tue 09/08/2022

Music Reissues Weekly: The Dave Clark Five - Glad All Over, The Pretty Things - Live At The BBC | reviews, news & interviews

Music Reissues Weekly: The Dave Clark Five - Glad All Over, The Pretty Things - Live At The BBC

Music Reissues Weekly: The Dave Clark Five - Glad All Over, The Pretty Things - Live At The BBC

Raw radio recordings win out over rewritten history

The early Pretty Things: thrillingly edgyMark St. John

At the beginning of November 1964, a form of changing of the guard was evident in the UK’s singles chart.

The Dave Clark Five sat at number 25 with “Anyway You Want it,” the highest placing for their follow-up to “Thinking of You Baby.” Although they were four places lower at 29, The Pretty Things would have been happy as “Don’t Bring me Down,” their second single, was rising up the charts. One band represented a primal interpretation of the recently popular R&B sound, the other an uncomplicated take on Beat Boom tropes.

The DC5 wouldn’t have been bothered by their relatively poor UK chart position as their focus was now on the States: “Anyway You Want it” reached 14 on Billboard’s Top 40. The Pretty Things would never figure on the national US singles charts. In their home country, the DC5 represented a type of musical stasis – they would not move forward, whereas The Pretty Things were thrillingly edgy when they emerged and, up to around 1973 or 1974, continually evolved. But there they both were in late 1964, each reflecting a facet of the cultural and musical changes Britain was bringing to the world. Markedly different bands, yet each was part of the same continuum.

THE PRETTY THINGS LIVE AT THE BBCFittingly, a pair of new archive releases from each band also sharply contrast with each other. The Pretty Things Live At The BBC is a six-CD set in a slipcase with a booklet, mostly covering the period 1964 to 1975 with a couple of additional sessions from 2009 and 2018. Glad All Over is a curious vinyl-only reissue of the DC5’s debut US album.

Live At The BBC will be a title familiar to Pretty Things fans as a four-disc, 60-track set with the same name was issued in 2015. This expanded overhaul adds 50 additional tracks. In the main, these are – which is pretty bizarre – alternate unedited or elongated versions of songs played for live concerts broadcast by the BBC from 1973 to 1975 (which were collected in 2015). There are also three totally different versions of “Cries From the Midnight Circus” from a single Sounds of the Seventies show dated to 11 September 1970. It is hard to grapple with why live performances were edited for airplay or why different takes were taped for the BBC. But so be it. The 2009 and 2018 sessions are issued for the first time.

Most thrilling is what’s collected on Discs One to Three. Here are the 1964 to 1972 Pretty Things caught with immediacy, without a studio gloss. Not that they had much gloss anyway. It is astounding to experience them playing their psychedelic-era material much as it was heard on the released records. “SF Sorrow is Born,” “Talking About the Good Times,” “Walking Through my Dreams” and their contemporaneous friends are mind-blowers. The booklet goes into the full story.

The Dave Clark Five_GLAD ALL OVERWhile Live At The BBC is an in-depth, unvarnished reading of an aspect of The Pretty Things story, the Glad All Over is not a clear-cut release as it is not what was issued in the US in 1964 – what went Top Ten there. The 1964 album had five tracks on Side One and six on Side Two. This new version has six on Side One and five on Side Two. On Side One, “Crying Over You” has been added. On Side Two, “No Time to Lose,” “Doo Dah” and “She’s All Mine” are removed from the 1964 tracklist and replaced with “3406” and “Who do You Think You’re Talking to.”

This perplexing re-rendering is marketed as a “Limited Edition White Vinyl Reissue of 1964 Debut Album Glad All Over…released on vinyl for the first time since 1964.” It is not, indeed, a reissue of the album as its tracklist has been altered. Nonetheless, the marketing material also says “The reissue also include [sic] an updated tracklist.” No reason is given for this monkeying.

In its original form Glad All Over isn’t a rare album, and 1964 mono copies with the sleeve reproduced for this new rendering sell for upwards of $3 in OK and better shape. Postage costs notwithstanding, one of these better represents The Dave Clark Five’s debut US album than this strange new release. On the other hand, anyone who has not heard The Pretty Things’s BBC material needs Live At The BBC.

@MrKieronTyler

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