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SpartyScott Post subject: Rolling Stone Magazine review of "Moving Finger"
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Not a good review, but keep in mind the attitude of the music press in those early 70's days.

For you British folks, Moving Finger is essentially (with a couple of significant differences) the Confessions Of The Mind album.

1. Survival Of The Fittest
2. Confessions Of A Mind
3. Lady Please
4. Little Girl
5. Too Young
6. Man Without A Heart
7. Isn't It Nice
8. Frightend Lady
9. Marigold Gloria Swansong
10. Perfect Lady Housewife
11. Gasoline Alley Bred

Although it has nothing to do with this review, the CD reissue in American includes the bonus tracks Separated, I Wanna Shout, Dandelion Wine, and Mad Professor Blyth.

Here's info on the Moving Finger CD, and how you can order it from the U.S. Amazon site:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000003H00/sr=8-2/qid=1146154441/ref=sr_1_2/102-2305117-8723348?%5Fencoding=UTF8


**************************

OK, here's the review:

http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/thehollies/albums/album/178272/rid/5941592/





Probably few people apart from writers of liner notes realize that the Hollies have had more singles in the British Top Ten than anyone except the Beatles. Their success in the US, however, has been irregular at best. Ever since the Beatles stopped doing "A Hard Day's Night" and went progressive, the type of music the Hollies do best has been in decline, as everyone got on the bandwagon of significance and heaviness. This type of lightweight rock, simple, dynamic, and joyful, is a genre difficult to do well, Seylla and Charybdis being represented on the one hand by bubblegum and on the other by blandness. It's a delicate art and one the Hollies have been the supreme expositors of. Ever since the group began recording their own material exclusively, however, they seem to have gone "progressive" in their own way. Starting about 1967 they became increasingly more polished, less raucous, the songs prettier and quieter. Orchestras began to be heard and everything rocked less; it was a softer music overall. Throughout, however, the Hollies' marvelous vocal sound remained intact.

Moving Finger, their 11th US album, is a further extension of this process and also a milestone of sorts for the band. For one thing, drummer Bobby Elliott has succumbed, after six years, to long hair, a sure sign of the imminent fall of Western Civilization. And two of the group have passed the dread age of 30. Does this mean the beginning of the end for the Hollies? Hardly; but on this album they seem farther away than ever from the simple but perfect music they began with.

Songwriting chores are equally shared by Tony Hicks and by Allan Clarke and Terry Sylvester, but there's little to choose between them. Few of the songs have even the minimal melodic appeal of the second-rate efforts on their previous album. He Ain't Heavy. He's My Brother, and all are lyrically banal while attempting to deal with social and other problems such as war, plastic people, broken homes and the lives of housewives. So much for the songs.

The most remarkable fact about the album is the extensive use of orchestral backings, remarkable because so inept. Take the song "Too Young to Be Married," by Tony Hicks. This concerns a couple whose parents judged them too young to marry, but since the girl was pregnant they went ahead. Now they've got kids and have trouble making ends meet and the wife is tired of it all, but she keeps on going, in a continuing effort to prove the parents wrong. It's a sentimental subject sentimentally treated, and the song is a bit cloying.

During the last verse, out of nowhere, a tremendous brass section erupts suddenly, with trumpets shrilling, trombones blaring, and tubas booming in an orgy of Spectorian sound. It is quite gratuitous, a musical climax which does not arise from the music or lyrics in themselves but is imposed from without. Over and over again the orchestra is used not to augment or support what is going on in the song, but to force excitement or drama which the songs are too weak to provide themselves. This happens in Hicks' guitar work, too; his solos are in the hyperdramatic south-of-the-border style of Marty Robbins' "El Paso" when they are not completely unrelated to the songs, except by being in the same key.

On the other hand, when the song is strong and has internal dynamics the orchestra can be quite effective, as on "Man Without a Heart." This is a driving, intense song powered by Allan Clarke's equally intense singing and here the orchestra reinforces what he's already doing with his voice. It's one of the best things on the album.

