George Starostin's Reviews



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Tom Sperry <> (29.01.2000)

George, I think Another Nite is a great album! Definetely among my favorite top 20 off all time. It comes down to the songs. Just off the top of my head, the title track, 'Another Nite'; 'Sandy', written by Springsteen; 'Hobo Lullaby'; 'Time Machine Jive'; 'I'm Down'; all of em' not only great vocal harmony but great songs!

I've seen virtually every band from that age. I lived in Haight Ashbury in the 60s and was even at the original Woodstock in 69. But if I had to pick one show to relive, it would be that nite in October of 66 when I was in high school. The Hollies played in a small club in western New York State in front of a generally dull audience. However, my friends and I went crazy! I've never heard such perfect harmony since. I did see them again in L.A. in 73 with Rickfors singing lead. I saw them again in Hollywood in 75 with Allan (arguably the best singer in rock n' roll). They played 4 songs from Another Nite on that occasion. I only hope that Allan hasn't thrown in the towel as my dream is to visit the U.K and see them just once more! All the best.

Douglas Treible <> (25.02.2000)

I just read your review of some of the Hollies material. One thing that you should know is that the Hollies do not currently play barrooms and small clubs or cabariet - they play major theaters and venues all over England - usuaslly to sell out crowds of all ages. They do NOT share the stage with anyone, and a typical concert last about 2 1/2 hours. They finished their last tour in December, 1999. This month Allan Clarke has announced his retirement (his wife has cancer) and he has been replaced by former Move (pre ELO) singer Carl Wayne. They will be in the studio this summer and tour dates will soon be announced for the fall of 2000 and spring of 2001. They have not released new material (other then previously unreleased songs) on a large scale, but there have been a number of new singles released in the UK and Germany from the mid 80's forward - including some minor hits. Their last US release was in 1996 when Graham Nash rejoined to record 'Peggy Sue Got married' for a Buddy Holly tribute album. Also that year a Hollies tribute album was released by a number of indie/alt. bands including the Posies, Wondermints, etc.

Tom Swinford <> (27.02.2000)

I find your comments to be intelligent and enlightening but you are a bit off base with your comments. From 1988 on the Hollies have been touring and within 5% of selling out concert venues, not cabaret or clubs something no other act but for Cliff Richards can do. Recently Allan Clarke announced his retirement and has been replaced by Carl Wayne, one time lead singer with The Move, This marks the forth "coming" of the band 1 the Nash era 2 the Sylvester years and 3 the Coates years, I really think that you should give the post 1974 recordings a listen they are very worthwhile a good stsrt would be the Abbey Road 1973-1987 Years granted their popularity waned. but their music didn't. By the way among many hard core Hollies fans the distant Light album was by far their weakest and I'm somewhat amazed that you weren't impressed with 'Confessions of a Lost Mind' and 'Survival of the Fittest' from the Moving Finger album [As of now, I already am - G. S.].

Itay Reiss <> (08.04.2000)


Your review about the hollies, is quite to the point, however I think that you have a little underestimated their later ephoc (seventies and further), I think that they had very good hits, if not so famous, they were trying to shift their mallow and polished type of music to a heavier type of rock, which characterized the 70's in songs such as: '48 hours parole', a song which doesn't sound like the hollies at all!, yet in many other songs of this time they sticked to a more quiet and polished songs, such as: 'love is the thing', and 'hello to romance'.

the hollies is one of my favorite bands: among the kinks, and the DC5, I think that their contribution to the music during the 60's and 70's is phenomenal, and I am very sorry to find out that there is almost no live shows of them, I would appreciate it very much if you will let me know where I cna find live performances of the hollies,

Bob Josef <> (20.10.2000)

I'm only familiar with the Greatest Hits CD, and it sounds like the Hollies certainly had a lot going for them. First, they had a great lead voice in Allan Clarke. Secondly, they were the Masters of the Hook -- once they started writing songs, they certainly knew how to grab you with their melodies. I have a sneaky suspicion that Graham Nash was really the pop mastermind behind their best original hits, but they did good singles later -- "Long Dark Road," as far as I'm concerned, is their truly classic song. And there was certainly capability of lyrical maturity -- "Stop, Stop, Stop," is after all, about a guy getting tossed out of a strip joint, and lines like "I'll hurt you and destroy you/given time," ("King Midas in Reverse") were pretty daring for a pop group at the time.

