Best Of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, The - Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich

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Best Of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, The - Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich

1 CD(s) - '60s - Label: Spectrum - Distributor: Universal Music - Released: 11/1995 - 731455182323

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Review of "Best Of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, The - Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich"

published 14/10/2010 | JOHNV
Member since : 13/07/2000
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About me :
2000-2015, 886 reviews. Thanks all - it was fun while it lasted, but nothing lasts forever.
Excellent
Pro One timeless classic pop single after another - and another - and another
Cons None!
very helpful
Originality
Quality and consistency of tracks
Cover / Inlay Design and Content
Value for Money
Lyrics

"Pop meets world music well ahead of its time"

The group around 1967, with Dave Dee's turn to go on the bike as they set out on tour

The group around 1967, with Dave Dee's turn to go on the bike as they set out on tour

The group

Dave Dee and the Bostons were a group from Salisbury - probably the only major group who ever came from that town. When they signed a record contract in 1964, just for a gimmick they changed their name to incorporate the nicknames of the other members, alongside that of vocalist Dave Dee Harman. Between 1965 and 1969 they were rarely out of the Top 20 with the songs on this CD. Disbanding in the early 1970s, they reformed with varying personnel for the nostalgia circuit, with Dave Dee continuing to work until a few months before his death from cancer in January 2009.

The music

DD, D, B, M & T for short were rather ahead of their time in that they and their arrangers had this knack of combining little elements of world music into their well-crafted, extremely infectious songs, all written by the Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley partnership. However, being pop stars who made, er, bouncy trivial pop ditties for teenagers, they were horribly uncool three or four years later and therefore never received their due, except from old gits like me who still thinks they sound as good as they did when he remembers them first time round as a wee lad at school.

Of the 18 tracks on this compilation, 13 were Top 30 hits. One reached No. 1, and another six made the Top 10. The tracks aren't arranged in chronological order, so as usual I'll review them more or less as if they were. The earliest, 'No Time', is a tuneful mid-tempo number released as a single in early 1965 that gave only a small indication of things to come. It was the subsequent 'You Make It Move', nearly a year later, that put them on the map and gave then a taste of the Top 30. Starting with a short slow piano intro then repeated on fuzztone guitar and a pounding beat, it culminates in a call-and-respond chorus.

The formula worked even better on 'Hold Tight', a sublimely catchy number with a huge drum sound, the first of several to make the Top 10. Some forty years later it was used in Quentin Tarantino's 'Death Proof'. After the pleasant enough but not exactly groundbreaking 'Hideaway', a second top ten hit in summer 1966, they entered new territory.

'Bend It', which was banned by some radio stations who suspected a double-entendre, was one of the first major hits to feature prominent electric mandolin, mimicking a bouzouki in what sounded like a Greek folk dance, its tempo alternately accelerating and slowing in turns. 'Save Me' used Latin rhythms, the following summer 'Okay!' with its accordion and balalaika looked to East European gypsy dances for inspiration, and 'Zabadak!' with its indecipherable gobbledygook lyrics relied largely on African drums and sound effects. All of them reached the top five. The only one which broke this run of success, narrowly reaching the Top 20, was the more guitar-based 'Touch Me, Touch Me' . (It may have incurred the displeasure of those at the BBC who thought it was a bit too suggestive for young minds).

In 1968 came their greatest success with 'The Legend of Xanadu', that sole chart-topper. A stately intro on flamenco guitar and a few words spoken in Spanish lead us into a song of epic proportions with Mexican-style trumpets, some whip-crack effects on the guitar strings, and a thunderous echo on the drums to match, made this a marvellous production which still sounds magnificent.

The next single, 'Last Night in Soho', told the story of a young man turning his back on a life of crime on the eve of his marriage, and then being lured back into the underworld again. Its dark mood was complemented by a combination of guitar and strings arranged to conjure up the sound of a motor cycle. A little less successful than its predecessors, it reached No. 8 in summer 1968.

By now public interest and sales were beginning to wane. 'The Wreck of the 'Antoinette’, a dramatic tale of shipwreck with equally dramatic spoken introduction, could only manage No. 14 later that year. Group and musical arrangers pulled out all the stops early next year for the Spanish-flavoured 'Don Juan', a mini-epic about a matador with sound effects to match, and its failure to go no higher than No. 23 was a major disappointment. This position was equalled exactly by the follow-up, the catchy 'Snake in the Grass', a song which the group disliked.

By the end of 1969 Dave Dee had left for a solo career. One year later he scored one more minor hit, the pleasant but far less adventurous 'My Woman's Man', while the rest of the group without him likewise managed one more, the synthesizer-driven 'Mr President'. Both those tracks are here as well. The collection is completed by two other songs, 'The Sun Goes Down', and the group composition 'Is It Love?' Both are pleasant enough, but the major hits are the real meat on here.

The packaging

Being part of the Karussell/Spectrum budget price range (expect to pay £5 or less), this is fairly minimal. It does however include a short biographical note on the group by music journalist Mark Brennan alongside the full track listing in the four-page insert.

Finally

Our parents and teachers at school told us teenagers that pop music like this wasn't made to last, and we'd soon grow out of it. If only they could have seen that four decades later the group (or the survivors, plus replacements) would still be selling out live shows to people like us who remembered them as kids, still love them, and are still cheerfully listening to them on CD (with the benefit of much better sound quality than was the norm back then)...

A TV-advertised compilation with a similar tracklisting to this was released in 2008 and made No. 24 in the album charts, so the group are clearly not forgotten. With such timeless classic pop to their credit, as far as I'm concerned, they never will be.

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Comments on this review

  • catsholiday published 02/11/2010
    The music of this era certainly has lived on - a great band
  • jonathanb published 20/10/2010
    I only know The Legend Of Xanadu, but may have heard some of their other songs without realising who they were by. Even after all this time the group's name is pretty rubbish - Dave Dee And The Bostons isn't great, but it's better.
  • Templar19 published 19/10/2010
    Yep, I remember that whip!
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Product Information : Best Of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, The - Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich

Manufacturer's product description

1 CD(s) - '60s - Label: Spectrum - Distributor: Universal Music - Released: 11/1995 - 731455182323

Product Details

EAN: 731455182323

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