Just wondering what connections the Hollies and the Tremeloes may have. I never really listened to them, but recently picked up "Tremeloes Live In Cabaret" LP from 1968 and it's absolutely brilliant. They're a really tight live band with great harmonies and a real sense of humour on stage. I'd say they were the closest talent wise to the Hollies out of all the 60's bands. I notice on delving into their back catalogue, they cover some of the songs that the Hollies were doing on stage circa 1966-1970:
Reach Out I'll Be There You Don't Know Like I Know Cool Jerk I Shall Be Released Angel Of The Morning
Are there any known connections/affiliations between the two bands?
Actually there was some acrimony between the two bands on package tours years ago - like with The Dave Clark Five (tho' not as bad !!), due to mainly each band wanting to sing those songs you listed plus of course 'Do You Love Me' and 'Candy Man'
years later Len 'Chip' Hawkes of The Tremeloes and Eric Haydock of The Hollies played together in 'The Class of 64' group
- it was a case of 'too many bands too few songs' back then until the stronger groups got into songwriting their 'A' sides as of course both Hollies and Tremeloes (Dave Clark Five too) all did quickly following the likes of The Shadows, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones
plus probably a 'Northern Lads v Southern Boys' thing applied too re both sets of young men - The Trems hailed from Dagenham of course and famously (and at the time quite DESERVEDLY) beat The Beatles in the Decca audition - tho' Mike Smith had wanted to sign up BOTH groups but was told he could only take one - The Trems sounded more confident on the day, played more instuments including keyboards and sax, plus then crucially didn't come from distant Liverpool in those pre-motorway days of 1962 thus were far more readily available for Decca's West Hampstead recording studios (a very key factor) - so we can see in retrospect why Smith reluctantly had to let the Fab Four go...
As pop pickers The Tremeloes were almost as sharp and consistant as The Hollies having regular UK hits from 1963 through to 1971 and Blakley-Hawkes were a strong songwriting team, their songs being published by their own Gale Music Limited (like The Hollies Gralto )
- while onstage as that later 'Live in Cabaret' album proves they had THREE strong 'natural' frontmen personalities in Dave Munden, Alan Blakley, and Rick Westwood each of whom was a 'chirpy friendly chatty' character capable of holding an audience effortlessly while Len 'Chip' Hawkes was the 'looker' with the smile that the girls loved...(my sister did !)
in contrast The Hollies only really had Graham Nash - and much later Carl Wayne - who could do that same instant audience 'PR' job so happily and easily.....
Back in the early sixties The Tremeloes actually recorded a pop album BEFORE The Beatles - a cheap 'Big Hits of '62' covers album for Decca's Ace of Clubs' subsidiary, but after scoring big UK hits with 'Twist and Shout', 'Do You Love Me' (No.1 in 1963, and covered by The Hollies on their first album) 'I Can Dance', 'Candy Man' (also recorded by The Hollies) after which their big hits began to tail off...tho' Someone Someone' (No.2 , 1964) was later an excellent chart single (written by Petty-Gaines), they cut a couple of chart albums with Brian Poole on Decca, also 'Three Bells' while a driving version of 'I Want Candy' was their last strong Decca single
it's notable from surviving footage on BBC's 'Sounds of The Sixties' show that when Brian Poole & The Tremeloes appeared on the children's show 'Blue Peter' they performed the album track 'Uncle Willy' live in the studio - featuring Alan Blakley playing electric organ - while many other bands on the show such as Freddie and The Dreamers, Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich etc were clearly miming to their records
The Trems began moving with the times unlike Brian Poole and they parted in 1966, bassist Alan Howard also left - but like Manfred Mann and The Moody Blues they came back well...!
recruiting the good looking (hence teen appeal) Len 'Chip' Hawkes on bass guitar/lead vocals just prior to parting with Poole they first recorded a cover of Paul Simon's song 'Blessed' on Decca but then switched to UK branch of CBS Records with Mike Smith producing
- their first CBS single also flopped, a good cover of The Beatles 'Good Day Sunshine' but got radio airplay and re-awoke public interest in them
- with the addition of Hawkes they boasted very distinctive strong falsetto tinged four part vocal harmonies and three fine lead singers (mostly Hawkes and Munden plus Westwood occasionally) tho' it was not uncommon for them to all sing a hit single in combined four part harmony featuring equally along with respective solo passages by one or more lead singers ('Here Comes My Baby', 'Silence is Golden', 'Suddenly You Love Me' etc)
- as a vocal harmony group they were probably somewhat rather closer to the likes of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, The Beach Boys, and The Association - even The Moody Blues - as opposed to The Hollies or Beatles (i.e. 'Suddenly Winter', 'I'm With You All The Way', 'Negotiations...', 'As You Are' etc)
they hit renewed success in 1966 by spotting a new writer Cat Stevens song 'Here Comes My Baby' - a mournful song re lost love - and oddly put it to a 'Trini Lopez' ('If I Had A Hammer' etc) style latin arrangement beat and party goodtime atmosphere
they even cheerfully just 'whistled' in close harmony the final verse that Cat Stevens had originally sung maybe finding that final verse ('I'm still waiting for your heart cos I'm sure that one day it's gonna start..' etc) possibly being a bit too sombre for their lively party version - this strange blend of totally contrasting lament lyrics and happy go lucky style worked superbly and put them back in the UK top ten reaching No.4 and No. 13 in the USA.
- they duly repeated this formula on 'Even The Bad Times Are Good' to further chart success again making No. 4 in the UK and No.36 in the USA.
over 1967-68 they also scored with the African percussive beat and rickenbacker jangling guitars led 'Helule Helule' (UK No.14) plus like The Hollies & Manfreds also successfully covered a Tony Hazzard song 'Hello World', and had a double 'A' side single hit; 'Suddenly You Love Me' / 'As You Are' (UK No.8) plus the very commercial but popular 'My Little Lady' (also No.8 UK) sung by Len Hawkes
check out their various CD collections, all the CBS albums 'post Brian Poole' era have been released on CD including their soundtrack to the film 'May Morning' while 'What A Shape I'm in; The Psychedelic Recordings' compilation gathers together their more adventurous tracks - album tracks like 'Suddenly Winter' with phased sounds and backwards guitar, and their albums featured quite experimental tracks such as; 'Runnin Out' , 'What A Shape I'm In', , 'Let Your Hair Hang Down' and 'Too Many Fish in The Sea' etc with their rock flavoured fast fluid guitarwork by Alan and Rick, and the seamlessly tight four part vocal harmony excercises on tracks such as 'Negotiations in Soho Square', 'I'm With You All The Way' plus the interesting vocal alternation of group harmonies and Westwood's falsetto on ''Shake Hands (Come Out Crying)' - all quite surprisingly complex stuff for a supposed mere 'pop hits group' (just as with The Hollies)
they cut a fine dramatic version of Dylan's 'I Shall Be Released' (No. 29 UK) featuring The Keith Mansfield Strings, in 1969 but just as with The Hollies found their more adventurous material sold rather poorer than the safer commercial material as a rule....
