Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress)

Album: Distant Light (1971)
Charted: 32 2


  • This tale of a government agent and a femme fatale 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 (another founding member, Graham Nash, left in 1968). 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, Romany in 1972, before Clarke took back his position.
  • 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."
  • Clarke wrote this song with the Brittish songwriters Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway. Cook and Greenaway also wrote "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing" by The New Seekers.
  • Clarke, Cook and Greenaway wrote the song in England about the bootlegging days during the American prohibition era. Cook recalled to The Tennessean that the trio returned to their office after having "had a skinful" and decided it would be fun to write a song about "Prohibition and all the bad people surrounding it." So they came up with a story about "the FBI raiding and this (woman) singing at the bar. (The narrator) doesn't want her to get in trouble. So he kind of saves her."

    Note to readers outside the UK: A "skinful" is a British term, essentially meaning an amount of alcohol that is enough to make a person drunk.
  • The song has featured in a number of movies, including the 2000 Walt Disney film Remember The Titans, the 2005 sports prison comedy The Longest Yard and the 2009 supernatural drama The Lovely Bones.
  • This was used in a 2021 Super Bowl commercial for the sandwich chain Jimmy John's. In the spot, Brad Garrett plays a mob-like kingpin trying to protect his empire of low-quality meats against the insurgent Jimmy John's.

Comments: 87

  • Gary from CtNo wonder this song made it in the US and not the UK, it sounds more American than most US bands could muster.
  • Bob F from New HampshireI never heard the CCR connection...I thought people were crazy to hear them..nothing like them...musically or vocally.
  • Gary Spiegel from New YorkWho IS the girl in the black dress?
  • AnonymousWho was the woman in this picture on the cover
  • Cosmicdebris from CaI have to admit, for years I thought he was saying "Well I've gotta be Bob Dylan if I want to spend my livin' with a long cool woman in a black dress" ;)
  • None from Panama I grew up in this era of rock. It was my life and still is. The music of today cannot compare to the way those songs make me feel free and alive. Rock forever!!
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaAnton, won't tell you what I thought that line was.
  • Kent from Greenville ScSomeone may have noticed this already but I haven't seen it on a post. Part of the lyric in the first chorus is with JUST ONE LOOK I was a bad mess. Just One Look was a hit for The Hollies in 1964. Was the lyric an intentional homage?
  • Freddie from Lynwood,caI think "Long Cool Woman" is definitely one of the sexiest songs ever, because essentially it is about the hottest hottie you've ever met, and who hasn't experienced that?
  • Freddie from Lynwood,caThe song was only released in the UK after it had become an enormous hit in the US (it hit #1 on 2 out of 3 national Record industry magazines' charts) and by that time it was well known in the UK that the band had a new lead singer. "Romany", the superb LP with Rickfors, sold well over time and remained in print into the '80s. In concert, rhythm guitarist Terry Sylvester did a fine job singing " Long Cool Woman".
  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenI think the black-dressed woman in that picture is longer than "five-nine beautiful tall."
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaBrian of La Mesa, think some of your lyrics are off. and how do you jump under a bar, most of them are built to the floor.
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaSteve thanks. This is such a cool song, especially that Rick bass. do you know what the player of it is doing now. Regards to both of you.
  • Steve from Northampton EnglandHi Jennifur, I was fortunate enough to meet Allan several times in the mid to late nineties, I worked in music rights management at that time and we became friendly. He was still touring with the Hollies at that time but it was clear that his singing voice was past its best. Very pleasant person, and modest in his achievements.
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaSteve if you ever see him tell him thanks for all the music and for this song. Heard he no longer sings because of voice problems. That is soooo sad.
  • Steve from Northampton EnglandThe Hollies singer, Allan Clarke lives close to my hometown and was once interviewed on our local radio station where LCW was discussed. He said there is a mistake in the lyrics which was never rectified as the song was originally intended as a filler album track. The line 'jumping out of doors and TABLES' should have been 'jumping out of doors and WINDOWS'. As the lyrics are largely indistinct anyway, the producers thought another take was unnecessary.
  • Anton from EarthAlways thought the line was "Just a 5'9" beautiful DOLL" (instead of 'tall' - makes more sense, evan rhymes somewhat with 'all')
  • Brian from La Mesa, CaWhen I was young, I remember neighbors in their teens playing the radio while shooting baskets. Of all the songs that were broadcast, this is the one I remember (and loved) most. The reverb on the guitar and vocals gives it an even more distant, nostalgic place in my long memory. For years, I listened to this song on tiny clock radios with one low-fidelity speaker. Being, undecipherable, I tried to make out what the lyrical content was. These are the words I attributed to the song. I know THEY ARE WRONG, but I rather like some of them, especially the "beautiful song" variants.

