Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Hollies '67

Having completed my collection of the 2011 BGO discs my attention moved toward the last full year of the Nash era Hollies, a period of rapid change across the entire pop music scene and within the group itself.In essence Graham Nash wished for the group to expand musically and lyrically in the way such luminaries as the Byrds, Beatles and Beach Boys had upping the 'Oh Wow' feel rather than producing perfect two and half minute pop songs, feeling that with December 1966's For Certain Because album they'd shaken of the mantle of recording other peoples work.
What he could not of foreseen is the way the singles and albums buying public would divided into two camps and the attempt to main pop success by the old standard of hit singles would eventually lead to a situation that he'd leave the band as he felt increasingly he was writing songs that couldn't supply them with the hits they required.

Telling the first album Evolution, as issued in the UK had no lead single and announced to the World the Hollies had embraced psychedelia where as the issue by Epic Records who'd acquired North American rights from Imperial rejigged it to 10 tracks from 12 and made Carrie Anne a hit single the opening cut. This album and it's followup Butterfly were remastered in 1999 by Peter Mew for EMI and suffered as did the whole series from the misuse of noise reduction leaving it sounding dead and tonally grey.In the UK in 1989 BGO did issue on cd both albums in their UK form and in 1999 Sundazed did but based around their US configurations.
In the case of Evolution the tracks orphaned from the UK release are placed at end of the cd re-issue adding Open Up Your Eyes, Jennifer Eccles and Signs That Will Never Change at the end.
The Sundazed cd in STEREO SC 6122 does sound very good being mastered by Bob Irwin at Sony Music from the UK tapes.

In November 1967 the follow up album Butterfly was issued which in my opinion is a more cohesive set of tracks seeing the band sing about Astral Plains and seeing all the colours of the rainbow in Try It, invoking child like wonder on Pegasus and chord changes on Dear Eloise.
For all of that it's still a beat album by the Hollies although with the benefit of hindsight Elevation Observations amongst others sounds like a Crosby Stills and Nash song before they all hooked up.

The North American version was re-titled as Dear Eloise/King Midas In Reverse featuring these two US Singles cut to 11 tracks adding Leave Me from the UK Evolution album.
Thankfully when Sundazed re-issued it on cd as SC 6123 they reinstated the UK sequence adding the US only tracks immediately afterward and well as Do The Best You Can in stereo.
BGO issued it briefly on cd as CD BGO 79 and it's a close call between the two for sound (I just about prefer the Sundazed).
King Midas is the US mired in reverb squashed stereo where is the orchestration? version: The best sounding stereo one is on the 1991 Epic Anthology.

No comments: