The Story and Music of Dave Edmunds


Introduction to Dave Edmunds

Dave Edmunds (born David William Edmunds in 1944) is a Welsh/British guitarist, singer and record producer. He began his music career playing with different bands, starting from the Edmund Bros with his older brother Geoff, and then The Raiders, and Love Sculpture. After Love Sculpture split, he formed his solo career during the 70s music era with a big hit, his cover of Fats Dominos’ “I Hear You Knocking.” It became a chart-topping hit at home and a Top 10 hit in the US. When he began his solo career, he mounted a repertoire consisting of good-ol’ American-style rock and roll. Despite this, he has been strongly associated with pub rock and new wave due to producing works of many acts such as Brinsley Schwarz, Ducks Deluxe, The Flamin’ Grooves, and Nick Lowe, who belonged to pub rock/new wave movement. Edmunds has also collaborated with other bands, among them Lowe, with whom Edmunds established a short-lived pub rock/rockabilly/power pop band Rockpile, who have been now regarded as the finest in British rock music circles. With Rockpile, Edmunds and Lowe recorded several albums, but due to the contract restrictions by their respective labels, Rockpile recorded and released records that were either credited to Edmunds (Repeat When Necessary) or Lowe (Labour Of Lust) until they released an album under Rockpile’s name Seconds Of Pleasure. He has worked for other artists such as ELO’s Jeff Lynne, Paul McCartney, Stray Cats, Fabulous Thunderbrids, Status Quo, and had also performed for Ringo Starr’s All-Star Band. He has been performing up to this day, albeit intermittently, mostly playing for the oldies music circuit.

Dave Edmunds’ early musical career

Welsh singer, guitar player and record producer Dave Edmunds was born David William Edmunds on April 15, 1944 in Cardiff, Wales. Along with his brother Geoff, their own act the Edmunds Bros in 1954. They became a band in 1957 called the Stompers (later the Heartbeats), adding Denny Driscoll (lead vocalist), Ton Edwards (bassist) and Johnny Stark (drummer) to the lineup. In 1961, Edmunds fronted the Raiders, a rockabilly group from Cardiff that was well-known in South Wales. The group had been into several personnel changes, but it was only Edmunds who remained constant. In 1965, the group was signed to Parlophone where they recorded for a year.

After being in a rockabilly group, Edmunds tweaked his sound this time to blues-rock with the newly-formed Human Beans. The band proved to be short-lived but they were able to issue a little-known single called “Morning Dew” for Columbia Records. Edmunds formed a trio called Love Sculpture with Bob Jones (drums) and John Williams (bassist) who had been with Edmunds during the Raiders days. The Love Sculpture gained commercial success in 1969, releasing the quasi-novelty “Sabre Dance.” Their rendition of the Khachaturian song made to the Top 5 of the UK singles chart. Nonetheless, the group disbanded in late 1970. Throughout their brief career, the Love Sculpture recorded two LP’s: Blues Helping (1968) and Forms and Feelings (1970).

Edmunds as a solo artist with “I Hear You Knocking” and other hits

In late 1970, Edmunds was signed as a solo recording artist to his manager’s MAM imprint. His debut single “I Hear You Knocking” became an unexpected transatlantic hit, peaking at #1 on the UK charts and #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Over three million copies of the record was sold which later earned a gold disc designation. The song was included on Edmund’s first classic rock solo album Rockpile (1972).

In the following year, Edmunds issued two singles “I’m Coming Home” and “Blue Monday,” which were both minor successes. Edmunds scored a couple of Top 10 UK hits in 1973 with “Baby I Love You” (#8) and “Born to Be With You” (#5). These singles were some of the tracks on Edmund’s sophomore effort Subtle as a Flying Mullet (1975)

Edmunds in the 1980’s and later years

Edmunds somewhat defined the pub rock movement when he started to work as a producer for groups like Ducks Deluxe, Flamin’ Groovies and Brinsley Schwarz. Around 1976, he formed  Rockpile, another group comprising of himself as well as Brinsley Schwarz members Billy Bremmer and Terry Williams (ex-Love Sculpture member) and Nick Lowe. Although Edmunds and Lowe could not record as Rockpile due to their own respective contractual obligations, they nevertheless recorded as a group. However, their records weren’t yet billed “Rockpile” but either “Dave Edmunds” or “Nick Lowe” until 1980.

However, after the release of Rockpile’s only LP Seconds of Pleasure in 1980, the band split. Edmunds also worked actively as a producer around that time, He worked with artists such as the Stray Cats, King Kurt and Paul McCartney to name a few. In 1983, Edmunds issued the album Information where he worked with Electric Light Orchestra’s Jeff Lynne for a couple of his songs.

Since the mid-1980s, Edmunds has been touring more frequently than recording. In 1992 and 2000, he became a part of Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band. In 2007, he made a comeback and embarked on a tour with Joe Brown across the UK. In 2008 and 2009, Edmunds performed on Jools Holland’s Hootenanny. An album was released on 2013 called Again that includes tracks from the 1990’s and several new material.



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