Monday 24 August 2015

"The Beach Boys Party!" (1965)

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"The Beach Boys Party!" (1965)

Hully Gully/I Should Have Known Better/Tell Me Why/Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow/Mountain Of Love/You've Got To Hide Your Love Away//Devoted To You/Alley Oop/There's No Other (Like My Baby)/I Get Around-Little Deuce Coupe/The Times They Are A-Changin'/Barbara Ann

Aww Max, you fig, you forgot the potato chips! No don't worry I got it, I got it. Ooh baby, having some fun tonight! Greenwich Village? Hah! This is more like, erm, Trumpton. Nahh, turn it up the neighbours won't mind. Baa Baa Singing Dog have you any top hats?!...Watch out for that clickety schnar-schnar!...Right!...Wrong!...Well I'm not bragging babe, wo-ah yeah!...What the record stopped playing hours ago and everyone's gone home?

Hello dear readers! Youremybesthestreadersinthewholewidworldyesyouare...hic! I'm having a bit of a party this week and you're all invited! (Well those of you who this record anyway). You see, I'm finally at the end of the longest extended writing run of my life (well, longest extended writing run of my life so far - ominous thought). No don't worry, the AAA isn't going anywhere and I'm so many weeks you won't notice the difference anyway. But against all the odds I've made my deadline of completing the first drafts of half the thirty AAA books (Lindisfarne were dispatched last night - and what a mess they left!) four days before the halfway point in the time I've given myself to write them. Frankly I'm written out after four very hectic writing months that's seen some thousand odd pages written and I'm a few News, Views and Musics ahead of myself now so I can afford to take it a bit easier during the fortnight when the tennis is on (and yes I am enough of a anorak to organise it so that the issue printed while Wimbledon starts is the Beach Boys 'MIU Album' with 'Matchpoint Of Your Love' on it!) However before I go there's time for one last review before I go and only one album that can fit my end-of-term-itis slightly-silly Friday-Afternoon mood: 'The Beach Boys Party'.
Remember those 1980s sets that had 'the best party album in the world ever!' plastered all over them? Well they were all wrong. 'The Beach Boys Party' is the world's greatest party album, full of singalongs, jokes and harmonies that will put even the best karaoke singer to shame. Is it a full on artistic statement? Probably not. is it the best thing The Beach Boys ever did? Heck no. Is it a proper Beach Boys album? Heck don't ask me man, I'm having too much fun to care! Am I glad that this is the only bona fide AAA party album? Erm...I'll come back to you on that one, though I'm willing to bet 'The Who Instant Party' got ugly quick, The CSNY Party became political fast, The Beatles Party Album got weird quick and ended with everyone arguing over paying the bill and that at least one of the Gallagher Brothers threw a piece of fruit during the 'Oasis Party Album'. Ray Davies probably didn't even turn up to The Kinks Party Album, while every Janis Joplin album was a party album. The Spice Girls could probably hold one, but it would be one of those awfully all-pink affairs where people randomly insult each other's clothes and personalities and where everything ends in kung-fu kicks. That leaves The Beach Boys like you've never heard them before, endlessly goofing off in between playing singalong favourites obvious and not so obvious and parodying everyone along the way including themselves. Just be grateful it was recorded in 1965 not 2015 or it would surely have had 'Jools Holland Hootenanny' plastered all over it and none of us want that.

Four months before Brian Wilson released his devastatingly serious single 'Caroline, No' and just five months before 'Pet Sounds' The Beach Boys were having a happening at their house and everyone was invited - rivals like Jan and Dean, various wives and girlfriends and sweethearts (sometimes all three depending on the Beach Boy in question!) and even the band's fans. To the album's critics it's an appalling waste of vinyl where the band waste their vocal talents on a series of ropey covers you can't hear anyway because of all the chattering going on and is one of the most frivolous albums a mainstream act ever released. To its fans the album is a welcome chance to hear the band doing something they wouldn't normally do that's a wonderful last moment of innocence and fun before 'Pet Sounds' and all its moodier sequels came along which proves that even when in a hurry and a bit messy The Beach Boys were a great band who never gave a bad performance (well, not in the 1960s at least). In one sense this album is colossally important: it gave the band the breathing space they needed to make 'Pet Sounds' the album they wanted and it invented the 'unplugged' format some twenty years before everyone thinks MTV did, with just acoustic guitars, an acoustic bass and randomly struck bongos throughout. And in another it's the silliest, stupidest album in my collection full of corny jokes, spoof versions of old hits and much messing about between songs. It's a tough album to think about - but a great album to singalong to.

The record makes more sense when you realise why it exists. Back in late 1965 Brian Wilson had just started work on 'Pet Sounds', an album he was determined was going to be the best he'd ever make and was going to spend hours on to make it just right. Only he'd hit two major problems - a writing block (solved only when he met up with jingle-writer Tony Asher early the next year) and a demand with menaces from record label Capitol who demanded another Beach Boys product for the Christmas market and didn't care what it was (yes it seems odd doesn't it - 'Beach Boys Party!' is such a 'mid-summer' record and yet it came out In December, a week before The Beatles' 'Rubber Soul'!) So far Brian had only got as far as two backing tracks - for 'Sloop John B' and a song he realised he already hated 'In My Childhood' (revived and revamped as 'You Still Believe In Me' the following year). The Beach Boys could have released a compilation - but they thought that was a terrible thing to do and would spell the end to their career (they'll change their mind when 'Smile' is late too). They could have released a live album - but they'd already done one of those before. They could have done a Christmas record but they'd already done one of those too. Whatever it was they needed to do it quick in as few sessions as possible - Capitol weren't about to wait and had less interest in the Beach Boys making a masterpiece as they did having a product to sell.

Whoever came up with the party format in this situation deserves a medal (though no one can agree on whose idea it was, with Brian Mike Carl Dennis Al and Bruce all suggested as coming up with it down the years)- it enabled the band to record something fast and as sloppily as they liked (though typically, the perfectionist Brian didn't record the songs as heard here - he drilled the band as much as he dared given the time limits and the 'party' atmosphere was added on later at the mixing stage where the band sat around listening to the performances and chattering through them and eating the food they brought with them especially - that's why if you listen closely you can Brian and Mike especially talking and singing at the same time, which is a very clever party trick!) It also demonstrated a whole new string to The Beach Boys' bow - establishing them as acoustic folkies alongside their surfer image back at a time when folk was 'in' thanks to the rise of Bob Dylan and The Byrds, although The Beach Boys were probably unique in rock and roll for recording a folk-rock album using acoustic traditionally folk instruments. The record also helped them keep pace with the fans they'd lost after going all modern and deep on 'Beach Boys Today', cementing the following won back on last poppier album 'Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!!)' - despite the traditional that The Beach Boys 'only' lost their fanbase when 'Pet Sounds' passed them by actually they'd already begun to wane slightly in the charts before 'California Girls' and 'Help Me Rhonda' helped them out (this album's 'Barbara Ann' was a big relief actually, returning the band to the top three after previous single, the standalone 'Little Girl I Once Knew', peaked at a lowly #20 in the States - which in hindsight is perhaps a little too ambitious for its own good, great as it is).

In another sense it's a huge two fingers up to recently departed 'manager' Murray Wilson who'd always been on at the band to quit goofing around in the studio because their fans wouldn't like it and was 'fired' after an emotional fall-out during the recording of 'Help Me, Rhonda' when his sons and nephew and friends got told what to play too many times for comfort (what better way to get your own back on your dad than saying 'see - we got a top six album and a top three single from our messing around!') Best of all it made The Beach Boys a unit again, for the last time before Brian's breakdown and healing a slight rift that had been growing between the band 'out on tour' (with new kid Bruce Johnston filling in for Brian) and the band 'in the studio' (which consisted of Brian and a load of veteran session musicians, with the band's vocals being dubbed afterwards - a formula that had worked well for a year but was showing signs of wear and tear, especially between cousins Brian and Mike who had different ideas of where to take the band's sound). After all this is how The Beach Boys started and - the 1962 tapes aside - the closest we'll ever get to hearing how the band sounded singing a capella at Christmas get-togethers and singing late into the night on sleepovers when they were all meant to be asleep. 'Party' features a band genuinely having fun together, laughing at each other's jokes, applauding each other's contributions and improvising with each other liked mad. From the outside The Beach Boys doesn't often seem like a 'happy' band to be in - you wouldn't want to run away and sign up like you would The Beatles or The Monkees for instance - but this record is the exception, with all the band genuinely funny (the gleeful sabotage of 'I Get Around' and 'Little Deuce Coupe' may not be the best Beach Boys moment but it's one of my favourites, the band having hysterics as they parody their serious image). This is Mike's finest hour as the band's frontman and his one-liners are frequently hilarious, with him sending himself up as much as everyone else. Brian too dispels his reputation for being a bit 'gloomy' and serious by letting his hair down in lots of hilarious ways, even if his mock-anguished 'shushes' suggest that he's still the band member taking this record the most seriously.

There's one big question I have about this album though. Before I bought it and just from reading about it my instant thought was 'boy Dennis will be having fun on this album!' The band's hell raiser and non-comformist party animal, this album should be right down his surfing sidewalk - and yet he only gets one lead vocal on the moodiest cover on the album 'You've Got To Hide Your Love Away'. Did he really not believe in the project to that extent? (This isn't the first Beach Boy album Dennis will go 'missing' on - and it certainly won't be the last!) Was he having one of his periodic fallings out with the rest of the band and didn't want to be heard singing and joking? Was his choice of song rejected? (Something risque probably knowing Dennis!) Or was he making the ultimate rebellion by being serious for the first time in his Beach Boy career - just as everyone else decided to joke around? You sense that Al Jardine too is probably not that keen on this record. Already given the hardest musical role (struggling with an acoustic bass that's been dumped on him while Brian plays guitar) he gets only his third lead vocal in the band's history on 'The Times They Are A Changin' - and the band promptly laugh at his lengthy introduction and start singing silly words in the background. Gee guys, it takes a lot to stand up at a party and do your party piece - cool it will ya? As for poor Carl, he's still very much the junior member of the band and gets very little to do just one album on from his first lead vocal with the group ('Girl Don't Tell Me'), not given the chance to blossom until 'God Only Knows' the following year. This is a party, but it's on the terms of the 'adults' Mike and Brian and not quite the cathartic creative chaotic free-for-all the chatter and the many pictures (taken at the actual 'party' session rather than the basic tracks one) suggest.

Even so, it's still a delightfully silly album with some delightfully silly gags. 'I feel like I'm in Greenwich Village' quips Brian at the start of the album. Mike introduces 'Times' as 'a test song - it used to be a 'protest' song but it's no longer pro!' 'Barbara Ann - The Album Version' starts in not the way you expect at all, with an a capella version of 'Baa Baa Black Sheep'. Al is introduced for his percussive abilities 'on his famous ash tray!' 'What key is this in? I don't know - you know I can't read!' grins Mike at the start of 'No Other Like My Baby'. The list of girl's names in 'No Other Like My Baby' gets a bit confusing ('Cindy, Sherry, Wendy...err, Louie?!') Mike ends the deep and emotional cover of 'You've Got To Hide Your Love Away' by asking where he's put his teeth! The medley of car songs is hilariously and mercilessly spot on, sounding like a Who Line Is It Anyway?' or 'Just A Minute' episode where the singer can't say the same word twice. 'I'm getting awfully mad driving down the street, I just don't want to be bugged sitting next to my sweets!' Another verse runs as follows: 'We always take my car although it's a heap!' Mike has never been funnier. Brian and Mike's careful cover of 'Devoted To You' is also cheekily credited on the sleeve to 'The Cleverly Brothers'. For me, though, the funniest moment is at the start of 'No Other Like My Baby' when the band are chatting and joking and being silly, taking no notice of Brian at all as he starts up one of the album's sadder songs. Suddenly, without missing a beat, the entire band are right there with him spot on cue singing that chorus line, perfectly in synch with each other. Even accounting for the fact that these are from two entirely different sessions, still it boggles belief - how the hell did they just do that?

