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Posts from the ‘Hollies’ Category

14
Jan

The Hollies – Write On (1976) – Lp

The Hollies are an English pop/rock group known for their pioneering and distinctive three-part vocal harmony style. The Hollies became one of the leading British groups of the 1960s and into the mid 1970s. It was formed by Allan Clarke and Graham Nash in 1963 as a Merseybeat type music group in Manchester, although some of the band members came from towns north of there. Graham Nash left the group in 1968 to form the supergroup Crosby, Stills & Nash.

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Artist:  The Hollies
Title:  Write On
Year:  1976
Format:  LP
Label:  Polydor Records
Catalog#  2374120

At the time of its release in early 1976, Epic Records passed on Write On, but subsequently included a handful of its songs, including “Star,” “Love Is the Thing,” “I Won’t Move Over,” and the title track on 1977’s Clarke, Hicks, Sylvester, Calvert & Elliott. Why they passed on it is anyone’s guess, since it’s as strong as anything the group had been putting on LP up to that time, made up of pleasant and tuneful, if not always memorable or exciting songs, the authorship of all but one credited to Allan Clarke, Terry Sylvester, and Tony Hicks. The opening track, “Star,” might have been a modest hit, with its engaging hooks, quasi-reggae beat, and gorgeous harmonizing on the choruses, if it had been given a chance on AM radio. “Write On” is also beautifully sung and offers a delicious chorus, but just misses the level of tension needed to put it over, even with Tony Hicks‘ larger-than-life guitar solo in the middle. The delightfully ebullient “Sweet Country Calling,” by contrast, is a lost AM radio classic that ought to have kept this band at least near the Top Ten; “Narida” is a dance number with a great beat and a powerful, reverb-drenched lead vocal performance by Allan Clarke; the languid, ethereal “Love Is the Thing” might be the prettiest song the group ever recorded this side of “The Air That I Breathe”; “Crocodile Woman” is an uncharacteristic (for this group) rock’n’blow blowout heavily featuring Hicks‘ guitar; “My Island” was a showcase for their softer, more lyrical, acoustic side; and the closer, “There’s Always Goodbye,” was a good attempt to merge these different facets of the group’s sound within one song, highlighted by some gorgeous dual-layered acoustic guitars. Good as the group is on the best of these songs — and that’s very good — the album also illustrates the basic problem faced by the Hollies, entering an era in which they were defined by their songs rather than a precise image.

 

Side one
1.  Star  (3.39)
2.  Write On  (4:48)
3.  Sweet Country Calling  (3:05)
4.  Love Is The Thing  (3:34)
5.  I Won’t Move Over  (3:32)

Side two
1.  Narida  (3:58)
2.  Stranger  (3:28)
3.  Crocodile Woman  (3:33)
4.  My Island  (4:20)
5.  There’s Always Goodbye  (4:15)

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