But they really could never move beyond that for a couple of reasons. First, they weren't capable of playing instruments too well. The Beatles and the Stones, while not exactly instrumental virtuosos, had enough skill to experiment with new instrumentation. Secondly, they never had a producer with enough talent to bring them along like George Martin, or even the Moody Blues' Tony Clarke. The Beach Boys' musicianship never really jumped ahead too far, but Brian Wilson's instincts were able to bring his studio magic to the fore to compensate. Even the Hollies' most sophisticated work sounds relatively primitive compared to their peers. Thirdly, while Graham was a talented popmeister, he had too much control and too much ego. His lead vocals were relatively weak compared to Clarke's --- "On a Carousel," for example, is tortuous and would've worked better with Allan's voice. And he was never quite as progressive a songwriter as he thought he was -- his early CSN efforts, Hollies rejects, are merely better produced than his Hollies work, his voice never improved, and he ended up getting a severe case of L.A. pop blandout.

The point to all this? The Hollies ended up at an artistic dead end, and never could come up with a definitive album statement along the lines of Pet Sounds or Days of Future Passed, never mind a Who's Next or a Sgt. Pepper. The fact that they had to resort to a Dylan tribute album in 1967 proves the point (although I've seen some reviews that say it was very unique, despite the fact that many copies could be seen in the cutout bins). I can't imagine their overall albums would be any more interesting as a whole than any other average Beatles wannabes -- more like Donovan than the Who, or the Stones, in the end. Still, they came up with several classic singles that remain among the best in British pop -- no argument there.

Jeff Blehar <> (20.11.2000)

Hey!  These guys are really, really nifty.  I love confounding my friends - this one guy who met me thought I was a hardcore punk fan, because all the music I talke about with him was by The Clash, Minor Threat, and Black Flagg, and then he came over one day to find my Hollies collection on the ol' spinner.  Heh.  Diversity definitely has its perks.

Anyway, not having known anything about these guys until a few months ago, I have to say that I can TOTALLY see why you rank them as high as you do, and aside from their musical merits, I would perhaps make an argument in terms of "influence" and "importance" as well.  You see, not only were The Hollies the epitome and finest example of the "British pop sound," they had a large hand in DEFINING that sound.  It's the worst kind of influence to have, really, because everyone imitated it (it wasn't a tough thing to do, but it was a tough thing to do WELL), so the fact that The Hollies had a hand in setting up the parameters of pure Britpop has become somewhat obscured in a sea of homogenous acts.  Remember, Crosby, Stills & Nash's whole harmonic game was directly ripped off from these guys (it certainly has a lot more in common with The Hollies' style than The Byrds'), and in fact that obscenely spot-on three-part harmonizing which went on to influence everyone was really the first of the rock class, or at least contemporaneous with The Beach Boys.

Screw it, all I know is that I like "Bus Stop" as much as I like Husker Du's "Zen Arcade," and that even Paul McCartney would have had a hard time beating "Carrie-Anne" or "Stop Stop Stop" for pure melodic grace.  I think that The Hollies might have been one of, if not THE, best singles bands of all time, especially considering that so much of their best material never made it to an LP - singles like "I'm Alive" and "Carrie-Anne" and "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" (yeah I like it, gotta problem?).  I agree with the very perceptive comments that Bob made above, and I'd also like to add that one of the problems was that their producer, Ron Richards (a colleague of George Martin's both at EMI and later at their jointly-founded AIR) was a real tyrant, quite the opposite of Martin.  He was the kind of guy who "selected" songs for the band and decided what would and wouldn't get released as a single - the kind of old-fashioned "producer/director" act which George Martin so admirably eschewed.  So I think he stifled the creativity of these guys to a certain degree.  Which is not to say that they could have been The Beatles with a better guy behind the board, but still I think they lost out in that deal quite a lot.  Still, they managed to produce SUCH a load of catchy, clever, hummable, well-played singles and songs, and a couple of great albums as well apparently (these I don't have yet, though I have most of the singles, A-sides and B-sides), that only a grouch would deny them their place in the pantheon.

