Imagine you're in the sixties, and your favourite group has just released a new album. Well, this is it : "The BBC Sessions" ! The chance to hear that elusive B-side from their initial single "Is It Love" ; a lot of never-before-available songs: "Hello Josephine", "Watch Your Step", "(You´ve Been A) Bad Girl", "Dr. Feelgood", The Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black", Buffalo Springfield's "Mr. Soul" and "Bluebird" ; tracks previewed on the BBC long before they got an official recording: "Hands Off !", "If I Were A Carpenter", "Run Colorado" ; and Harman, Wilson, Davies, Amey & Dymond going psychedelic on the back of their hits with their own "She´s So Good", "The Sun Goes Down", "Please", "Still Life". All these, played live in the studio, will be reviewed here one by one, including the Top Of The Pops songs that were not found in the BBC Archives : "Dancing In The Street", "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)"... From A (A Bad Girl) to Z (Zabadak) here they come (not alphabetical, but in random order)
"The Rolling Stones only did about 12 BBC sessions, and so the fact that The Beatles did 52 is absolutely phenomenal".
Compared to these, Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich totalled 96 BBC Sessions, including 44 week-long bookings that add up to 181 days more. The grand total of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich appearances at the BBC would then amount to 277, in 3 ½ years between April 1966 and October 1969.
A few years have passed since this website was started, and since Dave Dee and Co.'s BBC sessions were made officially available on CD. In the meantime, new information has come to light regarding these and the BBC archives in general. Many other 60's BBC sessions have been released, and studying the sources of the tracks by groups like the Searchers, Tremeloes or Marmalade, it seems that BBC Transcription Discs are the only archive that are usually exploited. Only few big names like the Beatles or the Jimi Hendrix Experience did trigger enough private recordings of radio shows to diversify the sources. Consequently, either the Transcription Disc can be traced and all its tracks may - or may not - be used, or it has been lost and the whole show has disappeared. Then again, some tracks might have been discarded from the "official" BBC sessions CD's because of too many versions (Bend It) and lack of space (it would be nice to hear the complete interviews done by Brian Matthew).
Thanks to some information gathered here and there, and lately especially from John Holman, it seems now possible to trace the exact source of the BBC sessions Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich made between 1966 and 1971.
Their first Transcription Disc contribution was for "Top Of The Pops", dated week 22/1966, and manufactured in June 1966. In the mid-sixties, these shows usually presented 5 groups or artists, each performing 2 or 3 songs, with introductions by Brian Matthew who every time conducted a few interviews. Towards the end of the sixties, the shows tended to carry more performers, presenting only 1 or 2 songs each. A track featured on one disc might eventually be repeated in a subsequent show once, less often twice.
1. Top Of The Pops No. 79 - 3 June 1966 Is It Love, Hold Tight (1), You Make It Move (1) CD1: Tracks 1, 2, 3
2. Top Of The Pops No. 86 - 22 July 1966 We’ve Got A Good Thing Goin' (1), Hideaway, Frustration (1) CD1: Tracks 4, 5, 6
3. Top Of The Pops No. 91 - 26 August 1966 [NOT FOUND] No More Love, Frustration, Hideaway The first song is not on the official BBC discs. The other two might be repeated from the previous show.
4. Top Of The Pops No. 98 - 14 October 1966 Bend It (1), She's So Good, Hands Off CD1: Tracks 7, 8, 9
5. Top Of The Pops No. 104 - 25 November 1966 We've Got A Good Thing Goin' (2), Bend It, Hello Josephine CD1: Track 10 The first song is different from TOTP #86. So "Bend It" might be different too.
6. Top Of The Pops No. 116 - 17 February 1967 Hard To Love You, I'm On The Up (1), Save Me (1), You Make It Move (2) CD1: Tracks 11, 12, 13, 14
7. Top Of The Pops No. 120 - 17 March 1967 [NOT FOUND] Save Me (2), Dancing In The Street, Help Me (1), I'm On The Up (2) According to John Holman, "Save Me" and "I'm On The Up" are different from TOTP #116. "Help Me" is different from the version appearing on the following show. So probably this is the Transcription Disc featuring "Dancing In The Street".
