The Hollies

Bus Stop

Composed by Graham Gouldman

Song Review by

"Bus Stop" is probably the Hollies' best-known and most fondly remembered hit of the 1960s, reaching number five in 1966. Though well-suited to their style, the song is actually the work of Graham Gouldman, one of the most talented British pop/rock composers of the 1960s, who was penning hits for the Yardbirds ("For Your Love," "Heart Full of Soul") and others at the same time. Like virtually all of Gouldman's early hits, "Bus Stop" contains about the most adept use of minor melodies and pleasing, unexpected chord changes in all of mid-'60s British pop, with the exception of the Beatles and the Zombies. The arrangement starts with a delicately plucked, almost Greek-flavored guitar riff before going into a rather melancholy verse that complements the rainy days described by the lyrics well. "Bus Stop" is proof that a pop/rock song didn't have to be about a burning social issue or interior poetic angst to have a great lyric, weaving a basic but compelling story of love blooming at a bus stop when the boy offers to shield the girl with his umbrella. The first few times through, anyway, it has fresh and unexpected twists. What made the song hold up for enough plays to get it onto AM radio rotation, though, was its great brooding melody: The brief burst of Bobby Elliott drums that acted as the signal to change tempos for the bridge and the bridge, whose buoyant, expansive optimism contrasted nicely with the more subdued verses. There were fine vocal harmonies throughout, and also a well-executed and again faintly Greek guitar solo in the middle of the tune, reprised briefly to good effect on the fadeout.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
The Hollies [Third Album] 1965 Disky
For Certain Because... 1966 Magic 2:54
No Image 1969 Imperial Records (Japan)
The Hollies' Greatest Hits 1973 Epic/Legacy 2:55
No Image 1975 EMI/EMSP
No Image 1975
Live Hits 1977 Legacy / Sony Music Distribution 3:18
The Best of the Hollies [Capitol] 1978 Capitol/EMI Records / Capitol
20 Golden Greats 1978 EMI Digital / Parlophone 2:54
The Best of the Hollies, Vol. 1 1985 EMI Music Distribution 2:54
No Image 1986
Various Artists
Warner Bros.
The British Invasion: History of British Rock, Vol. 3 1988
Various Artists
Rhino
British Invasion: The History of British Rock 1988
Various Artists
Rhino
20 Years 198? Polydor 3:05
All Time Greatest Hits 1990 Curb 2:58
Classic Rock: 1966 - Blowin' Your Mind 1990
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:55
No Image 1991
Various Artists
Rhino
The Best of British Rock [EMI-Capitol Special Markets] 1992
Various Artists
EMI-Capitol Special Markets
No Image 1993 Pair
Air That I Breathe: The Very Best of EMI Classics 1993 EMI Digital / Parlophone 2:54
Rock Is Dead But It Won't Lie Down: 24 Greatest Hits of All Time, Vol. 2 1993
Various Artists
Alliance 2:54
British Rock [Original Sound] 1995
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 2:57
The Midas Touch 1995 Collectables 2:57
No Image 1995 Planet
Love Songs 1996 Parlophone 2:54
French '60s EP Collection, Vol. 1 1996 Magic
Very Best of the Hollies [1997] 1997 EMI Music Distribution 2:55
No Image 1997 EMI / Parlophone 2:54
Collection 1997 EMI 12:11
Archive Alive! 1997 Connoisseur 3:00
The Ultimate Jukebox Hits of the '60s, Vol. 2 1997
Various Artists
Collectables 2:56
60's Beat [Crimson] 1998
Various Artists
Crimson Productions
Love Rocks, Vol. 1: In Love with Love 1998
Various Artists
Simitar Distribution 2:56
Classic 60's: The Beat Goes On 1998
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:55
Paradigm Associated Labels 1998
Various Artists
Paradigm Records 3:03
Essential Collection 1999 EMI Music Distribution / Parlophone 2:54
Rock -N- Roll's Greatest Hits of All Time, Vol. 5 1999
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 2:54
40 Hits: 1965-1969 1999
Various Artists
Millennium Hits (Netherlands) 2:56
Millennium Box Set 1999
Various Artists
Disky 2:53
Classic '60s [Time Life] 1999
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:55
No Image 1999
Various Artists
Disky
The Hollies [Platinum Disc] 2000 Platinum Disc 2:55
Positively 60's 2000
Various Artists
Capitol 2:56
Air That I Breathe [Disky] 2000 Phantom Import Distribution
Oldies But Goldies [EMI Japan] 2000
Various Artists
Capitol / EMI
Best of the 60's 2000 Disky
Casey Kasem: America's Top 10 Through the Years 2000
Various Artists
Top Sail Productions 2:54
Original Gold [2 Disc] 2000 Disky
No Image 2000
Various Artists
Disky 2:57
Casey Kasem: America's Top 10 Through Years - The 60's 2001
Various Artists
Top Sail Productions 2:54
Non-Stop 60's Party 2001
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:41
Entertainment Weekly: The Greatest Hits 1966 2001
Various Artists
Buddha Records 2:57