One of my favourite recordings from the sessions really sums up the party feel well, although sadly it's one that never made the final album (please add it as a bonus track on the next CD re-issue that comes out - it would make my day!) 'Ruby Baby' never got as far as the overdub party, probably because Brian messes up this Leiber/Stoller song's last verse. However the band are having such fun it seems sad to let the track go just because of one inconsequential mistake (if there's ever an album you can get away with making mistakes on it's this one!) and The Beach Boys are having so much fun, their usual pristinely perfect backing vocals slowly making way to 'oinks'. As serious as we try to be on this website a lot of the time, there's a place in music for laughter and few records are funnier than this one. Apparently the band recorded lots of other songs at these sessions too which have never seen the light of day: versions of 'Riot In Cell Block H', 'Blowin' In The Wind', '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction' and even 'Ticket To Ride'. Heck there's a double CD in there somewhere if all this stuff can be located in The Beach Boys' generous and overflowing vaults.

While I'm not sure any record of covers can ever be truly revealing, it's also interesting to hear what was in The Beach Boys' record collection at the time. All the band brought their own choices to the table, though some got more than others: Mike loved the simple garage rock of The Rivington's one hit wonder 'Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow' (already an in-concert favourite), The Olympics' 'Hully Gully' and The Hollywood' Argyles' caveman calamity 'Alley Oop'. Brian probably provided the Phil Spector cover 'There's No Other Like My Baby' and one of his favourite Everly Brothers songs 'Devoted To You' (the two album highlights). Beatles nut Carl simply kept submitting fab four songs until the band relented and he got three on the album (he's clearly a fan as he's not gone for the obvious choices at all: 'Tell Me Why' 'I Should Have Known Better' and 'You've Got To Hide Your Love Away'. Though all are performed as 'a bit of fun' rather than as something serious, they're still faithful versions done with a lot of love and especially the last of these three - it's hard to imagine The Beatles making the same tribute the other way around!) Al provided the Dylan covers. And it was guest Dean Torrence who suggested 'Barbara Ann' when the band were running short of ideas - they didn't know it too well so he tried to teach it to them despite the fact that legal disputes (ie the fact the pair were on different record labels) meant that dean was never contributed for his co-lead on the album (instead Brian says 'thanks Carl!' in a loud voice and almost whispers 'thanks Dean' straight after, at least on the album version). This was in effect payback for Brian giving his first number one hit away to his surfing rivals ('Sidewalkin' Surfin' in 1964) and another neat way of getting back at dad Murray who hated the pair for taking away all of Brian's poppier songs! Fascinatingly not one of the band suggests a 'surfing song' and for the first time (aside from the car-filled 'Shut Down Volume Two') there isn't a single mention of the beach or the sea - or girls hardly (instead we get a caveman, social change and whatever the heck 'Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow is really all about!) One quick point before we go:

The end result is an album like no other, don't mean maybe, no no no. The Beach Boys are in a party mood and for the last time are wide-eyed innocents taking one last stroll to the beach before it all gets serious, waving goodbye to their childhood along the way. Though The Beach Boys will try to get back to this stage in their careers many many times over the years - especially after Brian can no longer lead them - they'll never again capture the purity of these performances. Sadly most of the marriages heard on this album won't last (many won't continue to the end of the decade), while the same goes for girlfriends (many of whom won't last to the end of the album), while it remains either a comedy or a tragedy that this hurried shoe-string budgeted thrown-away album remains the last big seller The Beach Boys ever had in their homeland, with the public going off The Beach Boys in a big way a mere year later. Just picture how a 'Post Pet Sounds' party might have been, with everyone in the corner sobbing for lost loves or up in the bathroom doing drugs (for a time it looked for one awful moment as if the excellent Capitol to-w-fer-one CD series was going to release this album and 'Pet Sounds' together, which would have been chronologically logical but would have resulted in one of the weirdest contrasting emotional experiences of our times. Thankfully common sense prevailed and it was paired with fellow oddity 'Stack-O-Tracks', the Beach Boys backing track album instead). This record may not have had the painstaking care and attention devoted to it of almost all the albums to come (well, perhaps not '15 Big Ones'!) but then it didn't need to - it proved that The Beach Boys had such natural talent and were still so in tune with each other that they could turn the musical magic on at a moment's notice, even with the odd mistake creeping in. Of course 'Pet Sounds' has more time spent on it and song for song even as a slightly sceptical fan of that album the later record is clearly superior (the Beach Boys fanbase can be divided down the middle between who loves 'Pet Sounds' and hate 'Smile' and vice versa - while 'Pet Sounds' sometimes makes me cry if I'm in the right mood, 'Smile' always makes me cry and laugh and love and live). However I've had more fun times and probably learnt more from this forgotten party record, which managed to do three things with as little effort as possible: it gave Brian the breathing room he needed to get back in control of his career, it invented a whole new genre without even knowing it and its one hell of a lot of fun. Pass the potato chips I'm putting the album back on again...

In the chatter at the start of this song you can just about hear Marilyn Wilson, Brian's wife, asks for a song 'you haven't done in a while' and she gets what she asked for, a forgotten 1960 single by one-hit wonder The Olympics (though 'Hully Gully' isn't actually the 'hit' - that's 'Western Movies' from 1958 though most people today remember this song better thanks to The Beach Boys). According to Brian's CD Sleevenotes he and cousin Mike used to entertain their friends with when they were still at school (though as with a few  of Brian's sleevenotes it should perhaps be taken with a grain of salt given that they were both eighteen when the song came out, which is a problem given that Mike left at fifteen, and neither of them went to the same school anyway. Great story though!) Whatever the cause it's perfect for this band and this album, with lots of opportunities for stunning harmonies and some great rattled bongos (probably played by Brian). It's decidedly not at all like 'Greenwich Village' as Brian proposes, more like a punk band who can't afford their electricity bill and have had to play with acoustic instruments, but it's great fun for all that. The song was actually split into two parts and released over both sides of a vinyl single, though The Beach Boys only do the first. It's one of those songs that isn't really up to analysing as it makes no sense at all (something about an infectious dance, which given the way its described in the first verse makes it sound like ebola; apparently the lyrics come from a game called 'hully gully guess how many nuts I'm holding' and no I'm not making this up!) but the lyrics are really just something to sing along with the great tune. Someone lets off what sounds like a firecracker near the end but it can't overpower the firecracker of the performance which is stunning, from Mike's borderline-giggles vocal to the glossy harmonies. Why don't my parties ever sound like this?

Next up is Carl Wilson's favourite Beatles track 'of all time' according to the fade - and yes I'm surprised as well. I mean 'I Should Have Known Better is nice and all, but it's not even the best thing on the first side of their 'A Hard Day's Night' album never mind a song demanding a cover version. It's a tad too serious for the occasion too, but the band rev it up into a lovable goofy comedy song all the same, with Carl singing affectionately and Brian less so, the tempo gradually getting faster and faster as the song gets going. It works rather well as a communal singalong, actually, with its long held 'I_I_I_I_I_I', although you miss the harmonica lick. You wonder if Brian Wilson ever brings it up during his modern-day collaborations with Paul and Ringo?

'Tell Me Why' from the second side of the 'A Hard Day's Night' album (had the band not bought 'Beatles For Sale' yet?) is more of the same, with carl primarily on lead but everyone singing along with him - twice in Brian's case as he adds some 'doo doos' as well. Once again this isn't the first fab four song that's crying out to be re-hashed in this way and the Beach Boys play it a bit too 'safe' without the glorious sneer in Lennon's voice, but against all the odds it works rather well. The Beach Boys even remember to sing the 'is there anything I can do?' part in a cheery falsetto, although like many a song on this album you wish everyone in the room would just shut up a little so you could hear what the heck is going on.

Perhaps that's why they decide to do 'Papa Oom Mow Mow' next, one of the loudest and most aggressive recordings in the band's back catalogue which could cut through paper, never mind the noise going on in the room. Beach Boys fans would have been familiar with this song already after its appearance on most of the band's tours up to this point and its central role on the 'Beach Boys Concert' record. In many ways this is the song's big farewell (it really wouldn't have worked in the band's set lists from 'Pet Sounds' on!) and can best be described as infectious chaos. Mike sings grittily like a heavy metaller on steroids and jokingly quits singing the repetitive 'papa-oom-mow-mow' chorus to exclaim jokingly 'I can't remember all the words!' Brian meanwhile is really going for it too and it's strange to hear the on-form on-top-of-the-world Brian singing with the same put-on gruffness he'll have for real on his sadder, more doubtful performances on Beach Boy records to come. The song will horrify fans who like their Beach Boys all nice and tidy and perfect, but I've always said that there was a tasty rock and roll band inside this group waiting to get out behind the Four Freshman front and its unleashed here like never before.

The band sound far tighter and sober for the Harold Doorman and later Johnny Rivers hit  'Mountain Of Love', with less chatter and distractions than normal going on and nobody getting the words wrong (was it earmarked as the single before 'Barbara Ann' came along? If so then it would have been a rotten choice). The session tapes reveal that this was more like take thirteen of the song (although many of the takes are giggling one-note performances so it's hard to keep track!) which suggests that the band really wanted to take their time and get this one right. It's hard to work out why they should care more for this piece of disposable country-rock-ish pop compared to the rankly better material around it, but the band clearly relish singing it. Mike especially is having a great time on the quick-stepping lyric, even though it's a long way outside his normal comfort zone and Carl and Brian have fun on the twin acoustic guitars, but the performance is actually way above the level of quality of the song which is one of those generic 'where did it all go wrong?' types.

The Beach Boys next play the chorus of 'Long Tall Sally' but frustratingly don't get anywhere past an 'oh baby' and a 'woo-oo-oo'. Al Jardine comes to the aid with a few strummed lines of the third and final Beatles track, the stunningly gorgeous 'You've Got To Hide Your Love Away' from 'Help!' At first it seems too moody and magnificent to be sent up in this way but the playful 'hey!' chorus gives the improvised backing vocalists a lot to play around with. However in an odd move Al is shooed off the vocals and Dennis is roped into sing, the middle Wilson's only contribution to the entire album (he doesn't play anything either) and he sings it just a sleepy wispy voice that you wonder whether he got the directions wrong and went to a 'real' party the night before leaving him the worst for wear. Regular readers will know how much I adore Dennis for both his voice and his songs, but this really isn't his greatest moment and he's badly out-sung by everyone (a Carl version of this one would have been great, while Brian is moved enough to stop chattering at the top of the song and just listen, adding a mournful 'hey hey' in response). The result is one of odd moments that only exists on this album because there is no other album like it - someone trying so hard to be serious on a deeply moving and serious song while everyone behind laughs and jokes throughout. In a way though it's a fitting accompaniment to a top Lennon song about layers and barriers, with the narrator haunted by the fact that he can't demonstrate his love openly for whatever reason (English reserve? Because she's already married? Or - the more modern take on this song - because it was written for manager Brian Epstein's hidden homosexual love life).

'If you don't know it then shut up and go home!' Brian snaps as everyone starts talking at once including his cousin goes into a strange rap about looking for his teeth and a mock comedy routine (Mike: 'Do you happen to have your guitar with you Carl?' Carl: 'Why yes, do you know I happen to have it right here!). There's a second's pause and then he snickers, breaking the tension for a second. He's right to complain though because next up is 'Devoted To You', a stunning duet between Mike and Brian who have never been more in tune than here and whose vocal range and dexterity matches even the original. The party revellers naturally go quiet at this point and even future-Brian (hearing these tapes back at the 'real' party) is impressed enough to shout 'Oh My God!' over the singing. Perhaps he's just realised how gorgeously fresh and innocent his voice sounds - or how equally tender his cousin can sound when he wants to be. The song is a lovely one, an Everly classic by their unsung hero and regular writer Broudleaux Bryant that's just sweet and innocent enough on the one hand and yet gritty enough on the other enough not to be false or sentimental, turning out the way all love songs in the hands of a master band. Even with the missing instruments (which leaves Brian making the noise of the extra guitar part with his final bah bah bahs) The Beach Boys' version is a thing of beauty - all the more so on the 'Hawthorne, CA' rarities CD where you can hear the 'original' version of the album before the party effects were added (please let them release this complete one day!) At last, after a continuous nineteen minute sequence, the first side rounds off under a round of spontaneous applause.

