Saturday, May 13, 2017

More U.K. Tracks On U.S. Labels: The Hollies get butchered by Manny Kellem

THE HOLLIES-Jennifer Eccles/Try It US Epic 5-10298 1967

"Jennifer Eccles" ranks as one of my least favorite Graham Nash period Hollies tunes. Maybe it's the shrill, saccharine pop of it that's so sweet and sticky you can feel cavities growing every time you listen to it.  Maybe it's the out of place pedal steel guitar solo. And though I'm no fan of C,S,N & Y one wonders if crap like this didn't send Graham running west as fast as he could (it was his next to last Hollies 45). Issued in the U.K. in March 1968 (Parlophone R 5680) with "Open Up Your Eyes" on the flip it reached # 7. Issued here in the States one month prior it stalled at #40.

Hollies 1967 courtesy of

Of interest to me however is it's U.S. flip "Try It".  First issued on the U.K. album "Butterfly" (Parlophone PMC 7039, November 1967), "Try It" was not on the U.S. 1967 catch up album "Dear Eloise/King Midas In Reverse", a hodge podge of  singles tracks and cuts from the U.K. "Butterfly"  and tracks trimmed from their previous U.S. issue of the British long player "Evolution". "Try It" is by far the most psychedelic record The Hollies ever cut.  Starting with some backwards cymbals (sans the ominous outer space sound effects on this oddball U.S. mix)  Alan Clarke sings "travel by the silver light to a place that has no time, why don't you try it now". Clearly "Try It" was a clarion to all to become enlightened. Whats not specific is whether its a call to experience spiritual enlightenment or to ingest psychedelic substances and watch the walls breathe or maybe both.  One would suspect the band's in house hippie Graham Nash was behind the lyrics as its hard to imagine Allen Clarke or Tony Hicks coming up with anything so druggy and indulgent.  The U.S. single mix is interesting because Clarke's vocals (and Nash's) are single tracked and missing the reverb effect the U.K. version has and sound as though Clarke was down the hall from the mike and some of the spooky sonic effects are either absent in certain spots or toned down in others. Perplexing.  The label states "prepared for release in the U.S.A by Manny Kellem". Kellem was a U.S. A&R man with Epic so its safe to assume he's the brain surgeon who fucked with Ron Richards trippy masterpiece! Apparently he was also responsible for butchering U.S. releases by the Dave Clark Five as well.

Hear the U.S. 45 mix of "Try It":

Hear the U.K. LP mix of "Try It":

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