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DistantLight Post subject: Allan Clarke - My Real name Is 'Arold
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Allan Clarke left the Hollies after recording "Distant Light" with them to go solo. This album is his first album as a solo artist.

I must say that I was a bit disappointed when I first heard the album - the Hollies released "Romany" and he releases "My Real Name Is 'Arold". It's obvious that I compared these two albums to see who did better after they parted ways. It's no competition I guess - "Romany" is regarded as a classic by many Hollies fans (me included) but noone really mentions or cares this album! Also all of his albums were rereleased on CD but this one hasn't, yet.

So what's the problem with the album? Maybe it must be looked at separately and not compared with "Romany" to be appreciated because it isn't in the same league as the former regarding musicianship, song-material or singing(!). Tony Newman is on drums here and he does nothing wrong but no way could he match Bobby Elliotts playing around that time... same goes for guitarist Ray Glynn, who does some fine things though, compared with Tony Hicks. A serious misstep I think was that there are almost no harmonies on the songs. Of course Allan Clarke can sing but when I compare his singing with Rickfors/Sylvester/Hicks on the Hollies records he just can't compete.

But let's stop the comparisons for a while now... beside singing all the lead vocals on the album Clarke plays some acoustic guitar and mouth harp and composes most of the songs by himself or in collaboration with Ray Glynn among others.
Throughout the album he goes for an acoustic based sound with electric guitars mostly doing fills or solos.
The only notable exception is the opener "Ruby" - the sole real rocker. The song is OK but lacks strong hooks - yes it has got energy but it sounds a bit out of place on the album which wouldn't be a problem in the first place if the song was good but as it is it starts the album quite disappointing.
"Mary Skeffington", one of three songs with no writing input by Allan, sounds almost too quiet after "Ruby" but after repeated listens proves to be a good choice of material to cover - especially the chorus is really beautiful.
The other songs not written by Allan are "Losing Me" and "Walpurgis Night". "Losing Me" is a sad piano ballad about a relationship falling apart and maybe the best song on here with great emotional vocals. "Walpurgis Night" is the other rockier number on the album but it's pretty weird - it tries to be frightening I guess but I'm not sure if succeeds. It's interesting though...
The only song I don't really like is "Baby It's Alright With Me" - a country song that goes nowhere and has somehow strained vocals that doesn't sound that good. Speaking of strained vocals... "Let Us Prey" is a cool acoustic rocker with a nice quiet middle eight but in the verses Allan sings over his range I think which is a bit hard on the ears...
Although there's no song on the album that really stands out (maybe Losing Me does...?) the rest that I haven't yet mentioned are all good... "Moonshine Whiskey" has got cool lyrics, a nice mandolin backing and a good folky/country sound; the upbeat "Bring On Your Smiles" written by Clarke together with bass player Herbie Flowers has some good hooks and kinda unusual vocals. "Nature's Ways Of Saying Goodbye" is a sad ballad which Allan sings really well.
The best self written song on here is in my opinion "Patchwork Quilts" - it's another ballad with really beautiful pedal steel guitar by Ray Glynn and especially the lines "Sharing secrets from each others minds, I thought we were of the same kind" are put to a gorgeous melody with the pedal steel laying down a beautiful counter part.

So it's no bad album at all but I expected a bit more from the first solo album of someone like Allan Clarke. I just don't really see the reason (music-wise) why he left the Hollies - this album doesn't sound like the creative liberation that I would expect from someone who quits his band to pursue a solo career.

Rating: a weak 7 out of 10

Best songs: Losing Me, Patchwork Quilts

Worst song: Baby It's Alright With Me


So what does the rest of the Hollies fans think about this album?
PostPosted:Mon Oct 15, 2007 10:40 am
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carlane3 Post subject: Re: Allan Clarke - My Real name Is 'Arold
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DistantLight wrote:
Allan Clarke left the Hollies after recording "Distant Light" with them to go solo. This album is his first album as a solo artist.

I must say that I was a bit disappointed when I first heard the album - the Hollies released "Romany" and he releases "My Real Name Is 'Arold". It's obvious that I compared these two albums to see who did better after they parted ways. It's no competition I guess - "Romany" is regarded as a classic by many Hollies fans (me included) but noone really mentions or cares this album! Also all of his albums were rereleased on CD but this one hasn't, yet.