Meanwhile on side two Mike is at his best again on 'Alley Oop', a sort of Flintstones style song about a caveman teenager who has all the same loves as modern teenagers (dancing and girls, basically). It's a top-drawer rocking performance where the band answer their lead singer with  an infectious 'alley oop oop shoop-boop' chorus that sounds like The Surpremes having a laughter transplant. Actually it's from an obscure single by the Dyna Sores which didn't do anything in 1960 until the band Dante and the Evergreens released it a year later and The Hollywood Argyles scored a number one hit with it the year later. The backing vocalists finally get something to get their teeth into - well actually its a dinosaur about to get its teeth into them as everyone screams at all the relevant moment. Mike stops singing at one point and admits 'I forgot my words', while the band struggle with even the song's simply bass and acoustic guitar parts, but it doesn't matter - not for the first or last time the glorious vocals get The Beach Boys out of trouble and it's one of the group's funniest recordings. Mike even adds a camp tag where he goes all Kenneth Williams and says 'oh my goodness, how would you like a dinosaur like that for your very own?'

Next up there's a bit of a debate about what to play next, which sounds almost as staged as the 'Cassius Love v Sonny Wilson' and 'Our Favourite Recording Sessions' parts from earlier records but no matter. Because next up is a group chorus harmony that's perfection. It goes without saying that Heaven must be full of beautiful music, not least all the great singers they've got up there, but I still can't decide which beautiful music its full of. CSN on 'Find The Cost Of Freedom'? The Beatles on 'Because'? The Hollies on 'Love Is The Thing'? Or The Beach Boys' own 'Our Prayer'? Well here's another one - the stunning intro into 'There's No Other Like My Baby', a big hit for The Crystals in 1962 and produced - and here's the important bit in Brian's mind - by Phil Spector. The pair had a real love-hate relationship down the years, Brian idolising but frequently being insulted and ignored by his production rival. For my money Spector had one of the greatest production techniques in the toybox, the echo that makes everything sound bigger than life and which no other producer ever captured (The Searchers come closest on their similar-feel 'Take Me For What It's Worth' album released the same month as 'The Beach Boys Party'). However while Brian couldn't do that he could do a lot of things besides; he had a multi-stringed production bow, with curiosity and perfectionism pushing on him long past the point Spector settled for. Though meant quite genuinely as an affectionate tribute to Spector, Brian's 'No Other' also comes off as a bit of a slap in the face, a so-so song re-arranged to suddenly sound stunning and turning the same ingredients into a much lovelier aural meal thanks to a quite different recipe that Phil would never have thought of. The result is a tribute to his arrangement gifts and the band's glossy harmonies which they suddenly turn on and off throughout the song, going from dispassionate to living this song within bars of each other. Even when the band mess around and get the girl's names wrong (this is such a Beach Boys song!) it still manages to sound utterly sincere and heartfelt. Truly beautiful. Sob! I always cry at parties! (Especially when the music's really bad).

Next up is the silliest moment on the album, a sketchy acoustic remake of two of the band's biggest hits, parodied affectionately. Mike reworks the words to both 'I Get Around' and 'Little Deuce Coupe' (you can hear the originals of these songs on, respectively on 'All Summer Long' 1964 and, erm, umm, 'Little Deuce Coupe' surprisingly from 1963) to hilarious effect, alternating between a posh authoritarian voice ('The guys over there are pretty tough so those other cats over there better not get tough!) and a spoof Elvis voice ('I'm not bragging babe...oh yeah!') as the band wreak havoc behind him. Interestingly Dennis is very prominent on this one (has he just woken up?) while the band are amazingly together considering that this arrangement of the song is very different to the one they'd been playing on stage for years, even if Carl messes up his twirly solo rather. Along the way the band joke about singing 'Luau' (pronounced 'doobedoodooluau!') from their pre-fame Morgan tapes but instead Mike starts singing lines from Leiber and Stoller's 'Poison Ivy'. Despite not quite going into either The Beach Boys still somehow find their way at the same end point - an a capella rendering of one final chorus. Can you imagine any other band quite so ready to take the mickey out of themselves as this? (The Monkees perhaps?) A glorious reminder that not everything about the 1960s was po-faced or serious and that being a teenager in 1965 was one hell of a lot of fun!

One bad edit later and Al Jardine is building up steam for the most conscientious song of the night and going for a long piano intro. However the rest of the band are in too giggly a mood, Brian adapting a stern 'I can't hear you Ally!' tone and the massed chorus of people interrupting Al by singing 'Right!' and occasionally 'Wrong!' as Jardine grapples with one of Bob Dylan's better lyrics. many fans have wondered how Al kept such a straight face - but of course that wasn't how this album was made. As far as Al in the first session was concerned he was singing this song straight, live, in Western Studios. He hasn't got a clue that his so-called friends and their girlfriends are going to be taking the mickey out of him on the 'party' overdubs. And take the mickey they do - 'you'll sink like a stone' a stern Al warns. 'Glug!' Mike replies. Someone even starts playing a xylophone, badly, through the last verse, while there's a brief jam of a fade-out featuring Brian on piano and somebody whose clearly tone deaf and incompetent accidentally hiccuping into a mouthorgan as everyone tries very very hard not to play 'chopsticks' which is the piece everyone played on piano back then. You could say that Al should have realised everyone would be taking the pistachios out of him given the album they were making, but to be fair he probably thought that he would be able to do his one contribution to the album 'his' way. Al has as strong a sense of humour as any of the rest of the band (see 'Take A Load Off Your Feet, Pete') and the song would have been funnier still had he been in on the joke, especially given that its actually a rather good performance underneath all that bumph and surface noise. This feels like those nasty moments towards an end of a party when everyone's got too drunk and the banter has gone that bit too far (and just to make that sentence even weirder I was probably about six the last time I got invited to a party and yes everyone still got drunk- there's a lot of sugar in Vimto and Irn Bru ok?!) Poor Al deserved better.

However the album still has one last turn to make and it's the album's famous moment. Fans of 'Barbara Ann' the single will be in for a shock at the way this version starts, with the band being led into the song by special guest Dean Torrence who practices the band's vocals by teasing them with the first line of 'Baa Baa Black Sheep' (The Beach Boys bite and turn in a sudden rush of tight harmonies, ending in a squeal as they try to compete with each other as to who can go the highest - Brian wins, of course, but it's a close fight with the girls in the room; this is also of course why Brian seemingly randomly sings 'Baa Baa Black Sheep' in the middle of the single, so now you know!) After some giggling the song starts as normal as the band tackle a song they barely knew with the album's customary aplomb. Actually it's a surprise they hadn't considered The Regents' 1961 single before - the single peaked at #13 but was better known than that even before the band took their version to #2 (held off the spot by first 'Turn! Turn! Turn!' and then 'The Sounds Of Silence'. What a fab fortnight for AAA fans!)  It's the sort of thing the band do so well: lots of room for mass harmonies, a 'ba ba ba' singalong chorus and a girl's name in the lyric. Luckily its also a song that the band can afford to 'mess up' a bit - it's clearly a bit of harmless fluff so the fact that Mike comes in at the wrong time ('Saw... Cried...Danced with Betty Lou') or that Carl messes up yet another guitar solo ('Scratch it Carl, scratch it!' sings Mike to his cousin in desperation) doesn't matter one bit. After all this is a party and mistakes happen - who cares, especially when it sounds as good as this. Certainly not the record buyers who made this cover song (completed in a single hour) the band's biggest hit since 'Help Me, Rhonda' three releases back (skipping three songs that had collectively taken weeks if not months in the studio). However the 'original' ending as heard on album was too much for even Capitol who faded it early - a wrong note that ends the song prematurely, so the band set about adding a new end section to edit in later. Only it doesn't quite end like that, with the golden harmonies suddenly overbalancing and falling over so the band try it again with more of a 'Las Vegas' swing, ending with a lengthy 'tah-dah!' flourish.  It may not be the best single The Beach Boys ever made and in many ways is more disposable than even 'Surfin' Safari' but its a whole lot of fun and played with just the right level of luck versus skill.  'Not bad' grins Mike at the song's end. Not 'arf. You can hear the full original unadorned version of 'Barbara Ann' without the party overdubs on 'Hawthorne, CA', although its actually less different than you might expect.

Overall, then, it's not always pretty and it's rarely serious but few albums give you the party 'lift' that this record does. Whether it's forgotten garage rock and roll songs from the 1950s, sensitive pop songs about love from the band's childhood or nods of the hat to contemporary heroes like The Beatles, Phil Spector and Bob Dylan, The Beach Boys come out of the experience surprisingly well compared to the fact that this whole album was conceived, arranged, recorded and mixed within the time The Beach Boys were now used to recording single songs. Though 'Party' never quite transcends its origins as a filler meant to appeal to a Christmas market and to allow the band more time to get on with something they really wanted to do, in the circumstances it was the best solution possible, reminding the world of just how funny, sunny and punny the band could be when they wanted to be. The Beach Boys could have happily sat out the rest of their careers like this, making fun party records for fun partying teenagers - but even while he played the role of a squeaky dinosaur and sang the words 'papa-Oom-Mow-Mow' like he meant it (no mean feat!) a part of Brian Wilson's brain was probably already thinking about the record to follow. And there'll be no partying around on 'Pet Sounds', no sirree. Am I the only person (Mike Love aside) to be ever so slightly sad about that?

Hic! Did I ever tell you how much I love you? Blimey them wine-gums are strong! Where did the party go then? Why are you all hiding? Come back, I haven't told you about my review #55 yet in which Brian Wilson turns into a grinch radio and starts talking to a magical prince and...ooh my head! See you after the break AAA fans, which in my case means two weeks of recovering on the sofa while plotting the Paul McCartney book and doing a bit of 'text tidying' but in your case will mean we're back before you know it - why next week in fact...