    Saturday night I was downtown,
    Working for the FBI.
    Sitting in a nest of fed men,
    Whisky bottles piled high.

    Foolin' and boozin' on the West Side,
    All the people who were doing wrong.
    Just about to call up the DA man,
    When I heard this woman singing a song.

    A pair of fine thighs, baby, opened my eyes. (I still can't hear "45s")
    My temperature started to rise.
    She was a long cool woman in a black dress,
    And she sang a beautiful song. (I know, it doesn't rhyme with "all")
    Just one look, I was a bad mess
    'Cuz that long cool woman had it all.

    I saw her headin' to the table
    With a tall-walking, big black cat. (an Afro-American bodyguard)
    And Charlie said "I hope that you're hip, my boy! (yeah, anachronistic for the prohibition era, I know)
    Well I'm telling you she knows where it's at."
    And suddenly we heard the sirens,
    And everybody started to run.
    A-jumpin' under bars and tables,
    Well, I heard somebody shooting a gun.

    Well the feeling was gone from my left hand, (implying a gunshot wound)
    And she was a-holding my right.
    Well, I told her don't get scared
    'Cuz you're gonna be spared.
    Well, I've gotta be forgivin'
    And understand I'm livin'
    With a long cool woman in a black dress,
    Just to find her beautiful song.
    Just one look, I was a bad mess
    'Cuz that long cool woman had it all.

    By the way, my friend suggested "Well a shotgun was pumped in my left hand" for the beginning of the last verse. With careful listening, we knew it was incorrect, but we both thought it was cool.
  • Glenn from St. George, UtYeah I always considered this the greatest Creedence Clearwater Revival song that Creedence never did...BTW, as a guitar player, the lead guitar riff sounds incredible on a Fender Telecaster's bridge pickup with a healthy dose of reverb and moderate overdrive.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn July 4th 1975, the Hollies performed "Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress)" on the NBC-TV program 'The Midnight Special'...
    Exactly three years earlier on July 4th, 1972 it was at position #33 on the Hot Top 100 chart...
    (See next post for more chart info).
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 18th 1972, "Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress)" by the Hollies entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #75; and on August 27th it peaked at #2 (for 2 weeks) and spent 15 weeks on the Top 100 (and for 8 of those 15 weeks it was on the Top 10)...
    And on September 16th it reached #1 (for 2 weeks) on the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart...
    The two weeks it was at #2 on the Top 100; the #1 record for both those weeks was "Alone Again (Naturally)" by Gilbert O’Sullivan...
    Between 1964 and 1983 the group had twenty-four Top 100 records; six made the Top 10 with "Long Cool Woman" being their biggest hit.
  • Joseph from Marco Island, FlI feel DA is referring to a gun (as in Double Action). He was about to pull out his DA (double action) and bust the place. When he heard the woman start to sing. Later he had his DA in his left hand, "pumping" (shooting) and her in his right as he was shooting his way out of the place.
  • Kristy from Rock Hill, ScThank you so much for posting these lyrics! All the history and explanation are wonderful too. Of course, I would never dare the argue with lyrics posted on the HOLLIES own website, but one of the last lines sounds a little different to me.

