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Hollies - Live 1976 (import album) (*****)

Posted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:20 am
by Jeff T.
Interesting, to me anyway. I am ripping my CD collection to FLAC > Server, and I started with mostly needle drops and came across the "Hollies Live" from about 1976. It was issued in Canada on CBS Records and in the UK and Holland on Polydor.

My needle drop is the Canadian CBS which of course is going to be worse sounding than the UK Polydor (which I passed on a sealed copy at Amoeba for $6.00 a couple of years ago). Tonight listened to a few of the tracks after it encoded to FLACs.

Such a stunner of a live album! They sound amazing, drummer is always wonderful and those guitars, and of course the trademarked vocals are knockouts.

The tracks "4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)", and "He Ain't Heavy...He's My Brother" come alive in a perfect way and I think improve on the studio versions. Sandy has a few rough spots in the rhythm where it just a tad shaky yet it sound absolutely wonderful that way. This is what I listen for in a live recording, that magical moment where there is a human playing and singing and it's live! This is actually a rare thing. And this album likely has some over dubs, but damn that guitar sound right. It's British Invasion / Power Pop heaven. It's really the vocal trying to fit a bunch of lyrics into a limited space of music.

So knowing I missed out on a first rate UK Polydor LP, I went over to Amazon just now to check CD prices, and see if it got US + International issue finally.

Well, it got a US issue on CD, and the sellers are asking $40 balloons for it.

Listen to the sample of "Sandy" at the link below, and hear how Allan Clarke is trying to get this tongue twister of a lyric around the melody and nearly does not make it. They picked the part in this sample exactly where the rhythm is about to go off the tracks. But it recovers fine in the end. I love it! This is what I listened for in live rock & roll. ... =8-1-fkmr1

and while you are there, you may as well read a couple of the reviews on this album. Pretty sad when such a stellar live album just kind of falls right intot the cracks of time, and is forgotten. I know few people are going to read this, and even fewer are going to go over to Amazon and check it out.