Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Hollies U.S. Debut

THE HOLLIES-Stay/Now's The Time US Liberty F-55674 1964

The Hollies first appearance in the US came in January 1964 when Liberty records launched them with a cover of Maurice Williams and The Zodiacs 1960 hit "Stay" (previously released in the U.K. as their third single in November 1963). It was also their only single on the US label as subsequent releases were issued on the Imperial label.

The Hollies version of "Stay" eschews the annoying/screechy falsetto of the original (at least till the middle of the song anyway) and works because the band kick it up and turn the slow dance bump and grind of the original to an amphetamine raver at twice the speed. The best bit is Tony Hicks gritty little guitar solo that reminds me of The Milkshakes.

"Now's The Time" is a Clark/Nash original (published under their real names prior to the adoption pseudonym "L. Ransford"). It was the band's third original composition (for the band's first 4 singles in the U.K. their originals were only permitted on the B-sides until they had enough clout to be given a top side). "Now's The Time" is a frantic Merseybeat (Manc beat?) style raver delivered at double time with the requisite twangy/frenetic guitar solo and in my book is way better than the top side.

Both sides are available in a host of places, the best being the highly recommended 6 CD set "The Hollies: Clarke Hicks & Nash Years" which is still available from Amazon for a stunningly low price.

Hear "Stay":

Hear "Now's The Time":

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