    Sound to me like he's saying,
    Well the DA was pumping my left hand (shaking his hand for doing a good job with the bust)
    --- AH, BUT --- she was a-holding my right
    Well I told her don't get scared
    'Cos you're gonna be spared
    Well I've gotta be forgiv--IN' --- (forgivING, as in letting her off the hook)
    If I wanna spend my living
    With a long cool woman in a black dress
    Just a 5'9 beautiful tall
    Well, with just one look I was a bad mess
    'Cos that long cool woman had it all

    Cool website BTW!!!! Keep up the good work! :-)
  • Marty from Mofallon, MoThis song is now used by BP to help sell gasoline in a TV spot showing two cars, one that uses another brand and the green SUV that goes farther on its tank. After careful consideration I still do not quite get the connection between the love-struck FBI-man and gasoline.
  • Esskayess from Dallas, TxI have a "Songs of the 70s" CD that has this song just before "Don't Fear the Reaper." Perhaps just a coincidence, but both have opening guitar riffs that are pretty similar.
  • W. T. Durham from Atlanta, GaThe Hollies were born too late, and on the wrong side of the Atlantic, to have visited a speakeasy. They lived in the Beat Generation, but their focus was Beat Music, and the actors in this song don't particularly behave like Beatniks.

    The tale, though, is surprisingly plausible. The FBI paid informants to infiltrate places inaccessible to their own agents. A performing musician would have perfect cover, staying several hours every night, free to watch all developments without arousing any suspicion. In later life, the performer might become a studio artist or a mentor to young musicians. When the story made its way to the Hollies, possibly second-hand with embellishments, it became a natural to commit to vinyl.
  • Sherri from Grapeving, TxDirectly from the Hollies website:
    Long Cool Woman In a Black Dress (Clarke / Cook / Greenaway)
    Saturday night I was downtown
    Working for the FBI
    Sitting in a nest of bad men
    Whisky bottles piling high

    Bootlegging boozer on the west side
    Full of people who are doing wrong
    Just about to call up the DA man
    When I heard this woman singing a song

    A pair of 45's made me open my eyes
    My temperature started to rise
    She was a long cool woman in a black dress
    Just a 5'9, beautiful tall
    With just one look I was a bad mess
    'Cos that long cool woman had it all

    I saw her headin' to the table
    Well a tall walking big black cat
    When Charlie said I hope that you're able boy
    Well I'm telling you she knows where it's at
    Well suddenly we heard the sirens
    And everybody started to run
    A jumping out of doors and tables
    Well I heard somebody shooting a gun

    Well the DA was pumping my left hand
    And then she was a-holding my right
    Well I told her don't get scared
    'Cos you're gonna be spared
    Well I've gotta be forgiven
    If I wanna spend my living
    With a long cool woman in a black dress
    Just a 5'9 beautiful tall
    Well, with just one look I was a bad mess
    'Cos that long cool woman had it all

