Carrie Anne

Album: Evolution (1967)
Charted: 3 9

Songfacts®:

  • This song is about the British singer-actress Marianne Faithfull, whose most famous romance was with Mick Jagger, but who also dated Hollies singer-guitarist Allan Clarke for a short time. "Marianne" was changed to "Carrie-Anne" so it wouldn't be totally obvious.

    The group didn't let on that the song was about Faithfull until 1995, when Graham Nash spilled the beans in a documentary.
  • In the song, the singer recalls the schoolyard days when he and Carrie Anne were friends, but she went for the older boys. Now their older and he tells her that although she's lost her charm, he's willing to "be her teacher" and take her on. By the end of the lesson, he's sure she'll be his girl.
  • Hollies members Allan Clarke, Tony Hicks and Graham Nash wrote this song and shared the lead vocals, with each taking a verse (Clarke, then Hicks, then Nash).
  • According to the book Forty Years of Steel by Jeffrey Thomas, this song marks the first use of steel drums in a commercial pop record. Steel drums evoke an island vibe, but there's nothing tropical about this song and none of The Hollies played the instrument (it's not clear who played it on the record, but their producer, Ron Richards, apparently arranged it). Still, inserting a steel drum solo where a guitar solo would be certainly made the song stand out. Stephen Stills, Nash's bandmate in Crosby, Stills & Nash, incorporated steel drums into his 1970 hit "Love The One You're With."
  • The Hollies had a very impressive run of hits starting in 1963, but Graham Nash wanted to put hit-making aside so they could create songs with more weight behind them. He ended up leaving the group in 1968 and forming Crosby, Stills & Nash. In an interview with Bruce Pollock, Nash said listeners "want to hear songs that mean more to them than 'Hey Carrie Ann, what's your game.'"
  • The Canadian actress Carrie-Anne Moss, best known for playing Trinity in The Matrix, was named after this Hollies hit. The song was on the charts at the time of her birth in August 1967.

Comments: 28

  • Kariann from North Dakota, UsaWell I don't know who this song was named after though I do know it was my mom's favorite song and that is why she named me KariAnn. ....and no you can't play!
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaWho played the steel drum? Was my fav Hollies song for many years tell Long Cool Woman.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 11th 1967, "Carrie-Anne" by the Hollies entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #73; and on August 6th it peaked at #9 (for 1 week) and spent 13 weeks on the Top 100...
    It reached #2 in both Sweden and New Zealand...
    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.
  • Keely from Fort Lauderdale, FlGraham Nash, in his book "Wild Tales," very explicitly describes his crush on Marianne Faithfull and how the song evolved from "Hey Mister Man" to "Hey Marianne" to "Hey Carrie Anne" because he didn't want to be so obvious as to use her real name.
  • Kelly from Pahrump, NvI was eight when this song was out. It's a powerful memory. It reminds me of Summer and having my first fascination with girls. It's about leaving the innocence of childhood. A great song lives forever!
  • Kevin from Sydney, Australiacarrie anne was the very 1st song fell in love with. i was about 4,was in england at the time,and when i heard it on the radio,i"d get all exited and sing along. still love it! Kev,Sydney, Australia
  • Meocyber from Alma, Co An excellent song. This one turned me on to The Hollies. I'd really say this was the first rock song with a reggae touch, the excellent steel drums in the middle. Easily one of rocks best harmonizing bands.
  • John from Hamlin, Ny...harmony to die for!!!!!!!!
  • Daevid from Glendale, CaLove the steel drums during the solo!
  • Daevid from Glendale, CaHollies have some of the best harmonies in rock-n-roll.------and agreeing with Gene from Hammond,IN.,a very innovative band in that era.
  • Ekristheh from Halath, United StatesNot to mention a Middle Eastern cumbus (the banjo-like instrument) in "Stop, Stop, Stop". That made more of an impression on me than the Beatles' use of a sitar.
  • Barney15c from London, United KingdomQuote:'More very unique instrumentation is featured in this song.'

