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Non-Prog CD Reviews

The Hollies


Review by Gary Hill

This live set from 1983 has just been shown the light of day in 2004. While the Hollies have a reputation of being a great live act, this disc doesn't seem to hold a lot of evidence of that fact. Sure, there is some strong material here, and nothing is purely trash, but a lot of times the vocal performance falls flat and much of the music just seems rather lackluster. Two of the best tracks actually come from Hollies member Graham Nash's other band, Crosby Stills and Nash. "Bus Stop" and the incredibly powerful "Soldier's Song" are both standouts. "Air That I Breathe" is another expected highlight. The show stopper, literally, is the extended version of "Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress". This one is entertaining and not bad. It just seems like it could have been a lot better.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2005 Year Book Volume 3 at

Track by Track Review
I Can't Let Go
This pop rock cut comes across effective, but the vocal arrangement feels a little harsh in this take.
Just One Look
This slower cut has only a minor R & B texture to it. It works better than the last track and includes a rather funky bass line.
Bus Stop
With an almost '50's styled intro, this classic still holds up quite well all these years later, and truly the vocal arrangement is what truly sells it. This is one of the highlights of the disc.
This cut has a definite '80's texture to it, this one is rather weak.
On A Carousel
Starting with almost acapella vocals, this is a fun rocker, but the vocal performance is a bit rough here.
Someone Else's Eyes
A more mellow piano based ballad, this one is pretty and quite effective. It has some tasty guitar work, and the arrangement gets quite lush later. This one isn't exceptionally catchy, but is actually a very well constructed and executed piece of music.
Look Through My Window
This pop rocker is fairly strong, but the vocal performance falls a little short.
King Midas In Reverse
This is a mellow acoustic ballad thatg feels pretty effective, just not all that catchy. It actually feels a bit awkward.
Wasted On The Way
Moving into Graham Nash's material from his Crosby Stills and Nash days, this comes across as a very powerful one, and one of the highlights of the album.
Teach Your Children
This is another CSN cut that is a great ballad. This rendition is decidely less countryh than the original and a grteat acousitc ballad. It still includes a countrified solo.
Soldier's Song
Keyboards and vocals start this in a dramatic progish fashion. This ballad is quite strong. It jumps later to a killer full on progressive rock jam. This is the strongest cut on the disc. It's very powerful.
Stop, Stop, Stop
This song is bouncy and just has a bit of a silly texture to it. It is not bad, but rather just a bit of a throw away.
Air That I Breathe
This song is a classic and just a great, great song. It still holds up very well, all those years later. The solo is very strong, and this is definitely another highpoint of the disc.
Carrie Anne
This bouncy Caribbean pop rocker is fun, but not all that special to this reviewer.
Stop In The Name of Love
A more upbeat and somewhat proggy track, this balladic one is quite cool.
Stop in the Name of Love
Another powerful ballad, this cut is very evocative.
Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress
My favorite Hollies song, this rocks out very well here. The instrumental break/guitar solo is especially strong. This is extended and includes a lot of killer soloing from all the musicians. It is a great way to end the disc.
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