    Had it all
  • Frank from Hoboken, NjSince I first heard this song in 72 it was my good luck song. Over the years whenever I heard it I would get a jolt of energy and expect good things to occur. 12 years ago I meet a beautiful women in a black dress she was so sexy and cool and thinking of this song I struck up a conversation. 2 years later we were married. I am now 52 years old and it still is magic to me.
  • Andoline from Pretoria, South AfricaOn the inside of a cd cover Hollies Drummer,Bobby Elliott,wrote the following about the very famous Guitar Riff opening Of LCW..."Previously I heard Allan (Clarke) playing a short attractive guitar piece whilst he was relaxing or tuning up.I suggested that we started the song with the same piece." And so they did...
  • Nelson from Jacksonville, Fl., FlI swear that for the longest time, I thought that this song was sung by the late ROY ORBISON, go figure!
  • Regina from Los Angeles, CaThis is my least favorite Hollies song. However from reading the posts about Allan's ultimatum it clears up a lot. I think that "Would You Believe" is my favorite Hollies song, and I was really pleased to hear "King Midas in Reverse" used in The Limey. It was wonderful seeing most of the group on the R&R Hall of Fame induction, but I was disappointed that Tony wasn't there. He was always my fave.
  • Camille from Toronto, OhThis is my least favorite of The Hollies most popular hits. It sounds too twangy, like a country song. It surprises me The Hollies actually sang it. They have so many other beautiful songs this one really isn't so special to me.
  • Estele from Fairchild, WiLove the Hollies! Just wondering why a British band would write a song about the American F.B.I.? I guess they thought it was a cool organization or why write a song about it!
  • Andoline from Pretoria, South AfricaLong Cool woman wasn't the only Song without Harmonies...Maybe the only Hollies hit,though!!!! On the album " For Certain Because" ,Mr. Clarke does a song Called "High Classed"...And It's done without Harmonies or Backing vocals...And that's just one I can quickly think of...#;o)
  • Jim from Long Beach, CaThis song is about an FBI agent doing a sting and he spared the long cool woman becouse he wanted her...
  • Tom from Colorado Springs, CoYou know, I've scoured about every site containing the lyrics to this song and there are some parts that no matter how hard I try to hear the accepted lyrics, they just don't match with what I'm hearing. So...in contention with what everyone says the lyrics are, I am proposing my version of the lyrics. These lyrics are acquired by taking the mp3 file of the song and playing it back in an editing program and slowing the tempo down while maintaining the pitch. I slowed the speed down to 60% which made the lyrics much clearer...then in the parts that were still a little unsure I slowed it down to 50%. I'm 99.99% positive these are the actual words to this song. Most are the same as the accepted versions but there are some differences. I suggest, printing my lyrics and reading them along as you listen to the song. Anyway...this isn't meant to cause an argument, I'm just proposing this version after a long time analyzing the words. Here we go......

    Saturday night I was downtown...Workin' for the FBI...Sittin' in a nest of bad men...Whiskey bottles pilin' high...Bootleggin' boozers on my left side...All the people who are doin' wrong...Just about to call up the DA man...When I heard this woman sing a song...A pair of 45's, baby, or pull my knives...My temperature started to rise...She was a long cool woman in a black dress...Just a 5-9 beautiful tall...With just one look I was a bad mess...'Cause that long cool woman had it all........I saw her head out to the table...Well a tall walkin' big black cat...When Charlie said I hope that you're able, boy...Well I'm tellin' ya she knows where it's at...Well suddenly we heard the sirens...And everybody started to run...a-Jumpin' on-a bars and tables...Well I heard somebody shootin' a gun...Well the DA was pumpin' my left hand...And she was ahold of my right...Well I told her, "Don't get scared, 'Cause you're gonna be spared"...Well I've gotta be forgivin'...If I wanna spend a livin'...With a long cool woman in a black dress...Just a 5-9 beautiful tall...Well with just one look I was a bad mess...'Cause that long cool woman had it all...Had it all, had it all, had it all...
  • Harold from San Bernadino, Casorry to say, but this one kind of falls short for me, as far as Hollies hits-----their just lacking the harmonies of their earlier stuff. still it's a good song.
  • John from L.a., CaI've played this song all my life in Rock bands and always knew a pair of 45's where her breast size. The Hollies were an original. I dug all their music, but this one fell into the rock category that my band "The Overlords" like to rock. Check out our "Chain Of Fools" remake at www.TheOverlords.com
  • Wayne from Salem, VaHey Aerovette,Mars-AK---Thanks so much for the words and the explanations there-of. Of this classic Hollies song "Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress"-(she had it all)-Oh yeah!

    I am now 49, I remember when I first heard this on our local top-AM-Rock,Pop,Soul Radio station at the time. That was 1972 and I was 12. The guitar intro just hooked me. And I've been stuck ever since.

    I love this song,and it brings back a lot of good memories. I also love "The Air That I Breathe" which was tops at the same time. And the earlier "He Ain't Heavy (He's My Brother)".

