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DAVE CLARK FIVE

More Greatest Hits
Rating: 5
Squirm factor: 4
   They must have had their biggest hits early in their career, because I don't think I've ever heard one of these songs on the radio. However, they do follow the DC5 formula pretty well: brutally loud drum lines, a singer that sounds like a cross between Lemmy and Tom Jones, brain-dead lyrics, and melodies that, while catchy, are upon inspection rather tuneless. All with production so atrocious that you'd think they were recorded on Edison cylinders. This is the sound the Ramones were trying to recapture.
   They do venture away from the formula a couple times - "I'm Thinking" is some sort of waltz, and "Satisfied with You" is a cowboy ballad - but they're both disastrous.    The formula works well in a few places, though. "Try Too Hard" features a nice interplay between lead guitar and piano, while "All Night Long" abandons all pretense of songwriting and is simply the band wailing its guts out for three minutes. I think the best is the cover of "Reelin' and Rockin'", a tune simply made for this kind of bashing. I love the way he sings "I was dancin' with a woman twice my size!"
   However, in several places the sound quality, combined with rather lowbrow songwriting, makes me cringe. "Please Tell Me Why" has a moronic up-and-down chord pattern slavishly followed by the melody, and the lyrics of "At the Scene" are beyond parody.
   The best part of this band is the incorporation of sax into the standard beat arrangements - it lends a nice color to the proceedings when it's not amped into white noise.

READER COMMENTS
  • From Wayne in Jackson, Miss.: Actually The DC5's production was top rate. Stop listening to those old EPIC ELECTRONICALLY RE-CHANNELED LP'S! Mike Smith is one of the best rock lead singers ever... any professional musician will attest to that fact. Remember he sings and writes MANY American TV and radio jingles/commercials and is featured on the original soundtrack of EVITA! The DC 5 never pretended to be the Who, Led Zeppelin or The Beatles, although the I AM THE WALRUS-ESQUE strings on INSIDE AND OUT pre-date Walrus by 6 months! The group is also credited with the first ever music video. It's easy for me as a fan to criticize your opinion of the group but their legion of fans and 100 million record sales backup my statements.

  • From Squeeks: You are probably too young to have heard the DC5 on the radio - do you know Murray the K ?? Oh well - Mike Smith is and was the best R&R singer! We fans don't pretend to know it all but we do know what is great! P.S. Almost 40 years later we still listen....

  • From Phil Neill: For you reviews, or whatever, just as a point of interest, one of several things that made their music unique - especially in their early days - a) Was Mike Smith's unique "rock & roll" voice. He now, I believe, tutors Michael Ball, the West End singer here in the UK b) The underscoring of the bass drum in "Glad All Over" by the bass notes of a guitar: (Even here in England people mistake the fact that Dave Clark merely made a "bom-bom" on the bass drum when it came to the chorus - in fact, if you listen carefully, there is a supporting guitar, which makes all the difference in terms of quality.

  • From Albert Venditti: I like the DC5, particularly their production.

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