Although Alan Clarke is a little too "show-bizzy" for comfort, you think?

Didier Dumonteil <> (18.02.2001)

A pleasant group that's all.I wonder how some can compare them to the Beatles.That's nonsense!The only group that could beat the beatles for the harmonies were the Beach Boys.And by the way it's very humiliating for them to get the same rating as the hollies!Brian Wilson is not Graham Nash!

Ans as for the influence on CSN ,it doesn't amount to much,because,CSN ,sans Young,it's really a waste of breath.And anyway ,Young is better,so much better sans CSN."carrie ann " is a lovely ditty but how can one mention it in the same breath as MCCartney's best creations?

Ryan Maffei <> (27.02.2002)

Hate to sound as curmudgeonly as Pat D. of Music Junkies Anonymous, but these guys were mindless, derivative hacks who never had an original idea in their lives. At least, they did, once, but after that they started ripping off the Beatles' (And everybody else's) psychedelic-period material, and followed them all from there. But regardless of the constant flaws that plagued their material, their fourth...fifth...sixth?...record, For Certain Because... still remains one of the best art-pop records ever, seamlessly, ingeniously crafted, emotional and clever, ranking up there with Rubber Soul, Odyssey & Oracle, and Aftermath. This rarely-hailed masterpiece by an oft-overlooked band (although "He Ain't Heavy" and "Long Cool Woman" are still standards today) is worth a shot by all who appreciate the golden renaissance of 60's pop-rock. Afterwards--beware! Please?

Steve Potocin <> (15.09.2002)

George, I read your overall view of The hollies and I think you have a pretty good read on them, here is my take. After starting out as a duo Allan Clarke and Graham Nash formed a group and after several personal changes they landed Bobby Elliott and Tony Hicks, which was a very good move since they were both superior musicians. After being signed by EMI staff producer Ron Richards, on talent search in Manchester they got down to recording. Their first single, 'Stay', was a speeded up version of the Maurice Williams classic. Their next single was a mediocre cover of 'Searchin'. On the first two albums, they like every other English act had the usual American R&B songs but also some well written original tunes. Now in this period [63-64] The Hollies were still smoothing out their harmonies and sometimes made great records ['Think', 'Here I Go Again' and the original 'We're Through'.] Starting in 65 The Hollies were consistantly great. 'Yes I Will', 'I'm Alive' 'I Can't Let Go' 'Look Through Any Window' 'So Lonely' 'I've got A Way Of My Own' and many others were all made in 65! Their style was influenced by The Beatles of course,[who was'nt?] but of those who copped the melodic jangle pop sound nobody did it better than The Hollies! There are 3 records that you need to listen to and review The self titled Hollies, from 65, Would You Believe, and Evolution. Those three, along with For Certain Because are as good as Britsh pop-rock gets! I also think most of Butterfly is great. After Graham Nash left late 68, my favorite group was never the same. The Hollies best writer and the best high harmony singer in rock went to America to make wimp rock [except when Young was involved] with CS&N and The Hollies would show sporadic signs of brillance ['Long Cool Woman', 'Long Dark Road', 'Air That I Breathe'] If Del Shannon and The Animals are in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, [ I like both artists] put The Hollies in now!

Gerard Nowak <> (07.12.2002)

To compare their vocals with the Beatles' is no mistake. As for the vocal cords, even The Beatles rarely surpassed the basic-third-fifth note pattern, and understandably so, as the blue notes are to be found in the domain of instrumentation (in rock and roll, that is). Both Beatles' and Hollies' power lied in their vocal cords - perfect blends of the three voices. The Hollies' three-part harmonies are splendid, though Hicks' voice seems nothing more than a filler. But Allan Clarke was surely a top five vocalist of the sixties. It's no surprise that the very harmonies were the group's trademark. And in their best, 1966-1969, period the vocals were perfectly backed up with brilliant self-penned songs, and tasty arrangements. I like the seventies stuff less. It's not that I miss Nash's voice (such songs as "Cos You Like to Love Me" or "Sorry Suzanne" show that Silvester was as good a singer), but it was a pity that there was no more Clarke/Hicks/Nash there in the brackets. And the Hollies seventies sound is too polished for me. The vocals aren't that prominent, Clarke's voice got weaker, and . . . sorry, but "Sandy" sounds like a Smokie song.