    Plus all of their 60s hits with Graham Nash. Thanks so much for posting the words to this song. Because I could never figure them out.What can I say people,A "Hollies" Classic!---She had it allll,Had it all-She had it all'-Don't you know...
  • Chez from Queensland, AustraliaMy friend [deceased] name of Jan,a gorgeous girl, swears she lived with the songwriter in the UK during the sixties and she was the inspiration for the words "Long cool woman in a black dress" Does anyone know otherwise?
  • Daevid from Glendale, CaRich from OH-----"Bus Stop" is just the beginning.
    Go back and explore their early hits {'65 through '67} and you'll find some of the most amazing harmonies probably ever recorded!
  • Jim from Oslo, Norway"Well I'm telling you she knows where it's at" means that she knows enough to turn state evidence in court in exchange for immunity - DA is shaking hands to seal the deal while she is holding his.
  • Jane from Austin, Txlove the opening riff and the song as well
  • Phrage from Dublin, Irelandused to great split screen effect in the wonderful film "remember the titans'
    there is a play(i'm a dreamer montreal) and used to be a guardian column about misheard lyrics:
    i heard the first line as "working on my F P I" and wondered if it was some tla for getting pissed
  • R.h. from Pauls Valley, OkDon in KY - Both 1. and 3. are correct. He's referring to her breasts as a pair of "big guns".
  • Aerovette from Mars (so The Book Says), AkSaturday night I was downtown
    Working for the FBI
    Sitting in a nest of bad men
    Whiskey bottles piling high

    (He is working undercover probably busting Speak-easies back in prohibition. Blending in with the illegal underworld)

    Bootlegging boozer on the west side
    Full of people who are doing wrong
    Just about to call up the DA man
    When I heard this woman singing a song

    ( He is hanging out with the illegal drinkers and about to have the cops come and bust the place up, but gets drawn off focus by the woman singer)

    A pair of 45s made me open my eyes
    My temperature started to rise
    She was a long cool woman in a black dress
    Just a 5-9 beautiful tall
    With just one look I was a bad mess
    'Cause that long cool woman had it all

    (A "pair of 45's" is a wordplay for her breasts and he became all flustered with her stunning beauty, forgetting the mission at hand)

    I saw her heading to the table
    Well a tall walking big black cat
    When Charlie said I hope that you're able, boy
    Well I'm telling you she knows where it's at
    Well then suddenly we heard the sirens
    And everybody started to run
    Jumping under doors and tables
    Well I heard somebody shooting a gun

    (He's watching her walk around the place and his buddy who knows why he is really there is basically saying, I hope you can still do this in your condition. She is hot and you know she is going to get busted too. The cops come in to raid the place and he has to act fast.)

    Well the DA was pumping my left hand
    And she was holding my right
    Well I told her, "Don't get scared
    'Cause you're gonna be spared"
    Well I'm gonna be forgiven
    If I wanna spend my living
    With a long cool woman in a black dress
    Just a 5-9 beautiful tall
    With just one look I was a bad mess
    'Cause that long cool woman had it all
    Had it all, had it all, had it all...

