THE HOLLIES - '(Ain't That) Just Like Me'/'Hey What's Wrong With Me' (Parlophone R 5030) May 1963
I couldn't highlight The Hollies beat singles from 1964 without mentioning their '63 releases as well. Prior to their first 45 in May 1963 they were talent spotted by a Parlophone assistant producer Ron Richards while appearing at The Cavern in Liverpool.
'(Ain't That) Just Like Me' and the flip 'Hey What's Wrong With Me' are decent beat tunes and quite frantic and less polished than you'd usually expect from The Hollies pop material. The lead guitar breaks on '(Ain't That) Just Like Me' are held back somewhat when they should have been let loose. The tune was an old Coasters song from a few years earlier.
'Hey What's Wrong With Me' is an Allan Clarke - Tony Hicks original. The single reached number #25 in the charts and obviously got the group some exposure.
THE HOLLIES - 'Searchin'/'Whole World Over' (Parlophone R 5052) August 1963
Next release saw The Hollies with a much more safer sound with a couple of beat songs that don't appeal that much to me. 'Searchin' is another Coasters tune that is boring but the flip 'Whole World Over' is much better and in my opinion should have been the top side. It was written by Graham Nash - Allan Clarke.
There's nothing much on this record to compete with The Beatles or The Searchers but it faired better in the charts than their debut 45, reaching number #12.
During this month, original drummer Don Rathbone quit the group and was replaced by Bobby Elliott.
THE HOLLIES - 'Stay'/'Now's The Time' (Parlophone R 5077) November 1963
'Stay', written by Maurice Williams became the first Hollies top ten hit, reaching number #8 and was included on their debut album released in January 1964. The song had been a big hit in USA for Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs in 1960, reaching the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100.
'Now's The Time' is an uptempo beat number penned by Graham Nash - Allan Clarke which was included on the film soundtrack of the 1963 movie "It's All Over Town" starring The Hollies in a sequence performing the song.
THE HOLLIES - 'Just One Look'/'Keep Off That Friend Of Mine' (Parlophone R 5104) February 1964
The Hollies first single of 1964 was the commercial beat number 'Just One Look' which is arguably the first single to have their trademark appeal of jangly beat pop with harmonies. The song had been a hit for Doris Troy in America.
The flip 'Keep Off That Girl Of Mine' is standard beat fare, written by Tony Hicks and new drummer Bobby Elliott. The Hollies had a huge hit in Britain with 'Just One Look', reaching number #2.
THE HOLLIES - 'Here I Go Again'/'Baby That's All ( Parlophone R 5137) May 1964
'Here I Go Again' is great Hollies beat with the song hitting the UK top 5, settling at number 4 in the charts. The song was co-written by Mort Shuman who wrote hits recorded by The Small Faces ('Sha La La La Lee') but is probably best remembered for the songs he wrote for Elvis ('Little Sister' and 'Viva Las Vegas') and in France for Johnny Hallyday.
'Baby That's All' is pleasant beat that could have been an A-Side in it's own right.
THE HOLLIES - 'We're Through'/Come On Back' (Parlophone R 5178) November 1964
For the first time both sides of a 45 were Hollies originals. 'We're Through' is back to uptempo tunes driven along with some inspired drumming from Bobby Elliott. The flip 'Come On Back' utilizes some harmonica and is great beat music. I feel that the lead guitar is held back somewhat though as this tune could have really taken off with a blistering solo.
In my opinion this was The Hollies best single of their 1963/64 period. It reached number #7 in the charts.