Fortunately, the Hollies' singing has not deteriorated in the least. It is as clean, sharp, and harmonious as ever, and as energetic–much more so than the songs. Once more the vocals triumph over the most banal material. The margin of safety has narrowed, however, making this one of the Hollies' weakest albums. The moving finger writes, and having written, moves on. Where to next? Tune in six months and find out

MELISSA MILLS

(Posted: Apr, 1 1971)
PostPosted:Thu Apr 27, 2006 16:21 pm
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Lou Post subject:
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my little ol' take.
Apparently ,there is no accounting for (good)taste.

I don't want to get in trouble here so I'm letting you
all know this is half sarcasm and half how I really feel.

In America, it seems it helps to be a a near death dope addict,
a wobbling drunkard or embroiled in some sort of triple nasty scandal.

If only the Hollies could have been caught say, urinating in public,
the USA would put them on a pedestal.
It's not too late you know. Razz

If The Hollies as a band could have accomplished ANY of the above,
Rolling Stone would have been able to see what great artists
they are.

RS obviously can't hear diddly squat. Rolling Eyes

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PostPosted:Wed May 02, 2007 6:42 am
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brandy Post subject:
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Joined: 16 Jan 2004
Posts: 190
Location: Des Moines, Iowa USA

Lou,

I think what you are getting at was stated very well by Lillian Roxon in 1969's Encyclopedia of Rock (widely considered the first important guide to rock music and musicians). Her entry on the Hollies:

"The Hollies' big tragedy in America right from the start was a lack of image. They didn't come on as meanies, or cuties, or groovies, or heavies. They didn't go in for gimmickry and stunts. They just sang well, and as everyone knows that's not always enough for the sort of giant promotion needed to establish an English group in the United States. In England (and Europe) it was another story: fifteen consecutive hits in the top ten some of which eventually seeped through to the US charts. But they were never (until 1966 and 'Bus Stop') the big hit group in the States that they were in England. Rather, their clean, witty rock sound won them a kind of inside fame which quickly got them labelled 'the group's group'. Their first tour with Herman's Hermits got them a useful backwash of Herman's fans who have stuck with them ever since. In contrast with the style of their earlier hits ('Hollies Greatest Hits, 1967') the Hollies, who write a lot of their own material, now lean toward the softer, gentler sound of 'Butterfly' with eight orchestrated tracks. In 1968, singer and guitarist Nash left to join Crosby and Stills in the group Crosby, Stills & Nash."

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PostPosted:Tue May 08, 2007 13:44 pm
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Lou Post subject:
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Though admittedly I have never seen that particular book,
I have to say ,there is something to that article.

Nice post Brandy, very timely. Cool

I am(we are) happy to accept The Hollies just as they are.
No scandals, no overdoses, no drama, no nuthin' .
Just good as good can be. Mr. Green

No half baked attempt at a record review by someone
who clearly doesn't get it can ever dim their light. Rolling Eyes
( and I have a `moving finger' for such reviewers
guess which one Twisted Evil )

Maybe the problem with The Hollies is they're just too good. Wink

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PostPosted:Fri May 11, 2007 13:38 pm
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Carrie Eloise Post subject:



Joined: 10 Jun 2006
Posts: 17

I don't know why the press had such a time with the group. True, the Hollies didn't do anything stupid and that's why the US was a doomed market for 'em. By the time MOVING FINGER came out, the post-woodstock "naked hippie" thing was (almost) on the way out. Also, the blue-jeaned, long hair singer-songwriter guys haden't yet evolved in to big sales. So the Hollies were stuck with one of their best albums that nobody heard in the US. I guess the sentiment of "Love The One You're With" was more meaningful than "Too Young To Be Married." rolling stone magazine isn't good enough to line a bird cage. Wasn't then - isn't now.
PostPosted:Fri Jun 22, 2007 17:42 pm
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