Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Reelin' and Rockin'

Here’s another band I think everyone should pay attention to. The Dave Clark Five were a glorious and successful English 60s pop band. Apparently, DC5 was one of the few bands that were able to challenge The Beatles commercially. There is one strange thing, however. How come hardly anyone has heard of them? I, for example, had never heard any of their songs before I heard… a song called Because played on some power pop radio station on the internet. After some time, I decided to dig deeper into this band.

It’s quite interesting that the band was named after the drummer instead of lead singer (whose name was Mike Smith, by the way). As a founder and band leader, Dave Clark positioned himself in the front, just like can be seen in the picture above. DC5 wasn’t a usual British Invasion band in too many ways. Their hit songs such as Glad All Over and Do You Love Me showed such wild energy that The Beatles had a hard time keeping their tempo up!

The Beatles were and are maybe too famous. The problem about them is that their enormous popularity leads to ignoring dozens of other bands that were as good as they were. There are even people that don’t seem to want to give a chance to any other British Invasion or 60s band.. I don’t get those people. Also, I don’t get anyone who thinks the best music is always the music that sold/sells the most. However, I don’t think commercially successful bands should be boycotted, either. In fact, there are two important facts that everyone should think about when discussing music:

1) Commercial success doesn’t make music better.
2) Commercial success doesn’t make music worse.

I myself tend to have problems mostly with rule number two. I have some attitude problems every now and then, even though I constantly find myself listening to some million-selling music. It’s nice when a good band succeeds, but too much is always too much..

Back to Dave Clark Five before this blabber gets out of hand… Listening to The History of The Dave Clark Five has revealed that DC5 has so many awesome tracks that it’s almost hard to believe how good this stuff is. It’s exactly as good as The Beatles, and it actually has some features that The Fab Four’s (and generally British Invasion) music doesn’t contain, such as frequent use of saxophone and certain influences (I hear some doo wop in DC5’s music, for instance). I think it’s especially the saxophone that gives this music similar warmth that appeared in the music of The Beach Boys.

When every song sounds excellent right from the start, it gets a bit overwhelming.. I don’t mind, however. Checking out this stuff brings out new favourites all the time. Right now, I have to mention a song called Little Bitty Pretty One. It’s a one and a half minute-song and it struck me instantly. It’s brief, it’s catchy, it’s magical - hear for yourselves.. Geez, just listen to this stuff!

The Dave Clark Five Website

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