Presented below is a compilation of tracks composed by, performed by, or involving musicians named Dave, Davey, David, etc. Please note that this list is not exhaustive and is always subject to change and debate, as is the case with all my collections. It was played on my Verso’s Home Run program on Felixstowe Radio on Tuesday, April 18th, 2023, when Dave Ablitt was my guest.
10] Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mike and Tich – The Legend of Xanadu
Renowned for its infectious tune and unforgettable lyrics, The Legend of Xanadu narrates the tale of Kubla Khan and his grandiose palace. The song alludes to Coleridge’s renowned poem “Kubla Khan,” which portrays the palace as “a stately pleasure dome” and “a miracle of rare device.” Moreover, the song’s inventive incorporation of instruments such as the sitar and tabla imparts a distinct exotic ambiance that enhances the song’s overall appeal.
09] David Soul – Don’t Give Up on Us
Tony Macaulay, the writer of other chart-toppers like “Baby Come Back” by The Equals and “Build Me Up Buttercup” by The Foundations, penned “Don’t Give Up on Us.” In addition to its lovey-dovey lyrics and infectious tune, the track stands out for its production. By recording Soul’s vocals at half-speed and subsequently accelerating them during playback, the song boasts a one-of-a-kind, almost surreal quality.
08] The Byrds – Mr Tambourine Man
Bob Dylan wrote the song, which was subsequently covered here by The Byrds (featuring David Crosby on guitar). The song narrates the tale of a man who is lost and seeking purpose in his life. The protagonist is drawn to the sound of a tambourine played by a mysterious figure, and the tambourine man offers to take the narrator on a journey where he can find solace and forget his worries. The song has become a classic of the counterculture movement of the 1960s and was popular among anti-war protesters and hippies who interpreted it as a call to reject the norms and embrace a more spiritual and liberated lifestyle.
07] Joan Baez – Song For David
Joan Baez, recognised as a folk music legend, is renowned for her resonant voice and political advocacy. “Song for David,” a tribute to her then-spouse David Harris, is among her most beloved tracks. David Harris, a prominent anti-war campaigner during the Vietnam War, was ardently supported by Joan, who wrote “Song for David” as a source of optimism and backing for him and others similarly devoted to peace and ethical principles. The song’s verses are replete with depictions of nature and liberty, as Joan vocalises about the breeze rustling through the foliage and the birds soaring through the air. She also alludes to the struggles encountered by individuals dedicated to bringing change, proclaiming, “There are no victories in all our histories without love.”
06] Carter USM – A World Without Dave
The song, found on the EP of the identical title, commences with a remarkable opening line that stands out among all others. “Dave ran away to the circus, To get away from the clowns” – flawless and still so true even after nearly twenty-five years.
05] The Jam – David Watts
The single “A Bomb in Wardour Street” had David Watts as its B-side. Ray Davies of The Kinks wrote the song, which was first recorded for their album, Something Else in 1967. The track tells the tale of a charming and well-liked young man named David Watts, whom the singer admires. According to the lyrics, David is the “kingpin of the school” and “the captain of the team,” always in the company of his friends and admirers. Additionally, the song features a rare vocal performance by Bruce Foxton.
04] The Kinks – Waterloo Sunset
The tune is a tribute to London, with a focus on the vicinity surrounding Waterloo Station. Its verses portray the scenery seen from the bridge, including the hustle and bustle of travelers and the sunset over the metropolis. The song has been understood as a reflection of the seclusion and desolation felt by urban residents, as well as their longing for social interaction and companionship.
03] Mott the Hoople – All the Young Dudes
David Bowie wrote and produced All the Young Dudes, and generously gave it to Mott the Hoople when they announced their plans to disband. The track became one of their most successful hits, peaking at number three on the UK charts. The song addresses the challenges and obstacles faced by youth, but also inspires listeners to relish their youthfulness and savour life’s moments.
02] Deacon Blue – I’ll Never Fall in Love Again
The narrative of the song revolves around an individual who has abandoned the idea of love due to repeated heartbreaks. Despite its lively tune, the song carries a somber and reflective tone, as Ross’s vocals convey a feeling of surrender and recognition. Penned by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, numerous artists have covered the song throughout the years. Deacon Blue’s rendition has garnered acclaim for its memorable melody, poignant lyrics, and Ross’s powerful and emotional vocal delivery.
01] Chas n Dave – Aint No Pleasing You
The tale conveyed in the song portrays a couple who struggle to satisfy one another, despite their best efforts. With amusing and clever lyrics and a memorable tune, the track has garnered a devoted following of all generations. The triumph of “Ain’t No Pleasing You” solidified Chas n Dave’s position in the music world. Despite their accomplishments, Chas n Dave remained modest and committed to their art. They continued to tour and composing music for many years until Chas’s untimely death in 2018.