Dandy (song)

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Single by The Kinks
from the album Face to Face
B-side "Party Line"
Released October 1966 (Europe)
Format 7" single (45 RPM)
Recorded May–June 1966 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
Genre Rock
Label Pye 7N 317
Writer(s) Ray Davies
Producer(s) Shel Talmy
The Kinks singles chronology
"Sunny Afternoon"
"Dead End Street"

"Dandy" is a 1966 song from The Kinks, appearing on their Face to Face album.


In the song, songwriter Ray Davies skewered the would-be master lover of the title. Davies sings about how the dandy is "chasing all the girls" and how the girls "can't resist [the dandy's] smile." However, he warns the dandy that "when [he's] old and grey, [he'll] will remember what they said: that two girls are too many, three's a crowd and four you're dead!" Still, the singer feels sympathy for the dandy, saying "Dandy, you're all right."

There is speculation that Davies wrote the song in reference to the wild lifestyle of his younger brother, Kinks guitarist Dave Davies.

Release and reception[edit]

"Dandy" was only released in Britain and America on the Face to Face album. However, it was released as a single in Continental Europe, where it charted, reaching #1 in Germany, #2 in Belgium and #3 in the Netherlands. In some countries, (such as Norway) "Dandy" was flipped with "Party Line" (also from Face to Face) as the A-side.

AllMusic's Stewart Mason said of "Dandy" that "Davies delivers the lyrics, about a neighborhood lothario, with just the right mixture of disgust and admiration; his slyly witty vocals are truly what makes the song. Musically, the tune harks back to the music hall tradition of George Formby; Dave Davies' guitar is so trebly and clean that it sounds like a ukulele ? or perhaps an electrified rubber band ? and the gently swinging tune sounds like it could have been an old vaudeville hit. 'Dandy' is a charming, slightly subversive, gem."[1] Stephen Thomas Erlewine, also from AllMusic, noted "the music hall shuffle of 'Dandy'" as a "wonderful moment" from Face to Face.[2]

Herman's Hermits version[edit]

Single by Herman's Hermits
from the album There's a Kind of Hush All Over the World
B-side "My Reservation's Been Confirmed"
Released September 1966 (US)
February 1967 (UK)
Format 7" single (45 RPM)
Recorded De Lane Lea Studios, London, 13 August 1966
Genre Pop
Label MGM K-13603
Writer(s) Ray Davies
Producer(s) Mickie Most
Herman's Hermits singles chronology
"This Door Swings Both Ways"
(US, 1966)
"No Milk Today"
(UK, 1966)
"East West"

"Dandy" became a hit single in North America in 1966 as recorded by fellow UK group Herman's Hermits in that same time frame, reaching #1 in Canada on the RPM national singles chart[3] and #5 in the US on the Billboard Hot 100. It also made #3 in New Zealand. This version was not released as a single in the UK.

When comparing The Kinks' original version of "Dandy" to Herman's Hermits' cover, Stewart Mason of AllMusic said, "Herman's Hermits would have the US hit with Ray Davies' 'Dandy,' but the Kinks' own version, from 1966's masterful Face To Face, is far superior to Peter Noone's charming but gormless rendition."[1]

The Rockin' Vickers version[edit]

The Rockin' Vickers also released "Dandy" as the A side to a 1966 single. (Their main claim to fame was that Lemmy was a band member before his stint with Hawkwind and his formation of Motörhead.) British singer Clinton Ford also released a version of the song as a single in the same year.


  1. ^ a b Mason, Stewart. "AllMusic 'Dandy'". Retrieved 2014-05-28. 
  2. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "AllMusic 'Face to Face'". Retrieved 2014-05-28. 
  3. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2012-02-12. 
Preceded by
"Last Train to Clarksville" by The Monkees
Canadian RPM 100 number-one single
(Herman's Hermits version)

14 December 1966 (one week)
Succeeded by
"Poor Side of Town" by Johnny Rivers