Saturday, 28 May 2011


Not normally keen on box sets for reasons to do with space as often the less than clear reason behind their rational for existence, I did make a bit of an exception for this one released earlier this month by EMI UK.
Entitled The Hollies: The Clarke, Hicks & Nash years, it does for once what any box set should do mainly putting together every recording by an artist in a self-defined period for set set has every single Hollies track ever issued up to and including the point Graham Nash jumped the ship and teamed up with David Crosby and Neil Young including several foreign language recordings previously unissued on cd.
So we're treated to the singles (Ain't That) Just Like Me and it's b side to Listen To Me taking in 7 studio albums and some EP only tracks over 6 cds housed in a overfolded if that's the right word 'Fat box' twice the width of ordinary cds.
With only a handful of tracks freshly mastered the set draws upon the remasters done in the 1990's and 2003 by Peter Mew which is a bit of mixed blessing for while the set is cheap in part cos the lions share of the work was already done, his mastering does suffer from the tendency to 'clean up' tape hiss using noise reduction techniques that leave the music lacking a bit of' 'air' although there's aren't by any means the worst I've encountered for that.
For those reasons I would hold on to your copies of the out of print cd "All the hits and more", the still in print "20 Golden Greats" and the US Epic Anthology cd as they do sound that much better for the hits but the strength of this set is the ability to dip into albums such as 1967's Evolution and Butterfly which remain among the finest albums issued that year even though the difference between them and the singles like Carrie-Anne are telling and highlight the tension around the band balancing having smash hits and making creatively worthwhile music which lead Nash to leave in the end.
Recommended as for as little as the £12.97 I paid for mine it's a terrific bargain.

Elsewhere on this blog you'll find entries around the Hollies on cd if you click on the Music link on the Topic Index and look though the results.

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