'Be Mine' sung in falsetto by Rick proved this reaching only the lower end of the charts
They also cut some covers for the American market, later released on CBS Embassy label as 'Reach Out For The Tremeloes' - including a decent cover of Buddy Holly's 'Everyday' sung by Len Hawkes , a jokey (rather naff) posh voiced version of 'Alley Oop' (sung by Rick for a laugh) plus interesting covers of 'Reach Out (I'll Be There)' and a full blooded soulful take on 'Ain't Nothing But A Houseparty'
'Call Me Number One' (which made no.2) a Blakley-Hawkes song saw a more rock flavoured band, also 'By The Way' made No.35 in 1970, while 'Hello Buddy' (their last self composed UK chart single reaching No.32 in 1971) - showing Mumford and Sons the way - had a fast flowing country rock flavour featuring banjos, fiddles and pedal steel guitar played by Rick Westwood. (Chip Hawkes later cut two solo albums of country material on RCA Victor)
Christie's hit 'Yellow River' was actually Jeff Christie singing to The Tremeloes backing - Dave Munden sang the original Trems version which has now been released on CD in both English and Spanish versions
Len 'Chip' Hawkes and drummer/keyboardist Dave Munden were strong lead vocalists while Hawkes was a top bass player (& could play drums too), with Munden up in the Bobby Elliott / Brian Bennett league as a technically gifted drummer, plus talented vocalists / guitarists Alan Blakley (the group leader who played keyboards too) and Rick Westwood (aka 'Ricky West' earlier) had a superb very strong falsetto voice
- 'Silence is Golden' (no. 1 in 1967) their most famous hit single of all saw Hawkes sing lead and Westwood's falsetto featured as they mixed The Byrds janging guitar to an old acoustic Four Seasons 'B' side (to 'Rag Doll') to superb effect c/w 'Gentleman of Pleasure' written by Blakley-Hawkes
- tho' note the sharp contrast on the singles with their cheery hit 'Even The Bad Times Are Good' as the 'B' side 'Jenny's Alright' again written by Blakley-Hawkes is about a little girl dying...!
their self composed 'B' sides like 'All The World To Me' (featuring great harpshicord playing by the band and Hawkes vocal) , and the powering guitars led rocker sung by Munden; 'Try Me' etc were all quite excellent too - again very much like as with The Hollies
their overseas single 'I'm Gonna Try' has English lyrics set to the same melody as Herman's Hermits UK hit 'Something is Happening'
they also quickly spotted talented songwriters Cat Stevens ('Here Comes My Baby') and the young Irish songwriter Ray 'Gilbert' O'Sullivan ('You', 'Come On Home') being probably the very first to cover their songs very early on in the mid sixties too
they continued into the seventies, recording 'Master' for CBS in 1970 - with hit single 'Me and My Life' (No. 4 UK) sung by Dave Munden, but then Rick Westwood had to leave for a time due to hearing problems (he later returned as guitarist only, never able to sing which robbed them of their key high harmony voice)
They announced they were trying to shed their pop group image and wanted to become a more serious music group
But then, Alan Blakley, always a bit vocal, did them no favors when feeling very frustrated (as Graham Nash had also become by that time) unwisely made a silly too blunt comment to the UK Music press about their earlier pop hits and fans as being 'music for stupid morons' etc - seized upon with glee by the eager press (much to the horror of his three band mates !) - at least Graham Nash chose to say nothing beyond his dislike of 'Jennifer Eccles' and 'Sing Dylan' etc
they had some later seventies singles that scored across Europe notably in Germany and The Netherlands such as 'I Like it That Way' (No. 9 in The Netherlands in 1972), but like The Hollies found the early seventies a tougher era for by then veteran bands despite still being a strong much loved band, tho' their latter singles such as; 'By The Way', 'Once On A Sunday Morning', 'Right Wheel, Left Hammer Sham' and 'Too Late To Be Saved' were all quite excellent stand wise.
blonde left handed guitarist/vocalist Bob Benham replaced Rick...and was featured on some decent early seventies singles such as 'Ride On' (issued on Epic Records - No.16 Germany) and 'Blue Suede Tie' (No. 38 Germany) , plus the excellent album 'Shiner' (1974) on DJM Records, while chief songwriters Chip Hawkes and guitarist/vocalist Alan Blakley also then dropped out with only Dave Munden and Bob Benham plus newboys Paul Carmen and Paul Issac on the 1975 album; 'Don't Let The Music Die' (DJM records) which was interesting but didn't sound much like the classic Tremeloes
the chief four classic line up members later reformed and were unlucky to lose out to F.R. David with their fine cover of 'Words Don't Come Easy' which featured synths and a great Len Hawkes vocal
Chip Hawkes later left again, sadly later Alan Blakley lost a very long battle with cancer and passed away
Rick, Dave, and Joe Gillingham & Davey Fryer were still touring as The Tremeloes a few years back...maybe still are
ALL their CDs are well worth checking out while their vinyl albums originally with Brian Poole on Ace of Clubs and Decca, (including a 'Remembering...' Decca compilation) and the handful of CBS studio albums ('Here Come...', 'Alan, Chip, Rick, & Dave', 'May Morning', 'Master'), also that fine CBS 'Live in Cabaret' (note Rick Westwood also plays a guitar/sitar like Tony Hicks on 'Games People Play' etc) the budget CBS/Embassy 'Reach Out For...' , a later CBS 'Greatest Hits' album, and 'As it Happened' (an 80's best of compilation) plus the two mid seventies DJM albums are not that easy to find now, so if you spot any - grab 'em !
