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Hicks in 2017
|Birth name||Anthony Christopher Hicks|
|Born||16 December 1945|
|Origin||Nelson, Lancashire, England|
|Instruments||Guitar, banjo, electric sitar, mandolin, vocals|
|Associated acts||The Hollies|
Anthony Christopher Hicks (born 16 December 1945) is an English guitarist and singer who has been a member of the British rock/pop band the Hollies since 1963, and as such was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.
Hicks first had a taste of fame at age 12 as a member of Les Skifflettes when they were featured on the Carroll Levis talent show in 1957.By the early 1960s, he was a respected member of the Manchester music scene and had become the lead guitarist with Ricky Shaw and the Dolphins. When then local rivals the Hollies needed a replacement for their guitarist Vic Steele in February 1963, Hicks was approached to join the band. Although initially reluctant, he was finally convinced to join after listening to The Hollies through the air vent of the Twisted Wheel in Manchester. They had secured a test recording session with EMI's Parlophone label for staff producer Ron Richards, which Hicks duly attended as their new guitarist in April 1963 and which resulted in a recording contract with Parlophone.
The Hollies soon became one of the most successful bands in Britain; they had a distinctive, breezy pop style built around the three-part harmony of Hicks (lower harmony) and bandmates Allan Clarke (lead vocals) and Graham Nash (high harmony). Hicks contributed his first solo composition for the group ("When I'm Not There") to an EP release in 1964 and co-wrote a B-side ("Keep Off That Friend of Mine") with drummer Bobby Elliott that year. Hicks then joined Clarke and Nash as the group's in-house songwriting team, who from 1964 to mid-1966 wrote as "Chester Mann" and "L. Ransford" before adopting the Clarke-Hicks-Nash banner. By the mid-1960s the threesome had become responsible for writing most of their songs, including singles hits such as "Stop! Stop! Stop!", "On A Carousel", "Carrie Anne" and "King Midas in Reverse". Hicks rarely sang lead vocals on Hollies songs, but was featured on "Look Through Any Window" (1965), and sang verse leads on "Too Much Monkey Business" (1964), "Carrie Anne" (a song he began for the band in Stavanger, Norway in 1967) and "Open Up Your Eyes" (1968). Hicks took solo lead vocals on his song "Pegasus" (1967), the Clarke-Sylvester-penned "Look at Life" (1969), his "Born A Man" (1973), "Hillsborough" (1989) and Bobby Elliott's "Then, Now, Always (Dolphin Days)" (2009).
In 1966, with contributions from fellow Hollies Clarke and Nash, Hicks contributed guitar work alongside Yardbirds guitarist and session musician Jimmy Page to the Everly Brothers' album Two Yanks in England (which included cover versions of a number of Hollies songs co-written by Hicks).
In the 1960s, with Nash performing few guitar duties except for the occasional rhythm part and acoustic work, Hicks became an integral part of the Hollies sound. Apart from contributing distinctive lead-guitar parts, he could be relied on to add unusual instrumentation to their sessions—such as the banjo which was a key component of their hit "Stop! Stop! Stop!", Greek-type ("Tell Me to My Face") and fuzz guitar ("Have You Ever Loved Somebody"). When no original material was available, Hicks discovered demos of Hollies hits "Just One Look" (UK No. 2 in 1964), "I Can't Let Go" (UK No. 2 in 1966) and "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" (UK No. 3 in 1969) (which became one of their biggest hits).
Hicks suggested the band do an album of Bob Dylan songs in late 1968; Nash disagreed, one of the reasons for his exit from the band (although he had already sung with David Crosby and Stephen Stills in the US). The Hollies replaced Nash with Terry Sylvester and Hollies Sing Dylan (1969) was No. 3 in the UK Albums Chart, although it failed to chart in the US. This was one of the first "tribute albums" devoted to a single artist by a vocal group.
After Nash's December 1968 departure from the group Hicks began to write more solo songs, which were used as either B-sides or album tracks (such as "Cos You Like To Love Me" and "Don't Give Up Easily" in 1969 and "Dandelion Wine" in 1970). He wrote much of The Hollies' 1970 album Confessions of the Mind , including "Too Young To Be Married" (a No. 1 single in Australia and New Zealand).