Steve Potocin <> (09.12.2002)

I must say it is refreshing to discuss The Hollies with people who are familiar with them. A brief thought on Gerards thoughts: NO doubt Sylvester was a fine high harmony singer, but Nashs voice was not as smooth and added much excitement to the sound! You can really hear the difference, the dynamic sound left with Graham! Of course Hicks sang the bottom, and was not the prominent voice, but crucial. My favorite Hicks moment on record [vocally] comes on 'Look Through Any Window', when he takes a brief lead singing the "You can see the little children all around", part, perfect!

Tagbo Munonyedi <> (22.03.2006)

The Hollies remain one of the enduring images of when I was a kid growing up in those distant 60s, especially Alan Clarke, I don't know why. And some years later, I found their first album in my mum's brother's collection which rather surprized me and it was a great listen. I still rate " Baby don't cry ", " Stay ", " Talkin' about you ", "Lucille " and in particular " Memphis Tennesee ". In terms of three part harmony, they did outscore the Beatles but they rarely had in combination the other great things going for them that made the Beats so interesting. That said, they and the DC5 were the Beatles main rivals and competitors until the Stones came along and established themselves as a force. And I think that " Carrie Anne ", " Bottom from the top " and " The air that I breathe " are among the finest singles ever released, great songs. In my work, so many people crack the joke " no, he's my brother " whenever I say something that I'm lifting ain't heavy that I'm weak [ and not with laughter ]. I barely forgive them for that.....I'm not heavy on the Hollies, but the stuff of theirs that I dig, I really dig.

Tim Blake (05.10.2006)

I've had a Hollies greatest hits CD for a while (probably different one, there's millions out there), and it has all the important songs on it. I strongly disliked this music at first, seemed way too 'hollow'. Like a slicker Beatles with less ambition and less to offer. However, with time I've come to greatly enjoy this incredibly slick collection of 'professional' pop-tunes. Workmanlike and with a bubblegum sheen, but fun to listen to nonetheless. By my money 'Bus Stop' is the most melodically perfect, flawlessly executed 60s pop ditty I've ever heard. If there was one band of the 60s that summed up the word 'professional' it would be the Hollies. Much like Motown was called a 'hit factory' I think the Hollies operated in a very similar vein. Of course you can't trump the Beatles for this kind of thing, but they did a damned good job.

I'm nerdy for liking this shit, but 'Just One Look' is a farkin' corkin' Beach Boys like pop excursion. Great vocals. 'Here I Go Again' and 'I'm Alive' are again flawless pop songs with a penchant for patheticness on behalf of the lyricists. 'Look Through Any Window' is perfection squared. What a shiny group. On it goes until it gets to the later, sort of lesser phase. 'On A Carousel' seems nerdy and weak, same with 'Carrie Anne', 'Dear Eloise', weird medieval feel. I also feel that 'He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother', their most known song, is pretty pathetic and annoying, overwrought and a bit sickening. They make up for that somewhat with kickass tracks like the bluesy, super-fun 'Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress' and the moody 'The Air That I Breathe'.

So my feelings are still mixed. Half these songs are super-slick, melodic, enjoyable pop...the other half is pathetic, sickly emotional fluff. By my money 'Stop Stop Stop' is one of the cheesiest, crappiest 60s songs I've heard. I hate the vocal melody. So yah, not a bad group just can't find enough consistency in this lot of songs.


Steve Potocin <> (27.11.2002)

I play this record less than any other Hollies disc, and the reason is simple: Lack of originals, and weak choice of cover songs. Now most importantly The Hollies have not yet found their style. It's obvious that there is a strong lead singer and someone with an incredibly high tenor voice in the mix, but at this point they [The Harmonies] are too harsh, with Tony Hicks a non factor. I always moan about Hicks being underrated, but Bobby Elliott gets the same treatment. Even when the song is not great, Elliotts drumming is a joy. Best songs- 'Talking Bout You' & 'Stay'.


