Hollies – Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress

Great song by CCR Uh no the Hollies. This song peaked in 1972 at #2 in the Billboard 100 and #32 in the UK. The Hollies had most of their success in the UK but surprisingly it missed there but was a huge hit in America. Lead singer Alan Clarke wrote this song with the Brittish songwriters Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway.

Love the intro and I especially like the slapback echo on the vocals. I never really thought of CCR when I heard it though many people do… Alan Clarke’s voice will never be confused with John Fogerty’s but the style here is the same. Here is a quote from Alan Clarke…  On the vocal, my intention wasn’t to sound like John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival. I was thinking of Elvis on his early songs, like “Mystery Train.”

From Songfacts.

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 intend 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.”

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.

Great article with Roger Cook (one of the songwriters) from the Tennessean.


Saturday night I was down town
Working for the F.B.I.
Sitting in a nest of bad men
Whiskey bottles piling high
Boot legging boozer on the west side
Full of people who are doing wrong
Just about to call up the D.A. man
When I heard this woman singing a song.

A pair of forty fives made me open my eyes
My temperature started to rise
She was a long cool woman in a black dress
Just a five nine
With just one look I was a bad mess
Cause that long cool woman had it all.

Saw her heading to the table
Well a tall walking big black cat
When Charlie said “I hope that you’re able boy”
I’m telling you she knows where it’s at
Well suddenly we heard a siren
And every body started to run
A jumping out of doors and tables
Well I heard somebody shooting a gun.

Well the D.A. was pumping my left hand
And a she a holding my right
And I told her don’t get scared
Cause you’re gonna be spared
I gotta be forgiven
If I want to spend my living with
A long cool woman in a black dress
Just a five nine
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 

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

20 thoughts on “Hollies – Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress”

      1. thank you sir… fixed…. Yes I usually have to go to Billboard on that because other places will show it when it was released and have two different years on the charts.


      2. Thank you…but I should have verified it with Billboard. That pisses me off that I missed that. I hate wrong info.


      3. I hate giving wrong info…I hate movies about real people that are wrong. If I made a movie about someone real…it might be boring but it would be real.
        I appreciate you catching that.

        Liked by 1 person

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