The Hollies

What Goes Around...

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What Goes Around... heralded the return of Graham Nash into the Hollies fold after a 15-year (1968-1983) sabbatical. Although the absence of bassist Bernie Calvert technically disqualifies this effort as a true reunion of the "classic" mid-'60s incarnation, the quartet assembled for this album and subsequent North American tour features the talents of Nash (vocals), Alan Clarke (vocals), Tony Hicks (vocals/guitars), and Bobby Elliott (drums). The combination of decent songwriting -- although there are no contributions from the band -- and their densely constructed trademark vocal blend makes this oft-overlooked assemblage worthy of revisitation. The seeds of this project were planted nearly 18 months before the album was released. The first incarnation of the band -- including original bassist Eric Haydock -- made an appearance on the legendary BBC pop music program Top of the Pops. This is also worthy of note as the same quintet had performed for the show's debut episode on New Year's Day 1964. So the timing could not have been more congruous as 1983 likewise marked the Hollies' 20th anniversary. The bandmembers provided no original material, relying instead on contributions from studio musicians and keyboardists Paul Bliss and Mike Batt, who not only provide over half of the songs, they also add significantly to the album's heavy synth sound. So pervasive are the keyboards that at times they actually drown out the vocals. Otherwise, the up-tempo light pop arrangements on the tracks "Casualty" and "If the Lights Go Out" work well. The sublime vocal arrangement and delivery on the ballad "Someone Else's Eyes" is arguably the strongest moment on the disc. Additionally, there are also a few interesting cover tracks on What Goes Around... "Stop! In the Name of Love" was released as the LP's single and indeed became a Top 40 hit. The band also updated their version of "Just One Look" -- which had been a Top Ten hit for the Hollies two decades prior.

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