The Hollies - Growing Songwriters!
Morten Vindberg | Denmark | 07/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These two original albums were first released in 1965 and 1966. Compared to their two previous albums, the first thing that strikes you is how the songwriting partnership Clarke/Hicks/Nash had grown. On the first albums most their songs were more or less filler. Strangely enough they still used the psudonym "Ransford" for their song-writing credit.
Here most of their songs are highlights on the albums. On "The Hollies" "Very Last Day", "Too Many People" and "So Lonely" stand out. Their version of "That's My Desire" is great too!
On "Would You Believe Me" their material is even stronger. "Hard Hard Year", "Fifi the Flea" and "I've Got a Way of My Own" are simply great. On this album the material is generally much stronger, making it one of the essential albums of 1966. They bring new life into Buddy Holly's "Take Your Time". The single "I Can't Let Go" is incredible catchy and irressistable. And finally my favorite on the CD the old country classic "Stewball" - magnificent vocal harmonies!!
Especially "Would You Believe" is a clear indication that even greater songs and albums were too come. After this album the band began to write many of their hit-singles themselves, and the vast majority of the songs on their following albums were Clarke/Hicks/Nash material."
Two great albums for your Brit-beat collection.
Flash Thompson | Chicago | 07/14/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Many of the beat groups from the original British Invasion have drifted off into obscurity. Some justly so, while some unjustly. One band that doesn't deserve the fate of being a member of one of the forgotten beat bands is surely The Hollies. They were there from nearly the beginning, and are a shining example of the finest of the British Beat Groups, with their upbeat tempos, ringing guitars and soaring harmonies. They were fine pop craftsmen who were able to cover many other artists' songs, often surpassing the original versions. Take for instance the all-time classic I Can't Let Go, contained on the album Would You Believe?. A truly great song that deserved to be a major hit in the US but failed to achieve any airplay, this song is so superior to the original that it renders the original obsolete. The Hollies were also able to cover songs from groups as diverse as Peter, Paul and Mary to Buddy Holly to The Impressions, and make them their own.
The Hollies were no slouches in the songwriting department, either. Both discs shine with Hollies originals such as: When I Come Home To You, Too Many People, and I've Got A Way Of My Own. These two albums seem to lean more towards cover versions, although The Hollies themselves preferred to record more of their own material. That, I believe, is the general weakness of The Hollies, and one on which helps perpetuate their rather unknown status as a great rock and roll band. Because they truly were, as a cursory listen to these two albums shows.
The Hollies, which was released in 1965, contains mostly cover versions, including some great ones: The Very Last Day; You Must Believe Me; and Lawdy Miss Clawdy. Their own material is sparse, but generally good. Most songs on the disc are keepers, none are throwaways, and the overall album is very good.
Would You Believe? is The Hollies true last beat record. Released in 1966, it is the last one before the band bowed to Graham Nash's desire to basically forsake their beat roots and go psychedelic. The record has the greatest ( IMO ) Hollies song of all: I Can't Let Go. It also has other great covers, including Take Your Time - as good as the Buddy Holly original, but in a different way; Don't You Even Care (What's Gonna Happen To Me?); I Take What I Want; and That's How Strong My Love Is. Would You Believe? is another classic Hollies record. Together, both albums on one cd is a must have for any fan of British Beat music. Or any fan of strong beat, soaring harmonies, ringing, jangly guitars and tightly crafted rock and roll songs.
The Hollies could seemingly do it all. They were huge in England, but didn't manage to get a hit in the states until Bus Stop, a sad departure from their true beat roots ( although not too bad a pop song ). Do yourself a big favor, and buy this disc. Then do yourself a bigger favor, and buy all the music they made up to these albums. Take it from someone who has most of their stuff ( well, 1966 and back anyway - you know, the good stuff ) on both cd and vinyl. While The Hollies may not be quite forgotten, they are certainly more deserving than history has remembered them."
You must be-liee-hee-heve me!
Brian J. Mcmahon | Alexandria, VA United States | 03/12/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"2 Albums for the price of one, you can find 10 songs on here you like. The sound of The Hollies is amazing, I fell in love with them all over again, even on the dingiest of tracks their vocals soar. Play with the balance control is you don't believe me, isolate the vocals on I Can't Let Go and you'll see what I mean. They are the Everly Bros. with 3-part harmony on speed. I try not to let my taste get in the way of my reviews, because otherwise this would have got 4 stars. Great if you're tired of the hits and want to hear some earlier stuff from them."