rock? Or R&B? Or AC? Or whatever you call Looking Glass?

Welcome to a diverse bunch of classics, most of which you can still hum today. You can also still hum Kid Rock’s latest, but only because you’re really humming “Werewolves of London.”

September 2, 1972:

10. Back Stabbers — O’Jays Amazon iTunes
9. Rock and Roll Part 2 — Gary Glitter Amazon iTunes
8. You Don’t Mess Around With Jim — Jim Croce Amazon iTunes
7. Goodbye to Love — Carpenters Amazon iTunes
6. Baby Don’t Get Hooked on Me — Mac Davis Amazon iTunes
5. Hold Your Head Up — Argent Amazon iTunes
4. Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl) — Looking Glass Amazon iTunes
3. I’m Still in Love With You — Al Green Amazon iTunes
2. Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress) — The Hollies Amazon iTunes
1. Alone Again (Naturally) — Gilbert O’Sullivan Amazon iTunes

10. Back Stabbers — O’Jays

I had a lot of insights into this song as an allegory reaching beyond mere relationship paranoia to the greater social realm into which many R&B contemporaries were operating, but AllMusic already did that. They also noted the dichotomy between this one, their first hit, and the next one, the #1 ray of sunshine “Love Train.”

So what can I add to this? Probably just the performance clip from Soul Train to get us all feeling that 70s vibe …

9. Rock and Roll Part 2 — Gary Glitter

Upon reading a few books on Tibetan mysticism, a young Gary Glitter made a pilgrimage to the region. He was stunned to be greeted by the Dalai Lama himself. The Dalai’s teachings on happiness and desire were a revelation to Glitter, who had been raised on French existentialism. Now convinced that his actions and words had meaning far beyond anything he had encountered in Western philosophy, Glitter returned to the studio determined to explore connections between Buddhist meditation and the obscure Austrian philosophical school that rejected nihilism.

Then Glitter remembered that he wasn’t in Yes, and he recorded something for American sports teams to play during timeouts.