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The Clarke, Hicks & Nash Years (6 CD) Box set


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Aug. 2 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: EMI Music Canada
  • ASIN: B004QJL4D8
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #34,129 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Product Description

UK six CD collection containing of all The Hollies material recorded between April 1963 - October 1968, during their stellar period, with in-band songwriting trio of Allan Clarke, Tony Hicks and Graham Nash. The Hollies were one of the most successful British groups of the 1960s, scoring 17 consecutive, Top 20 UK singles. Signing to EMI in 1963, they started out scoring hits with a number of cover versions. , later of 10cc. From October 1966 until Nash's departure, all their A-sides were Clarke-Hicks-Nash compositions. Beginning with 'Stop, Stop, Stop' through 'On a Carousel' and 'Carrie Anne' to the more experimental 'King Midas in Reverse', 'Jennifer Eccles' and their final single with Graham Nash, 'Listen To Me' (UK #11), the songwriting trio crafted a series of hugely successful, imaginative pop songs, which showcased their beautiful harmonies and songwriting incredible prowess. EMI.

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By zdrlvr on Feb. 3 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have previously purchased material for the Hollies including the 30th anniversary CD set. This compilation exceeded my expectations. It was filled with previously (to me)unknown material and different versions of familiar songs both original and cover versions. An excellent buy!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 25 reviews
45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
The ultimate 1960s Hollies collection June 18 2011
By Paul '66 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I am wild about all sorts of 60s sounds; the heavyweights (Beatles, Kinks, Zombies, et al,) garagey stuff, psych, pop etc. My interest in the Hollies has always been casual. I loved their hits and a couple of stray tracks (I first heard "I've Got a Way of My Own" thanks to the Electric Prunes!) but never bought any of their compilations due to spillover from their later years. Once Graham Nash left, they were a much different band. I read about this set prior to release and was very excited. It is not a new remaster, and not a 'deluxe' package, but the contents are just incredible. Six discs jam packed with everything the Hollies issued in their 63-68 heyday, plus a well-recorded 1968 live set as a capstone. The order of the songs is determined by recording date, providing the listener a chance to trace the Hollies artistic growth as the years progressed. Excellent value for the money, and an intelligently, well presented set. Record companies should take note, this is a triumph of content over packaging.

The first couple of discs cover their early days; pure Merseybeat magic, exhilarating harmonies and crack ensemble playing. In addition to the sterling (and very definably Hollies' own) harmonies, the band is tight and well-recorded. Even covers of songs I've heard a million times (Poison Ivy or Searchin' for example) sound fresh and alive in the Hollies's hands. Their originals are the real deal. Pure pop of the highest order. Discs 3 and 4 delve into the pure pop era, definable by shimmering songs like Bus Stop, Look Through Any Window and I'm Alive. The latter discs extend into a rarified psychedelic pop majesty; beautiful, strange and borderlne lysergic. Just perfect! The live tracks at the end of disc 6 reiterate what a great band the Hollies were, they certainly weren't studio puppets.

If you love classic pop music, this is the set for you. Short on fluff and record company marketing cynicism, long on harmony and hooks, this is the ultimate Hollies collection. Those seeking the later hits will have to look elsewhere, but they are easily acquired on myriad releases. This is pure 60s Hollies, and one of the best purchases I have ever made.
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
A Great Purchase May 28 2011
By Morten Vindberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This box with the Hollies contains everything the group released during the period when Graham Nash with the band. Besides the original releases, there is a wealth of rarities, outtakes and live recordings.

In short, this is a goldmine for fans of the very best British 1960s pop . The group had during this period 17 top twenty hits, several successful EPs and released 7 albums on Parlophone, which was also the label of the Beatles. Several of these albums have rightly attained classic status.

Songwriter team Clarke / Hicks / Nash, who initially wrote under the pseudonym L. Ransford, wrote in the period a wealth of fine songs and you can't help regretting that Nash in 1968 chose to seek new pastures - with David Crosby and Steven Stills. Although the group continued to release excellent singles such as "He Is not Heavy, He's My Brother, " "I Can not Tell the Bottom From the Top" and "The Air That I Breathe", some of the magic had disappeared with Nash - emphasized by the fact that the majority of the group's subsequent singles were no longer Hollies originals.

The box contains 6 CDs, which are filled to the brim with very fine music. It contains a brief 24 page booklet, with key information about the group and the songs.

It would have been nice to sit with the original covers, but at this price you can obviously not get everything. Moreover, all originals are still available as individual albums.

