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[3][4]
Length 3:02
Label Parlophone (UK)
Epic (US)
Certification Platinum (RIAA)[5]
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 2 million worldwide.[6] It reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in September 1972. Billboard ranked it as the No. 24 song for 1972.[7]

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 style of Creedence Clearwater Revival, in terms of the vocal, rhythm, and melodic style. It came out in the summer of 1972, that same time when 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 impersonation 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.

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 written the song.[2] Clarke rejoined the Hollies in the summer of 1973, partly due to the success of this song.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1972) Peak
UK (UK Singles Chart)[8] 32
Canada (RPM100 Singles)[9] 1
Netherlands (Gfk Top 100 Singles)[10] 21
US Billboard Hot 100[11] 2
US Cash Box Top Singles[12] 1
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]

  • 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.[13]
  • 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.
  • The energy corporation BP used it in radio and TV commercials, 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.[14]
  • "Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress" was played by Widespread Panic on October 29, 2000 during the last of 3 shows on their epic Halloween Weekend in New Orleans, considered by many to be the greatest run the band performed
  • The song was used to great split screen effects in the 2000 film Remember the Titans. It also appeared it the films Amores Perros (2000), The Longest Yard (2005), The Lovely Bones (2009), and Trouble with the Curve (2012).


  1. ^ a b ""Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress" single release information". Hollies.co.uk. 2011. Retrieved 2014-01-09. 
  2. ^ a b c d The Hollies – Epic Anthology: From the Original Master Tapes Epic Records EGK 46161 liner notes
  3. ^ Horowitz, Hal (2014). "The Hollies: 50 At Fifty". http://www.americansongwriter.com/. American Songwriter. Retrieved 2015. to swamp rock (“Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress)") 
  4. ^ Maury Dean (1 January 2003). Rock and Roll: Gold Rush. Algora Publishing. p. 178. ISBN 978-0-87586-227-9. 
  5. ^ "American certifications – Hollies, The – Long Cool Woman". Recording Industry Association of America. 
  6. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2, illustrated ed.). Barrie & Jenkins. ISBN 0-214-20480-4. 
  7. ^ Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1972
  8. ^ [1][dead link]
  9. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  10. ^ Steffen Hung. "The Hollies - Long Cool Woman". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  11. ^ "The Hollies - Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  12. ^ "Cash Box Top Singles - 1972". Cashboxmagazine.com. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  13. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. pp. 50–51. ISBN 0-89820-177-2. 
  14. ^ "Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress Every Time Played". Phish.net. Retrieved 2014-01-09. 

External links[edit]