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The Hollies, Overlooked No More

So tonight one of the great but inexplicably overlooked British invasion bands, the Hollies, made their way into the Hall of Fame. Listen to this, and tell me why it didn’t happen sooner. Be amazed as your cynicism is washed away in a flood of tears — spewing from your eyes at right angles, perhaps — at the soaring harmonies very few other rock bands have ever matched:

The Hollies started with Graham Nash as a member, but he left to join…Hamilton, Joe Frank, and Reynolds? No, wait, wrong eponymous trio. Crosby, Stills, and…wait…

Anyway, the Hollies did just fine without him, thanks. That’s the great Allan Clarke doing lead vocals on “He Ain’t Heavy,” a song that only this kind of over-the-top performance can redeem. And they’ve inspired countless others, among whom the Posies — another crazily overlooked but still active band — bear the most striking resemblance. Listen to this:

And the Posies know it, too. Here they are performing an in-store acoustic version of a lesser-known Hollies hit, King Midas in Reverse. Of course, surviving as a band these days isn’t easy if you’re not world-famous. This in-depth NPR piece on the Posies that ran a few months ago showcases some of the problems. Bands like the Posies live from gig to gig, but the bright side is that, for fans, there’s always the gigs, and the music.

Congratulations, Hollies! I’m going to go listen to Bus Stop.

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