The Hollies and The Tremeloes were on the first package tour that I saw in early 1967, together with The Spencer Davis Group and Paul Jones. I've still got the ticket (cost me 10 shillings!) and the programme.
Adding to Gee's posting, Rick Westwood retired from the Trems a few years ago and Davey Freyer had also left so their current line-up is Dave Munden (the only original member remaining), Joe Gillingham, Syd Twynham and Jeff Brown. As Gee said, they are still touring.
However Brian Poole, Chip Hawkes and Dave Munden have currently joined forces as Brian Poole and The Tremeloes and are appearing in the latest Sixties Gold Tour with The Searchers, P J Proby, Wayne Fontana and Gary Puckett and The Union Gap. This tour is currently running in the UK throughout October.
Thanks Gee for an overview of the Tremeloes. There's not a lot about them online, another seemingly forgotten 60's group like the Hollies. I've had their first two albums on CBS for a few years, mainly for the singles on them. I've recently been going back and listening in depth. They are a hugely underrated band. The Live In Cabaret LP was a real eye opener as to how good they were. Sanctuary did a great reissue lot on CD but they're out of print now sadly. They did three two disc sets covering the complete 1967, 1968 and 1970 sessions respectively. I'd love the 1968 Sessions set as that includes their live recording. I've got the "Pop-psyche Sessions" one and I think that would be a good idea for the Hollies to issue. They've got a great selection of psychedelic tracks.
It's interesting regarding May Morning - as I understand it, they recorded the sound track in Italy but it was never used? Either way, it's another out of print CD although I was able to stream it on Spotify. It's a great album of its era, perhaps the missing link in the Tremeloes back catalogue.
- Glad to hear Dave is still flying the group's flag with Joe Gillingham and a couple of later members - the band's back catalogue is too strong NOT to be performed in concerts
interesting to see Chip and Dave are back with Brian Poole in the nostalgia sixties package shows too !
'May Morning' was either an unused soundtrack or the film was unreleased (for a time anyway), either way it sank without trace at the time...
CD sets; 'Good Times; The Definitive Collection', plus 'Good Day Sunshine', 'Silence is Golden' and there is a four CD Box set titled; 'Tremeloes'
These are probably the best CD collections for anyone to begin with while a very good 'region 2' DVD titled; 'The Tremeloes Greatest Hits' (85 minutes long) features quite alot of hits, some album tracks and promo films in addition to show performances of hits and songs by both the classic line up and a few later songs featuring Bob Benham too - this was a European dts release, possibly from The Netherlands, not sure it's still available but may turn up on Amazon etc (there is a similar 'Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky....etc DVD too)
The Hollies..plus bands such as; Tremeloes, Marmalade, Badfinger etc were EACH just far too hastily dismissed as 'mere pop groups' by many music critics at one point (compared to say Beatles, Stones, Who, Kinks etc) , and never taken seriously on a critical level (The Searchers and certainly The Dave Clark Five too to a large extent plus a number of others like Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky & co....)
- fortunately the situation has changed somewhat in more recent years...
Rating and underrating of groups like the Hollies and the Tremeloes... If someone comes up and rates "Evolution" above "Sgt. Pepper's" or "For certain because" above "Revolver" it may just be a matter of taste. But I think, regarding bands like the Beatles, Stones, Kinks or even the Who as the big and influential groups has something to do with their influence on their contemporaries. It has even to do with the number of records sold and with the amount of No 1 records (singles AND albums) held in the charts. Even if some musical achievements of groups like the Hollies and the Tremeloes are quite convincing, they didn't have that imfluence on the contemporary culture (even less on the counter-culture) and so they seem somehow irrelevant for the musical and sociological history. Nevertheless the Hollies (and the Tremeloes) qualities should not be underrated. To take them seriously on a critical level should be obligatory for any musician and any lover of pop music. But, to say it again, there was practically nothing revolutionary or mind-changing, nearly nothing of political or cultural relevance and no remarkable artistic novelty (except of the introduction of the banjo into pop music) with those - let's face it - "mere pop groups" (although I like them!).
you say that but in terms of wider public popularity AT THE TIME up to 1970 - when many sixties bands split up - the likes of The Hollies, Manfred Mann,The Tremeloes, The Dave Clark Five, even Hermans Hermits (!) actually outscored and overall outsold singles hits over the likes of the so called 'more influential' groups such as; The Who, The Rolling Stones and The Kinks - each of whom for their sixties heyday had surprisingly notable 'lean' spells in the UK singles and album charts re any big hits for quite long periods between 1966 and 1970 when at some points it seemed as if they could barely give their records away !
while Who, Stones, and Kinks had both good but also some reasonably quite poor selling albums at the time too - several later seen as 'classics' but at the time not either massive sellers or critically praised
The Who were the 'patchiest' outfit of them all re consistant sixties big hits - notching up just 14 UK chart hits up to 1970 with only 9 in the UK top ten, (Beatles, Hollies, Dave Clark Five had 22 chart hits each up to 1970, while Manfred Mann had 17 UK singles hits with 13 in the top ten, plus a chart EP up to splitting in 1969)
surprisingly in 1968 the Who's biggest UK hit single was 'Magic Bus' that only made No.26
it's very easy post 'Tommy' (which really launched them big time with the really massive albums sales from then on in the seventies - and then alot of retrospective buying of older albums too) to forget they had so few sixties hit singles and while their earlier albums did well at the time they wern't all very big sellers - 'Direct Hits' failed to chart in 1968.
The Kinks had a lean spell from 1967 after 'Autumn Alamanac' to 'Days' (1968) then up to 'Lola'and 'Apeman' (both 1970) while the albums over that period were not big sellers at all, NONE of their original studio albums or 'Live in Kelvin Hall' charted in the UK after 'Something Else' made No.35 in 1967...
....while back then over 1968-70 just who was a paid up member of The Village Green Preservation Society, knew of 'Arthur' or just after went to see 'Percy' ?? (like later 'Muswell Hillbillies', 'Everybody's in Showbiz', 'Preservation' Acts 1 & 2, 'Soap Opera' or 'Schoolboys in Disgrace' etc - NONE of which were big sellers in the UK at the time...)
