What on earth could this song possibly mean? "Zabadak", DDDBM&T's ninth British single (a mere three charted in the US, and only this one broke into the Hot 100), combines a lovely, ethereal melody with a lyric that defies explanation, if not necessarily transcription. Could this be the prototype for Lennon's "Sun King"? Maybe, maybe not. Dave Dee isn't talking these days, but Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich are still touring, and they still play their old hits, and according to DBM&T, they got into a tiff with their erstwhile managers/chief songwriters Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley over just what's important in making a hit record. The group argued that given a strong-enough melody, the words could be completely and utterly meaningless and the record would still be a hit. (Then again, what would you expect from a band that put out an album called If Music Be the Food of Love...Prepare for Indigestion?) "Zabadak" met these requirements and then some, and everyone concerned watched in bemused delight as it rose to #3 on the British charts. The follow-up was "The Legend of Xanadu", a #1 song in England and a substantial stiff in the US, which I suppose proves something.
Where can I get this on CD?
You'll have to go to a Fontana UK import to get the rest of the best of Dave and the boys, but "Zabadak" can be had on Rhino's The British Invasion: The History of British Rock, Vol. 9 (R2 70327, 1991).
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Copyright © 2001 by Charles G. Hill
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