Notwithstanding the entirely acceptable omission of 1981's rather desperate Stars-on-45
style retro-medley Holliedaze
, this rather definitive Greatest Hits
collection contains every single Hollies song that ever tickled the mass fancy of record buyers anywhere in the world, ever. Even the sleeve notes dispense with the scantest of biographical detail to present a veritable Wisden's Cricketer's Almanac of impressive global chart statistics, including mentions of Number One singles in Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Holland, South Africa, Singapore, Ireland, Switzerland, as well as the UK. Of course, the Hollies were nothing if not adaptable. The grinning beat pop and "pap pap she waddy wops" of "Stay" through to the folky overtures of "I've Got a Way of My Own" (like an oestrogen-free version of the Mamas and the Papas
) were obviously marvellous and yet entirely generic responses to the overriding cultural dominance of the Beatles
and Bob Dylan
. But much the same thing can be said for the majority of their peers.
Still, the 1960s were a golden age for the Hollies and to hear the Graham Gouldman penned "Bus Stop", "Carrie Anne" (part Kinks, part Beach Boys, part calypso) or the sweet-shop bubble gum of "Jennifer Eccles" is to be reacquainted with a sunny lost world of short skirts, mini coopers and policemen on bicycles. Even the knee-jerk cod-psychedelia of "King Midas in Reverse"--a full-on trumpets-blaring, cello-charging microcosm of Revolver and Sgt ...