The Kinks have been both Dedicated Followable Fashionable ...and Decidedly Desperately UNfashionable several times in their career to the wider public and music critics
overall up to 1970 The Kinks had 19 UK chart hit singles - less than Hollies, Manfred Mann, Herman, Dave Clark Five each achieved, while 12 of those were top ten hits several of their now well know songs originally made very low positions like 'Victoria' (no.33) while 'Wonder Boy' only made No.36 and 'Plastic Man' No.31
The Rolling Stones had 17 UK chart hits up to 1970 but note how their massive chart singles hits tailed off noticeably after 1966 onwards with just the lone notable but sparsely distanced hits like 'Dandelion' (1967) then later 'Jumpin' Jack Flash' (May 1968) and then over a year later 'Honky Tonk Women' (July 1969) - their 1967 album 'Satanic Majesties' drew critical flak accused of copying The Beatles
they of course enjoyed a fine run of chart toppers over 1964-66 but these then tail off after 'Paint it Black' in May 1966 with 'Jumpin' some two years later then 'Honky' over a year after that being their only other chart topping UK sixties singles
- with an even a longer gap then until 'Brown Sugar' made no.2 in April 1971
Amazingly The Rolling Stones had NO UK hit single at all in 1970....and only the artificial 'live' 'Get Yer Ya Yas Out' new album - complete with studio overdubbing !
in retrospect these bands are seen as 'classic', 'massively influential', the 'serious bands' etc - BUT a good bit of that is really rather retrospective and a somewhat of a bit of a 're-write' to present some more fashionable artists as being consistantly bigger and more popular than others with the wider public during the sixties
The Who were Herman's Hermits SUPPORT group on a sixties USA tour (!)
- while Graham Nash leaving The Hollies was a music press headline in late 1968
in the USA, Dave Clark, Herman, were BIGGER than the inconsistent Who or the banned Kinks - Ray Davies was grateful to Herman covering his song 'Dandy' and making it an American hit at the time boosting Ray's profile when he badly needed the help to get the recognition he deserved
we know 'Evolution' was Radio Caroline's album of the week in 1967 while the cover influenced Jimi Hendrix to use Karl Ferris
The Hollies and bands such as The Tremeloes and The Dave Clark Five were far bigger names back then than later music writers particularly in the seventies would have us think later...as a good bit of 'fashionable' seventies re-writing of music history re popularity has gone on in later years...
sticking The Who on the cover of 'The Observer' and TELLING YOU how massively 'influential' they are...wasn't necessarily reflected in the poor record sales of some of their sixties singles or EP; 'Ready Steady Who' (No.58), 'A Legal Matter' (No.32), 'The Kids Are Alright' (No.41), 'The Last Time' (No.44) and 'Dogs' (No.25)
many music writers would have us believe for example that Cliff Richard and The Shadows were 'washed away' by The Beatles and The Beat Boom too - but The Shadows still had a chart topper in 'Foot Tapper' in 1963, while Cliff also topped the charts with 'The Minute Your Gone' in 1965, and both carried on having big hits several years after The Beatles broke through - Cliff carried on until well after The Beatles...
The Dave Clark Five also had a successful film in 'Catch Us if You Can' in 1965 - I stood in a long queue to get into see that like The Beatles films, while they had alternating big success between the UK and USA but in the sixties were massively popular - hence their 'Twenty Five Thumping Great Hits' sliced through punk in 1977 to make the UK top ten in the album chart despite no existing band to promote it (unlike say Beach Boys, Hollies, and Shadows)
The Who and The Kinks after bright starts both had their decidedly leaner spells and The Who really got going as a consistent 'classic band' to the wider public from 'Tommy' onwards, while The Kinks actually took off in the USA even later in the 80's (at one point in both later sixties and the early seventies they were being very badly derided by many music critics as an old fashioned outfit of no relevance at all...one critic in NME simply urged The Kinks to break up !)
- also the previously much praised Who later took more critical flak following the death of Keith Moon and The Stones became 'Wrinkly Rockers' forevermore in the UK press...
so those who later were and now are seen as being so massively 'influential' to popular culture - often more so in retrospect - wern't necessarily those who were always the most popular overall with the wider UK public back in the sixties, certainly not in terms of any consistent wider popularity overall with record buyers at the time.
Congrats to gee for such an extensive and exhaustive summary of sixties' bands popularity and nowadays' different review of those times! But you see this also with now famous writers or composers from the past, they often were not the most famous ones during their lifetime, but they had something that makes their legacy an immortal one.
What I wanted to say was, that groups like the Beatles even nowadays seem to have been most inventive, they were artistically versatile (think of the dozends of songs Lennon & Macca gave away), they seemed to have been somehow ahead of their time, they created or inspired fashion (Graham Nash even started such a business in 1965 I (the Toggery), there were connections to famous artists of their time and so on. That's why I rate groups like the Beatles, the Stones, the Who and even the Kinks somewhat higher, even if the Hollies had probably a better harmony sound and a better drummer.
The Hollies became famous after the Beatles, and they somehow lacked to develop an individual image. The Beatles were "fab", they were hailed as "geniuses", they were active as "Paperback writer" (Lennon), dealt with the upper class (Macca with the Ashers and others), tried to overcome an artistic crisis through the use of drugs, became acquainted with the avantgarde artists (Macca and - through Yoko - also John) opened up to eastern culture, religion and meditation, they showed disrespect to authorities and did not accept racism, they were critic about the war in Vietnam. Moreover, through George Martin they had full access to any realisation of their musical ideas. And I dare to say, that as songwriters Lennon and especially Macca were topping Clarke and Nash. The Hollies themselves didn't have that belief into their own abilities as songwriters, so they always relied on doing covers ("Bus Stop", "Listen to me", "Blowing in the wind", "Sorry Suzanne", "He ain't heavy", "The air that I breathe") - and the public's reaction proved them right, when "Sing Dylan" made the charts. Not the Kinks nor the Who, not even the Stones stuck to cover songs after they had matured.
The Hollies furthermore had not that consistency as a unit, regarding the changes in their line-up, and Graham's depart showed clearly, that just to be good craftsmen (entertainers) wasn't enough for him. So that in my opinion sums up the reasons, why the Hollies (and the Tremeloes, DC 5, Herman's Hermits, Cliff & the Shadows or the Searchers) can only partially share the Big Four's (Beatles, Stones, Kinks and Who) glory. But they are absolutely great groups to listen to!
That's just your view of course....and we are getting rather off the topic of this thread somewhat onto a general 'influential bands of the sixties' discussion, however...
tho' do bear in mind it was the German girl Astrid who was the stylish artistic one who gave the 'Teddy Boy' Beatles their arty makeover (Ringo's still a teddy boy on 'Please Please Me' cover in 1963 !)