Other Beach Boys related articles from this site you might be interested in reading:

'Surfin' USA' (1963)

'Surfer Girl' (1963)

'Little Deuce Coupe' (1963)

'Shut Down Volume Two' (1964)

‘All Summer Long’ (1964)

'Beach Boys Christmas' (1964)

'Today' (1965)

'Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!!!!!!!) (1965)

'Party!' (1965)

'Pet Sounds' (1966)

'Surf's Up' (1971)

’15 Big Ones’ (1976)

'Love You' (1977)

'Pacific Ocean Blue' (Dennis Wilson solo) (1977)

'Merry Xmas From The Beach Boys!' (Unreleased) (1977)

'M.I.U Album' (1978)

'L.A.Light Album' (1979)

'Keeping The Summer Alive' (1980)

'The Beach Boys' (1985)

'Still Cruisin' (1989)

'Summer In Paradise' (1992)

'Smile' (Brian Wilson solo) (2004)

'That Lucky Old Sun' (Brian Wilson solo) (2008)

'Smile Sessions' (band outtakes)(2011)

'That's Why God Made The Radio' (2012)

The Best Unreleased Beach Boys Recordings

A Complete (ish) Guide To The Beach Boys' Surviving TV Clips

Solo/Live/Compilation/Rarities Albums Part One 1962-86

Solo/Live/Compilation/Rarities Albums Part Two 1988-2014

Non-Album Songs Part One 1962-1969

Non-Album Songs Part Two 1970-2012

Five Landmark Concerts and Three Key Cover Versions

The Hollies: Surviving TV Footage 1964-2010

You can buy 'Reflections Of A Long Time Past - The Alan's Album Archives Guide To The Music Of The Hollies' in e-book form by clicking here

You can now look through any Youtube window at the AAA Hollies playlist at

Well, well, well. Little did I know when I started this series of semi-regular features covering all existing TV clips of all our AAA albums that some would be on the one hand so expansive to write and on the other so expensive to track down. The Hollies' column is our longest yet, for three possible reasons: they lasted longer than most groups, continued doing TV longer than most groups (when other bands like The Stones and The Who were big enough not to bother) and quite possibly I just have more Hollies contacts out there with access to this stuff (after all German and Swedish TV repeats their stuff regularly on their equivalent of VH-1, whereas UK and US viewers are lucky to see any Hollies stuff from year to year. Sadly in common with most of our groups very little of this stuff has been officially released to date. Some 24 video clips were featured on 'Look Through Any Window' (very much official) and some 33 on ''The Nash Years' DVD (a sort of enough-of-an-official-release-to-be-listed-for-sale-by-reputable-companies-but-not-enought-o-be-sanctioned-by-the-band kind of a release). Alas the other 30 odd now exist only in the ether, in that almost-lost world of dodgy VHS off-air recordings, TV vaults and the dustier corners of Youtube. The Pandora's Box of the digital age, it's now bizarrely easier to find a rare unbilled performance from 1965 than it ever would have been at the time and we've tried to make the most of it, compiling together playlists of all our 30 bands at our Alan's Album Archives page ( that's free to see - so why not give us a 'follow' and come and say 'hello' while scrolling through our 'Hollies' playlist? (You can have a look at our six Alan's Album Archives videos while you're there!) (***Note if you're reading this Uncle Andy - there is a Hollies playlist up at the moment but it's only about half full at present, am waiting to finalise all 30 closer to publication day!***) What a photogenic band The Hollies were for all their years - and what a shame that a planned Hollies feature film (circa 1966) never came about, based on the evidence of this lot it would have been fab!

Rather than merely ignore these clips - which may after all come out in the future - we've listed everything here that's known to exist somewhere and which I have seen with my very own eyes. Now despite the length of this list it's quite possible that more may be out there that I haven't seen. It's true too that stuff does get returned all the time (such as a rare clip of 'The Air That I Breathe' on Top Of The Pops in 1974, only returned to the archives in 2012). So unfortunately I doubt this is a complete list - and just add to the confusion there's a whole load of clips (mainly from Germany and Sweden) for TV shows whose names have been lost in the mists of time which have had to be marked here as 'unknown'. Please note too that while this list is as close to chronological order as I can work out, a few entries might be slightly the wrong way round (usually working this stuff out is easy as AAA bands tend to only play their newest material, but The Hollies had occasionally pangs of nostalgia and played old tracks every so often too). But hey ho, it's still as complete a list as I've seen of Hollies recordings anywhere and with a total playing time of some four hours if watched in one go is an awful lot of Hollies. Note too the fact that even though The Beatles always get the kudos for 'creating' the music video The Hollies were mighty early in using the practice - barring the 'A Hard Day's Night' clips (which are effectively music videos separated by bits of plot) The Hollies were actually first, their 'jukebox video' of 'Little Lover' beating 'Day Tripper' and 'We Can Work It Out' by a year. Apart from a few music videos most of this article is made up of one-off appearances on other shows from around Europe, America and Australia though occasionally The Hollies get their own shows and full length concerts. Plus Tony Hicks showing off his new guitar on UK children's favourite Blue Peter! So without further ado, come on little TV viewer, come on and discover, our love for The Hollies...

1) Little Lover (Music Video 1963)

The Hollies were a big enough name by 1963 to be lured into working for a short-lived craze for 'musical jukeboxes' which could be seen at some hip clubs and cafes for the price of a few pence - the MTV of their day! The Hollies got lucky in the sense that they had no music out yet to plug so could choose one of their own songs (Clarke and Nash's very 1963 'Little Lover'), earning their first real royalty, small as it was. However they were unlucky in getting a director who seems to have told the band to 'play up' to camera as much as they can while the footage is clearly extremely low budget and seems to be taking place in a plant sale. The song starts with Tony grinning into the camera before the camera tracks along with him, Eric, Graham and Allan suddenly peeking up from their hiding places Tellytubbies style as the song progresses (that's Don Rathbone, the band's original drummer, vamping away at the back though sadly the camera doesn't see much of him as he's forced to sit still). The impossibly young looking band are clearly having great fun on their first recorded commitment (even the normally taciturn Eric), especially when a smartly dressed young blonde suddenly decides to start boogie-ing the night away. However the setting is truly weird - note the scathing looks of all the elder and rather smartly dressed passers by (one of which looks like The Queen! Is this why Graham Nash got his MBE?!)) The video was important in another way too - it was the first time that fellow Mancunian Bobby Elliott had seen The Hollies after hearing so much about Manchester's biggest up and coming group and his immediate response was to turn to his friends and say 'I want some of that!' This fascinating piece of footage was used in 'Look Through Any Window'

2) Now's The Time ('It's All About Town' Film 1963)

'Yeah I've got this great idea for a film - see! It's about Willie Rushton as a hapless romantic on a motorbike- see! Lance Percival's deliberately mis-cast as a biker too - see! There's a lot of driving about for no apparent reason in the middle of the film so I was thinking - why not get a young hip band in - see! How about The Hollies, they're big right now and they'll probably do it cheap too! Naah don't worry, the clip doesn't have to have anything to do with the rest of the film - see!' Definitely one of The Hollies' weirder moments, recently re-issued on DVD in all its confusing random glory.

3) Top Of The Pops #1 ('Just One Look' UK TV 1964)

The 'real' first Hollies appearance on Top Of The Pops was performing 'Stay' on the very first episode of Britain's longest running music show. However the BBC wiped that important landmark so the earliest that survives is The Hollies; second show plugging their next big hit. You see this bit of film repeated a lot for some reason - it's perhaps the most commonly found of all in this list  and yet it remains officially unavailable (keep your eyes peeled for TOTP sixties compilations though this one is always in there somewhere!) The band flash their teeth something rotten in this mimed clip but are clearly thrilled just to have a camera pointing at them in this early era.

4) UK Swings Again ('Here I Go Again' and 'Baby That's All' Film 1964)

'The UK Swings Again' was a cinema film that was basically a load of mimed performances of up and coming bands strung together. Filmed on the cheap and usually used as the 'support' to a main feature, with bands on their best behaviour and showing their cheeky grins off while they look uncomfortable (most appearing in front of cameras for the first time though The Hollies had been here a handful of times before), from its title down the film is almost a trailer for the British Invasion. The Hollies look particularly stilted on 'Baby That's All' as they sit or lean most uncomfortably, with only Bobby (still young enough to have lots of hair!) looking the part and mime unconvincingly to the words. Graham seems to have been told the camera likes his smile and is determined to use it as much as possible, while Tony seems to have ants in his pants and won't keep still! That said it's great to have colour footage of the band from so early in their career and they look a little more comfortable on 'Here I Go Again'. You can see both clips on the 'Look Through Any Window' DVD .

5) NME Pollwinner's Concert (Live 1964)

The Pollwinner's concert was sponsored by music magazine The New Musical Express and took place every year at Wembley Arena between 1963 and 1966 and saw all the big names of the day taking part (the 1964 one was particularly good - other bands that year included The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Searchers, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Manfredd Mann, The Merseybeats and Freddie and the Dreamers). All the bands performed from a tiny stage out in the middle of a horde of screaming fans and curiously was shot mainly from a distance before suddenly and violently moving to giant close-ups. With poor equipment and hordes of screaming fans no band ever played a good show at these gigs but while ragged The Hollies get by on enthusiasm, knocking out cute versions of their recent hit 'Just One Look' (which is about as out of tune as the Nash era Hollies ever got) and 'Rockin' Robin' a full decade before The Jackson Five. Both clips appear on 'Look Through Any Window'.

6) Shindig #1 ('Too Much Monkey Business' 'Just One Look' US TV 1964)

A classic gig by the impossibly-young-looking Hollies rattling through their latest hit and a popular album track at high speed and clearly having the time of their lives whilst playing. The 'Monkey Business' clip is particularly interesting as it gives all three members air time and features an early version of their miod-60s parlour trick of Graham getting the words wrong and singing whatever the latest hit single happened to be (this time it's 'I Feel Fine' - see the 'Long Road Home' box set for another variation, the Lovin' Spoonful's 'Daydream'.

7) Sunday Night At The London Palladium ('Look Through Any Window' UK TV 1965)
By 1965 the London Palladium call-up was a bit like getting your papers to be shipped off to war: you didn't really want to do it, it wasn't 'hip' like it had been for the generation before but there'd been such a fuss if you didn't do it and turned it down that often it was easier to go along with it. The Hollies look unusually tired and bored during this clip, which starts with them 'on a carousel' (well a revolving stage at any rate) and singing their hearts out to not much re-action. Huh if the Queen's going to be that sulky she could at least give her tickets to a Hollies fan!

8) Hullabaloo! ('Look Through Any Window' 'Yes I Will' US TV 1965)

The Hollies were taped singing two of their biggest hits of 1965 for madcap American show Hullabalooo. The sound of the live performance of 'Yes I Will' is subtly different, the band singing it with laidback cosiness rather than fury and passion.

9) Unknown ('I Can't Let Go' German TV? 1966?)

What is it with The Hollies and water? Anyway here we go again with The Hollies miming to their latest big hit while standing next to what looks like a freezing cold river. This is - I think - Bernie Calvert's first TV appearance as a Hollie (his hair's shorter than the next clip anyways)and must have been a nerve-wracking moment as the camera starts off with a close up of him miming to Eric's distinctive bass opening. The band seem to be doing their best to keep warm, Allan flapping his arms like a bird at one stage, though Bobby keeps his sunglasses on just in case the sun comes out again!

10) Beat Club ('Look Through Any Window'  'I Can't Let Go' German TV 1966)

By 1966 The Beatles were getting rid of most of their media commitments and with an ailing Brian Jones The Rolling Stones were slowing their down too. The Kinks and The Who were still thought too 'lively' for most self-respecting European broadcasters. Other bands like Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Animals and even beloved AAA group The Searchers had been sacrificed at the altar of Merseybeat. That left The Hollies as one of the few bands popular and prolific enough to keep touring through Europe and in many ways 1966 was the band's breakthrough year when they never seemed to stop touring. Germany was particularly keen to re-hire the band and they played some great shows over there starting with this early year run through the band's two buggest hits from the previous year. The extremely smartly dressed Hollies are clearly enjoying being able to play live without a screaming crowd of people while Bobby is on particularly strong form. Look out for Clarke adding a more 'conversational' tone to the middle eight of 'I Can't Let Go', the singer suddenly spotting a camera on him and pointing and grinning towards the end of the same song and new boy Bernie Calvert making one of his first TV appearances right at the back (although his bass is inaudible - a particular shame on 'Let Go'). Both songs are featured in the 'Look Through Any Window' DVD.

11) Shindig #2 ('I'm Alive' US TV 1965)

Did you ever see a Hollies fan with poor eyesight? Baby that was me, trying to work out what was going on in a clip I can barely see. That's a shame because a) of all the semi-regular shows that crop up on this list I think Shindig might well be my favourite - its zanier and wackier and more 'youthful' than most of the other 60s music shows and b) The Hollies play a cracking live rendition of this song which comes across as being much 'tougher' than the finished version. As ever with Shindig the whole things gets interrupted by loads of booge-ing girl dancers anyway - though they're a world away from the seductiveness of Pan's People, as they're dressed up like Medieval knights with blocks of colour on their tunics, which wasn't really a look they could pull off even in the sixties. Look out for Clarke's killer haircut (it won't be this short again for the rest of the century!) and Graham in the opening shots, deciding to give up miming to a guitar track that wasn't on the record and simply tap his sides in rhythm with the song.

