Friday, December 4, 2015

"Stop in the Name of Love" by The Hollies

Song#:  1480
Date:  06/04/1983
Debut:  79
Peak:  29
Weeks:  12
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  This British Invasion group initially formed by schoolmates Allan Clarke and Graham Nash, scored seventeen Top 10 hits in the UK beginning in 1963. Although it took them a few more years to break in the US, eventually they did score six Top 10's Stateside. Their prime years were when Nash was with the band, but after he left in 1968 their fortunes dwindled. They were able to score a few hits like 1974's "The Air That I Breathe" (#2 UK, #6 US), but their heyday was long gone. As the 80s started, Nash got back together with the band to record a new song. That led to a full-on reunion and new album titled What Goes Around... This first single was issued and it became their first US Top 40 entry since 1974. It would also prove to be their last one as well. Nash stayed on for a tour and a live album, but departed once again. They would have more personnel changes over the years, but the band has never once split up. They continue to perform and occasionally record with original members Tony Hicks and Bobby Elliott leading the way.

ReduxReview:  I have loved The Hollies ever since I was a kid. I remember getting to play my brother's 45s and I was obsessed with "On a Carousel" (#11, 1967). He also had "Jennifer Eccles" (#40, 1968), which was pretty great too. Years later I bought a hits album by the group and played it to death. Since then I've gotten all of their Nash-years recordings and quite a few of their post-Nash outings. They didn't hit the mark all the time (their very early years were mostly meh remakes and the later years only had a few highlights), but when their formula added up, they were hard to beat. Their vocals and harmonies were awesome and many times (as on "Carousel") they sang with reckless abandon. It was magical and exciting. So when Nash rejoined the band, of course I was having fits! This is going to be so great! Well, some things are better left alone. Although not a total disaster, the album was not good. It was overproduced with screeching synths and included zero originals from the band. Even this first single just did not recapture the magic of days gone by. It's okay and there are certain passages different from the original that I like, but even their harmonies seem a little plastic and studio-ized. I was highly disappointed, but I took solace in listening to their prime era classics.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Unless you've spent the last 50 years living in the backwoods with Nell, then you obviously know this is a remake of the 1965 Supremes hit. Their original version was the trio's fourth #1 in a consecutive string of five. Although the song has been covered by many artists, only The Hollies and soul singer Margie Joseph have charted with versions of the song (I'm discounting the song's appearance in a medley by the cast of "Glee" in 2010 - in fact, I discount most everything the "Glee" cast did). Joseph barely got on the chart with her single in 1971. It peaked at #96.  2) When Graham Nash was still with The Hollies, they experimented with their sound and issued the psychedelic album Butterfly. It was a failure. Undeterred, Nash wanted the group to record his new song "Marrakesh Express." The band didn't want to do it and preferred going back in a more pop-oriented direction and set out to record an album of Bob Dylan covers. Nash recorded one song with them, "Blowin' in the Wind," and then left the group. He then got together with Stephen Still and David Crosby and the trio recorded "Marrakesh Express." It would serve as Crosby, Stills & Nash's debut single. It reached #28 in 1969.


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