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The Hollies

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The Hollies

The Hollies are a British rock and roll band formed in the early 1960s. They signed to Parlophone in 1963 as label-mates of The Beatles, and released their first album in the US in 1964 as part of the first wave of British Invasion releases. They are commonly associated with Manchester, because several original Hollies came from the city and its outlying communities.

The Hollies had a squeaky-clean image, and were famous for their rich vocal harmonies, which rivalled those of The Beach Boys. They scored their first major British hit in 1964 with a cover of Doris Troy's "Just One Look". Frequent releases during the mid-60s included many cover versions of popular songs, as well as a few group-penned hits and many songs written especially for them by professional songwriters.

By 1965 The Hollies were established as one of Britain's pre-eminent singles bands, and they enjoyed huge chart success in many countries in the mid-Sixties, releasing a string of classic harmony-pop hits including ""Bus Stop"" (written by future 10CC member Graham Gouldman), "I'm Alive", "Stop, Stop Stop", "Carrie Anne" (from which actress Carrie-Anne Moss got her name, having been born when the song was on the charts), "On A Carousel" and "Look Through Any Window". Drummer Bobby Elliot is also considered by many to be one of England's best drummers; together with longtime bassist Bernie Calvert, the Hollies enjoyed a solid, almost jazz-oriented backbeat. Tony Hicks and Graham Nash shared the guitar spotlight, while frontman Allan Clarke sang in his distinctive nasal tenor. Until 2000, Allan Clarke remained the primary singer.

When Graham Nash, one of the group's main songwriters, left in 1968 over creative differences, he joined forces with former Buffalo Springfield member Steven Stills and ex-Byrds member David Crosby to form one of the first 'supergroups', Crosby, Stills and Nash. Soon afterwards, a massive audition took place for a suitable successor. Guitarist-singer Terry Sylvester of the Swinging Blue Jeans eventually joined. This lineup had an immediate hit with "Sorry, Suzanne".

Singer Allan Clarke briefly left the group in 1971 for a solo career. European star Mikael Rickfors overcame language barriers as Clarke's replacement, yielding the major hit "The Air That I Breathe". Allan Clarke returned in 1972 with the Creedence Clearwater Revival-inspired smash, "Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress".

The group's popularity reached a peak in 1972 with the civil rights themed "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother", which was revived years after its initial appearance as a result of its use in a television advertisement and reached #1 in the UK and American charts. Some have compared the Hollies' successful vocal style to classic 70s bands, from Yes to Styx.

The band continued to record and tour sporadically in various lineups through the mid-1980s They still tour as of 2004, albeit with only two original members -- Hicks and Elliot. After Allan Clarke's retirement in 2002, he was replaced by Carl Wayne, former lead singer of The Move, but sadly Wayne worked with the group for only two years before his untimely death from cancer in 2004.

Line-up

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The Hollies

Discography

incomplete

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The Hollies
  1. Stay With The Hollies, 1964
  2. In The Hollies Style, 1965
  3. The Hollies, 1965
  4. Would You Believe, 1966
  5. For Certain Because, 1966
  6. Would You Believe, 1967
  7. Evolution, 1967
  8. Butterfly, 1967
  9. The Vintage Hollies, 1967 (stereo reissue of In The Hollies Style)
  10. Stay With The Hollies, 1968 (stereo reissue)
  11. The Hollies' Greatest, 1968 (compilation)
  12. The Hollies Sing Dylan, 1969
  13. Hollies Sing Hollies, 1969
  14. Reflection, 1969 (stereo reissue)
  15. Confessions Of The Mind, 1970
  16. Distant Light, 1971

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