Mud (band)

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Mud - TopPop May 1974 5.png
Mud in 1974
Background information
Origin London, UK
Genres Glam rock, pop, rock and roll
Years active 1966–1990
Labels RAK Records
Private Stock Records
RCA Records
Past members Les Gray
Rob Davis
Ray Stiles
Dave Mount

Mud were an English glam rock band, formed in February 1966. Their earlier success came in a pop and then glam rock style, while later hits were influenced by 1950s rock and roll, and are best remembered for their hit singles "Tiger Feet", which was the UK's best-selling single of 1974, and "Lonely This Christmas" which reached Christmas number 1 in December 1974. After signing to RAK Records and teaming up with songwriters/producers Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, the band had fourteen UK Top 20 hits between 1973 and 1976, including three number ones.[1]

Band members[edit]

  • Lead vocalist Les Gray (born Thomas Leslie Gray, 9 April 1946,[2] Carshalton, Surrey. He died of a heart attack on 21 February 2004, Lagos, Portugal)
  • Lead guitarist Rob Davis (born Robert Berkeley Davis, 1 October 1947,[2] Carshalton, Surrey)
  • Bass guitarist Ray Stiles (born Raymond John Stiles, 20 November 1946,[2] Guildford, Surrey)
  • Drummer Dave Mount (born David George Mount, 3 March 1947,[2] Carshalton. He died on 2 December 2006, at St Helier's Hospital, Carshalton)[3]


Mud in AVRO's TopPop (Dutch television show) in 1974

The band released their debut single "Flower Power" on CBS in 1967, but were not immediately successful.[4][5][6] This was followed by three further singles in 1967/68, "Up The Airy Mountain" / "The Latter Days", "Shangri-La" / "House On The Hill" and "Jumping Jehosophat" / "Won't Let It Go", none of which made any impression on the UK Singles Chart.

The band appeared on the Basil Brush Show on BBC TV, and toured as support for Jack Jones. After years of unsuccessful singles, they were signed to Mickie Most's RAK label, and had three Top 20 successes in 1973 with "Crazy" (No. 12), "Hypnosis" (No. 16) and "Dyna-mite" (No. 4).[1]

At the peak of their career they also enjoyed British number one singles with "Tiger Feet"; and "Lonely This Christmas" (1974), an affectionate Elvis Presley pastiche; plus "Oh Boy" (1975), a cover of the Buddy Holly hit, which also featured on their album Mud Rock Volume 2. "Tiger Feet" sold over 500,000 copies in the UK and a million copies globally.[2]

Like contemporaries Sweet, their most successful period came when their records were written and produced by Chinn and Chapman, and in 1975 they had seven singles in the UK Top 40 totalling over 45 weeks on the chart, the most by any artist in 1975. "Oh Boy" was the only number one single produced by Chinn and Chapman that they did not also write.[7]

"Lonely This Christmas" gets seasonal airplay on British radio and television, (along with Slade's "Merry Xmas Everybody" and Wizzard's "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday"). The band also embraced the burgeoning disco craze, as exemplified on their 1976 single "Shake It Down" which reached No. 12 in the UK chart. After "Tiger Feet" they released "The Cat Crept In" which reached No. 2 in April 1974, which was written to exploit Les Gray's vocal impression of Presley.[8] Their next single "Rocket" reached No. 6 in the UK, after which they released another track from their album Mud Rock, a cover of "In the Mood". This was released under the name of "Dum" ("Mud" spelt backwards), but it failed to chart.

After the success with "Lonely This Christmas", they cracked the Valentine's Day market with "The Secrets That You Keep", which reached No. 3 in February 1975. Around this time Mud wound up their contract with RAK releasing three further singles, "Oh Boy" (their third and final UK No. 1), "Moonshine Sally" (No. 10) and "One Night" (No. 32). Mud also split from Chinn and Chapman in mid-1975 and signed to Private Stock (licensed to Philips in Continental Europe). There they enjoyed three more British Top 20 hits within seven months: "L-L-Lucy" (No. 10), the ballad "Show Me You're A Woman" (No. 8) and the disco-influenced track "Shake It Down" (No. 12). The latter two singles saw them gradually moving away from glam rock, which was now unfashionable. Keyboardist Andy Ball, formerly of Candlewick Green, joined the band briefly during this period, to be replaced in early 1978 by Brian Tatum.[9]

Their last single to reach the British charts was a cover of the Bill Withers song "Lean on Me" which reached No. 7 in the UK in December 1976.[1] This was followed by Gray's solo version of "Groovy Kind of Love" on Warner Bros., which peaked at No. 32 in the UK.