Brian Epstein then ordered them to have the clothes makeover and become 'Loveable moptops'
Andrew Loog Olham ordered his Rolling Stones to in turn ditch their white shits, ties and waistcoats and become a rougher looking bunch accordingly - pure image !)
'Paperback Writer' (written mostly by Paul) John was very much into the upper class establishment party scene - hence his fling with 50's star Alma Cogan and love of meeting famous people - John & Yoko later were good friends with singer Andy Williams etc, so the 'working class hero' who came from upper middle class Menlove Ave in Liverpool (and never did a '9 to 5' working job in his entire life) wasn't quite the 'revolutionary' he came over as - he got a hundred UK pounds on his 21st birthday from an uncle...to Paul and George's envy
John even asked his old friend Petula Clark to get the vocals together in the hotel room for 'Give Peace A Chance'
If anybody was avant garde it was Paul with the arty actor crowd via Jane and Peter Asher in London not John out at Weybridge...
I'm not doubting The Beatles inventiveness - tho' they didn't pioneer everything they get credited for - while The Stones relied ALOT more on Brian Jones abilities than he's credited for - the focus of their music narrows alot after he became unreliable then left - hence they become 'the Greatest Rock band' etc...where as originally they had musically been far more adventurous
The Who music actually centres alot on Pete Townshend's personal hangups in the theme running throughout their music ('I'm The Face', 'My Generation', 'I'm A Boy', 'Substitute' etc) ...fine if you like that, rather boring if his insecurities don't bother you much...in fact beyond personal hangups The Who's music scope does not seem to extend very wide really...'However Much I Booze', '5.15', 'It's Hard'....all still full of the very same if by then middle aged hangups 25 years on...!
The Kinks chose through Ray's very OLD ENGLISHE rather middle aged even when young questioning attitudes to happily puncture the entire giddy swinging sixties music and social scene ('everywhere the Carnibetian Army marches on each one a dedicated follower...') - hence satires like; 'A Well Respected Man', 'Dedicated Follower of Fashion', 'Mr. Pleasant', 'Plastic Man' etc - often with an almost antedeluvian detachment from the sixties youth movement ('I go to Blackpool for my holidays..' etc) and 'Village Green Preservation Society' - with a mythical golden age past as opposed to 'Arthur' with a pained past both seek some kind of ESCAPE from the swinging sixties - again why The Kinks were often the complete opposite of what was in vogue then - look at the sheer world weary detachment of 'Days'
Ray said 'and I WON'T say that 'I Feel Fine' like everybody else...cos I'm NOT Like everybody else...' (a direct dig at The Beatles !)
so in terms of being 'in' The Kinks (a very basic band musically) chose to be assertively 'out' of step which back in the period 1967-70 was seen as dullsville by many back then
re being 'influential' - consider this; WHICH British group were the FIRST to do a proper organised headlining tour of the USA in the sixties thus setting a precedent for every British band that followed them after....?
was it the "big four" - The Beatles ?, The Rolling Stones ?, The Who ? The Kinks ?
....actually it was The Dave Clark Five, who also made 15 appearances on 'The Ed Sullivan Show' (with three repeated)
so let's try and get some sense of proportion re who was influential back then in various ways
I think much of the 'influencing' really came from those in the media, often promoting what they wanted to be the 'in thing' - then and still today
By the way (and returning to our main topic), in the U.S. Epic released a nice promo single in 1967, with "Carrie Anne" on one side and "Silence is golden" by the Tremeloes on the flip side. The record had been released in red vinyl and put into a picture sleeve. Some years ago I even got hold of a blue vinyl release that might be very rare, I hope... Interestingly the sleeve did bear the title: "There's room for two at the top." In fact the Hollies reached #9 and the Tremeloes peaked at #11 in the U.S. (In the UK the Tremeloes took over the #1 while "Carrie Anne" peaked at #3)
The Tremeloes recorded two versions of 'Even The Bad Times Are Good' (like The Hollies did with 'Yes I Will')
the first is the album version on 'Here Come The Tremeloes' LP - it opens with a cheery; 'Go on Len 'ave a sing...' (!)
this version can also be found on a CBS Special Products single c/w Antia Harris 'The Clapping Song'
they re-cut it for the hit single with a much more powerful driving version featuring a more prominent bass guitar that opens with Len Hawkes doing a sixties UK comedian Freddie 'parrot face' Davies vocal impersonation 'I Saway...' and amid laughter (I think) Alan Blakely actually calling him 'parrot face'(!) before the song powers up....
'Here Comes My Baby' was also paired with Simon & Garfunkel's '59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin Groovy)' on another CBS Special Products single
A rarer overseas single later was an almost totally unaccompanied vocal version of 'Silence is Golden' and they re-cut the old Brian Poole era hit 'Someone Someone' sung by Len Hawkes
There's some interesting points here. Ironically, as the statistics stack up, apparently the Hollies were next in line after the Beatles in terms of time spent in the charts in the 60's and they were also known on the circuit as "the band's band" thanks mainly to their vocal harmonies and instrumental prowess. Many of music's elite were seen at Hollies concerts in the 1960's. Just take the Lewisham Odeon concert in 1968: Paul McCartney was in the audience and it was the last public sighting of him and Jane Asher. Not forgetting their infamous Valentine's Day gig at the Whisky A Go-Go in 1968 attended by The Monkees, Sonny And Cher, Buffalo Springfield, Mamma Cass and David Crosby among others. Even when Jimi Hendrix died, a copy of Hollies Sing Dylan was found in his collection.
BUT they had a squeaky clean image. They never caused headlines. The former editor of NME once said that when they ran the cover story of Allan Clarke leaving in 1971, it was the poorest selling magazine of that year. Tony Hicks always maintained that it didn't matter where a song came from, so long as it sounded good. They only truly believed in themselves songwriting wise from 1966-1967 and things fell apart in 1968 after Jennifer Eccles. I don't think Mickie Most's infamous dartboard remark helped band morale either. When you remove the stigma though, I've always felt that the Hollies consistently turned out great albums with very little filler, despite being a "singles band". The Kinks were in the same sector at the time, Village Green was a deliberate jab at the establishment at Pye by Ray Davies who's relationship with the label was very cold by this stage. In fact, Village Green arrived three months late, on the same day as the White Album with next to no promotion from Pye. It didn't survive to a second pressing at the time and was withdrawn immediately. It wasn't until the mod revival that the Kinks got a look in.