12) Milwaukee Interview (1966)

An oddly serious interview - one of the few conducted with the Nash era Hollies - which starts off with Graham apologising for missing a show ('the fault of our booking agent') which could have seen the band deported for 'violating' the terms of their immigration passports. Nash adds that he hopes the sales of 'I Can't Let Go' won't be affected by it, leaving Tony to joke 'what was the name of our record again?!' Hicks is asked about Manchester and interestingly compares it to Chicago (on that basis my hometown is Cleveland - yeah I see that now) and jokes that they always think the band could have written whatever the latest Beatle release is! ('A Hard Day's Night' we nearly wrote!' is Graham's answering quip). Nash then has to explain to the American interviewer what Wales is ('it's a county...well, no I guess it's another country') and tells the story of how Tony went to stand on a piano only to discover it was glass and he fell into the inside, still playing his guitar! (Tony looks mortified that this story is being told by the way!) Tony's reply is the story about the band having to build their own stage by hand before they could appear on it - they should have got The Hollies to do the electrics what with so many trainee electricians in the band! Eric wears a rather good Stetson hat but typically says little while a very dapper looking Bobby in tweeds only appears right at the very end of the clip. Interestingly Nash gives all the credit for the idea of the band to Eric 'that cowboy chap over there!' before the interviewer adds 'nice to have him around, huh?' Ironically this will be almost Eric's last appearance as a Hollie! A fascinating clip, not least for the group dynamics in this period with Graham clearly the leader with Tony as his second in command and Allan unusually quiet.

13) Rooster ('I'm Alive' Dutch TV 1966)

One of the most curious - and one of the few truly unseen - bits of Hollie footage in the 'Look Through Any Window' DVD is a performance of the band's first British number one about six months or so after release. What's puzzling is that this is clearly a live performance with the studio record superimposed on top - the band are sweating and going at it for 'real', not just for the cameras and Clarke's ever so slightly too fast, the 'extra' time made up by some clever editing of Hick's guitar solo. Was this footage originally part of a news reel with the narration on it taken out? Strange - and a shame we can't hear it given how intensely the band seem to be playing.

14) Top Of The Pops #2 ('Bus Stop' 1966)

The Hollies are back again on their favourite haunt for a strangely rarely seen clip that's much better than most of the handfuls of 60s TOTP footage that gets repeated every five minutes. The band are in jokey mood, the camerawork studying the band in close up for most of the track, with Tony keen to show off his new sunglasses and psychedelic shirt (by contrast Graham is in pure black!) The back drop meanwhile is one of the strangest in this list - it looks like a low budget 60s equivalent of US sci-fi series The Time Tunnel. For the record, it sounds to me as if Clarke is singing along to an otherwise mimed recording.

15) Unknown ('Very Last Day' 'I've Got A Way Of My Own' Swedish TV 1966)

A real curio this one, with two songs you don't get to hear very often and the strains of a third - 'Mickey's Monkey' - heard in between. The latest wacky and confusing European location for The Hollies front of a crane, which delivers a crate marked 'from Manchester England to Norrkoping Sweden' and which due to some camera trickery is opened up to reveal The Hollies rushing out 'Magical Mystery Tour' style. Nash stops to introduce the band in a breathless rush while the others walk in front of the camera and lower their sunglasses James Dean style into the camera while the others get the giggles from the sidelines. What is this, a Monkees episode?! Bernie is 'standing in for Eric who at the moment is poorly at home in Manchester', a line which Nash pointedly appears to say through gritted teeth while Allan is introduced as 'The Man in Black'. The band then mime to a version of 'I've Got A Way Of My Own' in front of said crane. Meanwhile 'Very Last Day' might be from a different date - the band are inside a studio - but it's near enough the same time period and clearly in Sweden again where this UK album track was a surprise #1 hit! It's a great performance, with much more of a contrast between the soft and loud passages and Graham seems genuinely taken back by the sheer power of Bobby's opening drum thwack! In fact this is more like a Who performance than a Hollies one with Clarke all but screaming out the lines, Bobby twirling Keith Moon style on some killer drumming and Hicks wind-milling away like he's Pete Townshend's younger brother!

16) Beat Beat Beat ('Bus Stop' 'Stop! Stop! Stop!' German TV 1967)

The Hollies' second German TV performance continued the pattern of an early year revival of the Hollies' two biggest hits from the year before. The Hollies look smart in black and their sound is noticeably a lot tighter than when they played the year before and the fashions have changed: Tony is now wearing his trademark frilly sleeves while Bobby has now taken to wearing a beret. Note how well Tony replicates his banjo part on a rather odd looking electric guitar (shaped like a triangle), even though for most future performance of this classic Hollie hit he'll pack his banjo specially for the song. These two clips were both used in the 'Look Through Any Window' DVD.

17) ('Dear Eloise' Italian TV 1967)

The Hollies are writing a letter (to make you feel better) with an American hit single full of atmosphere and visuals. So what does one director decide to do for the clip? Shoot The Hollies in a car park! In what must be the most low budget AAA music video ever The Hollies don't appear to even have a monitor, Clarke vaguely mouthing to the words but not exactly getting them right while the camera goes up each Hollies in turn very very slowly. You must read in between the lines a message you will see: the band have been locked out the studio again and the director has a budget of about 5p.

18) Abbey Road ('On A Carousel' UK TV 1967)

One of the most fascinating Hollies clips to have survived down the years was shot - without warning! - by a film crew hired to shoot The Beatles' recording session for use in a promo (the 'Any Window' DVD suggests 'Penny Lane' though the date and the studio presence suggests the unseen film of the orchestra overdub on 'A Day In The Life', rejected for transmission before being revived for 'Anthology' in the 1990s). The Hollies didn't know they were coming and at the time rather resented the cameras getting in the way and the footage went originally unseen for some 44 years! However it's now agreed to be well worth it - this is the only shot we have of the band in their natural habitat at Abbey Road studio number three and by luck they are quite genuinely recording their hit single 'On A Carousel'. All the band look thoughtful and are not making much eye contact whilst singing the harmonies, although the chance to see Hicks running through the guitar chords solo is particularly fascinating. Presumably more footage exists which was cut into shape for the 'Any Window' DVD, although the clip was a surprise when the DVD came out having never been bootlegged before.

19) Smothers Brothers ('Carrie Anne' 'Dear Eloise' US TV 1968)

...And suddenly, *Boom!*, we're into the colour years - not just any colour but a whacking great big psychedelic smorgasboard of colour with Bobby in pink and Graham wearing yellow trousers in front of a psychedelic orange drum riser. This was The Hollies' big moment in the States, invited to appear on one of the biggest shows of the day in the wake of 'Bus Stop' (although I've never got why the Smothers Brothers were ever popular - is it an American thing, a 1960s thing or both?) The band largely sing along with the records, which makes 'Carrie Anne' especially sound weird as if its double-tracked. 'Dear Eloise', an American-only single, is the more interesting of the two, featuring Nash in the foreground writing hurriedly away whilst the band stand still moodily in silhouette behind him (amazing how recognisable they still are: that's Allan, Tony, Bobby (in distinctive hat) and Bernie left to right). Alas the song then turns into a close up of a psychedelic quill lit to look orange but there are some good close ups of the band in there somewhere (some of them upside down!) too with Nash looking particularly studious. Psychedelic, man.

20) The Mike Douglas Show ('Dear Eloise' US TV 1968)

The Hollies were splitting in two in 1968 - and performance like this one didn't help. Mike Douglas and his co-presenter make fun of the wild way Graham is looking while he looks embarrassed and the rest of the band look sulky the camera isn't on them. Things get better when the band are given a gold record for sales of 'Stop! Stop! Stop!' 'Carrie Anne' 'On A Carousel' and 'Hollies' Greatest'. They then go rapidly down hill again as the rather older co-presenter starts flirting with the band and asks if they're single (for the record Allan and Graham still say they are - even though some reports have Nash divorced by 1964 - and the others are all bachelors). After all this mayhem the colourful (in every sense of the word) performance of 'Dear Eloise' seems almost normal. This is by the way the only 'live' recording of this song I've heard the band do (although the bookending organ part is apparently taped) - it didn't last long in their live set. Nash decides to sing his backing vocals slightly differently, splitting the words into extra syllables seemingly just to confuse Allan ('You should have de-par-er-ted before he got stee-ar-e-art-ed'). Listen out for the studio band desperately trying to wrap their heads around the song's tune for the linking piece (proof horns cannot do psychedelia!)

21) Split Festival (Live Yugosalvia 1968)

For some reason many concerts of The Hollies exist in 1968 but not for other years. All of them reveal Nash to be in a particularly mischievous mood as he hollers behind the other's vocals and makes cheeky asides to the crowd before forgetting his own vocal parts - he's clearly getting on Clarke's nerves by this point. Sadly the clips seen to date ('Carrie Anne' 'Jennifer Eccles' and 'Do The Best You Can' were all  used on the 'Look Through Any Window' DVD though others exist) are only in monochrome, which is a shame given that the set screams psychedelia! Presumably the first two clips clip was used not just because they're rare shots of the band playing their hit singles 'Carrie Anne' and 'Jennifer Eccles' but also because it features their popular 'jokes' of the day where in the former the band would look round in mock shock as the 'steel band' solo was played from a tape recorder (although on this occasion Clarke resists the urge to look down his trousers as he usually did at this point in the show!) and the latter begins with the band teaching the crowd how to 'whistle' with mixed results. The only surviving footage of The Hollies' European hit (though not a UK single again) 'Do The Best You Can' is the first clip of Hicks playing an actual banjo and is very ragged right up until the a capella break which the band impressively get more spot on and elaborate on more than the original record!

22) Croatia (Live 1968)

A fascinating half-hour show that must have been a big deal in its day (no bands ever went to Croatia from other countries, never mind top ten regulars like The Hollies!) and amazingly survived the ravages of time safely. The Hollies are dressed in black versions of the 'Sing Dylan' suits and Nash for one looks rather uncomfortable in his. While The Hollies played much better, tighter shows before and after this is a fascinating document of what the band were performing during Nash's last year with the band. The set is particularly notable for two things: the first a song The Hollies never released: 'Dang Me', a country standard tried out after Nash left the band but never released then either. It's not that good to be honest (the chorus runs 'Dang Me! If you had a bit of rope you could hang me!' which doesn't immediately scream 'Hollies', but the band are well suited to the scat singing chorus line. The second a performance of 'Very Last Day' with Hicks on banjo, prefaced by Clarke admitting this might go wrong as the band have never tried it before, introducing 'Tony on banjo and Graham on...whatever it is' and a mock-intro where the band stop after the opening riff as if this is the 'whole song' (this is a bit of stage patter Paul McCartney has used endlessly down the years, although it's the only time The Hollies did it I think). It's a great performance by the way, much closer to Peter Paul and Mart's original without any drums of electric instruments and Clarke is superb even when compared to the record. The complete setlist is: 'Stewball' 'On A Carousel' 'Dang Me' 'Very Last Day' 'Do The Best You Can' (with a fab a capella middle eight!) 'A Taste Of Honey' 'Jennifer Eccles' 'Carrie Anne'

23) Popside ('Dear Eloise' 'Wings' Sweden TV 1968)

'Dear Eloise' is another of those why-are-we-in-a-car-park-and-what-happened-to-the-budget? music videos. Nash starts off solo scribbling a letter in a suspiciously Elizabethan looking notebook before the rest of the band appear out of nowhere across a river and surrounded by trees. The result looks a lot more like Britain than Sweden (they've all got thick coats on!) but that's where this clip was screened, with this popular song a big single there in 1967 (peaking at #7) despite never being released as a single at 'home'. Weirdly 'Wings' - a song about the outdoors amongst other things - is shot inside in a studio as the camera moodily pans around the band. The shots of the group superimposed on top of each other and walking away from each other is strangely apt for the mood in the band of the time and is one of their better 60s videos. Good on Sweden for giving this obscure yet gorgeous song so much attention! Both clips were featured on the 'Look Through Any Window' DVD.

