Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress

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"Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress"
Cover of the 1972 French single
Single by The Hollies
from the album Distant Light
B-side "Look What We've Got"(US)
"Cable Car"(UK)
Released April 1972[1]
Format 7"
Recorded 16–30 July 1971
AIR Studios, London[2]
Genre Swamp rock
Length 3:15
Label Parlophone (UK)
Epic (US)
Certification Platinum (RIAA)[3]
The Hollies singles chronology
"The Baby"
"Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress"
"Magic Woman Touch"

"Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress" (also called "Long Cool Woman" or "Long Cool Woman (in a Black Dress)") is a song written by Allan Clarke, Roger Cook, and Roger Greenaway and performed by the British rock group The Hollies. Originally appearing on the album Distant Light, it was released as a single in April 1972 (on Parlophone in the United Kingdom),[1] selling 1.5 million copies in the United States and two million worldwide.[4] It reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in September 1972. Billboard ranked it as the No. 24 song for 1972.

Single track listings[edit]

Track listing Location Format Record Label Release Date
"Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress" b/w "Cable Car" United Kingdom 7" 45 RPM Parlophone R5939 April 1972
"Long Cool Woman (in a Black Dress)" b/w "Look What We've Got" United States Epic 5-10871 17 May 1972[2]

Background and recording[edit]

On the day "Long Cool Woman" was recorded at AIR Studios, the group's producer, Ron Richards, was ill and, as a result, the song was produced by the group. The song is different from most Hollies songs in that there are no three-part vocal harmonies, and the song features lead guitar and lead vocal work by Allan Clarke. Upon his return, Ron Richards mixed the recording.[2]

The song was written in the swamp rock[5][6] style of Creedence Clearwater Revival, in terms of the vocal, rhythm, and melodic style. It came out in the summer of 1972 (the same year Creedence split up). Clarke imitated John Fogerty's vocal style, which was based on the Creedence song "Green River". John Fogerty was not impressed with the group's imitation of his style, and tried to sue the Hollies for infringing on the Creedence trademark; however, because of the differences in the melody of the two songs, the case was thrown out.[citation needed]

According to Clarke, the song was written "in about five minutes". When the song made its mark in America, Clarke had already left the band, but Clarke feels that "it wasn't unfortunate", since he had co-written the song.[2] Clarke rejoined the Hollies in the summer of 1973, partly due to the success of this song.

Chart performance[edit]

Preceded by
"Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)" by Looking Glass
RPM Top 100 number one single
16–23 September 1972
Succeeded by
"Black and White" by Three Dog Night
Preceded by
"I'm Still in Love with You"
by Al Green
Cash Box Top 100 singles
16 September 1972
Succeeded by
"Back Stabbers"
by The O'Jays

Cover versions and use in popular culture[edit]

  • Phantom, Rocker & Slick released their version on their 1986 album Cover Girl.[16]
  • Country music singer Clint Black released his version of the song to country radio on 19 February 2008, under the title "Long Cool Woman". Black's version charted on the Hot Country Songs chart at #58.[17]
  • Another country music singer, T. G. Sheppard, covered the song on his 1997 album Nothin' on But the Radio.[18]
  • Heavy metal rocker Vince Neil released a heavier version of "Long Cool Woman", along with other covers and original material, on his third studio album, Tattoos & Tequila, on 22 June 2010.[19]
  • A cappella group Rockapella released a version on their 1995 album Primer.[20]
  • The energy corporation BP used it in radio and TV commercials in 2013.
  • "Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress" was the first song played by the band Phish. They also played the song at their 15th and 20th anniversary concerts.[21]
  • "Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress" was played by Widespread Panic on 29 October 2000, during the last of three shows on their Halloween Weekend in New Orleans.
  • The song was used in the 2000 film Remember the Titans.[22] It also appeared it the films Amores Perros (2000), The Longest Yard (2005),[23] The Lovely Bones (2009),[24] and Trouble with the Curve (2012).[25]


  1. ^ a b ""Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress" single release information". Hollies.co.uk. 2011. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d The Hollies – Epic Anthology: From the Original Master Tapes Epic Records EGK 46161 liner notes
  3. ^ "American certifications – Hollies, The – Long Cool Woman". Recording Industry Association of America. 
  4. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2, illustrated ed.). Barrie & Jenkins. ISBN 0-214-20480-4. 
  5. ^ Horowitz, Hal (2014). "The Hollies: 50 At Fifty". American Songwriter. Retrieved 2015. to swamp rock (“Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress)") 
  6. ^ Maury Dean (1 January 2003). Rock and Roll: Gold Rush. Algora Publishing. p. 178. ISBN 978-0-87586-227-9. 
  7. ^ a b Steffen Hung. "Forum - 1970 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Australian-charts.com. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  8. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 4 March 2013. 
  9. ^ Steffen Hung. "The Hollies - Long Cool Woman". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 4 March 2013. 
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ "The Hollies - Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 4 March 2013. 
  12. ^ "Cash Box Top Singles - 1972". Cashboxmagazine.com. Retrieved 4 March 2013. 
  13. ^ "Best of 1972 songs and music, on". Musicandyears.com. 12 November 2010. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  14. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1972/Top 100 Songs of 1972". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  15. ^ "Cash Box YE Pop Singles - 1972". 30 December 1972. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  16. ^ "Cover Girl - Phantom, Rocker & Slick | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  17. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. pp. 50–51. ISBN 0-89820-177-2. 
  18. ^ "Nothin on But the Radio - T.G. Sheppard | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. 18 November 1997. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  19. ^ Greg Prato (22 June 2010). "Tattoos & Tequila - Vince Neil | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  20. ^ "Primer - Rockapella | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  21. ^ "Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress Every Time Played". Phish.net. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  22. ^ "Remember the Titans (2000) Soundtracks". IMDb.com. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  23. ^ "The Longest Yard (2005) Soundtracks". IMDb.com. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  24. ^ "The Lovely Bones (2009 Soundtracks". IMDb.com. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  25. ^ "Trouble with the Curve (2012) Soundtracks". IMDb.com. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 

External links[edit]