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Rythym Guitar


Rythym Guitar
Joined: 16 Jan 2007
Posts: 481

LCW was very much an 'album track' - originally it was rather 'Country' tinged & got 'Rockier' the more that Allan worked on it becoming NOT a 'Creedence' influenced track (as many said it was) but an early 'Elvis at Sun records' styled item....hence that lone echoed voice

Allan often had his 'solo spot' featuring him on Hollies albums ('You'll Be Mine', 'Down The Line','Sweet Little Sixteen', 'High Classed', 'Would You Believe', 'Marigold', etc) often just with Allan singing alone (as on 'Midnight Shift' later on the 'Buddy Holly' album) - both 'Hold On' & 'LCW' on 'Distant Light' were essentially Allan's features (he plays guitar on both songs too) , with Producer Ron Richards initially unwell (Bernie Calvert too for a time) they got on with 'Distant Light' producing about half of it themselves, Tony subbing for Bernie on bass guitar

LCW was a 'Clarkie solo feature' with just Allan & Tony on guitars, Tony on rhythm, Bernie on Bass & Bobby drumming (Terry Sylvester is not on it) intended purely as an album track (hence no harmonies that Ron Richards would have insisted upon including IF envisaged as a single)

Richards supervised the final 'mix' later & complained he couldn't understand what Allan was singing due to the echo (which was nowhere near as bad as on 'Purple Rain' studio version later !)
- Clarkie said; 'Don't worry Ron it's only an album track, just leave it...'

thus it appeared as it was...all 'lean and rocky' - Epic records & EMI (UK) later 'lifted' the track in 1972 almost as an afterthought 'reminder' of The Hollies with Clarke - EMI (UK) had recently put out a 'Hollies Greatest Vol 2' set in on Parlophone in the UK in March 1972 thus maybe it was issued in the UK to tie in with that as a possible promotion ? (even tho' it wasn't on that second hits set) at first the EMI/Epic single did little...then picked up radio airplay a bit later on...and without any group promotion while only making no.32 in the UK it shot up the USA chart ! (much to The Rickfors Hollies & new soloist Allan Clarke's surprise no doubt !)

so it was a case of the song taking on a life of it's own (as 'He Ain't Heavy' did likewise later in 1988) and scoring on it's own rather than down to The Hollies or Allan Clarke - hence curiously LCW actually created a few problems for them in retrospect

Allan Clarke was left to rue what might have been stateside for him (tho' remember HE had opted to quit the band in late 1971) - his second chance to properly establish himself in the USA like his old friend Graham Nash had done...duly bypassed him

Mike Rickfors must have privately cursed the damn thing....it didn't help his cause at all as new Hollies lead singer, and the failure of 'Magic Woman Touch' as a single only emphasised this...

Terry Sylvester was left in the strange position of trying to 'claim ownership' as the 'face of the song' to this day (a recording on which he had never even appeared on !!) ....when no doubt he'd have far preferred to have seen one of his own numbers like the superb 'Pick up The Pieces' or even the majestic 'Jesus Was A Crossmaker' that he'd sung be the song he was 'most associated' with surely ? Confused - while after 'plugging it' for the group across the USA Terry later had to hand it back over to a returning Clarkie - another sown seed of simmering discontent for Terry....(??)

Group manager Tony Hicks was probably left feeling rather 'embaressed' by the whole LCW affair as it highlighted a managerial mistake he'd made re refusing Allan's touring offer (Tony did later hold his hands up re that) plus it only highlighted Mike's problems in succeeding Clarkie & Tony was put on the spot re that (despite two great albums, tho' the second one was held over...)

LCW also seriously began the parting of the ways between The Hollies & longtime producer/mentor Ron Richards too - that had first begun re 'King Midas' back in 1967 now it seemed LCW was for Allan what Midas was for Graham earlier...the later chart failure of 'Son of A Rotten Gambler' (which apparently Ron liked) probably became the final straw...

Even Graham Nash in the USA was probably somewhat professionally 'irritated' to see his old band so high in the American charts AFTER he'd gone...! (he openly jokes about it now but back then it may well have been a bit annoying for him as they finally were doing what he'd urged back in 1967-68...stretching their 'wings' more, being adventurous and progressing - and scoring a massive hit in the USA as a result !)

while poor Bernie Calvert took some 'flak' from some rather unkind record reviewers who sought to crticise his bass guitarwork on LCW saying there was a 'certain stiffness in the bass playing...'

so LCW certainly seemed a very 'bittersweet' success for The Hollies & key figures in their story in many ways, but it DID get them well known in the USA in the early seventies 'post Nash era', appealed to alot of Rock music lovers (those not into pop songs or ballads etc) , & no doubt helped greatly along with the hits; 'Bus Stop', 'Carrie Anne' , 'He Ain't Heavy...' & 'The Air That I Breathe' to get them inducted into the American R & R Hall of Fame (and earned them some cash along the way... ) Cool
PostPosted:Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:17 am
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