8. Top Of The Pops No. 124 - 14 April 1967 Help Me (2), Touch Me Touch Me, Watch Your Step CD1: Tracks 15, 16, 17
9. Top Of The Pops No. 134 - 23 June 1967 He's A Raver, Okay, (You've Been A) Bad Girl (1), Hold Tight (2) CD1: Tracks 18, 19, 20, 21
10. Top Of The Pops No. 136 - 7 July 1967 Okay, Here's A Heart, He's A Raver CD1: Track 22 "Okay" and "He's A Raver" seem to be the same as on the previous Disc.
11. Top Of The Pops No. 147 - 22 September 1967 Doctor Feelgood (1), If I Were A Carpenter (1), (You've Been A) Bad Girl (2) CD1: Tracks 23, 24 "Bad Girl" was featured on TOTP #134, but this version is slightly different.
12. Top Of The Pops No. 156 - 24 November 1967 [NOT USED ?] Frustration (2), Zabadak (1), Doctor Feelgood (1) "Frustration" should be the 1967 version, "Zabadak" reappeared on the next show, and "Dr. Feelgood" is a repeat from the previous show.
13. Top Of The Pops No. 159 - 15 December 1967 The Sun Goes Down, Frustration (2), Zabadak (1) CD1: Tracks 25, 26 This version of "Frustration" can be found on the "Shapes & Sounds Vol. 3" album.
14. Top Of The Pops No. 172 - 15 March 1968 Zabadak (2), The Legend Of Xanadu, The Tide Is Turning CD1: Tracks 30, 27, 28
15. Top Of The Pops No. 175 - 5 April 1968 The Tide Is Turning, Please, The Legend Of Xanadu CD1: Track 29 "The Tide Is Turning" and "The Legend Of Xanadu" are repeats from TOTP¨#172.
16. Top Of The Pops No. 190 - 19 July 1968 Mama Mama, If I Were A Carpenter (2), Paint It Black CD2: Tracks 1, 2 "If I Were A Carpenter" is not the same as on TOTP #147.
17. Top Of The Pops No. 194 - 16 August 1968 Bend It ( ), Last Night In Soho, Doctor Feelgood (2) CD2: Tracks 3, 4 "Bend It" is probably yet another version than the available ones.
* Top Of The Pops No. 200 is a "Best Of Top of the Pops" presenting previously released tracks by the biggest stars from all shows, 1964-1968, including "Zabadak".
18. Top Of The Pops No. 203 - 18 October 1968 [NOT FOUND] Just Dropped In, The Wreck Of The Antoinette, Mr Soul "Just Dropped In" can be found on the "Shapes & Sounds Vol. 3" album. The two other songs are thankfully repeated on the following show.
19. Top Of The Pops No. 208 - 22 November 1968 Mr. Soul, Still Life, The Wreck Of The Antoinette CD2: Tracks 5, 6, 7
20. Top Of The Pops No. 229 - 18 April 1969 Don Juan, Loos Of England CD2: Tracks 8, 9
21. Top Of The Pops No. 231 - 2 May 1969 Run Colorado, Don Juan CD2: Track 10 "Don Juan" was featured on the previous disc.
22. Top Of The Pops No. 238 - 20 June 1969 Snake In The Grass, Bora Bora CD2: Tracks 12, 11
23. Top Of The Pops No. 239 - 27 June 1969 [NOT USED] Hold Tight (?), Snake In The Grass
24. Top Of The Pops No. 241 - 11 July 1969 Snake In The Grass A third repeat of their last single.
25. Top Of The Pops No. 253 - 3 October 1969 Bend It (2), Hold Tight (3) CD2: Tracks 13, 14
And that completes the DDDBM & T portion of the BBC sessions.