I'm just waiting for the talent revival that sees the Hollies get their recognition! Lol.
As a musician myself, I always attracted to raw talent, and that's what grabbed me about the Hollies. But I got the same feeling when I listened to the Tremeloes live. I've had their albums for a while but dismissed them for some reason. Hearing them play live as such a tight unit made me realise that they had talent. I think the same of Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick & Tich, the Small Faces and The Move. I'd say that along with the Beatles, these are my favourite top five mainstream bands of the 60's for the simple reason that instrumentally and vocally, they were very talented.
yes Steve Stills was a big fan of 'The Hallies' as he'd say
- Bill Wyman speaks of the great friendship that lasted between The Rolling Stones and The Hollies in his book 'A Stone Alone' - Hicks & Nash are among the names 'thanked' by Andrew Loog Oldham in his notes on their 'Metamorphosis' album compilation in 1975, while Tony Hicks (and Jane I think) were at The Stones Hyde Park concert in 1969 when Mick Taylor debuted with the band..
The Hollies were called both 'The Band's Band' and 'Britain's answer to The Beach Boys' - they shared a bill with The Beach Boys and also Simon & Garfunkel in the USA in the late sixties, and gave a concert on an American Aircraft Carrier just back from Vietnam too
Jimi Hendrix drummer John 'Mitch' Mitchell plyaed on three Hollies tracks when Bobby was ill while both Jack Bruce (Cream) and John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) were deputy bass players for them in 1966...
Jimmy Page asked Tony's advice re a guitar part ('Hard Hard Year') during the 'Two Yanks in England' sessions for The Everly Brothers - while Phil Everly asked Allan how to sing a particular part (Allan's prize memory of working on that album with his idols)
Paul McCartney sought out Tony Hicks opinion of 'Abbey Road' before anybody else back in 1969, knowing he'd get an honest view on it
Bobby says they got a 'thank you' note from Bob Dylan for covering his songs too - the FIRST full 'tribute album' devoted to one artist by a vocal band, again setting a precedent that many others since followed (McGuinness Flint and Bryan Ferry both later did Dylan tributes too)
we know later guys like Bruce Springsteen and Nils Loftgren visited The Hollies backstage in New York
Paul and Linda McCartney loaned them their 'Band on The Run' synth for 'Another Night' - played by Alan Parsons, while Rod Argent played synth on 'Star' and later John Miles guest featured on his song 'Carrie'
so from sixties to eighties The Hollies were very respected by their peers in the music business, even if some music press writers belittled or dismissed them far too quickly due to their quite deliberate 'squeaky clean' image and intentional low public profile right throughout their career
Barry and Robin Gibb were among those giving them a standing ovation at that Hall of Fame induction show
part of The Tremeloes problem I suspect was due to their cheerful 'party' image circa 1966-67....and also the fact that SOME folks actually later held a lingering resentment towards them for the nerve of BEATING The Beatles in the Decca audition (!) - hardly their fault !
also re the controversy over their 1963 UK chart topping 'Do You Love Me' over the fact Brian Poole brought Brian Faron a scotch in exchange for the full lyrics...then took his version to No.1 while Faron's Flamingo's version stalled lower in the chart, the 'Southerners conned a Northen band out of their deserved hit' thing went on for a long time...an embittered Brian Faron was still bemoaning it decades later (ironic as it wasn't his song in the first place )
it may sound silly BUT issues that are often "unforgiven" by some (remember the lingering fuss re LCW in The Hollies story ?) - and grudges that result can spread and linger, and a poor view of an artist can grow over time too (especially among fans of one artist against another etc)
The Hollies themselves took some such 'flak' from some Beatles fans and music writers over the 'If I Needed Someone' cover in 1965, (much to Nash's anger as he'd opposed them covering it, like 'Sing Dylan' later) tho' people - and George himself at the time - tend to forget The Hollies were the first to put a George Harrison song into the UK Top Twenty four years before George could do it himself with 'Something' in 1969.
Like Dave Dee & co The Tremeloes did a few out and out comedy tracks - that fact probably counted against them later too when circa 1969 music suddenly got so very ultra serious as the era of the 'album bands' appeared featuring the likes of the already established; The Beatles, Stones, Cream, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Moody Blues etc...and then even more so Led Zeppelin, post Syd Barrett Pink Floyd, Yes, Jethro Tull, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Procol Harum, Traffic, etc...(even tho' many still enjoyed hit singles too)
it was very noticeable in the early 80's how F.R. David's version of 'Words Don't Come Easy' had done nothing...but when The Tremeloes issued their cover (sung much better by Len Hawkes in my opinion) suddenly the F.R. David version ONLY got all the radio airplay...and only then it became a big hit ! (maybe just a co-incidence of course, but you can't help wonder if some influential disc jockeys did not want the veteran group's version getting a look in - such things DO go on in the music business...)
I suspect that MUCH critical dislike of Dave Clark probably came for a number of reasons, all non musical (!) - one was likely as his then unique self sufficency saw him getting a 'free hand' over at Lansdowne studios (while The Beatles still had to wear ties at Abbey Road - where, according to George Harrison, the refrigerator had a lock on it to prevent the milk being taken !)
plus Dave Clark picked up 100% royalties - compared to The Beatles mere 25% - also his self management of his band saw The DC5 avoid all the pitfalls and troubles The Stones, Kinks, Who, Moodies, Hollies, even Beatles etc each ran into at some point, often losing MUCH cash - remember the business disaster that Apple became ?
- The Moodies never got a penny for their early 1965 chart topping 'Go Now' when their managers 'did a runner' - other than Dave Clark they all got 'fleeced' badly - hence the later Ray Davies song 'The Moneygoround' on 'Lola' album, where an embittered Ray actually 'named names' !
The DC5 were one of the VERY few non American acts to be asked to play at The White House (for LBJ) and did two Royal Command performances at The London Palladium - no other UK group could boast that...
