Thursday, 31 December 2015

The Hollies Through Any Window, Sky Arts

Christmas Hollies

I've been watching this excellent documentary on The Hollies, always a fan of the 'pop' music they produced in their early years and which ultimately became a reason behind Graham Nash leaving, though the pull of Laural Canyon and everything associated with that life was a significant additional factor.

All the main players are articulate and engaging in their reminiscences: Allan Clarke, Graham Nash, Tony Hicks and Bobby Elliot. Clarke and Nash explain the origins of those early songs, and some of the live black and white footage of playing these is both excellent in its visual quality but also the artistry of The Hollies as a band. I was particularly impressed with the musicianship of Hicks and Elliot, and their take on production and production decisions - especially as the technology of this changed over those early recording years, for all bands - was fascinating.

Watching this also urged me to get the vinyl out, and although I don't have original copies of their earliest albums, I do have their 1968 EMI Hollies' Greatest, and listening to those hits with the stories behind each still fresh in the mind [e.g. the New York nightclub belly dancer prompting the band to write Stop Stop Stop in their taxi ride afterwards] was a lot of fun.

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