“Dave Clark And Friends” by Dave Clark and friends - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1972Album Chart of the Decade: 1970s

TJR says

With economics dictating to group leader and paymaster Dave Clark, The DC5 were officially disbanded in 1970, with guitarist Lenny Davidson being replaced by Alan Parker (Blue Mink) and bassist Rick Huxley being replaced by Eric Ford (who had played bass on previous DC5 sessions). There was no need to replace Dennis Payton - saxophones and harmonicas were now deemed out of time and an unnecessary expense. Keyboard player and vocalist Mike Smith retains his place. This line-up, renamed “Dave Clark & Friends”, lasted until 1973, fulfilling contractual obligations as was intended. Their sole LP “Dave Clark And Friends” (EMI Columbia SCX 6494) was released in the UK in 1972. The traditional Dave Clark Five messiness continues however as it rounds up 9 single sides 1969-1972, five of which had already been issued as Dave Clark Five releases. Some of the friends include Clem Cattini (drummer, The Tornados), Les Hurdle (bassist, The Mohawks) and Dave’s actor pal Peter Davison (Doctor Who 1981-1984) who, under the pseudonym of “Moffitt”, wrote and sang “Officer McKirk”, a humorous six-verse drinking song which comes complete with a sing-a-long party-clatter studio throng, made up from the “acting school massive” on their lunchtime jollies. It sounds like a good time was had by all.

Blue Mink’s Madeline Bell (famous for “Melting Pot”) adds some authenticity to the album’s occasional gospel flavours. This New Jersey girl was in demand with some big names at the time - she had sang with Dusty Springfield, Joe Cocker and Rod Stewart to name but three and also released several albums in her own right - but that’s a different story. Mike Smith opens the album with “Southern Man”, Neil Young’s anti-racist tune. The song tells the story of a Southern white man (symbolically the entire white South) and how he mistreated his slaves. Mike pleadingly asks when the South will make amends for the fortunes built through slavery when he sings, “I saw cotton and I saw black, tall white mansions and little shacks. Southern Man, when will you pay them back?” This opener thematically links with the album closer, a cover of Jackie DeShannon’s (We Won’t Let Hatred Grow) “Put A little Love In Your Heart”. The sentiment is brilliant. It’s immediately clear that this beefy new rock beast is indeed a completely different incarnation of the Dave Clark experience – both lyrically and musically. I don’t dig on 70s Southern Rock myself, but I can see such types going mad for the “Southern Man” cover - it has a powerful pull, with subtle psychedelic whirls to keep it interesting.

They proceed to tackle the greatest soul song that was ever recorded - Sam Cooke’s “Bring It On Home To Me”. They’re on a hiding to nothing with that one. It’s a pale shadow of Sam’s mighty beast, although Madeleine Bell’s vocal backing and the string section come over really well. The Madeleine effect raises the album to it’s absolute peak on the giddy cover of Holy Smoke’s “If You Got A Little Love To Give”. Soul brothers and soul sisters the world over sing hallelujah. Move over Mike – let Maddy take over. Tellingly, the worst things on here are all the Dave Clark / Mike Smith originals. Seems they want the final epitaph to read “The Dave Clark Two and sessioneers play Bad Finger and Lynyrd Skynyrd”. I’ll take the peace and love message, I’ll pass on the soft rock…

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [03:58] 4.8.png The Dave Clark Five - Southern Man (Neil Young) Rock
A2 [03:07] 5.3.png The Dave Clark Five - Bring It On Home To Me (Samuel Cook) Soul Ballad
A3 [02:53] 3.6.png Dave Clark and friends - Signs (Les Emmerson) Soft Rock / A.O.R.
A4 [02:26] 3.0.png The Dave Clark Five - Won’t You Be My Lady? (Dave Clark, Mike Smith) Soft Rock / A.O.R.
A5 [02:35] 3.7.png Dave Clark and friends - The Time Has Come (Dave Clark, Mike Smith) Pop Ballad
A6 [03:49] 8.1.png Dave Clark and friends - If You’ve Got A Little Love To Give (Jim McCarty) Soul
A7 [05:50] 5.2.png Dave Clark and friends - Officer McKirk (Peter Davison) Novelty
B1 [02:56] 6.0.png The Dave Clark Five - Paradise (Is Half As Nice) (Lucio Battisti, Jack Fishman) Pop
B2 [02:48] 5.5.png Dave Clark and friends - Draggin’ The Line (Tommy James, Bob King) Pop
B3 [02:53] 2.4.png Dave Clark and friends - Think Of Me (Dave Clark, Mike Smith) Pop Ballad
B4 [02:51] 3.3.png Dave Clark and friends - One-Eyed, Blue-Suited, Gun-Totin’ Man (Dave Clark, Mike Smith) Soft Rock / A.O.R.
B5 [02:26] 2.6.png Dave Clark and friends - Right Or Wrong (Dave Clark, Mike Smith) Soft Rock / A.O.R.
B6 [03:12] 3.3.png Dave Clark and friends - I Don’t Know (Dave Clark, Mike Smith) Rock
B7 [02:56] 6.5.png The Dave Clark Five - Put A Little Love In Your Heart (Jackie DeShannon, Randy Myers, Jimmie Holiday) Blues Rock / Soul Rock
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