The Hollies enjoyed tremendous success in the UK in the 1960s along with The Beatles, Rolling Stones and The Kinks. The band was popular on a worldwide basis, but it was in the United Kingdom where they enjoyed their greatest success. The band released their first album in 1964 entitled Stay with The Hollies. The original members of the band included Allan Clarke on vocals, Eric Haydock on bass, Tony Hicks on vocals and guitar, Graham Nash on vocals and guitar and Bobby Elliott on drums.
In 1968, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Graham Nash left the band to form Crosby Stills, Nash and Young. The Hollies continued on with Terry Sylvester joining the band singing Graham Nash’s vocals parts. Since the band’s debut album in 1964, The Hollies have released twentyone studio albums and twenty two compilation albums. The Hollies have also been one of the most prolific singles bands releasing 67 singles over their 50 plus year career. With that much music released, picking only ten has proven to be very difficult. Nonetheless, it’s what we do and so here you our. Our Top 10 Songs by The Hollies…..
# 10 – I’m Alive
We open our Top 10 Songs by The Hollies list with the great track ‘I’m Alive.” The song was released in 1965. The song hit number one on the United Kingdom music charts. However the song was not even able to break the United States Billboard Hot 100 pop charts. Interesting how a song can be so huge in the United Kingdom and go virtually unnoticed in the United States.
# 9 – Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress
It’s amazing that this is the same band that released songs like “Carrie Ann,” “On A Carousel,” and “I’m Alive,” in the 1960s. This track sounds nothing like The Hollies of the 1960s. It’s not just that the guitar is so up front and Allan Clarke’s vocals sound more Motown than rock; it’s the sheer amount of reverb that gives this song its classic sound. The riff is legendary, and it’s one of the most recognizable songs of the early 1970’s. It just does not sound like The Hollies. But then again so what, it’s such a great song.
# 8 – Stop Stop Stop
The great Hollies song “Stop Stop Stop,” was first released as a single in 1966. The song was a huge hit in the United Kingdom peaking at number 2 on the pop music charts. The song also achieved tremendous success in the United States as it broke the Billboard Top 10. The song was eventually released on the UK Hollies album For Certain Because…
# 7 – Dear Eloise
The Hollies song “Dear Eloise,” was originally released on the UK album Butterfly. The album was released in 1967. Like The Beatles, the band had different versions of their albums released in the United States than the original ones released in the United Kingdom. The United States album was entitled Dear Eloise / King Midas in Reverse. The U.S. album not only had a different title and cover, but also different songs. Once again, similar to what Capital Records did with the U.S. Beatles albums as opposed to the U.K. original Parlophone releases
# 6 – On A Carousel
The next six Hollies songs could have been listed pretty much in any order as far as favorites. As we put together our Songs of the Hollies list, we had a really hard time picking the order. But then again, that’s what makes this so much fun. On our earlier draft we had The Hollies “On A Carousel,” number one, but then we moved things around a bit. Easily though one of our favorites. The song was released in 1967.
# 5 – Carrie Ann
“Carrie Ann,” was another great Hollies song that we had originally in our number one spot. The vocals on this one are simply to die for. The great Hollies song was released in 1967. It was a top 10 hit in seven countries including the United States and United Kingdom.
# 4 – He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother
Both The Hollies and Glen Campbell had huge hits with this wonderfully written song. The song was released in 1969. “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother,” was written by the songwriting team of Bobby Scott and Bob Russell. It was a top 10 hit in both the United States and United Kingdom. Glen Campbell’s version was released in 1971 off the album The Last Time I Saw Her. Neil Diamond also recorded a version of the song which he also had a hit with.
One of the most interesting facts about The Hollies version that many people are unaware of is that pop superstar and legend Elton John played piano on The Hollies version of “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother,”
# 3 – The Air That I Breathe
As we continue with our 10 Best Songs of The Hollies list, we turn to the great moody song “The Air That I Breathe.” The song was released by The Hollies in 1974. It was one of the band’s biggest hits. It reached the top 10 in multiple countries around the world. The song was originally written by Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood.
# 2 – Bus Stop
In 1966, The Hollies broke the United States Billboard Top 10 for the first time. They did it with the incredible song “Bus Stop.” The song was written by Graham Gouldman who would eventually form his own very successful band that came to be known as 10cc. Graham Gouldman had been responsible for writing some of the biggest rock songs of the 1960s including The Yardbirds big hit “For Your Love.”
The Hollies “Bus Stop,” was a huge hit on a worldwide basis. It was a number one single in both Canada and Sweden. It hit number five in the United Kingdom and number seven in the United States. It was also a top 10 hit in West Germany, Norway, The Netherlands and Ireland.
# 1 – Look Through Any Window
For the number one spot on our 10 Best Songs of The Hollies list, we choose the great Hollies song “Look Through Any Window.” The song defines The Hollies sound of the 1960s in such pure fashion. Even though it was not written by The Hollies songwriting team of Allan Clarke, Graham Nash, and Tony Hicks, its lyricism, melody and harmonies exemplified the heart of The Hollies almost more than any other Hollies songs. That is simply why we choose it for our number one spot. The song was originally released in 1965. It was written by Graham Gouldman and Charles Silverman.