Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Dave Clark Five - 5 By 5 (1967)

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For a very brief time in 1964, it seemed that the biggest challenger to the Beatles' phenomenon was the Dave Clark Five. From the Tottenham area of London, the quintet had the fortune to knock "I Want to Hold Your Hand" off the top of the British charts with "Glad All Over," and were championed (for about 15 minutes) by the British press as the Beatles' most serious threat. They were the first British Invasion band to break in a big way in the States after the Beatles, though the Rolling Stones and others quickly supplanted the DC5 as the Fab Four's most serious rivals. The Dave Clark Five reached the Top 40 17 times between 1964 and 1967 with memorable hits like "Glad All Over," "Bits and Pieces," "Because," and a remake of ... Read More...
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The Dave Clark Five - 5 By 5 
01 - Nineteen Days (Stereo)
02 - Something I've Always Wanted
03 - Little Bit Strong
04 - Bernedette
05 - Sitting Here Baby
06 - You Don't Want My Loving
07 - How Can I Tell You
08 - Picture Of You
09 - Small Talk
10 - Pick Up Your Phone
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This album, which never saw a U.S. release, is pretty amazing as a document of where the Dave Clark Five were in the last third of the 1960s. Divided between a fast side ("Go!!") and a ballad side ("Slow!!"), the group's pounding beat was still there, albeit just a bit slower; the rhythm guitar had given way to jagged lead lines, and Mike Smith was singing a few shades blacker than he'd sounded in 1964. And the covers of rock 'n' roll standards were replaced by numbers such as "Please Stay," the old Drifters tune authored by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, which is done in a blue-eyed soul style, with a gospel-like chorus. On numbers like "Devoted To Me," with lots of echo and acoustic guitar, the group sounds a bit like the Mickie Most-era Yardbirds. The singing is more prominent than on the group's classic releases, yet Five By Five is not that far removed from their mid-'60s material -- there's a great beat and chorus on "Just A Little Bit Now" and "Maze Of Love" (which also features some Jimi Hendrix-style guitar), and a good high hat count on "I Still Need You" and "Return My Love," which fit in well with the group's rocking ballads from 1964-65. Most of the music dates originally from 1966 through 1968; its delayed release as an album was the result of EMI's and Epic's general paucity of Dave Clark Five long-players -- had they been able to issue this album intact a year or two sooner, it might even have raised the group's fortunes by updating their image and sound.
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