I believe there was and probably still is simmering dislike, maybe sheer jealousy, in the music business, and certainly in the UK music press against certain artists
there's one American guy who has (or at least had a while back) a rather pointless website where all he does is belittle and dismiss The Hollies records, with endless unfavorable comparisons to his beloved Beatles !
while even today in the USA bands like Chicago, The Moody Blues and a number of other massive selling groups apparently have NO chance of being inducted into that R & R Hall of Fame because of apparent lingering animosity going back to the early seventies from a senior music press figure on the induction board !
One interesting point regarding Rick West(wood) is that he sang the high harmony part up until he left the band around 1973, yet when he returned circa 1981 he never sang on stage again right up until he retired a couple of years back. Anyone know why? Did he damage his voice or something?
One interesting point regarding Rick West(wood) is that he sang the high harmony part up until he left the band around 1973, yet when he returned circa 1981 he never sang on stage again right up until he retired a couple of years back. Anyone know why? Did he damage his voice or something?
I think it was because of his severe hearing problems. He could manage his guitar playing but not singing anymore.
yes that was exactly the reason he had to drop out of the band in 1973, later his hearing had improved enough for his return as a guitarist but not as a vocalist - Chip Hawkes took over the falsetto parts, he wasn't quite as strong as Rick at singing high but did a pretty good job for them
Blonde vocalist/guitarist Bob Benham then came in to replace Rick.
Hawkes-Munden-Blakley-Benham are the line up on the DJM Records album 'Shiner' (1974) but later Alan Blakley also had to drop out for a time probably due to his ongoing health problems, and Chip also left to go solo - hence Dave and Bob then recruited Paul Carmen and Paul Issac for 'Don't Let The Music Die' second DJM Records album in 1975, it's not bad but as I said doesn't sound vocally much like the well known Tremeloes (Alan Blakley was involved as a songwriter on it).
With his hearing improved Rick later then came back as guitarist alongside Dave and Bob, plus a returning Chip Hawkes
- there is a 1981 Hallmark 'Greatest Hits' album of re-cut hits (which are done very well !) including two new original songs written by Len Hawkes; 'Party' and 'I Let My Best Friend Down' featuring that Hawkes-Munden-Westwood-Benham line up which turns up in charity shops from time to time - they also did an 'Entertainers' TV show for Scottish Grampian TV
Later with Alan up to it the 'classic' four were reunited and recorded 'Words Don't Come Easy' in 1983 plus did two songs ("Silence is Golden' , 'Call Me Number One') on the 'Unforgettable' TV show introduced by Alan 'Fluff' Freeman, also a Netherlands TV show where Chip sang their old Brian Poole era hit; 'Someone Someone', which they then re-cut together with the largely unaccompanied vocal version of 'Silence is Golden' .
The Tremeloes were hit by non musical problems a few times re Rick and Alan, while Chip later was a solo artist a couple of times hence the various other band members coming and going.
ALL their line ups were strong - including the Brian Poole 1962-66 era version with Alan Howard on bass - I'm sure the current version Dave leads are too - though the classic 1966-73 era four piece are really regarded as being "THE Tremeloes", and the Bob Benham line up(s) with three of the classic line up sound the most vocally recognisable.
Singles; They had seven UK chart singles with Brian Poole over 1963-65 including a No.1 ("Do You Love Me') and a No.2 hit ("Someone, Someone'), plus a further twelve UK chart singles later between 1966 and 1971 including a further chart topper ("Silence is Golden') and another No.2 hit ("Call Me Number One'), making a grand total of Nineteen UK chart singles overall between 1963 and 1971 plus five USA chart hits and a number of European chart hits most notably ; 'I Like it That Way' reaching No.9 in The Netherlands in 1972 after their UK hits had dried up.
Albums; They recorded three Decca albums with Brian Poole over 1962-65, and a further three studio albums plus that 'Live in Cabaret' and the budget compiled album; 'Reach Out For The Tremeloes' for CBS Records between 1966 and 1970, two albums for DJM Records in the seventies, and a later line up album; 'All For One and One For All' (1992) plus that Hallmark re-cut 'Greatest Hits' album in 1981.
Their 19 UK chart singles between 1963 and 1971 are not far behind the number of official single released hits achieved in the sixties by The Beatles, Hollies, and Dave Clark Five (all had 22 UK chart hits with official released singles between the years 1962 and 1970) so Mike Smith's faith in them at that long ago Decca audition was not mis-placed...
and always remember Mike DID want to sign up BOTH The Beatles (then featuring Pete Best not Ringo on drums) and The Tremeloes back then
I have just had a re-watch of 'The Tremeloes Greatest Hits' DVD from dts in Holland released in 2004
you get 20 song performances - most taken from TV shows, b/w and colour plus a few 'promo' films with mainly mimed to the record performances tho' a few are 'live' from 'Beat Club' and 'Beat Beat Beat' plus a couple of final songs in colour taken from a televised concert show in Europe with an orchestra and female choir !
in addition there are 7 more songs, a couple are new but most are different versions from other shows of songs in the main 20.
1.Here Comes My Baby - live on b/w 'Beat Beat Beat' TV show 2.Silence is Golden - live on b/w 'Beat Beat Beat' TV show 3.Even The Bad Times Are Good - b/w 'promo film' 4.Suddenly You Love Me - 'promo film' 5.My Little Lady - b/w 'Beat Club' TV show 6.I Shall Be Released - colour TV show 7.Call Me Number One - colour promo film 8.By The Way - colour TV show 9.Yellow River - colour TV show 10.Me And My Life - colour promo film 11.Right Wheel Left Hammer Sham - colour TV show 12.Hello Buddy - colour TV show 13.Too Late (To Be Saved) - colour TV show 14.I Like it That Way - colour TV show 15.Blue Suede Tie** - colour TV show (**with Bob Benham replacing Rick Westwood) 16.Ride On** - colour TV show - (**Bob Benham lead vocal) 17.Say OK ** - colour TV show (**with Bob Benham) 18.Words (Don't Come Easy) - colour video 19.My Little Lady / Even The Bad Times Are Good - live on colour European TV concert show 20. Someone, Someone - live on colour European TV concert show
Extras; 1. Silence is Golden - 'Pop Go The Sixties' (introduced by Jimmy Saville !) 2.Loving You (Is Sweeter Than Ever) - live on b/w 'Beat Beat Beat' TV show 3.Running Out - b/w promo film 4.Hello Buddy - alternate colour TV show 5.Silence is Golden - alternate colour TV show 6.Alan Blakley at home 7.Too Late (To Be saved) - alternate colour TV show 8.Blue Suede Tie** - alternate colour TV show (**with Bob Benham)
besides the **Bob Benham line up songs all others are the 'classic' Tremeloes line up of Len 'Chip' Hawkes / Rick Westwood / Alan Blakley / Dave Munden
only a few of their later 'post Brian Poole' era sixties chart hits are absent - 'Helule Helule' (which they did sing with Bob Benham on that 'Entertainers' colour TV show for Scottish Grampian TV along with 'Twist and Shout'), plus 'Be Mine' and Tony Hazzard's song 'Hello World'
it's interesting to see them go from four part harmonies with falsetto high harmony to three part later on when Rick could no longer sing just play guitar, Rick plays banjo and pedal steel guitar on 'Hello Buddy'
despite their image change later (longer hair, whiskers, more casual clothes etc) you can see they 'clown about' still in the TV performances - tho' not on the music itself - at a point when rock music was suddenly all mega serious and very 'taking itself so importantly straight' etc - thus their still jokey image would NOT appeal to many 'serious music' fans by 1971 despite their playing and singing being very accomplished, while doing some of the European singalong type pop songs did well for them across Europe, in the UK it got them tagged a 'lightweight pop band' (something The Hollies got tagged with at various points too) that some dismissed them out of hand as....