Steve Potocin <> (04.12.2002)

This record was a BIG improvment over their first. The harmonies are really starting to gel. At this point, The Hollies are starting to sound like The Hollies. The thing about The Hollies are the harmonies, and the trebley guitar sound, together. Other groups have harmonies technically as good, but NONE as vibrant and energetic! Nobody ever sounded, quite like them and no one ever will. Of special note is 'You'll Be Mine', which has NO harmonies, yet is a wonderful performance, and 'It's In Her Kiss', which gives the Betty Everett classic the Hollies treatment.


Steve Potocin <> (03.04.2003)

The Hollies self titled album of 65 is a favorite of mine, so we disagree on this one a bit. The original songs on this record really cement The Hollies original song formula. I too really like 'Put Yourself In My Place', great chunky guitar,and usual awesome harmonies! 'So Lonley'-beautiful.Í've Been Wrong', and 'When I Come Home'are two of the best non hit early Beatle influenced songs of the British invasion! The great Everly Brothers knew this,and included SIX Hollies tunes incl. Í've Been Wrong'on their Two Yanks In England album! The early excursion into Folk Rock is represented by the excellent original'Too Many People'and their cover of Peter ,Paul ,and Marys 'Very Last Day'-good stuff! The drumming alone on'Mickeys Monkey'makes the song enjoyable! The tune written by one Smokey Robinson was a hyper rave up version of the original-NO SUGAR ADDED!! It is worth noting that if the hits were included on Hollies records they would have been AMAZING!! As it is this excellent disc rates a A- in my book.

Mike Niblett <> (08.07.2003)

It is kinda funny to criticise just about anything that came out in the sixties.My band The Stellas, did a cover version,like the Hollies version, of "fortune teller" for cbs germany.While we listened to some versions, ours came out very like The Hollies but hopefully with our own stamp on it.both were made in the same year,1965. Another funny thing is one present-day critic describes The Stellas version as generic, not a word much used in the sixties, and certainly not by us.what we wanted to do was produce an instantly recognisable sound. All music was pop music then, and most bands played a bit of everything. most versions of that particular song are still on sale including ours, i'm happy to say. but,the point i'm trying to make is that music is going full circle and newer bands are going for the sound thing and,looking back to the sixties to get it. One man,Bob Dylan has at different times been described as "A poet with a guitar", "A pop poet" r/b musician and country singer, but all said the same thing about the voice. The Hollies were instantly recognisable,covers or not and that is what makes them unique.


Steve Potocin <> (21.11.2002)

Now for me this is a weird album. It has two of my least favorite Hollies songs, yet my favorite least known Hollies songs! 'Sweet Little Sixteen'. I just dont like the song and the Hollies don't elevate it. 'Fifi The Flea'. The title alone says it all. By the way, Nash was 100% responsible for that one. 'I Take What I Want', the Hollies best R&B cover ever! The backing vocals kill on this one. 'Oriental Sadness', one of the great original Hollies songs nobody knows. Graham Nash does a great job on lead vocal during the bridge, and what a great guitar sound! The record contains the definitive version of 'I Am A Rock', show me a better one. O.K. now my all time favorite Hollies song they did not write that was not a hit. 'Don't You Even Care'. First of all great song, they don't write em like that anymore, it was written by Clint Ballard who wrote their #1 smash 'I'm Alive'. I love the big fat chords by Tony Hicks [Every bit the guitarist that Harrison or Richards is] and his tasteful solo. Also of note is the way the backing vocals build during the bridge,awesome! All in all a bitchin record!


Ryan Maffei <> (21.02.2002)

I've always found the Hollies to be quite an overrated (and thoroughly unoriginal) group, with little going for them overall to earn them a place in music history...that is, except for this album. I've heard their pleasant, self-titled third record, which is just a bunch of mild covers, and releases after this one, which are really terrible, so it's kind of hard for me to fathom how For Certain Because turned out so God-damned good. If the Beatles had their Rubber Soul (and did they ever), and the Beach Boys had their Pet Sounds, and the Stones their Aftermath, then the Hollies had their this record, and it ranks right up with the rest of them as one of the best experimental pop records of all time. The band includes little production secrets on these tracks while still giving them an appealing face, like the Beatle Boys on Soul, but the stuff here is so well-written, it's amazing it predated Revolver (if I'm correct) and still doesn't get mentioned today. "What's Wrong With the Way I Live", "Stop Stop Stop", and "Pay You Back With Interest" are delightful, incessantly creative rockers, with some of the Nash-Hicks-Clark-Whatever team's best, least cliched lyrics, while the more daring material--"Clown", "Crusader", "High-Classed", and "Tell Me To My Face"--just absolutely knock me off my feet. You had the Beatles (Revolver), the Mothers (Freak Out!), Dylan, the Stones, the Beach Boys, and this in 1966--how is it not one of Rock's best years? This is one of the best pop albums of all time, buy it, please, I'm rambling...A high-ass 9 for this 'un. Now look at my Butterfly comments.

