The Beatles may have been the biggest headliners of the British Invasion in the ’60s, but they opened up the doors for a flood of British beat groups that came to dominate the US charts in the mid-1960s. One of those groups was the Dave Clark Five, a short-lived but hugely successful band that specialized in fast, energetic rock characterized by wailing sax, thunderous drums, and blissful vocals. At the peak of their fame between 1964 and 1965, they released a massive 7 studio albums, together with a bunch of hit singles that established them as one of the most popular beat bands of the era. Here’s our pick of the 10 best Dave Clark Five songs of all time.
10. Everybody Knows (You Said Goodbye)
In at number 10 on our list of the 10 best Dave Clark Five songs of all time is Everybody Knows (You Said Goodbye). In a rare move for the group, Lenny Davidson took on lead vocals – something that, judging from the strength of his performance, he really should have tried more often. A haunting, spine-tingling love song with sublime harmonies and a memorable melody, it became a major hit for the band, taking them to number two in their native UK and number 6 in both Ireland and New Zealand. In the US, it peaked at number 43 on the Billboard Hot 100.
9. Do You Love Me
Do You Love Me had already been a major hit for the Contours by the time the first of the British Invasion groups landed on US soil, but groups like Brian Poole and the Tremeloes wasted no time in making it their own. The Dave Clark Five recorded their own exuberant, belt and braces version in 1964, resulting in a top twenty hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 and a top 30 hit in the UK.
8. Any Way You Want It
Described by Cash Box as “a ‘pull-out-all-the-stops’ powerhouse that the group pounds out in sales-dynamite fashion,” Any Way You Want It gave the Dave Clark Five a top 30 hit in both the US and UK back in 1964. The vocals are sensationally strong, but it’s the multi-layered production that makes it stand out. Since the ’60s, it’s been covered by multiple artists, including Kiss, the Ramones, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
7. You Got What It Takes
It’s a bit of a mystery who wrote You Got What It Takes, with some sources crediting Motown head Berry Gordy and others crediting Gwen Gordy, Billy Davis, and Marv Johnson, but what we do know is that it was first recorded in 1958 by Bobby Parker and first a hit in 1959 for Marv Johnson, who reached number 5 in the UK charts, number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, and number 2 on the Black Singles chart. The Dave Clark Five’s hard-driving, fast-moving version hit the airwaves in 1967, reaching number 7 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 28 in the UK.
6. Bits and Pieces
This raucous, hard-hitting rocker became one of the band’s biggest hits in 1964, reaching number 2 in the UK, number 4 in the US, and entering the top 20 in Australia, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Germany. Mike Smith’s lead vocals are dynamite, but it’s the percussion that takes center stage… or rather, the exercise board that two of the band members stamped on with ever-increasing drunken glee at various points throughout the song.
5. Can’t You See That She’s Mine
A foot-stomping, fist-pumping rocker with a sizzling lead vocal from Mike Smith and plenty of that sublime sax sound that always helped the Dave Clark Five stand out from the crowd, Can’t You See That She’s Mine stormed to number 4 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 10 on the UK Singles Chart.
4. Catch Us If You Can
The Dave Clark Five were masters of the kind of fast, infectious rockers designed to stamp your foot to. In 1965, they delivered another sizzling earworm with Catch Us If You Can, which soared to number 5 in the UK Singles Chart and number 4 on the US Billboard Hot 100 to become one of their biggest ever hits.
3. Over and Over
Over and Over was first recorded by Bobby Day, who reached number 41 on the US Billboard Hot 100 with it in 1958. Seven years later, the Dave Clark Five came along with their pulsating, hard-rocking version and topped the charts in the US for the first (and last) time. It proved less of a hit on the other side of the pond, reaching number 45 in the UK Singles Chart. As was the case so often with the Dave Clark Five, it’s the thunderous percussion and soring sax that help make it such a earworm.
2. Glad All Over
After failing to make much of an impression with their first couple of singles, the Dave Clark Five scored their first big hit in 1964 with Glad All Over, an upbeat, pounding rocker that took them to number 1 in the US and number 6 in the US, making them the first British Invasion band after the Beatles to score a major US hit.
The Dave Clark Five made their name with big, raucous rockers, but they could do romance too. Because is one of the very loveliest songs, blessed with a beautiful melody, tender lyrics, and the prettiest of harmonies. The record label was initially reluctant to release it as a single, fearing it deviated too far from the band’s usual sound to be a success. Fortunately, Dave Clark insisted, with the result that the band got a top 5, million-selling hit to add to their collection and the rest of us got one of the most endearing love songs of the mid-60s to enjoy.
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