    (This is the climax of the story. Basically the DA is "pumping his hand" which I interpret as putting cash in his palm as a payoff for information. While all the time, the girl whose hand he is holding is actually a criminal and should be getting busted too. He covers for her and asks to be forgiven for protecting her and shirking his duty. He can't help it because with one look he was wrecked by her beauty.)
  • Di from Ft Smith, ArUntil today, I never knew all the words to the song, it was hard to figure out...thn I learn that the man at the end maybe died??? the song sounds as good today as when it first aired :)
  • D from Roseville, CaAllan Clarke indeed sung on the original recording of LCW. The song was also sung by Terry Sylvester on tour after Clarke left the group for awhile, causing some confusion amongst fans as to who, indeed, is the original vocalist. The song utilized a fuzz / bass, giving it its distinctive rhythm. The bass line, in my opinion, should get more credit for driving one of the great back beats in rock and roll annals. And, certainly, the opening guitar lick remains one of the best ever, with the clever double drum beats augmenting the riffs to this very cool song.
  • Jake from Riverton, WyI was a senior in high school when this song hit the air waves. At an all Native American boarding school, it was easily mastered. it was a hit with all the bands here at Flandreau Indian School, So.Dak.
  • John from Boston, MaI have been listening to this song for 30 years...and untill the internet i was compleatly at a loss for about 60-70 % of the lyrics
  • Phil from Thomasville, NcThis song HAS TO BE "One of the All Time Greatest Mystery's of Rock-n-Roll.
    Write up there with Louie,Louie by The Kingsman. In the 1960's, the F.B.I. spent $TENSofTHOUSANDS$ of your hard earned dollars, investigating the song Louie,Louie. Believeing it to be some kind of attempt to over throw the Government:) After MONTHS of trying they FINALLY GAVE UP!!
    Louie,Louie by, The Kingsman - written by Richard Berry - sang by Jack Ely. Is about a guy from Jamacia who misses his Girl Friend, it is filled with Jamacian slang and "DROVE the FED's NUTS!!!!!!!!!

    "Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress" was a song that was written at the last moment, when the Hollies went into the Studio to record an album and needed "ONE MORE SONG" to fill out the Album. They wrote the song in about 30 minutes and it, TURNED OUT TO BE, "ONE OF THE ALL TIME CLASSIC ROCK-N-ROLL SONGS"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I think if you had to pick the "10 ALL TIME Classic Rock Hits", Long Cool Woman... would ABSOLUTLY HAVE TO BE on the list!!
    The Song is ABOUT:
    A cop who is working "under cover" at a bar that is selling bootleg(no tax)whiskey. "Just as he was about to call up the "D.A.Man" (District Attorney) he sees this "Long Cool Woman" in a Black Dress singing a song, that makes him think twice about his "Job as a COP", as she Display's a "PAIR OF 45 inch T*TS" and a "Since about herself that "SHE is NO Ordanary chick". This One has got something special, she's "A 5'9" Beautiful Tall","SHE HAD IT ALL"!!
    His buddies setting with him(Charley)even questions his ability to, Hang With THIS Chick!
    "With just one look he was a Bad Mess" cause that "Long Cool Woman Had It ALL".