Steve Potocin <> (31.08.2002)

Well I've always considered the Hollies to be among the very best of the British invasion groups and For Certain Because their best record. As a group, vocally, they stand with the BEATLES, Zombies, and Beach Boys for harmony singing and when Graham Nash was singing the high end they were argueably the most exciting [vocally] Bobby Elliott is considered one of the top five drummers of the beat boom. Tony Hicks is a .very underrated guitarist. So in my humble opinion The Hollies are one of the most neglected bands! [ in the USA]

While thought of as a singles band The Hollies made interesting albums and three killers, Certain Because the first.This is what great Pop-Rock is all about! Melody, Hooks perfectly played. 'Stop! Stop! Stop!' a top ten smash, 'Tell Me To My Face' was covered by Keith and in 76 by Dan Fogelberg for good reason , 'Pay You Back' top 40. I don't see a weak cut on the album. Best of all is 'What Went Wrong', it's a song and performance that is among the sunniest of all time and really captures that 66-67 Brit Pop vibe! A TEN!! [Rubber Soul Eleven!]


Steve Potocin <> (22.11.2002)

Let me say right off the bat, I'm not crazy about 'Lullaby For Tim' or 'Ye Olde Toffee Shoppe', but those type of songs were trendy and The Hollies went along. The rest of this record is great! You need love, a melodic rocker as always great harmonies. 'Have You Ever Loved Somebody' was taken to the US charts by The Searchers because it was a great song and The Hollies version is better! The real gem here is 'When Your Lights Turned On'. I think this is the best song Graham Nash ever wrote! The best part is the middle eight with Allan Clarke singing the lead, and the harmonies soaring up on the word" way," breathtaking, really. An 8.6


Sergey Zhilkin <> (15.01.2001)

Very good title! This one is really a butterfly - lightweight and charming. Unfortunately these words can be addressed only to one half of record cause such songs as 'Maker', 'Pegasus', 'Elevated observations?' and 'Butterfly' are truly dull. On the contrary to these tracks, the record contains better stuff - 'Would you believe', 'Wishyouawish', 'Postcard'. They are so good that every of them can be called the best one on Butterfly.

As for the others, they are a little bit higher than mediocre but every song from this track has it's flaw. For example, 'Dear Eloise' suffers from childish voice in the beginning, 'Away awy away' loses some it's charm because of stupid repeating ('and all troubles seems to be so far AWAY, AWAY, AWAY') and 'Step inside' is a little bit cheesy.

After all, this one is good cause I've never tasted such instrumental pop. Rather enjoyable and it's recommended to everyone. My rating is something between 8 and 9.

PS. I relistened to 'Pegasus' and understood that it's not so bad. Now I can give a firm 9.

PPS. Actually, 'Would you believe' wasn't present on Would you believe album.

Ryan Maffei <> (21.02.2002)

...and then those bastards decided to stop being creative (see For Certain Because) and ride a trendy gravy train once more. I don't care what George and Mojo and everybody else says--this album is terrible. Absolutely terrible. Yes, it has some good spots, but otherwise it's idiotic piracy that JUST DOESN'T WORK.

See, the Hollies' mentality with this record was this--mix in a stupid opening pop rocker that everybody will like ("Dear Eloise", with more lyrical banalities), some pretentious song titles like "Elevated Observations" and "Wishyouawish" (oh wow, that's bad), that underwater vocal effect and other sonic things to make this sound damned crazy (the only time that's ever worked (the underwater thing) was on "Planet Caravan"!), silly fantasy lyrics ("I'm Pegasus the Flying Horse"--were these guys ever actually on hallucinogens? Seriously), and you've got yourself a Sgt. Pepper's Satanic Majesties Request an Electric Music for the Body and Mind Concert for Pisces, Aquarius, and Jones Ltd. This is a banal attempt at selling out by being creative. And Starling here rates Trout Mask Replica lower than this piece of dreck? Have I heard a different record?

