The Dave Clark Five on a picture sleeve I do not own…
Listen – Dave Clark Five – Maze of Love – MP3
I have returned from my vacation, if not well rested then at least tired for the right reasons.
Despite a few days of ungodly, torrential rain (like end of the world monsoon stuff) we managed to see some cool stuff, I won a couple of hundred dollars playing the penny-slots (no, really) and we managed to hit Frank Pepe’s in New Haven, CT on the way home for another helping of the worlds greatest pizza.
The track I bring you today may come as quite the surprise for the unprepared. If you saw the name ‘Dave Clark Five’ and indulged in a little taste of ‘whatthefuck’-ery, I wouldn’t blame you. But bear with me my friends, for the ones and zeros you’ll be pulling down this fine day are dripping with freaky, psychey goodness that you will not soon forget.
I’ve always had something of a love/hate relationship with the DC5. I grew up hearing their New Orleans influenced stompers (some more like the work of mobs of chanting soccer hooligans) and never really appreciated them much, though a little research will let you in on the fact that in their prime, they gave the mighty Fabs a run for their money here in the States.
As strange as it may seem, for a long time, the only track of theirs I really (REALLY) loved – so much so that my lovely wife and I had it played at our wedding – was 1964’s ‘Because’, perhaps the most un-DC5-ish tune in their toolkit.
Over the decades my attitude about the band softened considerably as I came to appreciate the power behind their most popular stuff, and in a small way because I heard the track you see before you today. When ‘History of the Dave Clark Five’ was released in 1993, breaking a lengthy embargo during which almost none of the band’s material was available on reissue, I first heard the amazing ‘Maze of Love’.
Released in 1968 (in both the US – on Epic – and in the UK – on Columbia) as the B-side of ‘The Red Balloon’, ‘Maze of Love’ is the DC5 soaked in some of that good Carnaby Street/Technicolour Dream juice, taking them to a place they’d never been before, and would never really return to again. It was one of those ‘where in hell has this track been all of my life’ moments. Having spent much of the previous decade immersed in the ‘British Psychedelic Trip’, the Rubble and whatnot, I’d been digging these kinds of sounds, completely unawares that the DC5 had been making more of the same.
Here you have the fuzz, the pounding drums, the Gary Walker and the Rain-ish vibe that is light years beyond, and completely alien to those familiar with stuff like ‘Glad All Over’. It sounds like a bunch of Droogs grabbed the band, beat them senseless, stole their matching suits and went into the studio, making and releasing one record before they were discovered and sorted out by the local constabulary.
Heavy stuff, and thanks to my man Mr Luther liquidating some of his prized singles a while back, now resting quietly in my crates.
I hope you dig it and I’ll be back later in the week.