    Don't forget the electric sitar on 'The Baby'
  • Richard from Guernsey, United KingdomI was told the song was written about Carrie Anne Redfern who went to school with the lead singer, Alan Clark. Her father was on the Bolton Football Club's board of directors in the 50s I think. Carrie is now Carrie Anne Wilcox and lives in Guernsey, after living for many years in Canada.
  • Jack from Mesa, AzThat steel drum solo sounds out of tune to me.
  • Heather from Saint John, InI would just to correct what other people had said. In the 1995 documentary The History of Rock 'N' Roll, Graham Nash claimed that the song was written for Marianne Faithfull, but he was too shy to use her actual name. The title was subsequently changed to the made up name Carrie Anne. She recored the song
  • Kevin from Reading , PaA good pop song, but I think it's kind of ruined by that stupid steel drum. A guitar solo would have been so much more appropriate.
  • Edward Pearce from Ashford, Kent, EnglandI heard on the radio recently that this was infact inspired by model Karri-Ann Moller who later married Mick Jagger?s brother Chris.
  • Darrell from EugeneI have thought about rewriting this song about Keri Lynn "Miss Brillohead" Russell (aka Felicity) since after "Felicity" ended, and as for Keri's hairstyle, my girlfriend's hair can and often does resemble it in every way other than color, especially in the summertime.
  • Reckless from Galveston, TxAllan Clarke and Graham Nash have been life long friends, since age 5. The two played local Manchester pubs as teenagers under various names including "Two Teens" and "Guytones" and were heavily influenced by skiffle music as well as the Everly Brothers. The sang in their primary school choir as youngsters and have been harmonizing splendidly ever since. While Allan was the group's lead singer, Graham frequently sang harmonies with him while playing lead guitar. By the way, the reason Graham left was over creative differences. In 1968, the group planned to do an album of Bob Dylan songs and Graham felt overly constrained by this idea. He felt this would take the group in a backward direction. As a result, he and David Crosby of the Byrds and Stephen Stills of Buffalo Springfield got together to form one of the first "supergroups" with CSN. Also, he did briefly return to the Hollies in 1981.
  • Bob from Chapel Hill, NcI saw Carrie Fisher on TV about 1 year ago and she said the song was written about her.
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScRob I noticed that too. After all, he was a member of the Hollies for awhile.
  • Rob from West Sussex, EnglandTony Hicks (lead guitarist) started writing this song as he had the words 'Hey Mister Man' in his head - this was around the time that The Byrds were charting with their cover Mr Tambourine Man.
    According to Hicks, Carrie Anne was the nearest girls name they could find to Mister Man.

    Allan Clarke added the middle 8.

    One final thing, if you listen closely to the chorus, you'll find it's Graham Nash singing all 3 parts of the harmony!
  • Tom from Washington, DcThe lead singer on "Magic Woman Touch" was Mikel Rickfors, who joined the group briefly when Allan Clarke left to pursue a solo career. Other group members contributed vocals on occasion.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScYou're right Graham Nash wasn't the group's lead singer. Allan clarke was.
  • Pete from Nowra, Australiathink they had a couple of lead singers , who sang lead on Magic Woman Touch??? wasn't Allan Clarke, or Nash????n
  • Rob from Lennox, TxHey Jeff, you've gotta have 2 L's Allan and an E at the end of Clarke!
  • Gene from Hammond, InMore very unique instrumentation is featured in this song. A steel drum solo in a pop 60's tune? Unheard of back then! What a great group these guys were! Also a pedal steel guitar in "Jennifer Eccles", 12-string guitars in "Bus Stop" and "Look Through Any Window" and a banjo, of all things, in "Stop, Stop, Stop". Fantastic songs and great production values!
  • Steve from Blackburn, EnglandSorry Jeff, the group's lead singer was not Graham Nash but Alan Clark.
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