    ALL of a Sudden with "Guns a Blazin" the Cops bust in and bust the place. By this time he(the under cover cop) has Already Fallen for the girl and as the D.A. (District Attorney) is Shaking his Left hand for a "job well done" HE is holding HER right hand, asuring her that SHE is SAFE with him "I TOLD HER DON'T GET SCARED, CAUSE YOUR GONNA BE SPARED", "I GOTTA BE FORGIVING, IF I WANNA SPEND MY LIVING" with a "Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress",just a 5'9"BeautifulTall,with just one look I was a bad mess, cause that Long Cool Woman Had It ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Annalisa from New York, NySo far, I've seen no intelligent comments on the story of this song. I would like to know the story. Does anyone know? The DA was pumping his left hand while the long cool woman held his right. Traditionally, one shakes hands with the right. So what's going on here? Love rock and roll when it tells stories, but would like to know if anyone knows what the story is. Please advise.
  • Tom from Alameda, CaThe guitar riff opening seems to have originated from "I'm Talkin' About You" by Chuck Berry. If you don't believe me, give the song a listen!
  • Mike Greenfield from Youngstown, OhNo one has yet mentioned that this song's distinctive opening guitar riff was played by lead singer Alan Clarke, who otherwise rarely played guitar with The Hollies (why would he need to, when Tony Hicks was such a great guitarist?). Clarke is credited as co-writer along with veteran UK songsmiths Greenaway and Cooke, who once recorded a cover of The Beatles' "Michelle" as David & Jonathan.
  • Rich from Macedonia, OhThis song has got to be one of the most bada$$ songs ever made! It hits! When I searched for it I could not believe that Bus Stop woman... was by the same group! I was born one year b/f Long Cool... was put out there. What a great song! It is definitely one of my top 10!
  • Phil from Phillie, Pa1 The lyrics were harrd to make out.
    2 I HATED moter-mouth DJ's babbling over the (really unique) guitar introduction too.
    3 I'll have to listen to CCR again, off the top I dont hear the similarity... even if its there I doubt it apporoaches the "My Sweet Lord/He's So fine" coincidence level.
  • Phil from Cedar Rapids, IaNow, while I've always loved this song, it does have the same guitar groove as T Rex - Bang a Gong!
  • Richard from Nyc, NyI dont understand the end of the story. Did he get shot? And if so by whom? Who is being "forgivin"? And why?
  • Bob from Modjeska, CaThis was one of the cuts that the days of motor-mouthed DJs talking over the first 20 seconds of the song drove me straight up a wall because they drowned out that beautiful opening. Google for the lyrics, you'll get dozens of sites.
  • Rockie from Oregon City, OrRipped off who ?(Matybe Chuck or Buddy).Am I the only one to notice that the bridge is almost non existant in "Green River "? Start 'em both at the same time(I can"Name That Tune "in three notes ! That otta calm your Rip Off concerns !
  • Rockie from Oregon City, OrGee,guess I just don't get the whole "Green River" , "Long Cool Woman" connection ! I am a John Fogerty fan from way back,(don't ask). All I can say is listen to them both start at the same time .Yea , their both rockers & the bass lines MAY be alike but they ARE so different !( I can "Name That Tune" within the 1st three notes !)
  • Neil from Skokie, IlIn answer to the above question about who sang lead on "Magic Woman Touch", it was the above mentioned Mikael Rickfors. This and "The Baby" were imho the most "Hollies" sounding songs of the Rickfors/Hollies songs. They actually released 2 records with Rickfors as lead singer: Romany and Out On The Road (now available as an import on Magic Records), which was only released in Germany and I believe France (on Hansa Records), originally. Several of the songs on Out On The Road, were re-recorded with Allan Clarke back on lead vocals, on their next album, which of course featured "The Air That I Breathe".
  • Don from B G, KyThe lyrics:

