The original band consisted of Graham Nash (guitar/vocals), Allan Clarke (vocals), bassist Eric Haydock, guitarist Tony Hicks, and drummer Bobby Elliott. In the 1960s, the group excelled at providing a more mainline, pop rock alternative to the increasingly experimental sounds of The Beatles and the harder-edged, rhythm and blues-informed rock of The Rolling Stones. The Hollies were most successful with songs that featured their stunning vocal harmonies.
According to Richie Unterberger of All Music Guide, Graham Nash grew increasingly tired of the band's formulaic approach and inability to change its sound. By the end of 1968, Nash had left the band. He was replaced by Terry Sylvester. This marked the beginning of the end for the group, even though The Hollies went on to record their huge international hits He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother, Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress), and The Air That I Breathe in the early 1970s.