In the United States, the Hollies don't always get their due as one of the truly great acts of the British Invasion era, but while the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Kinks may have more hip cache, few bands consistently made better or more memorable singles, and this compilation proves the point with ease. Boasting 25 great tunes, On a Carousel, 1963-1974: The Ultimate Hollies features every song that the Hollies landed in the Top 20 in the United States and the United Kingdom, and the result is 78 minutes of pure pop bliss. The Hollies could rock the house when they were of a mind, as the cracking covers of "Stay" and "Just One Look" that open the set confirm, but it was when the group began following a more polished sound and Allan Clarke, Graham Nash and Tony Hicks locked their trademark harmonies into place that they established their identity as more than just another beat group. "Look Through Any Window," "Bus Stop," "On a Carousel," "Carrie Anne," "Stop Stop Stop," "Jennifer Eccles" -- pop record making doesn't get much better than this, and crammed together on one disc this group's run of hits is a remarkable thing to witness. And while many like to give the post-Nash era of the group short shrift, in context, the latter period Hollies hits still sound impressive, proving Nash wasn't the only man of talent in this act. Warren Barnett's remastering sounds splendid, retaining the punchy original mono mixes on most of the tracks, and Ian McFarlane's liner notes do a fine job of tracing the group's history through these 11 years. On a Carousel 1963-1974 is as good a single-disc Hollies collection as you're ever likely to find, collecting the biggest hits and best moments from their golden era, and while some fans might want more, this is a superb place to introduce yourself to a truly wonderful group.
AllMusic Review by Mark Deming