Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Hollies: Tell Me To My Face

Every once in a while I’ll use the Saturday Bubbling Under category to feature a song that was never released as a single and did not receive any or much airplay. Today’s tune takes us back to late 1966 to release of the fifth North American album by The Hollies. Known as “For Certain Because . . .” elsewhere, the album was rebranded as “Stop! Stop! Stop!” for the Imperial release in the US and the Canadian Capitol version.

The album produced two single hits, “Stop! Stop! Stop!” and “Pay You Back with Interest”; neither of which are the subject of today’s post. “Tell Me to my Face,” a little known cut featuring Graham Nash on lead vocals, has the distinction of being today’s selection. I became familiar with this cut due to a later cover of the song by Dan Fogelberg and Tim Weisberg from the album “Twin Sons of Different Mothers.”

Hearing Fogelberg and Weisberg’s version in 1978 prompted me to seek out the original as I was not aware of the cut. The song also had been recorded by Keith in 1967 and was a minor US hit, but I don’t remember his version at all. Keith’s cover is interesting, but I believe the original is the best of the three releases.

“Tell Me to My Face” was co-written by Allan Clarke, Tony Hicks, and Graham Nash. The production is sparse, which leads to its overall charm. The tune features Tony Hicks on what I believe is a Vox Mando-guitar. The pitch is right and it has double course strings, but I cannot find anything to verify my suspicions.  

The All Music Guide to Rock considers “Tell Me to my Face,” as “one of the best ‘60s album tracks.” I would agree.

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