Hicks also co-wrote songs with UK singer Kenny Lynch for The Hollies, such as "What A Life I've Led", "Look What We've Got", "Promised Land", the US hit single "Long Dark Road" (all 1971) and "Blue in the Morning" (1972) and "Faded Images", recorded by Cilla Black on her 1971 album Images. He co-wrote Hollies songs between 1974 and 1978 with Allan Clarke and Terry Sylvester. In 1974, Hicks produced the eponymous group album Taggett on EMI Records in the UK.
In 1990, Hicks co-wrote "Naomi" for The Hollies with his son Paul. In 1993 he added new guitar parts and harmony vocals (with Clarke and Nash) to an "alternate" version of "Peggy Sue Got Married" by Buddy Holly (credited to "Buddy Holly and The Hollies"), which led off the Not Fade Away tribute album to Holly by various artists.
The Hollies continued to have hits beyond the 1970s, including a UK chart hit with the medley "Holliedaze" in 1981, a US Top 30 hit cover of "Stop! In the Name of Love" in 1983, a UK No. 1 single in 1988 (a re-issue of "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother"), and in 1993 "The Woman I Love". The group still performs and records today; however, with the retirement of Allan Clarke in 1999, only Hicks and drummer Bobby Elliott remain from the band's 1960s heyday.
In 2010, The Hollies (who had already won an Ivor Novello Award in 1995 for outstanding contribution to British popular music and were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2006) were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Hicks and Elliott were absent from the induction ceremony because of UK touring commitments with the current Hollies band, but both were included as part of the award-winning line-up.
Tony Hicks is still an active member of The Hollies as they continue to do concerts mostly in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. He is currently the lead guitarist (and other various string instruments) and does vocals.
Hicks has been married to Jane Dawton since 1974.
Hicks' son, Paul, worked as an award-winning sound engineer at Abbey Road Studios, and assisted on mixes of several vintage Hollies recordings. Paul has also worked on projects by Pink Floyd, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison, as well as several of The Beatles remastering projects – notably the Anthology and Let It Be... Naked albums, and the mono versions of The Beatles back catalogue on Compact Disc. Paul, along with pal Dhani Harrison, is a member of the band thenewno2, whose music was featured in the 2013 movie, Beautiful Creatures .
The Hollies are a British rock group formed in 1962. One of the leading British groups of the 1960s and into the mid 1970s, they are known for their distinctive three-part vocal harmony style. Allan Clarke and Graham Nash founded the band as a Merseybeat-type music group in Manchester, although some of the band members came from towns further north in East Lancashire. Graham Nash left the group in 1968 to form Crosby, Stills & Nash.
Butterfly is the second studio album released by British band the Hollies in 1967, their seventh in England overall. It was also the last new Hollies album to feature Graham Nash until 1983's What Goes Around. This album, like its predecessors For Certain Because and Evolution, featured songs written solely by Allan Clarke, Graham Nash, and Tony Hicks. The album was a Nash-led project, and he featured as the lead vocalist more than on any prior album.
Harold Allan Clarke is an English pop rock singer, who was one of the founding members and the original lead singer of the Hollies. He achieved international hit singles with the group and is credited as co-writer on several of their best-known songs, including "On a Carousel", "Carrie Anne", "Jennifer Eccles" and "Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress". He retired from performing in 1999, but returned to the music industry in 2019. Clarke was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.
In The Hollies Style is the second album by the British rock band the Hollies and was released in November 1964 on Parlophone Records. It missed the official Record Retailer album chart in the United Kingdom, which at the time only had a total of 20 available spots. In Canada, it was released on Capitol in October 1965, with an altered track listing.
Evolution is the first of two albums released in 1967 by British pop rock band the Hollies. The album peaked at number 13 in the UK album chart.
For Certain Because is the fifth UK album by the Hollies and their second released in 1966. It was the first Hollies album in which all the songs were written by members Allan Clarke, Graham Nash, and Tony Hicks, and the first on which they did not use the songwriting pseudonym "L. Ransford". It was also the first Hollies album recorded with new bassist Bernie Calvert replacing Eric Haydock.
Stay with The Hollies is the debut album by the British rock band the Hollies and was released in January 1964 on Parlophone Records. In Canada, it was released on Capitol in July 1964, with a different track listing. In the US, Imperial Records issued the album under the title Here I Go Again in June 1964 to capitalize on the moderate success of the singles "Here I Go Again" and "Just One Look". It also features covers of well-known R&B songs, not unusual for Beat groups of the day.
