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Bus Stop by The Hollies

Album: Bus StopReleased: 1966Charted:
  • This was written by Graham Gouldman, who went on to form the band 10cc, best known for their hit "I'm Not In Love." Gouldman also wrote the song "Heart Full of Soul," which was recorded by the Yardbirds. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Don - Rapid City, SD
  • This song is about a couple who meet one rainy day at a bus stop. Love blooms when they share an umbrella.

    In a Manchester newspaper, Graham Gouldman said he wrote it whilst riding on the No. 95 bus, which ran from East Didsbury - the route went through Manchester city centre, to Sedgeley Park, Cheetham Hill, Prestwich, and on to Whitefield near Bury. Graham was living with his family on this route in Broughton Park Salford at the time. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Ian Williams - Manchester UK, England
  • Graham Nash looked back at the recording of this song in Rolling Stone magazine. He recalled: "I think 'Bus Stop' has got to be my favorite because we recorded it in an hour and 15 minutes and it was a huge hit. We had a manager named Michael Cohen and he says 'You know, I got this little Jewish kid who lives down the street, he said he's a song writer. Would you come and see him?' His name was Graham Gouldman, and later became a very famous man in his own act, but at this time he was only a 16 year old kid. So we go in and we go 'Ok, so what do you got?' He goes, 'Well, I got this oneā€¦' and we went 'Okay, we'll definitely take that one. What else do you got?' It was a truly and astounding thing to see this 16 year old kid who was a fabulous songwriter."
  • According to Gouldman, this song's middle eight was one of the few instances in his songwriting career when he had a sudden inspiration rather than having to resort to hard toil. He explained to Mojo magazine in a 2011 interview: "You have to be working to make something happen. Occasionally you can wait for some magic, like McCartney waking up with Yesterday already written in his mind, which does happen - it's like a gift from your own subconscious. Or sometimes, it's like a tap's turned on. When I'd written most of 'Bus Stop,' I was actually on a bus thinking about how the middle eight should go. And this whole, 'Every morning I would see her waiting at the stop / Sometimes she'd shop...' that all came to me in one gush, and I couldn't wait to get home to try it. When that sort of thing happens, it's really amazing. But that's rare. Mostly, you have to do the slog."
  • Herman's Hermits also recorded this song in 1966. They got first crack at many of Gouldman's songs because their manager was married to his sister.

    In the Songfacts interview with Peter Noone, the Herman's Hermits frontman explained: "'Bus Stop' went to the Hollies before us, because Graham didn't think it was the kind of song that we would like. Then when we heard it, it was like, Are you kidding me? We want that. Luckily John Paul Jones heard it when we were trying to figure it out and he said 'Nah, I've got it,' and he re-invented the song. That's John Paul Jones who turned that into a hit record, nobody else. It is not a hit song. If you listen to the Hollies demo version of it, it's just not good. He reorganized the song and made it what it is: serious art work."
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Comments: 19

On September 10th 1966, the Hollies performed "Bus Stop" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
At the time the song was at #9 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; the very next day on Sept. 11th it would peak at #5 {for 3 weeks}...
On the same 'Bandstand' show they also performed "I Can't Let Go"; earlier in the year on May 1st, 1966 it peaked at #42...
{See next post below}.
Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
On July 17th 1966, "Bus Stop" by the Hollies entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #98; and on September 11th, 1966 it peaked at #5 (for 3 weeks) and spent 14 weeks on the Top 100...
And on September 5th, 1966 it reached #1 (for 1 week) on the Canadian RPM 100 Single chart...
Between 1964 and 1983 the group had twenty-four Top 100 records; six made the Top 10 with "Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress)" being their biggest hit, it peaked at #2 (for 2 weeks) in 1972...
The two weeks that "Long Cool Woman" was at #2, the #1 record for both those weeks was "Alone Again (Naturally)" by Gilbert O'Sullivan.
Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
Some people think even the squeaky-cleanest songs have drug references in them. :-(Esskayess - Dallas, Tx
Bears more than a passing resemblance to 'Things We Said Today'.... Great song but obviously a total stealBrendan - Dublin, Ireland
Great song, wonderful harmonies. A song about falling in love with someone at a bus stop, which is a great idea because in England you can wait ages for a bus, then three will turn up at once! Definitely no drug references- in England it's advisable to carry an umbrella at times even in the summer as you just never know when it's going to rain here! I never tire of hearing this song.Steve - Great Wakering, United Kingdom
To Fyodor in Denver: While "Bus Stop's" instrumentation may have been recorded in one take, the lead vocals certainly were not. If you listen closely to the verses you can hear the lead voice is being double-tracked.Ted - Phoenix, Az
This song is totally not a drug song. It's a love song. I happen to love it, it's one of my fave oldies :)Trina - New York, Ny
Regarding the "drug reference," I saw a guest on the Mike Douglas show not long after this was a hit, warning parents about the dangers of drug references in song lyrics. He said "umbrella" was a synonym for a popular barbiturate, what we called "downers" in those days. No idea whether there is any truth in it. He also mentioned Donovan's "Mellow Yellow" and the alleged lesbian reference.John - San Diego, Ca
classic song writing genius , move over Beethoven.
Ed - Houston, Tx
I have always heard it was banned because "we shared my umbrella" was a drug reference.Kurt - Dallas, Tx
"Bus Stop" has always been one of my favorite records by the Hollies and one of my favorite songs, period.

The same goes for Herman's Hermits' "No Milk Today" by the same songwriter.
Rodney - Toronto, Canada
I heard they recorded this live (as in no overdubs) and it was just part of their set which they just ran through in its entirety in the studio. The fact that it wasn't written by a bandmember (nor a cover, right?) makes me wonder about that, though.Fyodor - Denver, Co
Banned by the BBC? You have to be kidding me! This is a great song!Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
Songwriter,Graham Gouldman,also wrote and recorded a minor hit ,"Sausalito" ,attributed to bubblegum group Ohio Express in 1969.Tom - Washington, Dc
"Every morning I can see her waiting at the stop"
this is my favorite song of the Hollies. It must me great waiting at the bus stop and falling in love.
Teresa - Mechelen, Belgium
I have heard this this sweet, simple, tender song was once banned by the BBC. I can't for the life of me see why. Anybody know about this?Jerry - Brooklyn, Ny
Graham Gouldman also wrote "For Your Love" (The Yardbirds), "No Milk Today", "Listen People" and "East, West" (Herman's Hermits) and others.Victor - San Diego, Ca
They had uneven songs. This one is awesome.Nessie - Sapporo, Japan
Probably one of the very first rock songs I could not hear enough of.
This and "Stop, Stop, Stop" also by the Hollies!
Mike - Mountlake Terrace, Washington
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