So what's the problem with the album? Maybe it must be looked at separately and not compared with "Romany" to be appreciated because it isn't in the same league as the former regarding musicianship, song-material or singing(!). Tony Newman is on drums here and he does nothing wrong but no way could he match Bobby Elliotts playing around that time... same goes for guitarist Ray Glynn, who does some fine things though, compared with Tony Hicks. A serious misstep I think was that there are almost no harmonies on the songs. Of course Allan Clarke can sing but when I compare his singing with Rickfors/Sylvester/Hicks on the Hollies records he just can't compete.

But let's stop the comparisons for a while now... beside singing all the lead vocals on the album Clarke plays some acoustic guitar and mouth harp and composes most of the songs by himself or in collaboration with Ray Glynn among others.
Throughout the album he goes for an acoustic based sound with electric guitars mostly doing fills or solos.
The only notable exception is the opener "Ruby" - the sole real rocker. The song is OK but lacks strong hooks - yes it has got energy but it sounds a bit out of place on the album which wouldn't be a problem in the first place if the song was good but as it is it starts the album quite disappointing.
"Mary Skeffington", one of three songs with no writing input by Allan, sounds almost too quiet after "Ruby" but after repeated listens proves to be a good choice of material to cover - especially the chorus is really beautiful.
The other songs not written by Allan are "Losing Me" and "Walpurgis Night". "Losing Me" is a sad piano ballad about a relationship falling apart and maybe the best song on here with great emotional vocals. "Walpurgis Night" is the other rockier number on the album but it's pretty weird - it tries to be frightening I guess but I'm not sure if succeeds. It's interesting though...
The only song I don't really like is "Baby It's Alright With Me" - a country song that goes nowhere and has somehow strained vocals that doesn't sound that good. Speaking of strained vocals... "Let Us Prey" is a cool acoustic rocker with a nice quiet middle eight but in the verses Allan sings over his range I think which is a bit hard on the ears...
Although there's no song on the album that really stands out (maybe Losing Me does...?) the rest that I haven't yet mentioned are all good... "Moonshine Whiskey" has got cool lyrics, a nice mandolin backing and a good folky/country sound; the upbeat "Bring On Your Smiles" written by Clarke together with bass player Herbie Flowers has some good hooks and kinda unusual vocals. "Nature's Ways Of Saying Goodbye" is a sad ballad which Allan sings really well.
The best self written song on here is in my opinion "Patchwork Quilts" - it's another ballad with really beautiful pedal steel guitar by Ray Glynn and especially the lines "Sharing secrets from each others minds, I thought we were of the same kind" are put to a gorgeous melody with the pedal steel laying down a beautiful counter part.

So it's no bad album at all but I expected a bit more from the first solo album of someone like Allan Clarke. I just don't really see the reason (music-wise) why he left the Hollies - this album doesn't sound like the creative liberation that I would expect from someone who quits his band to pursue a solo career.

Rating: a weak 7 out of 10

Best songs: Losing Me, Patchwork Quilts

Worst song: Baby It's Alright With Me


So what does the rest of the Hollies fans think about this album?


I have this on a CD from Germany, and I like Mary Skeffington, Ruby, and losing me the best . It is a good album, but is a bit fragmented in its song selection.

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PostPosted:Mon Oct 15, 2007 13:36 pm
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Vrinda Post subject:
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Maybe Allan was going for some variety in his choice of songs to appeal to a wide range of listeners.
PostPosted:Mon Oct 15, 2007 13:46 pm
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carlane3 Post subject:
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Vrinda wrote:
Maybe Allan was going for some variety in his choice of songs to appeal to a wide range of listeners.

And that may very well be the case. For a Hollies fan it is still an essential part of their collection.I personally like Allans "Ive Got Time" solo the best of all his releases.

