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This contains one of the classic indecipherable lyrics in rock history. The part after "She was a long cool woman in a black dress" is "Just a 5' 9" beautiful tall."
The Distant Light album was out for a year before this song was released as a single. Before the single was released, lead singer Allan Clarke left the group, replaced by Swedish singer Michael Rickfors. After "Long Cool Woman" became a hit in the US, Clarke rethought his solo career and came back. The group released one album with Rickfors, which did not sell well.
On the charts, this was a rare miss in the UK, where the Hollies were from and where they had their greatest success. It was surprising, however, how well it did in the US.
This is the only Hollies single without any backing vocals. The reason why Clarke is the only singer on this record is that he didn't intended the song to be released on a Hollies album, but as a record of his own. When the band learned that he intended to do a solo recording, Clarke was issued an ultimatum - he could either remain with The Hollies or pursue a solo career, but not both. Clarke told Rolling Stone in 1973: "I think with me the band feared that if I got a hit I'd leave. How can you stop destiny? Now, if they originally agreed, I might not even have left. 'Long Cool Woman' would have been released a year earlier, and we'd have done a few tours of the States and maybe would have been really big."
dUg Pinnick of King's X
dUg dIgs into his King's X metal classics and his many side projects, including the one with Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam.
Harry is Derek Smalls in Spinal Tap, Mark Shubb in The Folksmen, and Mr. Burns on The Simpsons
Little Big Town
"When seeds that you sow grow by the wicked moon/Be sure your sins will find you out/Your past will hunt you down and turn to tell on you."
The "Midnight At The Oasis" singer is an Old Time gal.