Library Rock's Backpages

In Praise of the Hollies

Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, 2017

WITH THEIR EXUBERANT three-part harmony, chiming guitar riffs, and keen sense of what makes a memorable hook, the Hollies created a signature sound. At first, their success came from cannily spotting songs that had hit potential — 'I'm Alive', 'Look Through Any Window', 'Bus Stop', 'I Can't Let Go' — and, like most of their U.K. contemporaries, digging through older rock and roll and R&B songbooks (their initial U.K. hits were covers of 'Searchin'' by the Coasters and 'Stay' by Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs, and they hit the lower portion of the U.S. hot 100 with Doris Troy's 'Just One Look'). The track listings of their earliest albums, and set lists of their live shows, included material that could have been, and for the most part was, a part of dozens of British groups' repertoires: recycled Chuck Berry and Little Richard, Motown and New Orleans R&B, 'You Better Move On' and 'She Said Yeah'.

Total word count of piece: 3332


Becoming a member is easy. Membership gives you access to all the thousands of articles in the library.

Click here to go to Subscribe page.

Click here for academic and other group subscriptions.