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PostPosted:Mon Oct 15, 2007 14:10 pm
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Gee Post subject: 'Arold......?
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I suspect some of the reasons behind Allan's surprise 1971 exit from The Hollies were actually NON musical.....
PostPosted:Mon Oct 15, 2007 16:20 pm

Last edited by Gee on Sun May 23, 2010 10:47 am; edited 1 time in total
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SpartyScott Post subject: Re: 'Arold......?
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"Coward By Name" would have fit in with the LP, too. It sounds a bit in the Confessions of the Mind style, and I would have thought that the anti-war sentiment would have been enjoyed by the critics and rock press of the day.
PostPosted:Mon Oct 15, 2007 17:26 pm
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Vrinda Post subject:
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Quote:
But the absence of all that really meant the album was effectively "Doomed from the start "in terms of any real chart chances....for it did not get much in the way of Promotion either...and I can't recall any TV or Radio appearances by a solo Allan Clarke at that time either....can you ?


Someone posted what they described as a solo performance by Allan in 1973 on YouTube, but took the video down before anyone could look at it. There was a freezeframe shot from it, and Allan was wearing a white suit, had his hair neatly styled like when he was in the Hollies (no perm, yet!) and looked like he was in the middle of a very powerful performance. Since the video was taken down, I didn't get to see it, so I can't be sure what it was really about. The man in the still frame did look like Allan, so I wasn't doubting if it was him. I don't remember the song title the poster said it was, and they did not mention the TV show it came from.
PostPosted:Mon Oct 15, 2007 17:57 pm
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Dennis Post subject:
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Vrinda wrote:
Quote:
But the absence of all that really meant the album was effectively "Doomed from the start "in terms of any real chart chances....for it did not get much in the way of Promotion either...and I can't recall any TV or Radio appearances by a solo Allan Clarke at that time either....can you ?


Someone posted what they described as a solo performance by Allan in 1973 on YouTube, but took the video down before anyone could look at it. There was a freezeframe shot from it, and Allan was wearing a white suit, had his hair neatly styled like when he was in the Hollies (no perm, yet!) and looked like he was in the middle of a very powerful performance. Since the video was taken down, I didn't get to see it, so I can't be sure what it was really about. The man in the still frame did look like Allan, so I wasn't doubting if it was him. I don't remember the song title the poster said it was, and they did not mention the TV show it came from.


I, too, think the best tracks from Allan's debut solo LP are "Ruby", "You're Losing Me" and "Nature's Way of Saying Goodbye". The US Epic LP had a large red sticker on the front with the words "Solo Debut by Allan Clarke, former lead singer of The Hollies".

The only solo Allan video I've seen is "Slipstream". Allan plays guitar and is accompanied by a few girls.
PostPosted:Mon Oct 15, 2007 18:05 pm
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Tony Wilkinson Post subject:


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Allan's 'Sideshow' is out there to be had on dvd, unofficial of course.............
PostPosted:Mon Oct 15, 2007 18:54 pm
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holliesfan Post subject:
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How do you guys feel about The Hollies utiliing the producer talents of one Tom Petty? A lot of his songs tend to have that top 40 contemporary feel to them. Any thoughts good or bad are welcome.
PostPosted:Mon Oct 15, 2007 20:11 pm
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MichealC Post subject:
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I think this is probably my favourite Allan Clarke album. Im a fan of the pre-1974 sound in music so I have a soft spot for 'Arold I also find it his most musically diverse album with the best quota of hooks and melodies. It's a very solid album and Im surprised more wasn't made of it but then they never made much of Hollies albums either. Moonshine Whiskey is a knockout which the Hollies could easily have pulled out on stage. Did a Clarke song ever creep into the Hollies set list?


It's very interesting to contrast the album with Songs For Beginners. Graham's album is directly confessional while Allan's is rooted in storytelling rock. In some ways We Can Change The World and Bring On Your Smiles. Both deal with more or less the same subject but curiously Graham's seems so much less sophisticated being so totally earnest and strightforward while Allan changing the world is ironic, detached, mocking and humorous. It also flies off the record as it revs up and the organ gets going..
PostPosted:Mon Oct 15, 2007 21:50 pm
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Dennis Post subject:
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MichealC wrote:
I think this is probably my favourite Allan Clarke album. Im a fan of the pre-1974 sound in music so I have a soft spot for 'Arold I also find it his most musically diverse album with the best quota of hooks and melodies. It's a very solid album and Im surprised more wasn't made of it but then they never made much of Hollies albums either. Moonshine Whiskey is a knockout which the Hollies could easily have pulled out on stage. Did a Clarke song ever creep into the Hollies set list?


