Evolution is the first of two albums released in 1967 by British pop rock band the Hollies. The album peaked at number 13 in the UK album chart.
Like its predecessor, For Certain Because, this album comprises only songs written by group members Allan Clarke, Graham Nash, and Tony Hicks. None of the songs on the album were selected for single or EP release in the UK, although “Carrie Anne” from the American release was issued as a single in the US. Drummer Bobby Elliott only played on three songs on the album due to appendicitis and, as a result, he was substituted for by Dougie Wright, Clem Cattini and Mitch Mitchell of the Jimi Hendrix Experience.
The album cover artwork was created by the Fool, with the psychedelic cover photo by Karl Ferris, who is credited with creating the first truly psychedelic photograph for an album cover.
Ferris commented on the making of the album cover during a special signing of cover prints in 1997:
… they wanted to break from their ‘Pop Beat’ sound into something more psychedelic. So I listened to the music that they were recording at Abbey Road Studios, and got an image of them pushing through a membrane into ‘the Psychedelic world’, and so in summer of 1966 I took a studio shot of them pushing out their hands and the lead singer pointing through clear plastic. Over this I superimposed a shot of William Morris Art Nouveau wallpaper with an illustration and ‘Love’ lettering drawn by my girl friend Anke. This combination created the image of the Hollies ‘pushing through to a new wave of music style and consciousness’. I worked with the Fool (lead by Simon Posthuma) on this, and they did the lettering, the back cover design and the group’s costumes.
The song “Have You Ever Loved Somebody?” was released earlier (in September 1966) both by the Searchers and Paul and Barry Ryan as single a-sides. It was first released by the Everly Brothers on their Two Yanks in England album.
Evolution and its respective singles were recorded at EMI’s Abbey Road studios in just six days spread over three months in early 1967, at the same time the Beatles were recording Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The first session occurred on 11 January where “When Your Lights Turned On”, “Have You Ever Loved Somebody” and the B-side “All the World is Love” were completed. Work began on, but was not completed for, the eventual single “On a Carousel”. That song was completed during the next session on 13 January along with the album track, “Lullaby to Tim”.
Two songs sung in Italian, “Non Prego Per Me” and “Devi Avere Fiducia in Me” (the former composed by Lucio Battisti and Mogol), were also recorded on that day specifically for release as a single in Italy. The next session on 22 February was dedicated to two more songs meant specifically for release in Italy, “We’re Alive” and “Kill Me Quick”. “The Games We Play” as well as the Graham Gouldman-penned “Schoolgirl” were also begun during this session. The bulk of album work took place on March 3rd, 8th and 17th. “Schoolgirl” was attempted again on the 8th but was ultimately left unfinished for reasons unknown. The final songs recorded before the album’s release in June were “Carrie Anne” on 1 May and its B-side, “Signs That Will Never Change”, on the following day. (by wikipedia)
For many Hollies enthusiasts, Evolution (1967) is considered the band’s most accessible blend of pop and psychedelia. The quintet were headed into musical territories beyond simply “moon-June-bloom” and boy-meets-girl lyrics coupled with the tightly constructed vocal harmonies that had become their calling card. Nowhere is this more evident than in the tripped-out cover art from Dutch multimedia artists Seemon Kooer, Marijke Kooer, Josje Leeger, and Barry Finch — known collectively as Fool. Although “Carrie-Anne” could be considered an extension of the trite, somewhat predictable Brit pop, there are clear indications of new horizons on cuts such as the modish “You Need Love,” the arguably passé distorted electric guitar on “Have You Ever Loved Somebody,” and the wailing fretwork on the driving freakbeat rocker “Then the Heartaches Begin.”
Graham Nash (guitar/vocals), Allan Clarke (guitar/vocals), Tony Hicks (guitar/banjo/dulcimer/vocals), Bobby Elliott (drums), and new recruit Bernie Calvert (bass/vocals) — who replaced original member Eric Haydock in the spring of 1966 — were also taking different approaches in their writing and arranging, as heard on the trippy “Heading for a Fall.” On this tune, most prominent is the unusual six-eight time signature, coupled with Hicks’ inversion of the unmistakable banjo, which is similar to the sound he conjured up on the hit “Stop, Stop, Stop.” However, somewhat more atypical of the Nash-era band are the light and limber acoustic and uptempo “Stop Right There,” or the baroque “Ye Olde Toffee Shoppe.” (by Lindsay Planer)
Bernie Calvert (bass, harpsichord on 09.)
Allan Clarke (vocals, harmonica)
Bobby Elliott (drums on 04., 05. + 10.)
Tony Hicks (lead guitar, vocals, banjo, dulcimer)
Graham Nash (guitar, vocals)
Clem Cattini (drums)
Elton John (piano on 03., organ on 06.)
Mitch Mitchell (drums)
Dougie Wright (drums)
German front + backcover:
01. Then The Heartaches Begin 2.49
02. Stop Right There 2.28
03. Water On The Brain 2.26
04. Lullaby To Tim Nash 3.03
05. Have You Ever Loved Somebody? 3.03
06. You Need Love 2.33
07. Rain On The Window 3.13
08. Heading For A Fall 2.22
09. Ye Olde Toffee Shoppe 2.22
10. When Your Light’s Turned On 2.37
11. Leave Me 2.20
12. The Games We Play 2.48
All songs written by Allan Clarke, Tony Hicks, and Graham Nash.