Stay With The Hollies - Parlophone 1964
The playing on classics like "Takin'bout You", "Lucille" and "Memphis" is really great, thanks to the surprisingly solid playing for a young band on their debut album. Guitarist Tony Hiicks has always been one of the most overlooked British guitarists of 1960's. The drumming of Bobby Elliot is always a pleasure, and with original bassplayer Eric Haydock, it's no surprise that the Hollies were considered among the best playing live act in the early 60's. But the vocals simply do not live up to the playing. Their vocal-style does not fit these very well.
Both Allan Clarke and Graham Nash are great singers, and they later developed their vocal harmonies into being some of the most exquisite; often on par with great acts like the Beach Boys and the Byrds. This change also brought them into a much more melodic direction, and gave them the opportunity to write their own material, which as we know gave them plenty of international hit records.
Most succesfull tracks on this album are the ballads "It's Only Make Believe" and "Whatcha Gonna Do About it", and of course the hit-single "Stay".
Their only self-penned song "Little Lover", written by Graham Nash and Allan Clarke, is also quite succesfull; note the guitar-solo by Hicks.