The Hollies – Evolution (1967)

FrontCover1Evolution 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.

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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”.

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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)

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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.”

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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)

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Personnel:
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)
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Clem Cattini (drums)
Elton John (piano on 03., organ on 06.)
Mitch Mitchell (drums)
Dougie Wright (drums)
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unknown orchestra

German front + backcover:
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Tracklist:
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.

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The Everly Brothers (& The Hollies) – Two Yanks in England (1966)

FrontCover1Two Yanks in England is an album by The Everly Brothers, released in 1966.

The backing band on most of the recordings is actually The Hollies and eight of the twelve songs featured are credited to L. Ransford, The Hollies’ Allan Clarke, Tony Hicks, and Graham Nash songwriting pseudonym. Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones are also purported to play on the record as session musicians. Also, in a recent interview with Nash on David Dye’s World Cafe, it is claimed Reggie Dwight (aka Elton John) played on the album.

Two singles were released from the album in the U.S.; “Somebody Help Me” b/w “Hard Hard Year” in late 1966 and “Fifi the Flea” b/w “Like Every Time Before” in early 1967. Both singles failed to chart. In the U.K., where “Somebody Help Me” had already been a No.1 hit for The Spencer Davis Group shortly before The Everly Brothers recorded it, just one single was released from the album: “I’ve Been Wrong Before” b/w “Hard Hard Year” (August 1966). This also failed to chart. “I’ve Been Wrong Before” should not be confused with the Randy Newman song of the same title recorded by both Dusty Springfield and Cilla Black the previous year, which Black had a modest hit with in the U.K. (No.17, May 1965). The last track on Side One of Two Yanks in England, “Pretty Flamingo”, was a U.K. No.1 hit single for Manfred Mann at the time the recording of the album began (May 1966). (by wikipedia)

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At first glance, this seems like a cash-in on the British Invasion. Recorded in London in 1966, no less than eight of the 12 songs were written by the Hollies (who released their own versions of many of the tunes). There are also covers of hits by the Spencer Davis Group and Manfred Mann. With a harder rock guitar sound (though not overdone or inappropriate) than previous Everlys discs, the duo’s interpretations are actually worth hearing in their own right. The harmonies are fabulous, and indeed, the Everlys improve a few of the Hollies’ songs substantially. “So Lonely” and “Hard Hard Year,” in particular, have a lot more force, transforming the tunes from decent Hollies album tracks to excellence. Because so much of the material is non-original, this couldn’t be placed in the top rank of Everly Brothers recordings. But it is a good effort that shows them, almost ten years after “Bye Bye Love,” still at the top of their game and still heavily committed to a rock & roll sound. This was a bold contrast to other ’50s white rock & rollers with roots in country, most of who had retreated to tamer country-oriented sounds by the mid-’60s. (by Richie Unterberger)

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Personnel:
Don Everly (vocals, guitar)
Phil Everly (vocals, guitar)
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Allan Clarke (vocals)
Bobby Elliott (drums)
Eric Haydock (bass)
Tony Hicks (guitar, vocals)
Graham Nash (guitar, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Somebody Help Me (Edwards) 2.02
02. So Lonely (L. Ransford) 2.40
03. Kiss Your Man Goodbye (D.Everly/P.Everly) 2.35
04. Signs That Will Never Change (L. Ransford) 3.05
05. Like Everytime Before (L. Ransford) 1.56
06. Pretty Flamingo (Barkan) 2.36
07. I’ve Been Wrong Before (L. Ransford) 2.13
08. Have You Ever Loved Somebody? (L. Ransford) 2.55
09. The Collector (Curtis, D.Everly/P.Everly) 2.37
10. Don’t Run And Hide (L. Ransford) 2.36
11. Fifi The Flea (L. Ransford) 2.42
12. Hard Hard Year (L. Ransford) 2.56

L. Ransford were Allan Clarke, Tony Hicks & Graham Nash

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The Hollies have also released own versions of their songs:

“So Lonely” (1965, was B-side to “Look Through Any Window”)
“Signs That Will Never Change” (1967, would become B-side to “Carrie Anne.”)
“Like Everytime Before” (1968 European single b-side, 1988 Rarities album)
“I’ve Been Wrong Before” (1965, Hollies album track, as “I’ve Been Wrong”)
“Have You Ever Loved Somebody?” (1967, Evolution album track, also released by The Searchers and Paul and Barry Ryan in 1966)
“Don’t Run and Hide” (1966, B-side to “Bus Stop”)
“Fifi the Flea” and “Hard Hard Year” (1966, Would You Believe? album tracks)

EP

The EP from this sessions