The Dave Clark Five

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The Dave Clark Five (DC5) were a British rock and roll group in the 1960s, and one of the few that were able to present something of a commercial threat to The Beatles, the dominant group of the period.

Although the group was named after him, Dave Clark was the drummer; lead vocals were provided by Mike Smith, who also played the keyboards. The rest of the band was Lenny Davidson on lead guitar, Rick Huxley on bass guitar, and Denis Payton on tenor and baritone saxophones, harmonica, and guitar. Songwriting credits went to Clark, Clark and Smith, Clark and Davidson, and Clark and Payton. Some early songs were also credited to Clark and Ron Ryan, who was the brother of early group member Mick Ryan.

Originating in North London, the band promoted themselves as the vanguard of the 'Tottenham Sound', a response to the Mersey Beat stable managed by Brian Epstein. They had a series of memorable hits, including "Glad All Over" that in January 1964 knocked the Beatles out of the #1 position on the UK Singles Chart.

The Dave Clark Five had 24 records in Billboard's Top 100 and 17 Top 40 hits between 1964 and 1967, including "Because" and "Bits and Pieces". Their song "Over and Over" went to #1 in the U.S. on the Billboard Charts Hot 100 at the end of December 1965, and they played to sell-out crowds on their tours of the U.S. Heavily promoted as having a "cleaner" image than the Beatles, the Dave Clark Five holds the distinction of having made 18 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, more than any other UK group.

Unusual for a group of that (or any) era, the leader was the drummer Dave Clark who would play and sing with his drums positioned at the front of the stage, relegating the guitarists and keyboard to his rear and sides. The group was unique in the British Invasion because it was not a guitar-based sound. The beat was prominent and the DC5 was one of the few groups of the era to feature a sax. Smith's growling, blues-tinged vocals were in the lead on almost all of the hit singles.

After the Beatles released their movie A Hard Day's Night in 1964, the DC5, not to be outdone, released their movie Catch Us If You Can (directed by John Boorman) in 1965. "Bits and Pieces" was banned from being played at their live concerts, as fans would jump up and down in time to the song's beat, and promoters feared this would damage the dance hall floors.

In spite of their huge success for a period, bolstered by the movie and a TV special, the hits dried up after 1967's "Nineteen Days" and "You Got What It Takes". Their efforts to embrace the prevailing trend of psychedelia were not successful. They disbanded in 1970.

Dave Clark was also the manager of the band. It was revealed in later years that Clark was not quite the multi-tasking specialist that publicity materials had suggested. Although he took a writing credit on each song, it was alleged that Clark didn't actually compose; rather, his name was on the songs as a contractural obligation with the members of the group. Then Bobby Graham, a well-known British session drummer in the 1960s, claimed in 2004 that he, rather than Clark, had played on all of the group's hit records.

Following the break-up of the band, Clark set up a media company. In the process, he acquired the rights to the iconic '60s pop series Ready, Steady, Go!. Clark had the series re-edited so that every episode featured a performance from the Dave Clark Five. Smith returned to performing in 2003 after a layoff of 25 years. He formed Mike Smith's Rock Engine and did two mini-tours of the US, although he was legally forbidden from using any mention of the DC5 in his advertising. His comeback was cut short by tragedy: Just weeks after his only son died in a diving accident, Smith suffered a spinal cord injury in a fall at his home in Spain on September 12, 2003. He has been confined to a UK hospital since his accident, unable to walk and with only limited use of his arms.

The song "Glad All Over" has been adopted by the English football club Crystal Palace F.C. as their anthem. It is played after every home win and a cover version was released as part of their FA Cup run in 1990.

Discography

US singles

Song Title Highest
Chart Position
Peak Month
"Glad All Over" #6 January 1964
"Bits and Pieces" #4 February 1964
"Do You Love Me" #11 April 1964
"I Knew It All The Time" #53 April 1964
"Can’t You See That She’s Mine" #4 June 1964
"Because" #3 July 1964
"Everybody Knows I Still Love You" #15 September 1964
"Anyway You Want It" #14 November 1964
"Come Home" #14 January 1965
"Reelin’ And Rockin’" #23 April 1965
"I Like It Like That" #7 June 1965
"Catch Us If You Can" #4 July 1965
"Over And Over" #1 October 1965
"At The Scene" #18 January 1966
"Try Too Hard" #12 March 1966
"Please Tell Me Why" #28 June 1966
"Satisfied With You" #50 August 1966
"Nineteen Days" #48 October 1966
"I've Got To Have A Reason" #44 January 1967
"You Got What It Takes" #7 March 1967
"You Must Have A Beautiful baby" #35 June 1967
"A Little Bit Now" #67 August 1967
"Red And Blue" #89 October 1967
"Everybody Knows" #43 December 1967

External links

sv:The Dave Clark Five pt:The Dave Clark Five