    "When I heard this woman singing a song."
    "A pair of 45's made me open my eyes."

    What were the "Pair of 45's" refering to?

    1) A pair of guns. 45 caliber.
    2) A pair of 45 rpm records.
    3) A big set of breasts?
    4) All of the above.

    I vote for answer number 4 all three.
  • Voodoocat from Zimbabwe, United StatesThis is an awesome like a possum song; one of my favorites of all time. And it does sound very much like Creedence Clearwater Revival, which is one of my favorite bands, so it's no wonder I like this song so much.
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScEkristheth I know what you mean? If you listen to this nd "Green River" by Credence back-to-back, they sound a lot alike. The radio station where I live did that once. The only thing that separated the songs was a short comercial break. It was pretty crazy.
  • Dan from San Francisco, CaThe reference to a "pair of 45's" in the song does not mean she was armed. That's an old hep cat expression for a woman who was well endowed in the breast department.
  • Jim from Norwood, MaI've spent so much time trying to figure out the guitar parts on this tune. Evan from TX, interesting theory about lead guitar being played thru a bass amp. I thought the guitar player might also be using a Capo, because the low e string sounds pretty trebly during throughout the song.
  • Jay from Atlanta, GaNow if I can just figure out the lyrics to "Brass In Pocket" by the Pretenders....
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaI got into this song from the Remember the Titans soundtrack. One of my first fav rock songs, this was my favorite on that album and I always turn it up on the radio.
  • Evan from Flower Mound, Txi'm pretty sure that the guitar effect is made from plugging in a guitar into a bass amplifier, which creates the bassey guitar sound.
  • Ekristheh from Halath, United StatesThere is no question that Credence influenced the guitar riffs and even some of the vocal style on this wonderful song. When it was first released and being played on WLS, I invariably heard the opening chords and thought "there's Credence... Oh." To this day, it takes me a few seconds to discern whether this is one of my Credence tracks. The correct lyrics are available at leoslyrics.com.
  • Amy from Grimshaw, CanadaI Love this song!!! It is one of the Hollie's greatest hits!
  • Tom from Los Angeles, CaA pair of 45's ... besides the obvious reference to her decolletage, 45's are a pretty powerful handgun (and then the tie-in to the whole shoot-em-up thing). A double-entendre and a pun in the same line ... sweet.
  • Tom from Los Angeles, CaWhenever I hear it, I think of those "film noir" genre of movies from the 1950's. The detective sitting in the trashy office behind a big, wooden desk ... and in comes this fine, 5' 9" bombshell ... also think of Bogie and Bacall in "To Have And Have Not" ...
  • Tom from Los Angeles, CaEven after all these years, it's still one of the few I crank it up when I hear it. Love the reverb on the lead vocal and that guitar with the emphasis on the treble tones. Now THAT'S music :-)
  • Terry from Chicago, IlPart of the rythmic and smoky character of LCWIABD has always been its mostly indecipherable lyrics puncutated by the shadowy unobtainable woman.. Its a two beat "name that tune" for maybe the best r&r song ever recorded. I would like to know more about its history...where the idea came from, why a pair of 45's??...seems a bit, pardon the expression, over the top. Caedan, Chicago
  • Teresa from Mechelen, BelgiumSorry, it must be : Me too, I love this song, so
    different than the other hits of the Hollies, there is a great beat on it. I would like to hear it more on the radio.
  • Teresa from Mechelen, BelgiumMe too, I love this song, so different than the other hits of the Hollies, there is a good beat on it. I would like to hear it more in the radio.
  • John from Housotn, TxOne of my first 45's - played it over and over and over again. Disagree w/ the Green River comment - guitar riffs are quite different. Not sure anybody really knows what is said before "My temperature started to rise" :>
  • Tom from Avoca, SdThis will always be for me one of those songs that when I hear it on the radio, I listen all the way to the end.

    I would like to know the guitar intro.
  • Brandon from Seattle, WaThis was not the only Creedence influenced song done by the Hollies. The Hollies also had the other song: "The Day That Curly Billy Shot Down Crazy Sam Mcgee". I never heard the song, I just heard of it, so I do not know it.
  • Victor from Vienna, VaThis song was in the movie "Remember the Titans" (2000)
  • Kabrams from Dallas, TxI agree with brandon, this song does sound very similar to CCR
  • Machi from Atlanta, GaStill sounds great after all these years!!
  • Pete from Nowra, Australiaanybody know who sang lead on Magic Woman Touch, seems to be one of these rare Hollies Tracks as I'm Down
  • Melissa from Lansing, MiI love this song!! I didn't know this was their only song without backing vocals, very interesting
  • Sulima from Chicago, IlI could never makeout the lyrics. Hopefully someone will post them
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Mark Arm of Mudhoney

Mark Arm of MudhoneySongwriter Interviews

When he was asked to write a song for the Singles soundtrack, Mark thought the Seattle grunge scene was already overblown, so that's what he wrote about.

Allen Toussaint - "Southern Nights"

Allen Toussaint - "Southern Nights"They're Playing My Song

A song he wrote and recorded from "sheer spiritual inspiration," Allen's didn't think "Southern Nights" had hit potential until Glen Campbell took it to #1 two years later.

Tony Banks of Genesis

Tony Banks of GenesisSongwriter Interviews

Genesis' key-man re-examines his solo career and the early days of music video.

Chris Squire of Yes

Chris Squire of YesSongwriter Interviews

One of the most dynamic bass player/songwriters of his time, Chris is the only member of Yes who has been with the band since they formed in 1968.

Peter Lord

Peter LordSongwriter Interviews

You may not recognize his name, but you will certainly recognize Peter Lord's songs. He wrote the bevy of hits from Paula Abdul's second album, Spellbound.

Michael Sweet of Stryper

Michael Sweet of StryperSongwriter Interviews

Find out how God and glam metal go together from the Stryper frontman.