Terence Sylvester is an English singer, songwriter and guitarist. He is a former member of the Escorts, the Swinging Blue Jeans (1966–69) and the Hollies. In the latter role, he took on the high parts formerly sung by Graham Nash, who had left the band in December 1968.
Distant Light is a 1971 album released by the Hollies, the last UK album by the band before brief departure of lead vocalist and founding member Allan Clarke, and reputably the first album to come out of AIR Studios. The album spawned two hit singles: the Allan Clarke penned "Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress", which peaked at number two in the US and number 31 in the UK; and the Tony Hicks penned "Long Dark Road", which reached number 26 in the US. The US version of the album peaked at number 21 in the album charts. The summer scene on the cover is rendered as a winter scene on the next Hollies album Romany.
The Hollies Greatest Hits is a compilation of singles by the Hollies, released on Epic Records in April 1973. It includes hit singles by the group on both the Epic and Imperial labels over a time span of 1965 to 1972. It spent seven weeks on the Billboard 200 charts, peaking at number 156.
Hollies Sing Hollies is the ninth studio album released in the UK by the Hollies. It was released in November 1969 by Parlophone. It was their second album that year, coming 6 months after an entire album of Bob Dylan covers. It was their first album of original compositions since the departure of Graham Nash. It was also the second album by the Hollies to feature Terry Sylvester and the first to feature his compositions, as well as an instrumental by bassist Bernie Calvert. The US version, titled "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother", included the hit single of the same name, while omitting the tracks "Soldier's Dilemma" and "Marigold: Gloria Swansong". The UK album did not chart, but its US version peaked at number 32.
Hollies Sing Dylan is a 1969 cover album featuring songs written by Bob Dylan and performed by The Hollies. It was also released in the US as Words and Music by Bob Dylan with a different cover but using the same band image and track order. First released on compact disc in West Germany in the late 1980s, it was not released in that format in the rest of Europe until 1993. For this issue, two bonus tracks, the single version of "Blowin' in the Wind" and a live version of "The Times They Are a-Changin'". A later remastered issue in 1999 added a third bonus track, a live version of "Blowin' in the Wind".
Write On is the first of two 1976 studio albums from English rock/pop band, the Hollies. This album, like the previous one, features mostly songs written by the group's songwriting team. The final track of the album is the only one not composed by them. This album was not issued in the US.
Five Three One - Double Seven O Four is the twentieth studio album by the English rock/pop group the Hollies. When rendered as digits, the album title is the band's name upside down in digital number view.
Here I Go Again is the title of the third EP by The Hollies. It was put out by Parlophone in mono with the catalogue number GEP 8915 and released in the UK in October 1964. All songs on this EP were previously released by the Hollies at the time. Side A consisted of covers of R&B songs, tracks from the band's debut album, Stay with the Hollies while the B-side contained both sides of the "Here I Go Again" single from May 1964.
"Stop Stop Stop" is a song by British pop group The Hollies that was written by group members Allan Clarke, Tony Hicks, and Graham Nash, and was a rewrite of an earlier song by the group. It was first released as a single and later appeared on the album For Certain Because in the United Kingdom.
Hollies' Greatest is the only number one album in the UK by British band the Hollies. It was released shortly before Graham Nash's departure from the Hollies and was intended to include all of their British hit singles with Nash, as well as filling in for the lack of an original LP by the group in 1968. Only 3 of the 14 songs on the album – "Stay", "I Can't Let Go" and "Stop! Stop! Stop!" had previously been released on U.K. albums.
Bus Stop is the fourth U.S. album by the British pop band the Hollies, released on Imperial Records in mono (LP-9330) and rechanneled stereo (LP-12330) in October 1966. It features songs ranging from both sides of the band's then-current hit single to material recorded in the Hollies' early days on the UK's Parlophone Records in 1963, 1964 and 1965. The song "Oriental Sadness" had previously been issued in the U.S. on the Hollies' album Beat Group! earlier in 1966.
Dear Eloise / King Midas in Reverse is the seventh U.S. studio album by the British pop band the Hollies, released in November 1967. "King Midas in Reverse" and "Leave Me" were slotted onto the album while deleting "Pegasus", "Try It", and "Elevated Observations" from the UK Butterfly track listing. It was the Hollies' last album to feature Graham Nash until 1983's What Goes Around, as well as the last to feature songs written solely by members Allan Clarke, Graham Nash, and Tony Hicks.