The Band: The Hollies
From: Manchester, UK
Formed/Brokesed Up: 1962--
Sound & Vision: The Hollies are oldies radio staples, too clean to admit to liking. They were a bridge between the soft-as-shit sounds of the late 1950s, after Elvis was drafted, and the drop-acid-dodge-draft-make-long-boring-art-movie 1960s. They were signed to Parlophone in 1963. They were the Beatles labelmates, but they were for people who thought "wow, "Please Please Me" is too fucking radical, where can I find a band that's a little cheerier than this?"
Groovy Hollies (Graham Nash, second from left)
My first date with my wife we went to Tabard Inn and after we left it was rainy and we shared an umbrella. It's really a money situation for a date, even lurchy Asperbergerers can get a nice snuggle under the umbrella. So I can dig it and I'd put it in the same conversation as any Beatles song from Revolver, which was released the same year.
Bus Stop - [The Hollies] - The Hollies
Later, Nash left the band for his hippie rendezvous, but the Hollies carried on (they've never, in fact, to this day broken up, which usually is a bad sign for the listener). Sadly, one of the best days of my life was when Sacklunch and his housemates at Seaton Street said that they had no interest in the stack of Time-Life's 20-compact disc set, Sounds Of The Seventies, CDs that had been mistakenly delivered to their house, for a long-gone occupant. I scrounged the stack and I think it changed my life (I highly recommend disc 13, Punk and New Wave, it's Smithsonian quality). One special highlight was AM Hits, and featured within were not one but two Hollies hits. The first is "Air That I Breathe," which is something you'd hear on the "Wonder Years" (or plausibly "Freaks and Geeks") during a junior high (slow) dance scene. The Hollies' last big hit was the fantastic "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother," which is allegedly about civil rights, but when I think about it, I picture a fat newsie Depression street urchin, holding beneath the armpits a slightly less fat version of himself. Sometimes he's reporting to FDR on the progress of the New Deal while he tousles Little Orphan Annie's red hair. Don't ask me why, I just do.
"The Air That I Breathe," The Hollies (1974)
So, do you like The Hollies? Do you not like The Hollies? Myself, they're a guilty pleasure, and it pleases me to feel guilty.