1966 Dave Clark Five –Try Too Hard
The Dave Clark Five took over the number one position on the UK charts when they knocked the Beatles off the top of the chart in 1963. A few months later they crossed the Atlantic and began placing records into the US top ten.
The group’s records stuck out in a very unusual way. When playing records on the radio, we had a VU meter that showed the volume level of the music as the song played. While you played most records, the needle went back and forth as the sound got louder or quieter.
But not for the records by the Dave Clark Five!
Somebody apparently sent their recordings through an equalizer, because when their records started, the needle went up and stayed in almost exactly the same spot until the record ended. And then it dropped back to zero again. Maybe that made it easier to dance to, but it certainly is a distinctive sound once you know to listen for it.
One of their singles that almost had some dead air in the middle of the song was Try Too Hard. A few carefully placed notes played one at a time on a piano helped keep the level of the volume up, making the record appear to have a fixed level of sound throughout. The single didn’t chart in the UK, but it reached #12 on the US Hot 100 in 1966.
The group’s singles struggled to even reach the top forty after Try Too Hard. They reached #7 on the Hot 100 in 1967 with their single You Got What It Takes, followed that with a song that only got as high as #35, and never reached the top forty again.
The group continued to have top ten records in their native UK until they disbanded in 1970. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.
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