Note: The BBC was often called by familiar names like 'The Beeb' and 'Auntie'. The Who also sang 'Dancing In The Street' at the Beeb; The Marmalade performed 'Wait For Me Mary Ann' at the BBC; The Small Faces also played 'If I Were A Carpenter' for Auntie; Manfred Mann included 'Watch Your Step' in a BBC session; The Pretty Things were another 'colourful' signing on Fontana Records.
(YOU'VE BEEN A) BAD GIRL
(You’ve Been A) Bad Girl is the jewel of the BBC sessions !
The only unreleased DDDBM&T track that was not a cover, but was penned by the group. The booklet included with the BBC CD's credits the song to "Harman/Wilson/Davies/Amey/Dymond" - as were all the songs written by the group in 1966/67, whether the five of them were involved or not. But the "Top Of The Pops" disc has the host, Brian Matthew, stating it is Dave Dee's songwriting.
(You’ve Been A) Bad Girl was first broadcast on 20 May 1967 on Saturday Club, and later included on the Top Of The Pops Transcription Disc n°134, dated 23 June 1967. Here's how Mario Sienknecht described it in Zabadak #3: An up-tempo number, very straightforward, fine vocals by Dave with background chorus by the rest of the band. Nice little guitar solo in the middle, very catchy, a melody you've heard two or three times before you are able to sing along to it. A hit!
But we have two versions of the song, with a very subtle nuance. The difference between guitar playing of #1 and #2 is quite clear. The second verse starts with "Once upon a time I thought our love was so great", followed by "[ I ] thought it was impossible..." This " I " being added only in the second take, from the Transcription Disc pictured here:
Coincidentally, Paul Revere & The Raiders, the American "Teeny Bop" group Dave Dee & Co. have often been compared to, also left an unreleased track from their "Spirit Of '67" LP from January 1967 called: (You're A) Bad Girl.
Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich recorded their "live" version of the song, written by Amory Kane, on 12 June at the BBC, and it was transmitted on Pete's People radio show on 29 June. So there are three covers of "Mama Mama", the first from the album "If No-One Sang" recorded in February, the BBC live take and the composer's own, to be found on his album released a while later, in January 1969.
"Mama Mama" is a bluesy rocker, with boogie-based piano and drums to the fore. There was indeed a brief Rock'n'Roll revival around April/May 1968, led by the Beatles release of "Lady Madonna", with groups like "At Last The 1958 Rock ‘n‘ Roll Show" (with Freddie 'Fingers' Lee) and even Buddy Holly and Bill Haley finding their way back into the British Top Fifty.
As usual when it comes to vintage Rock'n'Roll, Dozy takes over vocal duties, as he does on "Hello Josephine" or "Help Me". On the album version, Dozy's lead vocal is given a Gene Vincent echo effect. But the BBC version is done without piano, the lead guitar taking over the bridge, in pure R'n'R style.
In Zabadak n°3, from December 1986, Mario Sienknecht wrote his comments on the available Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich "Live Tapes" :
This is Martha Reeves & the Vandellas' classic done in much the same style than the original. Dave Dee's lead vocals are accompanied by some fine backing vocals from the other members of the band. As it's quite a short song there are no solos. Again this one was not released on record but most probably it was done onstage. Remember in 1966 to 1968 it was a common thing for white bands to perform soul songs which were very popular at the time. (Page 8)
Unfortunately, this song could not be found in the BBC archives. On tape, it is introduced by Brian Matthew thus : "...Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich! And it’s a good thing Dave Dee’s not still a copper ‘cos he’s Dancing In The Street!" And it is followed in a sort of medley by "Help Me". So it probably dates from late '66 or rather early '67. The track lists from the Transcription Discs made in the first half of 1967 are not available.
Danish Radio, Top of the Pops, 1967: Dancing In The Street/Help Me (Medley)