As the sound of 'Swinging London' evolved from the mod rock and pop scene, so did Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich (DD, D, B, M & T), which featured Dave "Dee" Harman (guitar/vocals), Trevor "Dozy" Davies (bass), John "Beaky" Diamond (rhythm guitar), Michael "Mick" Wilson (drums), and Ian "Tich" Amey (lead guitar). The quintet's third long-player, If No One Sang (1968), reflects the progression within the genre and is arguably the combo's most musically satisfying and eclectic outing. It would likewise be the final full-length platter that they would issue prior to Dee's departure in the summer of 1969. Although success in the States remained elusive, they continued to produce hits throughout England and Germany. Specifically, the nonsensical "Zabadak" and the chart-topping "Legend of Xanadu" became definitive entries in their catalog. True to their previous hits, the songwriting team of Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley -- who also managed the band -- centered their material on catchy, if not somewhat quirky, melodies with highly singable choruses. However the title composition, "If No One Sang" -- which bookends the effort with a pair of renderings -- demonstrates DD, D, B, M & T's versatility. The dark chord progressions and solitude of the desolate acoustic guitar and solo vocal immediately suggest the more mature tenor of the material. The introspective and slightly baroque ballad "Where From, Where To?" as well as the lightly orchestrated samba-tinged cover of Tim Hardin's "If I Were a Carpenter" are other examples of the more thoughtful and reflective nature of the tunes. "Time to Take Off" is a punchy, driving waltz arrangement that propels the melodies Latin-flavored overtones. Considerably more theatrical is the overtly Mediterranean sound of the aforementioned "Legend of Xanadu," which also became a showstopper thanks to the dramatic crack of Dee's whip. In 2003, If No One Sang was issued on CD with ten supplementary sides, consisting of non-LP singles, as well as Italian versions of both "Zabadak" and "Save Me," the latter of which is titled "Follemente Vivo." Enthusiasts will be well-served by this title however, those seeking an appropriate compilation are directed to the 18-track Best of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich (2000).
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AllMusic Review by Lindsay Planer