Ranking the British beat groups from the 1960’s will always be a subjective task, but many people would accept that, after The Beatles and The Rolling Stones – inevitably rated as the top two – The Hollies would come third.
Formed by lead singer Allan Clarke and Graham Nash in Manchester in 1962, their distinctive three-part harmony, with lead guitarist Tony Hicks, formed the basis for a string of hits, many of which were only kept off top spot in the charts by the Beatles and the Stones.
They did reach the peak with I’m Alive in 1965 and the reissued He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother in 1988 and altogether they scored a massive 18 top 10 hits in the UK.
The group survived the departure of Graham Nash in 1968, when he moved to California and teamed up with Stephen Stills and David Crosby to form Crosby, Stills & Nash. Indeed The Hollies are still performing, albeit without Allan Clarke who retired in 2000.
In 2010 they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the inductees being Clarke, Nash, Hicks, ever-present drummer Bobby Elliot, original bassist Eric Haydock, his replacement Bernie Calvert and Nash’s replacement Terry Sylvester.
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