Epic KE 32574
Released: May 1974
Chart Peak: #28
Weeks Charted: 23
The lingering prejudice against the Hollies is probably due to two things: the huge success of their treacly single, "He Ain't Heavy (He's My Brother)," and a kind of snobbish conviction that the group Graham Nash left years ago for high-minded artistic reasons could never do anything noteworthy again.
The current Hollies are, in their charming way, as appealing as any group and it would be childish to begrudge them the commercial hits that enable them to continue to produce such sweetly anachronistic albums as this one.
The excitement generated by these 11 predominantly group-written tunes harks back to some earlier period in British rock, the time of "Hello Goodbye" or "Carrie Ann" or, especially, "Itchycoo Park." Just as fans waited for the next marvelous confection from the Small Faces, Hollies' listeners will be intrigued with this band's cut-to-cut inventiveness and desire to please.
The crisp and very professional production by Ron Richards and the Hollies makes fun respectable. The amazing repertoire of effects at the group's command results in a kind of aural history of what can be achieved in a three-minute tune: here a taste of the Buffalo Springfield, there some psychedelic wah-wah juxtaposed with mouth harp, Moog and jet-plane phasing side-by-side with Everlys' voicings, then a bit of "Zaba-dak" echo, followed by a stretch of the old Hollies' harmonies. There are Chuck Berry riffs, echoes of Elvis and Buddy, a slow lovelorn lament reminiscent of Bo Diddley. The rewards of pop -- that's what this album is about.
Rock & roll still means what it did ten years ago to the Hollies and they convey it with exuberance and style and wit. No one else is doing what they are doing now. No apologies are necessary, and no patronizing permitted. The Hollies are wonderful.
- Tom Nolan, Rolling Stone, 6/20/74.
Hollies scholars herald Allan Clarke's homecoming as a return to form, but though the material is their most playful in years -- the slyly circular "Love Makes the World Go Round," the slyly hyperbolic "Out on the Road" -- the old lightness is gone, probably forever. I mean, soul is soul -- at times the sham intensity here is almost baroque. We are not charmed. B-
- Robert Christgau, Christgau's Record Guide, 1981.
Main Page | Readers' Favorites | The Classic 500 | Other Seventies Discs | Search The RockSite/The Web