The Hollies — “To You My Love”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — May 24, 2022


461) The Hollies — “To You My Love”

Here is a wonderful Hollies original, a minor chord love song from their second album, an album that failed to chart in the UK and wasn’t even released in the U.S. in any form. Alan’s Album Archives calls “To You My Love” “a forgotten gem that’s already showing the path ahead to the [Hollies’] folk-rock to come”. (

Richie Unterberger says that:

Released only ten months after their debut album . . . their second album was a huge leap forward in every respect. Their famous airtight harmonies were now in place, and the sloppiness of the instrumental attack gone. Most important, the group developed enormously as songwriters. Eight of the 12 tracks were . . . originals and quite skillful in their mastery of the British Invasion essentials of driving, catchy melodies and shining harmonies. . . . The Hollies weren’t from Liverpool (though Manchester is fairly close), but this nonetheless ranks of one of the very best Merseybeat albums not released by the Beatles themselves. It doesn’t include any British or American hits, but [tracks such as] . . . “To You My Love[]” . . . will appeal to any British Invasion fan. Surprisingly, none of the tracks were ever released in the United States . . . .

Alan’s Album Archives takes a deep dive:

[T]he only points on this album where The Hollies use a minor chord for any length of time (a future Hollies trademark . . .) are on the two original ‘happy’ songs . . . giving . . . ‘To You My Love’ . . . a comparatively darker, more sinister edge than most rock and roll acts around in 1964. . . . [T]he band go[es] more or less ‘unplugged’ . . . and featuring Graham Nash’s first lead vocal . . . . The song’s a good one though, with a classic circling guitar motif from Tony Hicks that’s deeply memorable and adds just about enough fire to accompany what are unusually straightforward and love-lorn lyrics from Nash. Fans who know the ins and outs of the band well will know what a stormy relationship Nash had with first wife Rose Eccles . . . almost certainly the inspiration for this song . . . . [M]usically this is far from being as straight-forward as the lyrics. . . . [T]hroughout Nash seems to be going out of his way to hit as many ‘unresolved’ [notes] . . . as possible: just check out the uncomfortable held note on ‘sweet’ or the very end of the song, where Nash ends up growling ‘to yo-o-o-o-o-u my love’, which sounds more like a chord progression that would take place in a Hammer Horror film than a love song. . . . I think these little ideas give the song real depth: ‘To You My Love’ could easily have become twee and fluffy, but the listener instinctively knows something is wrong, even if they’re not quite sure why that is.

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