Thursday’s Top Tune Throwback: The Hollies “The Air That I Breathe”

This week, we’re turning the dial back to 1974 to a song made famous by The Hollies and pre-recorded by Phil Everly.

The Hollies enjoyed a successful decade in the ’60s like few others. For 231 weeks, the English pop/rock group (featuring a three-part harmony style) stayed in the charts with various UK top hits.

Who were The Hollies? Named after Buddy Holly (and Christmas, due to a December show), the band could be found performing at the famous Cavern Club in January 1963. Formed by Allan Clarke and Graham Nash in Manchester in 1962, the band’s 1964 roster also included Eric Haydock, Tony Hicks and drummer Buddy Elliott. Nash departed The Hollies in 1968 to form the trio Crosby, Stills and Nash.

All in all, The Hollies placed 22 singles into Billboard’s Hot 100, including this week’s featured tune. Their U.S. success was propelled by “Bus Stop” in 1966. Other hits The Hollies enjoyed included a cover of Doris Troy’s “Just One Look”; “Look Through Any Window”; “On A Carousel”; “Carrie Anne”; and the classic, “Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress.” In more than five decades, the group recorded 60 singles and had 26 albums charted!

Returning to this week’s feature tune, songwriters Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood included “Air” in Hammond’s 1972 album, “It Never Rains in Southern California.” (Olivia Newton-John did a cover, too.) The love song contains the lyric, “So sleep, silent angel, go to sleep.” A classic with a unique sound is certainly worthy of more than “just one look.”

Steve VassalloSteve Vassallo is a contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. Currently, Steve is a highly successful leader in the real estate business who lives in Oxford with his wife Rosie. You can contact Steve at or call him at 985-852-7745.

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