Stay With The Hollies by The Hollies
13 Jul 2022
In January of 1964 a British band called the Hollies released their debut album “Stay With The Hollies.” The songs were all recorded throughout the year of 1963. The lineup of the band featured Allan Clarke on lead vocals and harmonica, Graham Nash on rhythm guitar and vocals, Tony Hicks on lead guitar and vocals, Bobby Eliot on drums and Eric Haydock on bass. 13 of the 14 songs were covers. The only original song on this album was titled “Little Lover” which was written by Graham Nash and Allan Clarke. This song featured Dan Rathbone on drums instead of Bobby Eliot. It’s a pop album with nothing really original. It is a mix of covers from the 50's and early 60's.
The musicianship on this album is ok. They definitely have the 50’s rock sound but it isn't original. A group like the Beatles had two albums released on EMI before the Hollies released their debut album on the label. However the Beatles only did 6 covers on both of those albums out of their 14 songs. They were able to mix it in with original material. Why this album doesn’t have much momentum is that these were well known songs that were well known to the public, the only difference was this time it was coming from young English guys. They don't add anything new to these songs. They sound exactly the same. The challenge of when you do an album full of covers is to be able to put originality into it. When I listened to this album twice on a car ride back and forth from a friend’s house, each time I heard the songs they felt like background music.
I was going to try to listen to the album a third time to see if I hear a difference but it really just felt like a chore. Don’t get me wrong I like the Hollies and love songs like “Bus Stop” and “Carrie Anne.” I was definitely fascinated by the impact Nash and Clarke had on the band. Their harmonies blended well together and you can even hear that on this album with songs like “Little Lover,” “Mr. Moonlight,” ''Stay,” and “Talking ‘bout You." It is an interesting prototype of what was to come of this group. My recommendation for anybody reading this review would be to check out their well known hits first and then head over to this album for curiosity of how they started out.