Oh, by the way, hear some of the later stuff. The later later stuff. The Hollies were original at one thing--they pioneered the banal happy-pop commercial pirate thing that the Bee Gees circa Saturday Night Fever and N Sync would perfect years later. Groovy! A 5 for Butterfly.

[Special author note: hey! I love attempts at selling out by being creative. That's the best kind of record, if you axe me. At least, it's much better than selling out by being non-creative, doncha think?] Yes, I agree, that is the best way to sell out. Hence my use of the word "attempt" in this case.

Steve Potocin <> (29.11.2002)

Well, from looking at some of the other comments, there are strong opinions on this record, hate it or love it. I think most of it is pretty great. 'Dear Eloise', Ryan complains, has banal lyrics. So what? Good or Great pop & rock songs don't have to always make profound statements i.e. The Beatles" Hello, Goodbye" and 'Dear Eloise' is a great pop song. 'Would You Believe' is a granidose love song predating 'The Air That I Breathe' by 7 years, and it is one of their best songs period. 'King midas In Reverse', everyone likes this one, GREAT production by Ron Richards. 'Butterfly', light as a feather, gorgeous melody. 'Leave Me', tough rocker, where did this come from? Very cool song. There are 1 or 2 clunkers big deal. All in all, one of the better records of it's kind, it gets an A-.

<> (27.05.2003)

Don't get Butterfly! The reissue of Dear Eloise/King Midas In Reverse has both the previously UK exclusive tracks plus the American additions including the awesome latter title track. It's the best version of the album you're going to find, plus it's most likely easier for American listeners to get a hold of. The album is great, by the way, the best Hollies album I've heard. Great psychadelic pop, a genre I'm predisposed to like anyway. Oh, this is a flame, by the way. You didn't notice? Wow, you must be an idiot.


Steve Potocin <> (14.12.2002)

As a certified Holliesphile- fanatic it pains me to say I don't like this record. The concept sounds great, but when you hear it it's a dissapointment. The harmonies are fine as usual , but the arrangements, and instrumental choices[where are the guitars?] ruin it for me. Too much keyboards & horns, etc. best song; 'My Back Pages'. They would rebound with their next record, Hollies sing Hollies, now thats more like it!


No reader comments yet.


Sergey Zhilkin <> (07.03.2001)

I don't remember the tracks on this one exactly but here's my say. Confessions of the mind is a forced album. I mean that boys didn't have any other choise after their misstep (Hollies sing Dylan, which wasn't bad itself but, you know, it looked like one editing the Bible). It surely wasn't the right time for a breakthrough record - after all, these guys were really tired. And that's why this album looks like 'we're still alive' note. None of the songs are essential and, alas, every track has its minor or major flaw. 'Confessions of the mind' is too boring in the beginning, 'Perfect lady housewife' has stupid lyrics (I mean it's okay until I hear 'A,B,C,D...'), 'I wanna shout' lacks the instruments (I wonder why the boys didn't understand that) and 'Little girl' is ... heck, it again lacks the instruments! Luckily, the songs are short and sometimes I don't see thse flaws.

I suppose it should get 10/15 cause it's not crap and the boys really tried to put out good record but, unfortunately, they were too tired (somehow this feeling doesn't leave me all through the record).


Sergey Zhilkin <> (03.01.2001)

Distant light in the tunnel and fast train without breaks coming on you... Err, not exactly so.

To me this one is extreme mix of Rolling Stones, George Harrison and Billy Preston. And what we got as a result? We got gospel rock with little jams and shallow vocals. Sometimes I think that boys are trying to copy Jagger's voice. Hmm... Myabe this album is going to be called the most successful ripoff of all times? Really, none of these songs are bad, none of them are original.