24) Twein (Holland TV 1968)

A Hollies Holland special featuring a whole host of mimed clips, mainly of old songs, which unwittingly serves as a rather well-timed snapshot of the Graham Nash years. The band seem to have come to terms with the impending split a bit more, though Nash was doubtless fed up at some of the curious performance 'gimmicks' - to date the only officially released clip of their then-new release 'Listen To Me' features the band sitting in a row of chairs one in front of the other (front to back: Allan, Graham, Tony, Bernie and Bobby). The two at the front are taking things perhaps a little too earnestly, while the trio at the back have got the giggles!

25) Bobbie Gentry Show ('Louisiana Man' US TV 1968)

One of the very best Hollies clips, sadly unseen officially since 1968, is The Hollies' appearance on country legend Bobbie Gentry's show. This is where The Hollies learnt the song that will be recorded in 1969 for an aborted country album and appears on the 1988 set 'Rarities' - but this version is very different. Bobbie sings leads but Graham is right there with her, the pair plus Allan alternating lyrics and clearly enjoying himself whereas Clarke just looks uncomfortable (perhaps if The Hollies had done 'Sing Country' instead of 'Sing Dylan' the line-up might have stayed together longer?!) Bobbie gets into the spirit of things, getting the giggles worse than the band when they start sitting up and standing up at random moments, having got lost where they are in the song! The arrangement of the song is much closer to Gentry's original too, with the main phrase played by horns not guitars and the song taken at a slightly slower lick with a 'ah-hummm' backing humming sound dropped from the finished product. Listen out for Hicks' stylish country twirls on guitar too, dropped from the later recording. Listen out for a slight lyrics change too: 'Poppa done promised me that I could go...'

26) Do The Best You Can (Music Video 1968)

...Or at least that's how this clip always seems to be listed in all the website articles/youtube videos but I'm willing to bet that the introduction from a German version of Dave Lee Travis suggests that this video was actually shot for German TV again. Only a B-side in most of Europe, this song was a big hit over there (#5) perhaps because of this inventive-for-the-times video where The Hollies' five faces are seen together, one or other 'enlarging' whenever they're playing the lead role on a particular song (at least until the end when Tony's face turns into a banjo!) This video was included in the 'Nash Years' DVD.

27) Beat Club ('Jennifer Eccles' 'Listen To Me' German TV 1968)

A final return to one of the band's most popular TV shows, these clips feature a rather silly putting performance of 'Jennifer' and a rather serious one for 'Listen To Me'. In the former the camera seems obsessed with Clarke's eyebrows, which are seen several times in close up and elsewhere seems to mistake Bernie as a 'frontline' member of the band and he gets more camera time than the other three for a change (he sings along a lot in this clip!) In the latter the band appear on a giant ferry dressed in their immaculate white suits while a crowd of teenagers dance as if they've just been stung, all for no apparent reason. Alas all the clips of this show I've seen seem to have been in poor quality, with several glitches in the sound - presumably why these clips weren't used for the 'Look Through Any Window' set like the other German TV clips.

28) Blowin' In The Wind (Music Video 1968)

How many Youtube playlists must a fan walk down before he can say he's seen all the Hollies videos? Quite a few as it happens - I've only just discovered this one by chance. Shot in colour once again, this looks like a warm up for the be-suited Dylan loving 'In Concert' from the following year but Nash is still very much along for the road. It looks as if Clarke is singing live and the others miming, Nash on one of his very last (the last?) TV performances torn between his natural professionalism and his hatred of The Hollies turning back into a covers band - he's smiley when he knows the camera's on him but looks pained when seen in long shot a lot of the time! There's no orchestra shown either, which give the band difficulties when trying to mime the lengthy instrumental in the middle!

29) BBC In Concert (UK TV 1969)

One of the BBC's better music related ideas was a regular half hour concert that ran for quite a few years in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In time everybody who was anybody in the era performed on it - including Nash with partner Crosby just a year later. However this concert is one of the first Hollies appearances with Terry Sylvester in the line up and is something of a baptism of fire (The Hollies only ever play one concert of a similar length on TV and that will be only seen in Germany). The Hollies clearly took up the invite as a means of 'introducing' their new singer to their audience en masse and Terry looks - as anybody would - petrified for most of the show, but the idea is challenged by the sheer averageness of the material. The Hollies are reluctant to do too much from their past, but that means that all they have to plug is a pretty awful new single in 'Sorry Suzanne' and a Dylan covers LP (they're even dressed in the white suits from that album cover). However the show, like others in the series so beloved of BBC4 repeats these days, has its moments: the harmonies are already highly impressive despite the fact that Terry's been in the band a mere matter of weeks, the Dylan material sounds a whole lot better live than on the record and there's another exclusive track The Hollies never did on record, the downright odd 'Help Me Brother' (which is the lyric for 'All The World Is Love' with the chords for Too Much Monkey Business'). This is also a rare opportunity to see The Hollies perform live with an orchestra. Not exactly The Hollies' Greatest then, but still remarkable given the circumstances. The full set list is as follows - but note the fact that the current BBC4 edition includes the 'full' unedited broadcast which includes material cut down by seven minutes for the original show: 'Carrie Anne' 'Just Like A Woman' 'Hits Medley: Just One Look/Bus Stop/On A Carousel (with Terry on his first ever lead vocal for the band!)/Sorry Suzanne' 'Quit Your Lowdown Ways' (with a funky Bernie Calvert bass part!) 'I'll Be Your Baby Tonight' 'Help Me Brother' 'Stop! Stop! Stop!' 'A Taste Of Honey' 'Stewball' 'Mighty Quinn' 'Blowin' In The Wind'

30) Stop! Stop! Stop! (Music Video 1969)

A curious Hollies music video featuring a straightforward performance of the band miming to one of their hit singles but with one important difference - that's Terry not Graham stage left (the only time he is seen to mouth to Graham's voice). Why the band did this is unknown - my theory is this catches the very end of the fuss over the 'Hollies Greatest' compilation and the band picked this one because Tony happened to have his banjo packed that day.

31) Live In Finland ('When The Ship Comes In' Finland TV 1969)

A quick plug for the new 'Sing Dylan' market for Scandanavian TV, shot in moody black and white (and in rather grainy footage from the only copies I've seen). Another big welcome to new boy Terry Sylvester, the band clearly haven't worked out their new line-up yet, with Terry stage right of Allan instead of stage left (where Tony is). Bobby mimes the piano playing which he played on the original recording while the band seem to be giggling about something (it moves like a Mexican wave from Tony to Allan and Terry!)

32) Top Of The Pops #3 ('Sorry Suzanne' UK TV 1969)

Hollies TOTP show number three starts with a big close-up of Bobby's bass drum and features the band in the white suits they wore on the cover of 'Sing Dylan'. Bobby is the star in fact, flailing his arms around as if trying to drum up interest in one of the band's silliest songs and it sounds to me as if he's the only band member playing live, adding a thumping drum beat to what was played on the record. Full marks though to the director who gives all the band airplay for a change instead of just the singers (Bernie gets lots too!)

33) This Is Tom Jones #1 ('Sorry Suzanne' UK TV 1969)

Tom Jones' short-lived variety show was a curious mix of the earthy and the twee, with The Hollies representing both halves during their two very different singles of 1969. Unlike some shows Tom Jones did he doesn't appear with the band onstage (not like CSNY in 1970 where he turns the hard-hitting political protest  'Long Time Gone' into a singalong much to Crosby's horror and Nash's amusement!) This is however a rare chance to see The Hollies in colour - glaring colour given the set although the band themselves are in their white suits from their cover of the 'Sing Dylan' LP. A live and horrendously ragged 'Sorry Suzanne' sounds even worse than the record - five different parts that don't coincide with each other at all. Amongst the worst Hollies clips, though despite that it was used in the 'Look Through Any Window' DVD.

34) This Is Tom Jones #2 ('He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother' UK TV 1969)

Tom Jones shows number two is such a change it's hard to believe this is the same band just a few months further down the line. Playing live again (with no pianist) the band are in black suits this time and offer a sturdy performance of their classic ballad with a be-wigged Bobby giving this performance an added extra rattle. Interestingly no pianist is seen though there's clearly one playing a very different part to Elton John's on the original. Once again used on the 'Look Through Any Window' DVD.

35) Top Of The Pops #4 ('Gasoline Alley Bred' UK TV 1970)

A nice video of something of a forgotten classic, this song has become rather popular with 'TOTP2' style compilations recently and not before time. This clip is most remembered for Terry's memory of his mum not quite believing he was in The Hollies until she saw this song on TV, with Terry getting the whole of the second verse to himself! Another mimed performance by the way.

36) Blue Peter (UK TV 1970?)

Presenter Peter Purves is showing off a new design that he thinks might interest the kids - a wireless guitar. At last, no tangled up wires on stage! To show it off he invents Hollie guitarist Tony Hicks to play a few bursts as he wanders around the studio. Goodness knows why they asked him in particular - the other Hollies don't seem to appear at all. The response? Well the Blue Peter dogs don't like much, one of them coming over to say 'hello' and leaving Tony to complain 'your dogs ripped me trousers!' One of the odder Hollies clips around and one that made a surprise repeat appearance in a documentary on the show a few years back.

37) Unknown ('Hey Willy' German TV 1971)

Somebody in the control room for this TV performance has just found the button marked 'psychedelia!' We gets lots of effects and styles across this one, not all of them suitable, although this does give The Hollies' most uptempo single in years a feeling of energy and adrenalin. Interestingly Tony and Terry are the 'wrong' way round again - they must have taken a while to work out which way round to stand. The band mime sadly (I bet this song would have sounded great live but I've never heard it played in concert anywhere in any era) but certainly look the part, cooking up a convincing rock and roll groove.

38) Unknown ('The Baby' German TV 1972)

There are only four clips surviving from the Mikael Rikfors years - this is the first, a mimed performance of the band's moody yet brilliant single by a moody yet brilliant looking band. Rickfors' taste for loud shirts sits in contrast to his shyer personality and for once the camera is keen on seeing all of the band, not just the lead singer. Terry is having a lot of fun in particular while the band mime impressively well considering that their stage has been invaded by the audience! (is this where The Who got the idea for 1973 promo 'Join Together'?!)

39) Magic Woman Touch (Music Video 1972)

Needing to re-introduce themselves to the market and fast, The Hollies put together their first bona fide music video in nearly a decade. 'Magic Woman Touch' is a great forgotten song and this is a great even more forgotten video with the band hard at work in AIR studios and seen behind-the-scenes as it were including the main song (which mainly consists of Bobby reading, Bernie fiddling with an organ, people twiddling knobs and lots of moody shots of the band preparing for a vocal take). Perhaps the band modelled it directly on the unseen 'On A Carousel' footage at Abbey Road as the two are very similar - and the band every bit as self-conscious. I think that's Peter Bown doing the engineering work by the way. For all this effort, the song was the first Hollies single ever to miss the UK charts.

40) ABC In Concert ('Long Dark Road' Carrie Anne' US TV 1973)

The ABC concert is particularly interesting in Hollies lore because it features the 'wrong' vocalists on so many songs - Rickfors naturally takes the lead on some Hollies hits in Allan's absence but even more remarkable is Tony singing lead on his own 'Long Dark Road' (which has a real folk lilt to it, alongside Rickfors' harmonica playing and soulful cries on the fadeout) and most of 'Carrie Anne' (Allan's verse as well as his own). The whole show sounds rather good actually, with a harder edge than the Rickfors era records. Other songs exist as audio track by the way but sadly not as video footage anymore ('Bus Stop' 'He Ain't Heavy' and 'Long Cool Woman') - presumably these two songs were 'cut out' and re-used on another programme that happened by chance to have been saved.

