Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Tottenham Beat!

OK, so they never recorded a consistently solid LP; no matter--their 45s certainly packed a wallop! They were never on the same level as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, the Animals, the Yardbirds, etc., yet the Dave Clark Five produced some of the finest pop singles of the first wave of the British Invasion. Certainly there was a bit of "love 'em or loathe 'em" then as now; however, their rock creditability was bolstered when punk rockers the Ramones cited them as an influence, even performing "Any Way You Want It" in concert.

A major factor contributing to the DC5's decline in popularity remains that Dave Clark, who owns the masters to all the DC5's recordings, has only allowed a couple of legitimate CD compilations to be released over the years, and these quickly went out of print. So for many years, a person who heard "Because" on the radio and liked it could not walk into his or her local music store and purchase a DC5 CD. Clark has recently allowed an iTunes compilation to be released, coinciding with their Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction, but as of this writing, the promised CD counterpart has yet to see the light of day. It's actually quite sad that the DC5's music--some of the best of British beat--has yet to be discovered by younger generations because of its lack of availability on the most popular format of the past 20 years.

The DC5's recent induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame was a bittersweet occasion; vocalist/organist Mike Smith had passed away only days before, and saxophonist Dennis Payton also did not live to witness this auspicious event. Oscar winning actor Tom Hanks' enthusiastic, heart-felt introduction speech drove home the importance of the DC5's music and it's impact on the American youth in 1964. Drummer, leader, and producer Dave Clark and guitarist Lenny Davidson spoke, and Joan Jett performed a raucous cover of "Bits and Pieces."

This clip of "Glad All Over" (a staple of the Invaders' show, and the first song to unseat the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" from the top of the charts) was taken from a 1964 episode of the famed UK music show, Ready Steady Go! The scan is of an advert taken from the back of an original 1966 DC5 tour book (thanks, Jeff!). Click to enlarge, and check out the egregious mistake by the good folks at Vox...

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