The Hollies

I'm Alive

Composed by Clint Ballard, Jr.

Song Review by

Though "I'm Alive" was a number one hit for the Hollies in Britain in 1965, it missed the American charts completely, unless you count a peak position of number 104 as a small hit. As such, on the west side of the Atlantic it counts as one of the most unjustly unknown British Invasion classics, one that would have fully merited being a large smash in the U.S. as well. Written by Clint Ballard Jr., the American songwriter also known for penning "You're No Good" and "The Game of Love," it starts off with a great Bobby Elliott drum roll and infectious harmonized scats (listen to those and you can even hear a faint echo of what Graham Nash would sing as part of Crosby, Stills & Nash on songs like "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes"). A confident verse is garnished by subtle flourishes of reverbed chords before giving way to an extended chorus. The excitement slowly builds as lead singer Allan Clarke's mounting pleasure about his senses being opened up by his new romance is complemented by thrilling block harmonies from the band, resolving on some ensemble vocals before a dramatic chord change brings them into an all-out repetition of the title. A brief twitter of guitar notes brings the group back into the second verse, and a nice, if brief, guitar solo (backed by more flecks of reverbed chords) serves as the instrumental break. Then it's time for another go-round the chorus, ending unpredictably on an arresting, previously unheard ascending chorus change, which breaks into double-time before all the instruments drop out to let the group polish the track off with a last burst of a cappella harmony. "I'm Alive" is a blockbuster of a British Invasion song, as catchy and compelling as many of the early Beatles' recordings, and thus can be wholeheartedly recommended to Beatles fans looking for something they might not have heard before.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
No Image 1964 Parlophone
The Hollies [Third Album] 1965 Toshiba 2:28
Hear! Here! 1965 Imperial Records (Japan) / Sundazed
No Image 1969 Imperial Records (Japan)
No Image 1975 EMI/EMSP
No Image 1975
No Image 1977 Teevee Records
No Image 1978 EMI Music Distribution
20 Golden Greats 1978 EMI Digital / Parlophone 2:25
The Best of the Hollies, Vol. 1 1985 EMI Music Distribution 2:23
The EP Collection 1987 See For Miles Records 2:26
The British Invasion: History of British Rock, Vol. 2 1988
Various Artists
Rhino
British Invasion: The History of British Rock 1988
Various Artists
Rhino
No Image 1991
Various Artists
Rhino
No Image 1992 EMI Music Distribution
Air That I Breathe: The Very Best of EMI Classics 1993 EMI Digital / Parlophone 2:25
Sounds of the Sixties: 20 Swinging Hits 1993
Various Artists
Telstar
Cappuccino Classics, Vol. 1: Yeh Yeh 1995
Various Artists
Temple 2:28
No Image 1995 Planet
Love Songs 1996 Parlophone 2:25
French '60s EP Collection, Vol. 1 1996 Magic
No Image 1997 EMI / Parlophone 2:25
Collection 1997 EMI / EMI Music Distribution 12:11
Totally 60's 1997
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
Special Collection 1997 Parlophone 2:25
Essential Collection 1999 EMI Music Distribution / Parlophone 2:25
No Image 1999
Various Artists
Disky
Best of the 60's 2000 Disky
At Abbey Road 1963-1966/At Abbey Road 1966-1970/At Abbey Road 1973-1989 2000 EMI Music Distribution 2:26
No Image 2000
Various Artists
Disky 2:25
Beat Boom 2001
Various Artists
Disky / Disky Communications 2:25
Totally Number 1 Hits of the 60s 2001
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:26
No Image 2001
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
Complete Collection 2001
Various Artists
Disky 2:25
Radio Caroline Calling 60's Flashback 2001
Various Artists
Disky
Up the Junction: 60 Original 1960's British Classics 2002
Various Artists
Disky 2:26
Totally 60's: The Essential 60's Beat Album 2002
Various Artists
EMI 2:26
Up the Junction [CD1] 2002
Various Artists
Disky 2:26
Greatest Hits 2003 EMI Digital / Parlophone 2:27
Sixties Number 1's 2003
Various Artists
EMI
A's, B's & EP's 2004 EMI Digital / Parlophone 2:26
20 Great Love Songs 2004 Disky
Everyone's a Winner: 60 Original No. 1's 2004
Various Artists
Empire Triples 2:26
Everyone's A Winner: 20 Original No. 1's [CD1] 2004
Various Artists
Disky 2:26
The Ultra Selection 2005 Disky / Disky Communications 2:25
Ultimate Hits of the 60's 2005
Various Artists
Disky
Totally #1 of the 60's 2005
Various Artists
Disky 2:26
I Love Music 1965-1969: Good Vibrations 2005
Various Artists
Disky 2:25
Original 60's Number 1's Album 2006
Various Artists
EMI 2:25
Greatest Hits of the 60's 2006
Various Artists
Disky 2:25
1963-1979 2006 Magic France
On a Carousel, 1963-1974: The Ultimate Hollies 2006 Raven 2:26
Dutch Collection 2007 EMI Music Distribution
Finest 2007 Parlophone 2:27
Cavern: The Most Famous Club in the World 2007
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:26
The Original 60's Box Set 2007
Various Artists
EMI 2:25
Top Of The Pops 1965 2007
Various Artists
BBC Music / EMI 2:25
Top of the Pops Collection [43 CD] 2008
Various Artists
EMI
This Is 1965 2008
Various Artists
EMD Int'l 2:27
The Boat That Rocked [Movie Soundtrack] 2009
Original Soundtrack
Mercury 2:25
Good Morning England 2009
Original Soundtrack
Mercury 2:25
Pirate Radio Motion Picture Soundtrack 2009
Original Soundtrack
Universal Distribution / Universal Republic / Republic 2:25
Original Hits: Number 1's 2009
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:25
6 X 6: Sixties: 120 Original Recordings 2011
Various Artists
Parlophone 2:25
The  Clarke, Hicks & Nash Years: The Complete Hollies (April 1963-October 1968) 2011 Parlophone 2:27
60's Summer Party 2011
Various Artists
EMI Gold 2:24
Good Vibrations [EMI] 2011
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:25
Look Through Any Window 1963-1975 2011 Eagle Rock
Massive Hits! Sixties 2011
Various Artists
EMI / EMI Gold 2:25
The Very Best of the Hollies 2012 Music Club Deluxe 2:26
Radio Fun 2012 Parlophone 2:19
100 Hits: UK No. 1s 2012
Various Artists
100 Hits 2:27
100 Hits: Swinging 60s 2012
Various Artists
100 Hits 2:26
Greatest Ever! Sixties Pop 2013
Various Artists
Greatest Ever 2:26
50 at Fifty 2014 Parlophone / Rhino 2:27
10 Greatest Hits EMI Music Distribution / Parlophone 2:27
No Image
Various Artists
No Image Parlophone 2:25
20 Golden Greats/The Hollies Sing Dylan EMI / EMI Gold
28 A's and B's EMI Music Distribution / Parlophone 2:27
A Time to Remember: 1965
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:30
Classic '60s [Spectrum]
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 2:26
Dreamboats & Miniskirts: Summer in the City
Various Artists
Universal Music TV 2:25
No Image Parlophone 2:25
Massive Hits!: Number 1s
Various Artists
EMI 2:25
Midas Touch: Very Best of the Hollies Parlophone 2:25
Pirate Radio
Various Artists
Island/Def Jam / Universal 2:24
Sounds of the Sixties: Number Ones
Various Artists
EMI Gold / EMI Music Distribution 2:26
Top of the Pops: 60's Number Ones
Various Artists
EMI Gold 2:25
blue highlight denotes editor's pick