41) Midnight Special ('Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress' 'He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother' German TV 1973)

A fascinating clip of The Rickfors era Hollies on German TV performing one of their best known songs, but with Terry singing the lead vocal. He does a good job although his softer, gentler harmonies take the song to a very different place compared to the hit version (you can hear the words for a start!) Interesting that Rickfors doesn't sing it the way he had 'Courage Of Your Convictions' - this is one track he'd been 'allowed' to get his English pronunciations wrong on! Odd too as his version of 'He Ain't Heavy', another song only Clarke could get away with, is really good too - Rickfors' powerful soaring lead so similar and yet so different to his predecessor's. There's a nice organ lick that's been added to the arrangement and an inventive way of getting round the perennial problem of the harmonica playing over the final line - which is given to Terry to sing while Rickfors puffs away (another hidden skill - is there nothing he can't play?!) I wonder what Clarke thought of seeing this clip of his old band singing his song? Then again he won't have long to wait until singing them again for himself, this being the last time the Hollies are seen with Rickfors on TV.

42) Top Of The Pops #5 ('The Day That Curly Billy Shot Down Crazy Sam McGee' UK TV 1974)

Perhaps the best of The Hollies' many performances on Top Of The Pops is this blistering attack on Clarke's cowboy story. The band are playing live for a change and both Allan and Bobby are on top form, seemingly competing for who can give the best rock and roll performance (although that said the harmonies sound suspiciously good even for The Hollies so perhaps they're playing to a tape?) The performance easily beats the slightly stilted feel of the finished record and proves what a storming infectiously fun rocker this track can be when done in the right way. After a couple of years of mellowing out with Rickfors The Hollies have really got their rock and roll mojo back tonight with this the first fruits of the band's reunion. One of the very best Hollies vids, although infuriatingly my copy is ruined by some Steve Wright nonsense  from the 'TOTP2' archive show where he starts talking about it being unusual to see Cowboys in Shepherd's Bush studios - Curly Billy should have shot him in protest!

43) Top Of The Pops #6 ('Air That I Breathe' UK TV 1974)

With any luck this list will be out of date almost as soon as it's printed because TV clips are appearing all the time in dribs and drabs, found mislabelled in studio vaults or taped by accident on the end of other programmes. At the time of writing two editions of Top Of The Pops from the 1970s are the most recent excitement to come to light, featuring 10cc and The Hollies, thought lost for some thirty years. Admittedly there's nothing that special about this clip really - it's another mimed song so famous that we've seen The Hollies perform it lots of times down the years and nothing much really happens in it, but a welcome newcomer to the Hollies archives all the same.

44) Russell Harty Show ('The Air That I Breathe' UK TV 1974)

The Hollies uncharacteristically struggle to re-create their studio sound live during this performance on the famous chat show host's programme. Clarke struggles a bit with the pitching, while the rest of the band cook up a rather dooby-dum-thwack backing that's at odds with the rest of the song. Hicks seems to bottle out of his solo too, the band using the recording while Tony simply strums along with the chords oblivious - ditto the tapes orchestra although that's a bit more 'normal' for the day. Still, it's a welcome chance to hear a 'live' recording of one of the band's most popular tracks, a worthy finale to the 'Look Through Any Window' DVD.

45) Unknown ('Another Night' Sweden TV 1975)

A terrific live performance of a flop Hollies single that knocks spots off the 'Live Hits' version, this performance comes with lashings of extra wah-wah guitar and Pete Wingfield centre stage with the song's distinctive riff. It's great to see Tony taking so many risks with his guitar playing, while Alan's lead and Terry's harmonies together have rarely sounded better. A real delight.

46) Unknown ('Sandy' aka '4th July Ashbury Park' 1975)

A slightly lopsided rendition of one of The Hollies' better known 70s flop singles. The song loses much of its lushness when heard on stage and Terry and Tony sound much louder than normal. It's still a good performance, though, with a particularly strong synth accompaniment from Pete Wingfield and a slightly different reading from Clarke (who speak-sings the 'Waitress I was seeing has lost her desire for me' verse with quite a different accent on the notes).

47) Unknown ('I'm Down' German TV 1975)

'Ha! Ha! Ha! Haaah!' No it's not The Bee Gees doing 'Saturday Night Fever' even if Allan Clarke is dressed in a white jumpsuit but the mid-7-0s Hollies in their prime on a mimed version of a lovely song. The band are unusually serious during this song, with none of their usual joking around. The most memorable moment comes right at the ends as the song concludes with that big held note as the camera fades into a giant spotlight. Fab.

48) Unknown ('I Can't Tell The Bottom From The Top' German TV 1975)

A nice live performance of a song that was some four years old by the time the band performed it here. That's Bernie getting his big moment playing the piano part, which he takes at a quicker speed than Elton John on the original while Clarke (who was never very keen on this song) finds a new way to 'play' it, dropping down to a lower more natural register and almost speak-singing this piece as a confessional. It works very well actually, it's a shame The Hollies then reverted back to doing it the 'old' way a couple of years later!

49) Supersonic ('Long Cool Woman' and 'Draggin' My Heels' UK TV 1975)

The earliest footage of the Clarke-era Hollies singing the Clarke-composition 'Long Cool Woman' comes four years after the record and two after the Mikael Rickfors era Hollies were seen singing it. The live performance is certainly atmospheric, the studio being filled with lots of smoke while Clarke's echo-drenched vocals are much more lively than the more sultry version on the record. The biggest 'event' of this video is a rare chance to see Clarke playing guitar on the riff he helped form - the only Hollies song he ever strummed along to in concert. Clarke's perm has by this time grown quite considerably and despite the smoke in the room he has his jacket wide open to show off his hairy chest, while Bernie plays the concert out sitting down perched at the front of Bobby's drum-riser. 'Heels' meanwhile features an odd bit of postmodern banter from the director lining up the band before the band start up on a very fast and rather crowded preview of the Russian Roulette' song with Pete Wingfield particularly busy on keyboards and piano, sometimes simultaneously. The band are having fun playing something a bit out of the ordinary (with Terry abandoning his guitar to fly around some maracas) and there's an extended piano solo in the middle that's more like the 12" mix of the song, though it's not particularly good. The former clip was used on the 'Look Through Any Window' DVD, though not the latter unfortunately.

50) Sound Unlimited (Australia TV 1976)

A very rare one-off featuring Tony and Terry chatting rather than Allan or Graham. The pair discuss which songs they wrote but can't remember them very well ('Carrie Anne...and a few others!' Tony laughs, 'On A Carousel' 'King Midas In Reverse' and 'Jennifer Eccles' all briefly slipping his mind!) Another hapless presenter (where did 70s TV find them all?) mistakes Clarke co-writer Tony McCauley with Graham Gouldman - Tony speaks rather proudly about how he's now an even bigger draw than The Hollies in 10cc nowadays 'doing some lovely things'! (they're obviously not fan enough to know about The Mockingbirds the, Gouldman's rather good psychedelic band with fellow 10cc man Kevin Godley). Tony adds that the band only get together for 'about six months' of each year too which is surprising given the band's work rate this year in particular.

51) Twiggy's Juke Box ('Daddy Don't Mind' UK TV 1976)

No I don't know what model Twiggy waas doing with a jukebox either. What I do know though is that The Hollies are on great form for this funky live performance which has a very different 'feel' to the record. Bobby plays a slicker, quicker drum riff, Pete Wingfield adds a vamped piano part and there's less emphasis on the harmonies all round. Strangely it rather suits the song despite the harmonies being the whole point on the record and there's audible fireworks, even the few parts of the performance where there aren't real physical fireworks. Why didn't this fun song do better as a single?

52) Unknown ('Write On' Canadian TV? 1976)

I've never really taken to the title track of this album before - it seems a bit unreasonable of The Hollies to complain that their songs aren't selling and they're going to do things their way anyway and then wonder why the album didn't sell. However this gorgeous lush version makes a lot more sense: it's slower, more dignified and sounds like a thoughtful philosophical statement on the music business in 1976 rather than an angry snub (after all, it was less than two years since the band had had a hit with 'The Air That I Breathe', even some of the really big bands went for longer!)

53) Live In Koln (German TV 1976)

A fun concert by the mid-70s Hollies, similar in both set list and feel to the 'Hollies Live Hits' album. While the singles sound as professional as ever it's on the band's newer songs where this concert really comes alive, including a funky take on 'Star' with Pete Wingfield a blur round his synthesisers, a nice moody take on 'Another Night' and an excellent 'Sandy'. Interestingly the generally black or white dressed band are all dressed in very bright vibrant colours: Allan's in yellow, Tony in red and Terry in green.

54) Unknown ('Harlequin' German TV? 1978)

The only footage that exists from the brief period when Clarke left the band a second time in 1978, this is The Hollies filling out their commitments and making the best of things before hiring a replacement (they had their eye on Gary Brooker, who can be heard on the fadeout of this lovely song). With '5317704' in the works at the time, it made sense to promote Terry to lead singer for one of his featured pieces and he does a great job, eking out the nuances of this last in a series of Hollie 'clown' songs. The first time The Hollies are ever shown as a four-piece, although it happens again a few times in the 1980s.

55) Hello To Romance (Music Video 1979)

So few copies did this single sell and so obscure is the band's promo video that I didn't even know this existed until stumbling across it searching for something else. Clarke sings live while the rest of the band mime and gives a much more understated performance than on the record which suits the song a lot more actually. Clarke and Sylvester seem to be making a lot of eye contact for this piece, in contrast to how their partnership will end in a year or so's time.  Otherwise it's business as usual except for Bernie propping up a piano while uniquely Terry plays the bass (or mimes to it anyway). One last point though: why there is a lone and rather decrepit looking rubber plant right in the middle of the studio floor? A crazy steal indeed.

56) Starburst ('Soldier's Song' UK TV 1980)

It's the end of an era, the last (we think) ever performance with Bernie and Terry in the band. Not that you see a lot of them as the camera is rightly fixed on Clarke performing a great version of one of a track that really showed off his ability and range. I presume all that smoke is for effect by the way and the studio isn't on fire!

57) Russell Harty Show ('Take My Love and Run' 1981)

'It's now been twenty years so you're obviously survivors...' An interesting bit of footage from a rare period most notable for the deeply unusual interview. After discussing the former names of the band (including 'The Dolphins', a name that new bassist Denis Haines finds particularly funny). 'Why are you wearing a hat?' asks the hapless Harty, with Bobby raising it to show off his bald head. 'Get out of that!' quips Tony. More seriously Clarke is asked about 'Mr Nash', comments on how he was asked to go to the States but 'didn't like the way of life over there' but is still in contact with his old school pal from time to time. The mimed performance is a good one too, sounding slightly faster than normal (did they speed the tapes up?) and Clarke winking at persons unknown. That's short lived member Brian Chatton playing the melodica by the way (the blown-down keyboard).

58) Top Of The Pops #7 ('Holliepops' 'Take My Love and Run' UK TV 1981)

The hit medley was a peculiar early 1980s invention that was a cheap way of re-issuing songs in a new way without bands having to lift a finger (or give permission) - all the work was done by the editor. The band then mimed to their current single, the pre-Nash version of 'Take My Love and Run'. These clips are noticeable for being the second and last to feature Brian Chatton in his all too brief period as a Hollie (he'll bow out when the band take most of 1982 off and regroup with Nash in 1983) and for not featuring a bass player. A rather stilted Clarke speaks to the audience in the middle but only to announce that after playing a medley they'd like to do a 'new one'.

