The Dave Clark Five

The Dave Clark Five and Friends

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In a little-known postscript to the Dave Clark Five's career, Dave Clark kept releasing records for a little while after the DC5 disbanded in 1970, using the billing "Dave Clark Five & Friends." Mike Smith, the most important member of the DC5 as its principal lead vocalist, was still on board for these recordings, but otherwise the "Friends" were other musicians who had not been in the Dave Clark Five lineup. The self-titled Dave Clark Five & Friends LP came out in the U.K. in 1972, but was never issued in the U.S., making it perhaps the rarest of all DC5-related albums. Like many LPs issued by the DC5 themselves, it's not a proper album, but a collection of tracks spanning several years that had often already seen release on singles. In some cases, in fact, they'd even been recorded and issued by the Dave Clark Five back in the late '60s; "Put a Little Love in Your Heart," "(If) Paradise (Was Half as Nice)," and "Bring It on Home to Me" had all been 1969 A-sides for the band in either the U.S. or the U.K. Filling out the album were five tracks that had already been issued on 1970-1972 singles, plus a few others. That's not the way to create a consistent musical groove, but a more serious flaw is that this just isn't Clark, Smith, or whatever group Clark was leading, at their best. There are too many run-of-the-mill covers in the circa 1970 mainstream rock style, including, as hard as it may be to imagine, Neil Young's "Southern Man" (as well as, in addition to the other covers cited above, Tommy James' "Draggin' the Line" and the Five Man Electrical Band's "Signs"). Some of the other material sounds a little like the harder edge of early-'70s AM radio pop, though not attached to memorable songs, with "One-Eyed, Blue-Suited Gum" and "Officer McKirk" being a little reminiscent of Mungo Jerry.