Friday, January 27, 2012
1974: Peace came upon me
Recovering at home yesterday after the excesses of Wednesday's National TV Awards, I was soothed by watching Look Through Any Window, a marvellous documentary about that criminally underrated and often overlooked close harmony group The Hollies.
I remember them always being a presence in my childhood as mum was a fan, but until I explored their back catalogue further as my interest in Sixties music soared as a student, I had hitherto thought of them as some tired of bunch of has-beens wheeld out for the odd guest spot on variety shows and with only a couple of hits to their name, including The Air That I Breathe, a No.2 smash in this year.
It was only on closer inspection that their oeuvre captitvated me: Just One Look, We're Through, I'm Alive, the tried but failed pop-psych of King Midas In Reverse, the wonderful Listen To Me, the groovy Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress and countless others. Graham Nash and Allan Clarke, along with guitarist Tony Hicks are one of the greatest teams ever put together on record.
So why did I find this song such a dirge in 1974? Could it be that as nine-year-old only the shiny new glam pop of Gary Glitter, The Sweet and Suzi Quatro caught my attention? Probably. The Hollies were for mums. Slade for the kids.
I'm older and wiser now, and I think this song is one of the most beautiful and complex ever made, despite Graham Nash having long departed.
Let's all sing it together.