161. The Dave Clark Five – Glad All Over (1964)

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1963 had seen the charts dominated by Liverpudlian acts once The Beatles hit the big time, but there were exceptions. London-based Brian Poole and The Tremeloes went to number 1 with a cover of Do You Love Me?, and another group from the capital also released a version. The Dave Clark Five’s single barely scraped into the charts that October, but their follow-up, Glad All Over, usurped I Want to Hold Your Hand and became the first new number 1 of 1964. Here was a warning shot to the Merseybeat acts – the Tottenham Sound was here.

Unusually, this group revolved around its drummer. Dave Clark, born 15 December 1939 in Tottenham, formed the skiffle group Dave Clark Quintet in 1957. He had left school at 15 and after several jobs he became a film extra, and formed the group as a way to raise funds so his football team could travel to the Netherlands. Eventually they became the Dave Clark Five.

By 1962 the line-up had settled down, consisting of Clark on drums (as well as manager), Rick Huxley on bass, Mike Smith on organ and vocals, Lenny Davidson on lead guitar and multi-instrumentalist Denny Payton on saxophone, harmonica and guitar.

Clark quickly showed a flair for business acumen. He struck a deal that enabled him to be the band’s producer, and he also became the chief songwriter, both unusual at the time. Having missed the boat with Do You Love Me?, Glad All Over was an original inspired by the Carl Perkins tune with the same name, performed originally as a ballad by Smith before they updated the sound and sped it up.

So how did the Tottenham Sound compare to Merseybeat? Well, using Glad All Over as a case study, there’s little difference. The backing vocals are very Beatlesque, and the lyrics are youthful, direct and simplistic, but this is a punchier, more primitive take on pop – and that’s no bad thing. The production is raw and powerful, with the drums and saxophone making it stand out from much of the pack at the time. Clark may have been self-obsessed, but you can’t knock him for turning the drums up here (if he even played on the recording – experts say it was Bobby Graham. This is a fun single, and must have sounded great in a live setting.

Fresh off the success of Glad All Over, the quintet released their best-remembered track, Bits and Pieces, which repeated the same formula, but was even catchier. However, it stalled at number two.

Early 1964 was the peak period for the Dave Clark Five in the UK, but they became one of our top imports during the British Invasion of the US, and appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show 13 times.

1965 saw the release of their film Catch Us if You Can, the directorial debut of John Boorman. According to Bob Stanley in his brilliant book Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story of Pop, the film featured Clark and the gang as ‘they literally sold meat, encountered middle-aged swingers, smack heads and army brutality, and ended up in a derelict seaside hotel, their dreams all over’ Sounds very different to A Hard Day’s Night and Help!, doesn’t it?

The Dave Clark Five barely bothered to move with the times, having only the briefest dalliance with psychedelia, and disbanded in 1970.

In the 80s, Dave Clark bought up the rights to all existing editions of Ready, Steady, Go!, the influential ITV music show that had ran from 1963 to 1966. He barely did anything with them other than release some videos that decade, in which unrelated clips of the band were inserted into the show (the band actually rarely appeared on the series).

Since then he has lived a rather reclusive life – according to Stanley, one of his few public appearances was at Freddie Mercury’s funeral, and there are rumours of failed plastic surgery.

The group were entered into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008. Sadly singer Mike Smith had died shortly beforehand. His later years had been tragic – in 2003 he tried to climb a gate at his villa in Spain after accidentally locking himself out. The subsequent fall left him permanently paralysed after being laid undiscovered for several days. and complications from this incident eventually contributed to his death from pneumonia.

Payton died in 2006 of cancer, and Huxley from emphysema in 2013, leaving only Clark and Davidson. Glad All Over was adopted by Crystal Palace FC as their anthem, and remains so to this day.

Written by: Dave Clark & Mike Smith

Producer: Dave Clark

Weeks at number 1: 2 (16-29 January)

Deaths:

Novelist TH White – 17 January

20 January: The war movie Zulu was released, featuring Michael Caine in his first major role, and the trial for Great Train Robbery began.
29 January: The Winter Olympics began in Innsbruck, Austria. Great Britain and Northern Ireland only brought home one gold medal.

7 thoughts on “161. The Dave Clark Five – Glad All Over (1964)

  1. there are at least 6 factual errors in this description ,please get the facts correct before you consider putting this in a book.

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      • Although it was dubbed the Tottenham sound the group were resident at the Basildon Locarno at the time of it making No1 and had been there for almost two years prior to GAO’s release, only one member of the group was actually from Tottenham ( I’ll leave you to guess which one 🙂 )
        Clark was born in 1939 not 1935
        Clark left school and worked in a drawing office then in an estate agent (he didn’t leave shool and go straight to being a film extra, he left school at 15 but didn’t appear in films until he was 19). So he later became a film extra ,despite the hype he was never a stuntman, stuntmen are trained and registered, they don’t use extras as stuntmen especially 19 year old untrained ones.. There is no record in any film archive of Clark ever being a stuntman in a film.
        The group played under several different names from first being called the Dave Clark Quintet to finally becoming the Dave Clark Five, there was never anything about folks being confused about what quintet meant.
        Clark never proposed the group should come up with something original after DYLM that suggesrion came from Ron Ryan. GAO was actually written and performed as a ballad by Mike Smith before being upgraded to the “new” DC5 sound. Although Clark basked in the glory of being up front and centre he mimed to all the group’s TV appearances, Rick Huxley stating “it took Clark 2 years to learn to play GAO”, this is why he always looksl ike a rabbit caught in the headlighrs whenever the camera is on him.
        Clark never wrote one word of lyric nor one note of music of any song the DC5 recorded. It was a contractual arrangement whereby his name would be listed as co-writer on all DC5 output. Similarly with production, Mike Smith and Adrian Kerridge co-produced all the DC5 out put but Clark had the final say and therefore took credit as producer.
        Clark didn’t even play drums on the DC5 hits, the drummer was Bobby Graham.
        The DC5 appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show 13 times ( according to the Ed Sullivan archives) not the 18 times Clark claims.
        Clark brought out the existing RSG tapes on VHS and CD but withdrew them from sale after he was sued for royalties by a possee of Artists led by Sandy Shaw.
        I’ve studied and investigated the DC5 for over 50 years, was friends with Mike, Rick,Denis and Bob the drummer. I’m still friends with Len and Ron Ryan, , I have hundereds of hours of taped interviews with all of them. Clark’s versions of the events back then go unchallenged and are generally accepted as being ture but theyare far from it.

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      • Thanks for the detailed response. I take all my info from various sites and always try and get info from more than one place for reliability. Hope you can appreciate it’s impossible for me to know everything about every group I’m covering.

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      • oh absolutely, I admit I really only know about one group as I’ve only ever studied one group seriously. I don’t envy your task of trying to get correct info for hundreds of groups and artists. Unfortunately many on line sites contain wrong info, Wikipedia probably being the biggest culprit.Unfortunately it is the most used source, an error on Wiki will within days be copied onto hundreds of other sites and before long becomes accepted as the truth.

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      • It’s funny because I recently tried to get a Wiki article made for a singer and they were really stringent about facts and sources… and I thought, what about the hundreds of articles on there that are anything but?!
        Thanks for the info anyway, will edit the article soon.

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