THE HOLLIES 2016
The Hollies are one of Britain’s best-loved groups. Their soaring, distinctive harmonies, brilliantly crafted songs, and cultivated musicianship; coupled with The Hollies extensive back catalogue of hits, has ensured the longevity of one of the greatest Pop groups to emerge from the early 1960’s British Rock revolution; when British Music first began to shake the world.
With a track record as luminous and colossal as The Hollies’, it’s difficult to know where to begin. The band have released some of the best-loved pop songs ever:
The Air That I Breathe, American number 1: Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress), Bus Stop, I’m Alive, Carrie Anne, the soul-stirring He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother... the list goes on.
From 1963 through to the mid-70’s, The Hollies had more hits than even the Beatles. In that period alone, they had 18 Top ten hits. “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” gave them another No 1 hit when re-released in 1988.
"I’m Alive” had been their first chart topper back in 1965.
Today, at the heart of The Hollies since 1963 are original members: drummer Bobby Elliott and singer, songwriter and lead guitarist, Tony Hicks.
In 1963, as the world was changing from black and white into Technicolor, five working class Northern lads, Elliott, Hicks, Allan Clarke, Eric Haydock and Graham Nash set up their two humble guitar amplifiers and drum kit in Studio 3 at Abbey Road studios. The red light went on and the hit making machine known as The Hollies, leaped into life and into the unknown; pioneering firstly, the two way harmony, then the famous 3 way as can be heard on their 1964 chart-topping hit, Just One Look.
Nash left the group at the end of 1968 to team up with David Crosby and Stephen Stills to form another harmony band, Crosby Stills and Nash, but The Hollies hits kept coming, not just in Britain, but all over the world.
To top it off, these guys have been entertaining audiences worldwide, year in, year out, for a staggering six decades - as always driven by Bobby Elliott’s powerhouse drumming and led by Tony Hick’s masterful guitar playing and distinctive singing.
The band takes great pride in presenting their UK theatre tours, No support act is needed as their stage performance can last for two hours. Scandinavian and European concert dates and outdoor festivals in Australia and New Zealand take place most years.
The Hollies are Tony Hicks and Bobby Elliott, bassist and singer, Ray Stiles, formerly with Mud. He has been with The Hollies for 30 years. Keyboardist Ian Parker, who has worked with Clannad and Chuck Berry has been in the group for almost as long. Guitarist/singer Steve Lauri is on the frontline next to lead vocalist, Peter Howarth.
• The Hollies appeared on the BBC’s very first ‘Top of the Pops’ on New Years Day 1964, with The Rolling Stones, Dusty Springfield and The Beatles.
• The Hollies pioneered the use of the three-way vocal harmony in Pop Music.
• The Hollies were innovators. Unusual instrumentation was often used during the production of their records at Abbey Road - including banjo, tubular bells, celesta, glockenspiel and bagpipes.
• Carrie Anne is the first hit record to feature real steel drums.
• Friend and colleague Graham Nash left The Hollies in December 1968 to set up house with Joni Mitchell and form super group ‘Crosby Stills and Nash’ in Los Angeles.
• Elton John played piano on several Hollies recordings, including ‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother’ in 1969.
• In 1988 ‘He Ain't Heavy’ was re-released, and went straight to #1 in the UK.
• 1993 and The Hollies were presented with The Ivor Novello Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to British Music’
• The Hollies were inducted into the American Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2010 for their 'Impact on the Evolution, Development and Perpetuation of Rock and Roll'.