And so we launch head-first into 1964. Suddenly we are in the mid-sixties! Doesn’t time fly! And kicking off the new year are some newbies at the top of the UK singles charts: The Dave Clark Five.
Glad All Over, by The Dave Clark Five (their 1st and only #1)
2 weeks, from 16th – 30th January 1964
Interestingly, none of the acts that topped the charts in 1963 were one-offs. Every single one of them had hit #1 previously, or would go on to hit #1 again. But the very first chart-topping act of 1964 are… drum roll… one #1 wonders!
Anyway, this a barnstorming way to start off. We get a thumping, grinding drum-beat designed to blow away any lingering new year hangovers, which is quickly joined by a bass and a stabbing saxophone. Then the singer (Mike Smith, not Dave Clark) jumps in: You say that you love me, All of the time, You say that you need me, You’ll always be mine…
The beat then morphs into an insistent, irresistible galloping-horse rhythm that will last for the whole song. And then comes a chorus that pretty much everyone knows: And I’m feelin’… Glad all over…Yes, I’m a-… Glad all over…!
It’s an non-stop sledgehammer of a song, with large swathes of call-and-response and a key-change that is pointless trying to resist. Other girls may try to take me away… (you can just pictures the girl’s eyes rolling at this point)… But you know, It’s by your side, I will stay… It’s a fun disc. File it under ‘unsophisticated’. This and The Tremeloes’ ‘Do You Love Me’ from a few posts ago would make a great drunken-1am-singalong double-header.
Like ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, this is also a huge football, and rugby, crowd song – the call and response bits work perfectly – and is usually played after a home-team scores (Crystal Palace started it when ‘Glad All Over’ was still in the charts and lots of other teams followed suit). It was last seen in the UK charts a couple of years ago when Glasgow Rangers fans did a mass-download campaign. In fact, I’d have to say that this is just the latest in a run of chart-toppers that have entered the public consciousness like few previous #1s have. From ‘Sweets For My Sweet’ through ‘Do You Love Me’, plus the recent Beatles chart-toppers… I’ll bet most people on the streets could sing a line or two from all of these songs, even today. Just goes to show how much the music from this era lingers on.
Since we’ll never hear from them again on this countdown – just who were The Dave Clark Five? Well, you’ll be shocked to discover that there were five of them, and that they were ‘led’ by one Dave Clark, who also drummed on all their hits. They were from Tottenham, in North London, and were at the vanguard of the ‘Tottenham Sound’ -which I’m not sure sounded any different to the Mersey-sound, or any other variety of Beat-band sound, but hey – they were representing. As I mentioned, this was their one and only #1; but they scored Top 10s throughout the sixties before splitting up in 1970.
There you have it then. 1964 is off and running with a boisterous pop number. I don’t go in for previews very often in these posts, but I have to mention here that ’64 is going to be a stellar year for chart-topping singles. One of the very best… if not the best… years in terms of #1 quality. Over the course of the next twenty-two hits we’ll hear some classics, meet some legends, and have a generally pretty ‘groovy’ time (that’s how people talked back in the sixties…)