From page 81 of Classic Rock Magazine June 2011
The Clarke, Hicks & Nash Years EMI
Golden years of the Mancunian Beatles.
With a name partially inspired by a love of Buddy Holly, an ear for a good cover and, in the titular trio, more than their fair share of quality songwriters, it’s easy to see how this undervalued quintet racked up a staggering 17 consecutive Top 20 hits in their mid-60s pomp.
All the hits are included on this exhaustive 158-track, six-CD compilation, charting their passage from gritty R&B Lotharios ( Little Lover ) to jangling Beat poets ( Very Last Day ) and eventually brown-bread psychedelics (the brilliant King Midas In Reverse ). While completists will appreciate previously unreleased renditions of Look Through Any Window and Carrie Anne (taken from a 1968 show at Lewisham Odeon), it’s the production line quality throughout that impresses – barring, that is, sickly paisleypop of Ye Olde Toffee Shoppe . But hey, it was 1967.
Listening to their relentlessly tuneful ouevre, crammed with syrupy harmonies, smart lyrics and inventive arrangements, you wonder how history would have treated them had there not been a certain other bunch of Northern moptops operating at the other end of the M62. nnnnnnnnnn Paul Moody