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Hollies, The - 1973 Out On The Road



ARTIST: The Hollies
ALBUM: Out On The Road
LABEL: Hansa (Germany)
SERIAL: 87119IT
YEAR: 1973

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Mikael Rickfors - lead vocals * Terry Sylvester - guitar, vocals * Tony Hicks - guitar, vocals * Bernie Calvert - bass * Bobby Elliot - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Out On The Road * 02 A Better Place * 03 They Don't Realize I'm Down * 04 The Last Wind * 05 Mr Heartbreaker * 06 I Was Born A Man * 07 Slow Down Go Down * 08 Don't Leave The Child Alone * 09 Nearer To You * 10 Pick Up The Pieces * 11 Trans Atlantic West Bound Jet

WEBLINKS: www.hollies.co.uk


Background
One of the harder to find albums in The Hollies labyrinth-like discography, 'Out On The Road' was the second and last record to feature Swedish vocalist Mikael Rickfors. Following the critically acclaimed Alan Parsons produced 'Romany' and striking while the iron was hot, the group quickly went back in the studio with Rickfors, although the relationship was cut short with the return of Allan Clarke who found out the hard way that the time wasn't quite right for a solo career. With the tapes in the can, perhaps it was the label's lack of confidence in the final product or focusing on the return of Clarke, but for some strange reason 'Out On The Road' was only released in Germany and Spain and ironically many of the songs released on the record, all Hollies originals, would be re-recorded for the groups follow-up album with Clarke - 'The Hollies', released in 1974.


The Songs
Like the brilliant 'Romany', the first notable difference in The Hollies sound is Rickfors deep vocal style, the polar opposite of Clarke's infamous tenor although this is a solid performance. The only downside, if there is one is the production isn't up to the same level as 'Romany', but let's face it - Alan Parsons was a tough act to follow. The trademark harmonies are still here, but the sound is a little more 'American' and I am reminded of The Eagles and late period Byrds as a point of reference. Highlights include 'A Better Place' and 'They Don't Realize I'm Down' although the CSN&Y influenced 'The Last Wind' is simply beautiful and in my opinion is the best cut on the album with the single 'Trans-Atlantic West Bound Jet' following close behind.


In Summary
Despite what some fans will tell you, The Hollies experiment with Michael Rickfors was a success in my opinion. Both albums left no doubt how talented these guys were with or without Clarke and this release in particular deserved a wider audience. Rickfors didn't rest on his laurels after The Hollies, releasing several good solo albums worth looking out for and both 'Romany' and 'Out on the Road' are currently in print, waiting for your credit card.


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