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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich - "Greatest Hits" Vinyl, LP, Compilation, 1967 (Fontana)

I could be wrong, but I suspect that Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich (DDDBM&T) never actually had a hit in the United States.  For one, who can remember their full name?  Two, they made brilliant ultra-pop records.  So pop that it borders on the eccentric side of that category.  There are two reasons why I'm interested in DDDBM&T.  One, I first heard "Bend It" in conjunction with the great art duo Gilbert & George, where they did a dance to this recording.  I loved the song immediately.  And two, all their hit songs were written by Howard Blaikley, who were actually two songwriters, and wrote tunes for my beloved The Honeycombs. 

I don't think there is another band like DDDBM&T.  Their sound was unique in that it had traces of exotica but done in a hyper-British production that borders on over-production.  "Bend It" is just as powerful as The Who's "My Generation."  It's a rave-up type of tune, with the melody starting off slow, and then it gets faster and faster. Based on a Greek theme motif, it even has a bouzouki on the recording that gives it that cosmopolitan air.  DDDBM&T. had no fear of sounding corny.  In fact, no fear whatsoever.   

This "Greatest Hits" collection is made for American listeners, and it only has 10 songs on the album.  There are more hits and even intriguing b-sides in the U.K., but this is obviously a contractual release of some sort. I'm not sure if there was another official release in America of their music.  In a nutshell, there are better collections out there in the European countries and even (of course) in Japan. For the hardcore fan who must have it all, I direct you there.  Still, this is a delightful album for what it is.  Great tunes here like "Bend It," "You Make It Move," and my fave "Hands Off."   I now regret that I didn't purchase the Japanese CD releases that came out a few years ago.  What I have besides this album is stuff that I downloaded from various websites over the years.