Sunday Music – The Red Balloon

Posted on Sun 08/28/2016 by


Today’s music video is The Red Balloon and the song is performed here by the English group The Dave Clark Five.

Link to Video at You Tube

This video was posted to You Tube by kevk57

Funny how you hear a song and like it, and it doesn’t become a hit, and you wonder how people’s tastes in music can differ so much. I loved this song The Red Balloon,  from the minute I first heard it. While the song was a Top Ten hit in the UK, it did not even get remotely close to making it onto the Top 40 here in Australia. That was a little odd thing about this band. While most of the bands and artists who came on so thick and fast in those early and mid 60’s The Dave Clark Five were nowhere near as big here in Australia as some lesser name bands were at that time.

They were all part of the sound which became known as The British Invasion, a term more popular in the U.S. than anywhere else.

Although the band had been around for almost five years, as had most of these famed bands at that time, it all just went ballistic in 1962/3 as The Beatles roared off into the Stratosphere, taking all these other bands and artists with them. Most of them stayed up there but The Beatles just kept on going, setting new heights with every song they released.

While The Beatles were the first of what became known as either The Mersey Sound, (Liverpool was on the banks of the Mersey River) or The Liverpool Beat, this band, The Dave Clark Five came from London, and that’s how the marketing went at the time, Liverpool versus London.

In 1963, with five Singles already released only one of which charted, this band released Glad All Over, a raging monster Number One smash hit for the band, and actually displacing a Beatles song from Number One, so The Dave Clark Five was touted as the next big thing, the new Beatles, or their most serious threat, and as soon as they were given that name, it was like hanging a giant Albatross around the neck of the band, because, even then, there was nothing the equal of The Beatles.

Dave Clark was a pretty astute man, and he retained control over the band, as their manager, and also their producer, and holder of the rights to all the band’s songs, while other bands had outsiders for those tasks. Dave Clark knew that making it big in the UK was a good thing, but making it in the U.S. was even bigger, so the first thing he did was line up a tour of the U.S. and The Dave Clark Five was the first UK band of this new music era to tour the U.S. just after The Beatles paved the way.

Because of that, this band was bigger in the U.S. than in their home, the UK. They had more hits in the U.S. than in the UK, and played to packed houses at every touring venue every time they toured the U.S.

Despite being tagged as the new Beatles, there was no comparison, and while popular for a number of years, they faded pretty quickly really.

I liked nearly all of their songs, (whenever I would hear them on the radio at the time) but the music buying public is an entire other thing, and while huge in the U.S. and big in the UK, they only had two hits here in Australia that made it into the Top Ten, and their huge hit song Glad All Over only made Number Three, their highest performing Single here in Australia, and only three other songs inside the Top Twenty, and virtually nothing after 1965, barely managing two good years here in Australia, a much smaller market than even the UK was.

TheDaveClarkFiveTheRedBalloonThe song I have featured today, The Red Balloon, was a Top Ten hit for the band in the UK in late 1968, but here in Australia, it barely even registered, and received very little airplay, and didn’t even get remotely close to making it to the Top 40.

This was a band which perhaps may at one time have been the (almost perhaps at a stretch) equal to The Beatles, but The Beatles were far and away bigger than any other band or artist.

As you watch this grainy black and white video, where the band is obviously miming the song, something they all did (or had to do) in those days, be aware that this band was indeed different from the others, as the band’s leader, Dave Clark, was the drummer, something different in those days, and also included a saxophone as part of the band’s makeup. The band survived for another couple of years and finally folded in 1970, all just part of the music of a whole generation.

Posted in: Music, Videos