The Thrifty Ear

The Thrifty Ear shamelessly confesses he waited until every Who and Kinks B-side was exhausted before inspecting the impeccable Hollies' album discography. Since he's never met anyone with Hollies albums to borrow, he's had to dig into his pockets on many occasions to pick up the slack for the rest of us frightened off by "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother."

The Hollies
Pay You Back With Interest cassette
Source: Salvation Army
Price: 50 cents
This album is almost a Freakbeat primer for not getting the girl. And I'm not just talking about "Stop! Stop! Stop!", where a guy gets thrown out of a club for hyperventilating at a belly dancer. Nah, I'm talking "Peculiar Situation," when Allan Clarke sings, "We're lovers but we don't make love," and adds, "Well that's all ri-hi-hight" where, say, a Jerry Lee Lewis would've just left the recording studio. Choosing the wine for dinner is better than fornicating? Bah! My other fave is the positively Fleet Street "Suspicious Look in Your Eyes." In order to more closely approximate Blonde on Blonde, Clarke purposely drones flat notes, but the other guys destroy the protest rock effect by cheerfully singing "Bop!" 56 times!

The Hollies
Butterfly CD
Source: Tracks in Wax
Price: $6.99
I'm on my second copy of the Hollies' finest album, as far down the paisley path as Graham Nash could lead his conservative bandmates. His sitar seminars and elevated observations on people with small minds who haven't gotten high yet might've been inside digs at the rest of the group. Tony Hicks' grudging entry in the psychedelic sweepstakes has him dolefully singing "I'm Pegasus the flying horse," promising to take you anywhere but asking you to be discreet about it. In the Hollies' world, this qualifies as a Ringo song. After Nash bolted to fight the ego wars in CS&N, the Hollies' impeccable harmonies took on an annoying mosquito-like sameness, but any group interview thereafter makes a point of saying the Hollies enjoyed their biggest chart hits after Nash left. That's like saying John Lennon had his biggest chart hits after Mark David Chapman shot him.

The Hollies
What Goes Around . . . LP
Source: Zia Record Exchange
Price: $1.99
Did someone say Hollie-oops? This shite 1983 album reunited the Clarke-Nash-Hicks songwriting team, but instead featured them recording a bunch of regrettable synth pop penned by some loser named Paul Bliss. And there's a cover of "Stop! In the Name of Love" that actually made me yell "Stop! Stop! Stop!" No, really!


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