Thursday, January 10, 2013

Rant #880: A Little Bit Now

Baseball's Hall of Fame voters signified with their non-vote yesterday that they at least need more time to examine those who flourished in the steroid era.

They didn't vote in anybody, steroid-tarnished or not, so they have made their priorities very clear indeed, doing "a little bit now" to show that those circumstances might not be tolerated by the voters, at least at the present time.

The perfect segueway ...

"A Little Bit Now" was one of the last U.S. charted singles by one of my favorite rock and roll groups of the 1960s, the Dave Clark Five.

It only reached No. 67 on the U.S. charts, but it always resonated with me.

I guess I like big, loud, fun music, and that is what this song is.

The Dave Clark Five (or DC5 for those who like shortened names) created the Tottenham Sound--a rocking, stomping sound--and they followed the Beatles to America.

The Beatles and the DC5 were the two top bands in the then-emerging "British Invasion" of music on our shores, where everything British was considered to be in and "mod."

Not only the Beatles and the DC5, but also Herman's Hermits, Petula Clark, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Freddy and the Dreamers, and later the Rolling Stones and the Who became popular over here, topping the charts with their music, seemingly out of nowhere.

The DC5's sound was almost like the music equivalent of the sound a DC5 jet makes when it takes off. With much of their music propelled by a saxophone, of all instruments, Dave Clark, Dennis Payton, Rick Huxley, Lenny Davidson and Mike Smith had the sound, the look, and the talent to win over our ears.

Of course, Smith's lead vocals were always a standout, too, and he is one of rock's most underrated vocalists for sure.

They had many, many hits in a short period of time: "Glad All Over," "Over and Over," "Bits and Pieces," "Catch Us If You Can," "Everybody Knows (I Still Love You)" ... the list goes on and on.

"A Little Bit Now" was really not one of them, making the lower reaches of the chart.

1967 was a great year for music. The Monkees were probably the world's top rock act, but the Beatles were not going quietly, releasing their "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" masterpiece that year.

Rumblings of new music were coming out of America's West Coast, and the music scene was changing.

The DC5 were pretty much past their prime in America, although earlier in the year, they did have their one last, great hit, "You Got What It Takes."

However, with the release of "Sgt. Pepper" in late June, popular music was about ready to change, and the DC5 were starting to be considered old hat.

"A Little Bit Now" came out in August of that year, and by that point, with "Sgt. Pepper" residing at the No. 1 spot in the album charts for two months at this time, well, the DC5 weren't going very far on the American charts.

But I loved the record, loved the picture sleeve, and really, I was a huge DC5 fan, so the record resonated with me.

It's one of those forgotten songs that no oldies station would ever play, because it didn't connect with enough people to move up the chart like their previous hits did.

The DC5 had a couple more chart hits in the U.S., but their popularity as a high-charting act was basically done here.

In England, however, for whatever reason, they picked up in popularity, and had numerous big hits there through 1970.

The DC5's good-timey, pounding music was finally recognized a few years back when they went into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame under a black cloud, but that is another story for another time.

I really liked the Dave Clark Five, and give a listen to the tune--if you haven't heard it, this song might just make you a fan, too.


  1. I don't remember ever hearing "A Little Bit Now" on our local radio station. The last one I remember was "At the Scene," which is why when I first heard about it late 90s I assumed it was a UK release.

  2. It got some scant airplay, and I think diehards just bought it because it was by one of their favorite bands. I actually don't think I have ever heard this one on the radio. The last DC5 songs I heard new on the radio in New York were "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby," and "You Got What It Takes," but after those songs, nothing. This song is pretty neat, I think, certainly a forgotten tune with a superb picture sleeve. Happily, I have both the record and the sleeve in my collection.



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