There are a lot of bands who are known for one or a handful of songs but generally pass under our radar. I fall guilty of this all the time; I have been listening to my local classic rock radio station since I was four and I can recognize a slew of rock songs from all the way back to the 60s, but I can’t always remember the band who wrote the songs. An example of one of these bands for me are The Hollies, a British pop/rock band from Manchester, England.

Although the members have fluctuated a few times throughout the years, the Hollies have been around for fifty-six years. The band is actually known for “their pioneering and distinctive three-part vocal harmony style.” After growing success, The Hollies quickly became recognized as one of the best British rock groups of the 60s and translating into the 70s as well.

They topped all kinds of UK and US charts throughout their career, especially with their most notable 1972 hit “Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress.” The tune was in pretty stark contrast from their early-style rock and roll of previous albums. With the immense success of Credence Clearwater Revival a few years before, The Hollies decided to write a song in that “swamp rock” vein “in terms of vocal, rhythm, and melody.” This change in musical direction seemed to pay off for the band because it is still their number one hit with over 71 million streams on Spotify alone!

Another interesting fact about the Hollies’ background is that the band started as a skiffle duo including the notable musician Graham Nash of Crosby, Stills, and Nash. Nash was a pivotal songwriter and performer in The Hollies until 1968 when he began playing in the other project.

The Hollies continue to be references for pop-rock bands and were induced into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.

Patrick Ortiz 


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