At any rate a great purchase.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Too much treble Jan. 13 2013
By D. Ostrov - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The size and completeness of this collection, as well as the quality of the song-craft, is just staggeringly good, especially given the price. Sadly, the CD mastering has boosted the high frequencies of these songs well past the comfort level. Meaty, melodic bass lines fade into the background, but harmonica, for example, pierces your ears. It sounds like the original source tapes were used; there was just a decision to eq them unusually shrill for some reason. Past releases of these songs did not suffer from this problem, and, sadly, you'd be better to buy them instead of this collection if you have the money.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
EAR-OPENING COLLECTION OF GOOD MUSIC FROM AN UNDERRATED BAND Feb. 14 2012
By Stuart Jefferson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Some of us (including me) may have been missing the boat here. THE HOLLIES-long thought of as just another pop group with some radio hits from the "British Invasion" era-were much more than that. Yes, they were a pop group, with some lightweight tunes occasionally. But the songwriting, the arrangements, the beautiful vocals, and the inclusion of some good rock 'n' roll cover songs, are proof that this group (like THE KINKS, and THE ZOMBIES) was one of the better bands of the period-who didn't garner much respect-but who released music that's still relevant and great to listen to today. The period in question is April 1963 through October 1968, when the Allan Clarke/Tony Hicks/Graham Nash triumvirate (with a few differing band-mates), pumped out a number of fine albums/tunes-and not just the ones you heard on the radio. The (mono/stereo) sound is clean (and at times exhilarating) yet retains a kind of warmth, which only improves their music. This is the kind of music that sounds even better when you crank the volume up a bit (or a lot) because the band's harmonies ring out loud and clear-the effect is sometimes close to goosebumps.

This 6 CD set is crammed full of great music-much of it relatively unheard by a lot of people, including me, which I'm embarrassed to admit. Yes their 7 albums (all here) had some lightweight clinkers ("Lullaby To Tim" with it's gurgling, "underwater" vocal, from the "Evolution" album, also the maudlin tale about "Fifi"), but the majority of their original songs and a bunch of well chosen covers more than makes up for it. THE HOLLIES' sound was a mix of pure pop, English style beat, Everly brothers, r'n'r, and a bit of THE BEATLES, all mixed together. This box set includes many well known tunes-hits, almost hits, and songs that should have been hits (but were unknown to many listeners at the time), and just plain great sounding music. Combined with their wonderful vocals, several cool cover tunes and some electric guitar, and you have one heck of a band. Listening to this collection you can hear the evolution of the band's sound-from r'n'r to strings and horns-on their later albums. But through it all the group's wonderfully full, exciting vocals are front and center. For a good example of how the group sounded live, there's several previously unreleased tracks from the period-proving that not only could they sing on stage, they could play as well. Throw in some rarities-an unreleased stereo version of "The Times They Are A'Changin'", four tunes with French lyrics, and the group's earliest releases-and you have a very nice package of what THE HOLLIES were doing during this period.

Many people have been satisfied with a "Greatest Hits" package of THE HOLLIES. But after hearing this ear-opening collection from their (arguably) most vital period, that greatest hits album simply won't suffice. Listen to this set (which is now at a lower price) and see if you don't change your mind. There's nothing truly startling here-just well written/arranged/sung tunes. All British/Sixties fans (SEARCHERS/ZOMBIES fans especially) need to hear this set. I'm embarrassed that I wasn't aware of just how good this group was beyond the usual radio hits-but this fine collection set me straight, and it'll probably do the same for you.

One very small caveat-I wish the booklet was more inclusive and informative, it's okay as far as it goes-but it could have been better. A concise overview of the band, their music, and the period included would have been a nice tie-in. Plus (and this is really niggling), a better, more atmospheric period photograph on the cover would've added to the overall feel of this great collection-look at the photos on the inside, front and back trays for examples. But the music is the important thing here-and that couldn't be a better look at a group, who didn't really garner the accolades they should have at the time. Check this out.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This Box Set Will Pay You Back With Interest. March 11 2012
By Carlisle Wheeling - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
When one thinks of the 60s British invasion, the first names that come to mind are the Beatles, the Stones, the Kinks, etc.. The Hollies and the Zombies might come second in line, but neither group is less important. This box set demonstrates the 5 1/2 years of Allan Clarke, Tony Hicks, and Graham Nash as the cohesive songwriting unit that put the Hollies on the pop world's map, and it's an impressive 6-disc collection of their work. In chronoligical order, you hear how the band grew from being another British R&B covers band to straight-ahead great pop songs and their more psychedelic oriented works. There is something on here for everyone who appreciates a great band who, not only really knew how to play their own songs or somebody else's, but also had a distinct harmony style that many have immitated but never duplicated. A greatest hits or the two-disc anthology that was put out some years ago will never do if you want to get the lowdown on how great a group they were, and the music in this box set definitely gives you the best phase of their career. Everything is here from that time span, except for "Sorry Suzanne" (which I personally find puzzling), and you can't go wrong.

There are a lot of songs on here I've never heard before, having been born in 1964, so I was delighted with discovering something new. "Butterfly" is absolutely stunning, and "Stewball" is just an all-out great tribute to a horse. There are too many good things on here to list, but it was the first time I ever heard their own version of "Tell Me to My Face," which is ten thousand times better than the Fogelberg/Weissberg version I'm used to. Hats off!

There is also an eye-opening interview with Graham Nash inside the booklet and recording dates of each track. To say I'm pleased with this box set is a modest assessment. If you like the Hollies a considerable amount, for the very reasonable price, this collection is worth obtaining. It's hours of great music instead of what generally becomes known as a typically disappointing release. Get it for yourself, and then consider buying a copy for someone close to you who also knows great music when they hear it.

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