Complete Collection 2001
Various Artists
Disky 2:54
Sounds of the Sixties: 1966 2001
Various Artists
Time/Life Music
Classic Masters 2002 Capitol/EMI Records / Capitol 2:54
Jukebox Hits of the '60s [Collectalbes] 2002
Various Artists
Collectables 2:56
40 Years of Jukebox Hits: The 50's, 60's, 70's & 80's 2002
Various Artists
Collectables 2:56
The British Are Coming, Vol. 2 2002
Various Artists
Sanctuary 2:54
Up the Junction: 60 Original 1960's British Classics 2002
Various Artists
Disky 2:53
No Image 2002 Magic
Hits of the 60's [EMI 3 CD] 2002
Various Artists
EMI 2:54
Up the Junction [CD3] 2002
Various Artists
Disky 2:53
60's the Decade of Love & Music 2003
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 2:54
Ultimate British Invasion Collection 2003
Various Artists
Magada International / WEA International 2:56
Best of the Hollies [Collectables] 2003 Collectables 2:54
Greatest Hits 2003 EMI Digital / Parlophone 2:55
The British Are Coming 2003
Various Artists
Sanctuary 4:44
The Long Road Home: 1963-2003 2003 EMI-Capitol Entertainment Prop. / EMI Music Distribution 3:27
Rock On 1966 2004
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:55
British Invasion: 1963-1967 2004
Various Artists
Hip-O 2:54
Basic Original Hits 2004 Disky 2:53
British Invasion: The Essential Album 2004
Various Artists
Fuel 2000 2:57
Capitol Gold Legends, Vol. 3 2004
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:53
Reunion 2004 Fuel 2000 3:29
Great Men of Rock and Roll 2004
Various Artists
Collectables 2:54
Best Hits in Japan: Best of 60's 2005
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
Great Men of Rock & Roll: The 60s 2005
Various Artists
Collectables 2:56
The Ultra Selection 2005 Disky / Disky Communications 2:57
Cool Britannia [Disky] 2005
Various Artists
Disky
Greatest Hits...Live! 2005 Fuel 2000 3:29
Ultimate Hits of the 60's 2005
Various Artists
Disky
The Best of British Rock [Fuel 2000] 2005
Various Artists
Fuel 2000 2:57
Hits of the 60's [Dynamic] 2005
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
Complete Sixties 2005
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:54
Best of the Hollies Live 2006 St. Clair 3:13
Greatest Hits of the 60's 2006
Various Artists
Disky 2:54
Gold: British Invasion 2006
Various Artists
Chron Reissues / Hip-O 2:55
1963-1979 2006 Magic France
On a Carousel, 1963-1974: The Ultimate Hollies 2006 Raven 2:54
Fab! The Best of the British Invasion [3CD] 2006
Various Artists
Somerset Entertainment 2:56
Dutch Collection 2007 EMI Music Distribution
Finest 2007 Parlophone 2:55
The British Beat: Best of the '60s 2007
Various Artists
Shout! Factory/TJL 2:55
Platinum [Capitol] 2007 Capitol/EMI Records 2:55
Sugar, Sugar: 60s Pop 2007
Various Artists
Sony BMG 2:55
Where Were You: 1966 2008
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:53
101 Summer Songs 2008
Various Artists
EMI / Virgin 2:53
No Image 2008 EMI Music Distribution 2:55
Legendary Decades 2008
Various Artists
Disky 2:53
No Image 2009
Various Artists
Commercial Canada 2:55
Original Hits: 60s Pop 2010
Various Artists
EMI / EMI Music Distribution 2:56
Bus Stop/Stop! Stop! Stop! 2011 Beat Goes On 2:59
6 X 6: Sixties: 120 Original Recordings 2011
Various Artists
Parlophone 2:54
The Clarke, Hicks & Nash Years: The Complete Hollies (April 1963-October 1968) 2011 Parlophone 2:55
BBC Radio 2's Pick of the Pops 2011
Various Artists
Sony Music 2:55
Look Through Any Window 1963-1975 2011 Eagle Rock
The Very Best of the Hollies 2012 Music Club Deluxe 2:55
10 Great Songs 2012 Parlophone
Radio Fun 2012 Parlophone 2:58
'60s Music Revolution 2012
Various Artists
Time / Time/Life Music 2:54
A Groovy Kind of Love 2013
Various Artists
Sony Music 2:55
50 at Fifty 2014 Parlophone / Rhino 2:55
Beach Party RTL Georges Lang 2015
Various Artists
WEA 2:55
The Best Ever Sixties 2015
Various Artists
Rhino / Warner Music 2:54
'60s Music Revolution: Different Drum
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:54
'60s: The Collection
Various Artists
Rhino / Warner Music 2:54
100 Essential Tracks: Summer
Various Artists
Sony Music
100% Rolling Stone
Various Artists
Frequency Records
No Image Parlophone 2:54
20 Golden Greats/The Hollies Sing Dylan EMI / EMI Gold
28 A's and B's EMI Music Distribution / Parlophone 2:55
60 Hits of the 60's
Various Artists
Rhino
Classic '60s Pop
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 3:02
Dreamboats & Miniskirts: Young and in Love
Various Artists
Universal Music TV 2:53
No Image Parlophone 2:54
No Image BC Records
Midas Touch: Very Best of the Hollies Parlophone 2:55
Sounds of the Sixties: The Hits
Various Artists
EMI Gold 2:58
No Image
Various Artists
Life Music / Time / Time Life / Time/Life Music 2:52
No Image
Various Artists
Time/Life Music
Ultimate '60s Pop Classics
Various Artists
Rhino
blue highlight denotes editor's pick