The Hollies

The Hollies

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Biography

Named not, as is popularly thought, after Buddy Holly, but after the Christmas 1962 holly decorating the house of founding member Graham Nash (later to find even greater fame with Crosby, Stills, and Young) the Hollies were nothing if not adaptable. The grinning beat pop and "pap-pap-she-waddy-wops" of "Stay" through to the folky overtures of "I've Got a Way of My Own" (like an estrogen-free version of the Mamas and the Papas) were obviously marvelous and yet entirely generic responses to the overriding cultural dominance of the Beatles and Bob Dylan (the latter of whose songs the band devoted an entire album to in 1968, Hollies Sing Dylan, precipitating Graham Nash's departure). But much the same thing can be said for the majority of their peers. Still, the 1960s were a golden age for the Hollies, and to hear the Graham Gouldman-penned "Bus Stop", "Carrie Anne" (part Kinks, part Beach Boys, part calypso) or the sweet-shop bubblegum of "Jennifer Eccles" is to be reacquainted with a sunny lost world of short skirts, Mini Coopers, and policemen on bicycles. Even the kneejerk cod-psychedelia of "King Midas in Reverse"--a full-on trumpets-blaring, cello-charging microcosm of Revolver and Sgt. Pepper-isms--deserves revisionist plaudits. The Hollies experienced a bit of a renaissance in the early '70s, with tracks like "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother," the CCR-esque "Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress," and "The Air That I Breathe," and beat Manfred Mann to the Springsteen-covering punch with their version of "Sandy," but have largely been strangers to the charts since. Yet the group soldiers on, though with the departure of Allan Clarke in 2000, there are no remaining founding members (Tony Hicks and Bobby Elliott have, however, both been Hollies since 1963).

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