The Hollies – He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother

More of The Hollies

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  • Two excellent A++ sides, some of the best Hollies sound we’ve heard
  • Richer and smoother than most of the copies we’ve played
  • Surprising immediacy and bottom end weight on both sides
  • Engineered by Alan Parsons, but most copies don’t deliver

EXCELLENT SOUND for both sides of this classic Hollies album. We collected these for a long time in hopes of finding a copy that could really deliver, and this one certainly fits the bill! Most people are probably most interested in the title track — and I’m pleased to report it sounds wonderful here — but this album is actually quite solid with a number of good songs. The immediacy and bottom end weight on both sides surprised us and really helped the music come to life.

Many copies we played were too dry and grainy to enjoy. This one is richer and smoother, with only a touch of the grit that we heard on copy after copy. The presence is superb and there’s tons of energy. The overall sound is clean, clear and open with good separation between the instruments. Allan Clarke’s vocals sound natural and full, without the pinched quality we heard on many pressings. We gave both sides A++ grades, it will be very tough to find a copy that performs any better from start to finish.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Why Didn’t You Believe
Don’t Give Up Easily
Look at Life
Please Sign Your Letters
My Life Is Over With You
Please Let Me Please

Side Two

Do You Believe in Love?
He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother
You Love ‘Cos You Like It
Reflections of a Time Long Past
Goodbye Tomorrow

AMG  Review

After delving into more “serious” music with the Dylan album, the Hollies return to their pop roots with this fine effort. All 11 selections are self-penned, and as usual, there is inconsistency in the quality of songwriting. However, even the most inconsequential tunes boast a good melody and solid musicianship. Three songs stand out: “Why Didn’t You Believe” is contemporary white gospel at its best, with an intensity that befits the subject matter (though lyrics could have stood improvement); “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” became one of their biggest hits, with Allan Clarke giving a heartfelt reading of the lyrics; and “My Life Is Over With You” is one Hollies song where music, lyrics and arrangement all fit together nearly perfectly. The orchestration is tasteful and restrained, Bobby Elliott’s drumming is particularly strong, and lyrically there is a depth that is fitting and welcome.

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