Stepping further back to 1960s Manchester now, let’s enjoy a love song that’s all about the weather. Manchester is famous for its frequent rain coming over from the Pennines, and this song romantically uses this context to tell a story about meeting and falling in love with a girl at a bus stop over a period of time, all on the excuse of sheltering under the same umbrella.
Penned by Salford-born and future 10cc member Graham Gouldman, who also wrote songs for The Yardbirds and Herman’s Hermits. Inspired by a bus journey and including some lines written by Goldman’s father. Featuring a beautiful melody and opening guitar riff, it also has distinctive three-part harmonies, particular in the chorus, and echoes that of And Your Bird Can Sing from The Beatles album Revolver, though in fact this Hollies hit, also recorded at Abbey Road, came out a few months earlier.
The Hollies were very much the Beatles of Manchester in this period, but began as a duo formed by Salford lads Allan Clarke and Graham Nash in the late 1950s, who were soon seen as Britain’s answer to the Everly Brothers. After a series of new band members, including guitarist Derek Quinn who then left to join Manchester’s Freddie and the Dreamers, the band became The Deltas and eventually the Hollies (as a tribute to Buddy Holly), gaining success with their distinctive sound of close harmony singing. Nash later left to form Crosby, Stills and Nash (and also Neil Young). The band have continued for decades with various personnel.
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