59) Top Of The Pops #8 ('Holliedaze' UK TV 1981)

'I can't believe what I'm looking at there...' No nor can I, but if you can get past the Jimmy Saville introduction (which sadly means this clip will never get shown on BBC4's TOTP repeats worse luck!) then there's a real story to be told with this vintage promo clip. The Hollies and Top Of The Pops had always had a special bond since the band appeared on the very first show and when the 'Holliedaze' medley became an unexpected hit they were eager for The Hollies to celebrate with them. After years away from the world of the BBC and TOTP Graham eagerly agreed, while this is also the last time original bass player Eric Haydock ever appeared in anything as a Hollie. The medley is, of course pretty awful but the band are just so pleased to be there that the enthusiasm and the love in the room (even amongst the famously stilted TOTP audiences) is infectious. No wonder Graham decided to hang around...

60) Stop! In The Name Of Love (Music Video 1983)

Graham Nash came on board a little late to have any influence over the song choices for reunion album 'What Goes Around...' However he had plenty of say in the promotion, getting the band on some of the hipper TV networks in the US and was instrumental in putting together this music video for the tie-in single. The Hollies probably meant 'Stop!' as a romantic warning, the same way that The Supremes' original had intended, but with Nash in tow the song becomes a warning about nuclear energy (this is one of his first videos following his concert film 'No Nukes' raising money for anti-nuclear activists). The Hollies aren't in this video much at all, but it will be of interest to CSN fans in particular while the use of different faces all round the world united in the same idea seems suspiciously like the one Godley and Creme got all the credit for with 'Cry'.

61) Vorsicht Musik ('Stop! In The Name Of Love' German TV 1983)

A German TV promotion for the single release of reunion album 'What Goes Around...', this clip is notable for how much fun the band seem to be having again just like the old days (Clarkey just can't sit still!), the large 'STOP!' sign right behind everyone's head and the fact that Paul Bliss' keyboard seems to be covered with 'Stop! Warning!' red tape. Unusually the camera doesn't seem to look at Nash much even though his return is the 'big news' of the song really. You have to say, though, this is a real return of the old punchy youthful Hollies who haven't seemed this energetic since about 1965!

62) Mike Walsh Show ('He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother' 'Stop! In The Name Of Love' Australia TV 1983)

Recorded straight after Nash has left the band again (telling the band 'it's been nice - but I want to make some real money now!') this is the first chance to see Terry's proper replacement Alan Coates in action. Alas the band are miming to both songs so we don't really get to hear him, although he's pretty god at miming for first Terry and then Graham. Note the fact that Allan doesn't even carry a harmonica around with him any more to mime the opening and ending of the song!

63) Eldorado Lux (Denmark TV 1984)

They really liked plugging this song didn't they? This time they're miming to it on Danish TV, to not much effect by their standards. Let's move on quickly...

64) ('Hard To Forget' UK TV 1986)

'Why are you here?' 'We're here out of the kindness of our 'earts!' The Hollies as The Marx Brothers on daytime TV! This clip is a mess - but for once The Hollies aren't the cause of it. Anne Diamond introduces the band and gets it wrong ('Tommy Hicks!'), a cameraman ends up looking the wrong way leaving the hapless presenter mouthing 'what?!' while Clartke jokes 'excuse me vicar!' in the background and the band are in mischievous mood throughout ('Do you enjoy doing it Tony?' 'Singing she means!' quips Allan). The interviews are revealing too, though, Clarke revealing that it took ten years of hits to convince his parents that he could make a living through music and Hicks that playing music and touring is 'hard to work'. The band also reveal that the band have become a big hit in Recyavik all of a sudden (leading Anne to joke that there are eskimos everywhere writing out 'Hollies' in the snow), Hicks adding that the band were 'there fifteen years so we're back by popular demand!' Anne adds that Clarke is 'hell to interview' because he's given 'sixteen different answers' about whether their new single 'Hard To Forget' is out yet and that even EMI haven't heard it yet. Alas the song will never come out officially, EMI deciding not to sanction it although its one of the better Hollies tracks of the 1980s with a great hook-filled power pop chorus and a punchy rock and roll riff. The song also leads to the best gag of the night when Anne asks the band what the band are going to play and Clarke asks Tony 'what's it called again?' leading him to laugh 'Hard To Forget!'

65) Unknown ('Baby Come Back' German TV 1987)

Die Hollies are at it again with another forgotten 1980s flop single. The biggest surprise of the video is - where the hell is Bobby?! Admittedly the drums on this song are electronic so he probably didn't play on them to begin with but - why the heck then is there someone in his place (looking particularly out of place given that he has the audacity to possess a full head of hair!) Allan Tony and Alan Coates seem out of sorts too, with no keyboardist miming along this time despite the fact that keyboards is pretty much all there is on this trite and poppy song. A disaster, let's move on...

66) The Birthday Show ('Reunion Of The Heart' UK TV 1987)

A barely seen clip from an obscure daytime show only remembered now for presenter Anne Diamond) of a barely heard song, this one features a rather static and distinctly 80s looking Hollies playing within a set of swirling lights. The performance is a live one (suggesting it's from a TV show, although it looks like a video the way this one is shot). Not classic Hollies but worth a look.

67) Unknown ('This Is It!' German TV? 1987)

One of The Hollies' most forgotten songs, I was surprised that the band had done any promotion for it at all given how quickly it dropped out of the charts. Somebody's being far too clever by halves with the video production, which puts the band in 'mirror images' for much of the shot (a new technique in 1987, which might be why it's being used to death). The Hollies' performance is also interrupted by some staple nostalgia - shots of Abbey Road Studios and the like. We just want to see the band play, although I'll forgive it all for the third Hollies video showing the band in action in the studio (following on from 'On A Carousel' and 'Magic Woman Touch'). Alas it's nowhere near long enough!

68) Unknown ('Shine Silently' German TV 1988)

Another rare promo for a relatively obscure single, although Nils Lofgren's 'Shine Silently' was always a favourite with fans. Allan wears very dark glasses while the band mime in front of a most peculiar backdrop that looks like the set of Indiana Jones and the Weird Fabric Collection. I think that's short lived member Dave Carey on keyboards, by the way - at least it doesn't look like Denis Haines or Paul Bliss!

69) Top Of The Pops #9 ('He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother' 1988 UK TV)

A staggering 24 years on from their appearance on the first ever edition of Top Of The Pops The Hollies were back again, with a rather ragged rendition of their recently re-issued hit. It's nice to see the Alan Coates-era Hollies on TV for a change although the band are beginning to look very old now - except for Tony, who now looks about 22. And not a Miller-lite Beer in sight!

70) Noel Edmond's Christmas Presents (1988 UK TV)

This is what I want for Christmas this year or, well, any year. No not presenter Noel Edmonds but the twist at the end of this good cheer programme about giving deserving people a 'special present'. Noel has sneaked into a music fan Brian's house and provided him with a brand new jukebox. Nice enough - but when the guy asks if he can hear The Hollies the sound seems a bit...weird. The pair go outside to have a look and there are The Hollies performing their big hit of the year 'He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother' in his very own garden. Brian's tears say it all: what a band, what a statement, what a powerful bit of television.

71) Bus Stop (Music Video 1989)

Back in 1989 music videos were all the rage and yet so many classic songs made in an age before MTV went unaccounted for. John Sebastian was hired to present a new compilation show 'Deja View', which living up to its name was pretty ghastly, in which a series of modern film-makers would set a series of classic singles to video as if they'd been shot in the late 1980s. 'Bus Stop' is one of the few AAA songs they ever dared touch before the series got the boot but is worth quoting on this list because the success of 'He Ain't Heavy' meant that in 1988 meant that a year later EMI were keen to re-promote other old Hollies hits and chose 'Bus Stop' at least partly because of this video. It's not exactly a masterpiece though - the footage literally depicts the events in the song without adding anything to the song that wasn't already there in your imagination (also this is a terribly American bus stop for such a terribly English song - I mean the romance happens because of an umbrella for goodness sake!)

72) Pebble Mill ('The Woman I Love' 1993)

The last regular Hollies performance comes from their 30th anniversary single, plugged on the BBC's daytime talk show (a forerunner of the inferior 'One Show'). Clarke is loo0king quite old by now, with his hair pulled back into a ponytail and having grown a grey goatee - which makes the fact that he's singing just a childish infantile song all the more obvious (Tony, meanwhile, has aged to the point where he looks nearly 30 rather than 13). The rest of the band, dressed in pink, don't look much better. Watching this near-enough farewell I'm struck by how similar it is to 'Little Lover' from thirty years earlier - the band are gurning away and over gesticulating in desperation to get someone to notice them, but it all comes over looking rather false in this woeful song. At least there are no garden plants or bemused passers by in this clip though!

73) 'A Tribute To Buddy Holly' ('Peggy Sue Got Married' US TV 1995)

Screened as part of an overall documentary about the making of a Buddy Holly tribute album, this show features a seven minute section about The Hollies' cover of 'Peggy Sue Got Married'. Nash's idea, he's back on board with the band one last time and this is also the last footage of Clarke in the band. The band all talk about being Buddy fans 'until the day that I die' (nice use of song lyrics there Allan!) and Graham talks about being asked to sing along with Buddy on the track for the 'Peggy Sue Got Married' film soundtrack - and Nash's first instinct to get Beatles, Stones and all sorts of people involved with the project! Particularly good for the footage of Hicks playing one of his greatest guitar solos.

74) BBC Breakfast (UK TV 2010)

A short news piece celebrating The Hollies' induction into The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, weirdly enough with the current line up of the band who couldn't appear (they had a gig at the London Palladium). The two clueless presenters have clearly never heard of the band and seem to think that being included in the Ra RHOF with 'some of the greats' is really something - apparently forgetting that at one time The Hollies were as big as any of them. There's a nice clip compilation though and it's a nice chance to see Peter and Steve talking as part of the band, although they don't say much. There's a nice acoustic version of 'Bus Stop' that's rather good though, even though it weirdly comes out sounding not unlike 'Magic Woman Touch'. A shame that the praise from Jimmy Saville about the band on Top OF The Pops ('A Group's Group') was brought up too but hey - it was 2010, it was a whole different world all those many years ago, you could talk about these things back then...

75) QVC (US TV 2012)
Oh. My. Days. Evidence that music has become just like any disposable medium comes with a four song set from The Hollies advertising their new live hits CD and 'Then, Now, Always' studio album in between hoovers, mops and endless trinkets and baubles that are destined to end up in a cash-my-gold envelope within weeks. The band perform workmanlike versions of 'The Air That I Breathe' 'She'd Kill For Me' 'He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother' and 'I Would Fly', not to any great effect. A small part of the fan in me has just died. Is it too late to ask for my money back?! 

Phew! That really is everything for now! Join us for more Hollies next week!


'Stay With The Hollies' (1964)

'In The Hollies Style' (1964)
'Would You Believe?' (1966)

'For Certain, Because' (1966)

'Evolution' (1967)

'Butterfly' (1967)

‘Hollies Sing Hollies’ (1969)

'Confessions Of The Mind' (1970)
'A Distant Light' (1971)

'Romany' (1972)

'Out On The Road' (1973)

'Headroom' (Allan Clarke solo) (1973)
'The Hollies' (1974)
'Another Night' (1975)

‘Write On’ (1976)
'A Crazy Steal' (1978)

'5317704' (1979)
'What Goes Around..." (1983)
‘Then, Now, Always’ (2009)

'Radio Fun' (BBC Sessions) (2012)
The Best Unreleased Hollies Recordings
Surviving TV Footage 1964-2010
Non-Album Songs Part One: 1963-1970
Non-Album Songs Part Two: 1971-2014

Live/Solo/Compilation/US Editions/Covers Albums Part One 1964-1975
Live/Solo/Compilation/US Editions/Covers Albums Part Two 1976-2014