Distant light is slightly better than Butterfly (as for Confession of the mind I just don't know simply because it doesn't present in my poor collection) and more enjoyable because of two facts: 1)The vocals are more bareable (sorry, but I couldn't stand through 'Dear Eloise') and 2)ALL the songs are 100% listenable (maybe except 'You know the score' with strange gap in the middle (or is it all because of my illegal copy?)). I won't put down any track here, though some of them are very familiar to each other (or they just can't be loaded in my head). 'What a life I've led' together with second track 'Look what we've got' for some strange reason remind me Billy Preston's 'That's the way God planned it'. 'Hold on' has splendid R'nB melody with desperate vocal. Next song 'Pull down the blind' is slightly worse than previous one but still it has pretty R'nB rythm and 'just-don't-bother-me' vocal.

Then I'm getting sleepy while 'To do with love' and 'Promised land' are playing. Until ...<BOOM!!! BOOM!!!>... 'Long cool woman (in a black dress)' starts with it's unforgetable guitar chords and echoey voice. I haven't heard CCR's 'Green River' but this one is certanly the best song here. Hard rockin' 'You know the score' follows it. Well, I'm not the fan of this song but at least it well played. Although, I admit that it would be twice better without strange gap in the middle. Then - 'Cable car'. Very nice ballad. As you know, I'm not the fan of ballads but this one touches me. And the last two tracks with support of orchestra remind me the best pieces of Harrison's All things must pass.

And now about ratings. It seems to me that Distant light is the best Hollies' album (okay, I don't have Confession of the mind and In the Hollies' style but who cares - they aren't so good as I understood from your reviews) so it should get 10/10. Butterfly comes close, too.

Julian Müller <> (01.09.2004)

Strange review that you gave this one, I don't get the points that you make (Promised Land - gospelish???(It's an anti war song) - and a great one). I think it's the best Hollies album and one of my absolute favourite records of all time! I'd give it 10 out of 10!

P.S.: Of course it's Clarke who sings on 'Long Cool Woman' and 'What A Life I've Led' and all the other songs. Terry Sylvester sings lead vocals only on the two songs that he wrote alone ('Pull Down The Blind', 'Cable Car').


Steve Potocin <> (06.04.2003)

The short story on Romany: Allan Clarke, seeing the bag of loot,and critical acclaim ex bandmate Graham Nash was getting for his solo disc,decides he wants to make one. Tony and Bobby tell him to choose: Hollies or solo. Goodbye Hollies. Hollies stupidly hire a singer from Sweden who speaks and sings with a accent!! They make the worst record of their career,and embark on a doomed tour where they are blown off the stage by The Raspberries! Clarkes solo record stiffs. Both sides come to their senses and reunite!! Grade C-

Hans Rueger <> (24.05.2003)

Hi - dont`t agree your lines about the Hollies Album Romany. For me it is one of their best albums. My favourite song is "Touch".


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Steve Potocin <> (03.09.2002)

The Hollies were first and foremost a singles band, so it would make sense that their Greatest Hits would be their best record [Tied with For Certain Because]

Lets start with the real early stuff, 'Here I Go Again' and 'Just One Look'. Both are uptempo covers propelled by the Haydock-Elliott rhythm section and those denist drill three part harmonies. These are pretty good. Next comes a couple of songs that did not make much of an impact in the USA but were huge in England. 'I'm Alive' and 'I Can't Let Go'. Now these two are great! The former hit #1 in England for good reason and the latter is one of The Hollies top 5 performances. On 'I Can't Let Go' [written by actor Jon Voights brother Chip Taylor, who also wrote 'Wild Thing'!] The Hollies take it up a notch, with the instrumental attack matching the now smoothed out harmonies. Paul McCartney was quoted as saying he thought Graham Nashs's voice at the end of the chorus was a trumpet!

We now come to The Hollies best song ever, yes it's written by genius Graham Gouldman, no it's not 'Bus Stop'. 'Look Thru Any Window' is a perfect song, perfectly performed. Starting with an instantly addictive 12 string itro followed by The Hollies most exciting vocal performance ever with added bonus of Bobby Elliotts explosive drumming and you have one of the top five song-perfomances of the Sixties I'll put it up against anything!

'Bus Stop', again great song great performance. At this point The Hollies started having hits with self written material. 'Stop! Stop! Stop!' 'On a Carousel' and 'Carrie Ann' among others proved how talented band this was. For about 4 years The Hollies could do it all, and this record proves it!

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