they appear on the same European and overseas sixties ('Beat Beat Beat' etc) and seventies shows The Hollies were also on doing 'The Baby', 'Too Young To Be Married' etc while the 'live' performances show they were every bit as tight vocally and instrumentally as The Hollies and other of the better sixties / seventies bands...
....and far better live than some of the more seriously lauded 'name' bands were.... !
I went to see the 'Class of 64' in Stirling in about 2007 only to find that Haydock wasn't playing with them due to 'legal action'. Safe to say, even despite the presence of Mick Avory on drums, I wasn't overly impressed. Hawkes sang Bus Stop, Air, Heavy and LCW from memory. Not that he had any real right to, likewise Haydock didn't even play on the originals!
I think, sometimes as Hollies fans, or pop fans in general, we tend to get bogged down in the minutiae of group history, and tend to forget that to the average punter, we must come across as annoying know-it-all nerds.
Case in point: back in the '80's, I took in a Searchers show in a large bar-like setting. This was after Spencer James had joined the group. I found myself going on, ad nauseum, about 'Frank Allen didn't sing this tune, and John McNally rarely sang, and really it was Mike Pender who played lead and sang lead too, except when Tony Jackson sang lead on their first two singles, and Chris Curtis was their drummer and he sang harmony with Mike, and some leads, but he left.....' You get the idea.
The fact was, the average person was out for the night to have a good time and forget their troubles. They could have cared less who sang what, or wrote what, or who was on the hit record. To them, if it sounded good, and if it reminded them of the old days, they were happy.
Which brings us to Terry Sylvester, and others on the old-timer circuit. Of course, I have no way of proving this, but I bet the large majority of his audience have no idea who he really is, beyond 'a Hollie' and 'a Swinging Blue Jean'. I would venture to guess they couldn't name more than a handful of Hollies hits, and probably no Blue Jeans song beyond 'Hippy Hippy Shake'. I'll go one further and say they couldn't name more than a couple of Hollies members! So whether Terry originally sang 'Bus Stop' or 'Long Cool Woman' or 'Hippy Hippy Shake', it matters not at all. They remember the song, and this guy singing it was in the group. Wow! And that's good enough for them.
yes that is true - tho' Terry trying to claim some kind of oblique 'ownership' of LCW is a bit of a joke, considering Allan co-wrote, sang solo vocal, played lead guitar, and his company co-published it...! (Terry wasn't even on the studio recording either)
would John Lennon have claimed 'Yesterday' or Paul McCartney claimed 'Julia' etc ?
I saw The Strawbs in concert - Dave Cousins sang 'Part of The Union' their chart topper which (then) ex-member bassist John Ford had co-written and sung...but people expected to hear it etc, so it's a perfectly valid thing to do and many of the wider public probably don't know who sang what as you say...but trying to make some sort of claim to another's song is a bit silly I think (seems more like an act of modern day desperation for a claim to fame etc)
- especially re Terry where he has 'Cable Car', 'Pick up The Pieces' or even his interpretation of Judee Sill's 'Jesus Was A Crossmaker' that are far more 'his' Hollies gems
- and how would Terry react now if say Peter Howarth sang those in current Hollies concert shows and duly claimed HE was now the 'face' of them...?
with more ranting tweets I expect...
interesting you mention who sang what re The Searchers - I noticed that despite only Mike Pender taking the recorded lead vocal on both 'Needles and Pins' and 'Don't Throw Your Love Away' in vintage concert and TV show footage both were sung as co-lead vocals by Mike Pender AND Tony Jackson
I really believe Terry is caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to live performances. In the USA, only 3 tunes from his Hollies period ('Heavy', 'LCW', and 'Air') would be widely known to the general public. Add to that 'Bus Stop', 'Stop! Stop! Stop!', and 'Carrie-Anne' from the Nash years, and that's about all Terry has to work with, and to even claim these as his own, is more than a bit of a stretch. Much like his 'Hippy Hippy Shake': hardly his tune.
But what's he supposed to do? He could hardly go on the road with a promo reading:
'Come experience the fabulous Terry Sylvester singing all of his great hits from the '70's once again! Thrill once more to his immortal 'The Trees, The Flowers And The Shame'! Where were you when 'No More Riders' topped the charts? And who could ever forget 'Pull Down The Blind'?'
It is the stuff of parody, and he'd be lucky to draw a dozen people to his concerts. And his management and booking agents would drop him like a hotcake. So he does what he has to do: play the songs everyone remembers and can hum along to, no matter how tenuous his links to these tunes. And on the oldies circuit, he is hardly alone in this practice.
Re Tony Jackson and Mike Pender singing co-lead vocals on 'Needles and Pins' and 'Don't throw Your Love Away' back in '64. From all I've read, the atmosphere was extremely toxic between Tony and Chris, with Tony bumped from lead vocals on both singles. Apparently Tony threatened to 'out' Curtis, and Chris was doing everything to push Jackson out the door. Just a theory, but perhaps the price of a temporary peace was to allow Tony to salvage a bit of pride by still appearing to be a 'lead singer' in public appearances.