When The Beatles took the world by storm in the early ‘60s, it was the start of The British Invasion, a time when hundreds of bands in the U.K. dreamed of matching the Fab Four’s success. Many were one-hit wonders. Earnest as they were in their Eton collars, pudding bowl haircuts, skinny trousers, and ankle high boots, they didn’t have the talent, drive, or songs to make a lasting impression on the music scene.
One band that did endure was The Hollies. Formed by Allan Clarke and Graham Nash in 1963, the group went on to record classic hits like “Bus Stop,” “Carrie Ann,” “Long Cool Woman In a Black Dress,” and “Air That I Breathe,” and in 2010 were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The Hollies may not have had the charisma of The Beatles or The Rolling Stones, and their career might not have been as dramatic, but they were cute enough to get the girls screaming. Plus their songwriting prowess assured them a lifetime of royalties.
The DVD The Hollies: Look Through Any Window 1963 - 1975 is the first official documentary film covering the career of the band, and one that was issued with the Hollies full cooperation. Original group members Graham Nash, Allan Clarke, Tony Hicks and Bobby Elliott tell The Hollies story through interviews which are interspersed with concert footage and what passed for music videos way back when. The band’s story is interesting, and it’s nice to hear it told by the ones who lived it, but the real stars of this show are the historical footage and videos.
For example: “Dear Eloise” begins with Nash sitting on a dock, writing a letter to the woman in question. Suddenly we’re on the shore with the band as they play (no wires or amps for those guitars, fellas). It’s black and white, low budget, and very much a product of its time.
According to the press release, “every effort has been made to locate the best possible sound and video; each of the performances has been re-transferred and re-mastered from the best quality, original masters (some having rested in storage vaults for almost fifty years).”
As a bonus, these videos, of which there are twenty-two, can be watched exclusive from the interviews. They begin in 1964 with “Baby That’s All” from U.K. Swings Again, and finish in 1974 with a performance of “The Air That I Breathe” on The Russell Harty Show.This attention to detail along with the participation of those involved make Look Through Any Window a fascinating look not only at the career of The Hollies but also of the era in which they prospered.