It's very interesting to contrast the album with Songs For Beginners. Graham's album is directly confessional while Allan's is rooted in storytelling rock. In some ways We Can Change The World and Bring On Your Smiles. Both deal with more or less the same subject but curiously Graham's seems so much less sophisticated being so totally earnest and strightforward while Allan changing the world is ironic, detached, mocking and humorous. It also flies off the record as it revs up and the organ gets going..


I agree, I would also call it his best solo album. He got a bit too slick with the later albums. I also like "Moonshine Whiskey". The whole album is very good really; not a classic like "Romany", mind you, but a good listen. It should be released on CD with "Coward By Name" added.
PostPosted:Mon Oct 15, 2007 23:44 pm
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Gee Post subject:
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I think Allan should have pushed his solo career more.
PostPosted:Tue Oct 16, 2007 7:48 am

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shootthebusstop Post subject:
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Geoff coles wrote:
I have heard that Allan DID do a solo show at a UK Students hall....shades of how Paul McCartney first launched his band Wings (by getting back to the roots....just as The Beatles...and The Hollies...had both started by playing to youngsters wherever they could ), however there does not appear to be any recorded evidence of this...or details of any later solo concerts by him.

I agree Tom Petty might make a very good Producer for The Hollies too....

"Arold" plus "Coward By Name" (and any unissued tracks that may survive from this era) really needs a CD issue.

Re Allan's solo songs....he did sing a "singer/songwriter" style version of Bruce Springsteen's "If I Were The Priest" with just his own Acoustic guitar accompaniment in Hollies 80's concerts (Like as Peter Howarth now sings "Here I Go Again").....otherwise I can't recall any other of his solo tracks being done Live by the band.....however The Hollies did cut versions of both "Born To Run" (on 13 March 1975)...and Gary Benson's "Sanctuary" (over 14-18 November 1978) ....both of which were also recorded respectively earlier and later by Clarke as solo tracks.....

I think The Hollies could have cut great band versions of "Who ?", "Slipstream", "Walls", "Shadow in The Street", and later "Reasons To Believe in".....plus a few other Solo Clarke recordings...

I once asked EMI if they could put together a "Best of Allan Clarke: The EMI Years" compilation , maybe in their Budget "EMI Gold" series...

I suggested this compilation:

1.Born To Run - Non Album Single 'A' Side
2.Complete Controllable Man
3.We've Got Time
4.Who ?
5.Stand By Me
6.I Wanna Sail into your life
7.Shift Lovin' Lady
8.Don't Bring Me Down Again
9.If You Think You Know How To love me
10.If I Were The Priest
11.Side Show
12.Why Don't You Call - Non Album Single 'B' side
13.Can't Get On
14.New Americans
15.I look in Your Eyes
16.Sunrise
17.If You walked Away
18.Living In Love
19.Drift Away
20.Blinded By The Light

I think this would make a good compilation of Allan Clarke's solo EMI Recordings between 1973 and 1976....taken from his three solo albums plus both sides of the one non album single.

You could also include his 1973 solo version of "Would You Believe (Revisited)" from "Headroom" ...however some Hollies fans think this later version Lacked the Magic of the Original 1967 Hollies version on "Butterfly".....
....what do you think ?
I like the sound of this.I as yet have no Clarkie solo cds in my collection.I would love to hear some of his songs to get the old juices flowing!

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PostPosted:Tue Oct 16, 2007 12:30 pm
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James Towill Post subject:
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Geoff coles wrote:
1973 solo version of "Would You Believe (Revisited)" from "Headroom" ...however some Hollies fans think this later version Lacked the Magic of the Original 1967 Hollies version on "Butterfly".....
....what do you think ?


The 1973 version is far superior to my ears, love the powerful organ work and the echo on the track. Thanks as ever for the details, Geoff.

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PostPosted:Tue Oct 16, 2007 15:55 pm
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