In 1977, with Private Stock in financial difficulties, the band moved to RCA. Their first single on that label was "Slow Talking Boy", a folk rock song composed by John Kongos,[10] and featuring Davis playing a Vox 12-string guitar-mandolin; they performed this song on BBC TV's Top of the Pops,[11] but without reaping any chart success. Mud's next single, "(Just Try) A Little Tenderness", was their final appearance on any major national chart, stalling at No. 98 in Australia.[12] Three more singles, all cover versions, followed in 1978[10] before RCA dropped the band and Gray quit for a solo career; the original band continued for a short while with female vocalist Margo Buchanan in Gray's place,[9] releasing an unsuccessful single for Carrere,[10] before finally disbanding in 1979.

The last single release to be credited to Mud was "Lipstick on Your Collar", issued in 1983 from the album Mud featuring Les Gray.[1]

The last performance by the four original members was on 3 March 1990 at Dave Mount's wedding; a video recording of which was made by Mount.

After the original band broke up in 1979, Gray toured as Les Gray's Mud in various line-ups, initially from 1980–85 with members of the Bristol based Cherie Beck Band, featuring Stuart Amesbury, Dale Fry, Nick Richie and Rob John. Bassist Jon Camp, formerly of progressive rock band Renaissance, was briefly a member during 1980/81, having met Gray when both were signed to Warner Bros. in the late 1970s.[13] Gray subsequently toured with Tim Fish (guitar), Mark Hatwood (drums) and Kevin Fairburn (bass), and ultimately with John Berry (bass), Syd Twynham (guitar, ex-Liquid Gold), Wole Rothe (drums, ex Liquid Gold) and Phil Wilson (drums). Twyham and Wilson still tour the 1970s circuit with Chris Savage (keyboards) and Marc Michalski (bass) as 'Mud II'. Rob Davis appeared on stage with this line up in October 2010.

Stiles joined the Hollies; whilst Davis went on to co-write several highly successful dance hits for Kylie Minogue and Spiller featuring Sophie Ellis Bextor.[1] Drummer Mount went into the insurance business.

Gray died on 21 February 2004 in Portugal, of a heart attack, as a result of throat cancer.

Mount appeared on an episode of Never Mind The Buzzcocks on BBC Two in November 2005, and featured in the "spot the pop star of the past" identity parade segment. Mount died on 2 December 2006. He had been married twice and worked as a salesman latterly. His obituary appeared in The Independent newspaper.[14]

A short version of "Tiger Feet" was played at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics.



  • "Flower Power" b/w "You're My Mother" (1967)
  • "Up the Airy Mountain" b/w "The Latter Days" (1968)
  • "Shangri-La" b/w "House on the Hill" (1969)
  • "Jumping Jehosaphat" b/w "Won't Let It Go" (1970)
  • "Crazy" b/w "Do You Love Me" (1973); UK No. 12
  • "Hypnosis" b/w "Last Tango in London" (1973); UK No. 16
  • "Dyna-mite" b/w "Do It All Over Again" (1973); UK No. 4
  • "Tiger Feet" b/w "Mr. Bagatelle" (1974); UK No. 1
  • "The Cat Crept In" b/w "Morning" (1974); UK No. 2
  • "Rocket" b/w "The Ladies" (1974); UK No. 6
  • "In the Mood" b/w "Watching the Clock" (1974)
  • "Lonely This Christmas" b/w "I Can't Stand It" (1974); UK No. 1
  • "The Secrets That You Keep" b/w "Still Watching The Clock" (1975); UK No. 3
  • "Oh Boy" b/w "Watching The Clock" (1975); UK No. 1
  • "Moonshine Sally" b/w "Bye Bye Johnny" (1975); UK No. 10
  • "One Night" b/w "Shake, Rattle and Roll/See You Later Alligator" [medley] (1975); UK No. 32
  • "Hula Love" b/w "Dyna-mite" / "The Cat Crept In" / "Tiger Feet" [medley] (1975)
  • "L'L'Lucy" b/w "My Love Is Your Love" (1975); UK No. 10
  • "Show Me You're a Woman" b/w "Don't You Know" (1975); UK No. 8
  • "Shake It Down" b/w "Laugh Live Love" (1976); UK No. 12
  • "Nite on the Tiles" b/w "Time and Again" (1976)
  • "Lean on Me" b/w "Greacian Lament" (1976); UK No. 7
  • "Slow Talking Boy" b/w "Let Me Out" (1977)
  • "Just Try (A Little Tenderness)" b/w "Gives You The Good Times Now" (1977)
  • "Beating Around the Bush" b/w "Under the Moon of Love" (1977)
  • "Cut Across Shorty" b/w "We've Got To Know" (1978)
  • "Drift Away" b/w "Let Me Get (Close To You)" (1978)
  • "Why Do Fools Fall in Love/Book of Love" b/w "Run Don't Walk" (1978)
  • "Drop Everything and Run" b/w "Taking The Easy Way Out" (1979)
  • "You'll Like It" b/w "Can't Stop" (1979)
  • "Rico" b/w "Make a Buck (1980) (released under the name Ring)
  • "Lipstick on Your Collar" b/w "Don't Ever Change" (1983)
  • "Lonely This Christmas" (re-issue) b/w "I Can't Stand It" (1985)[1][15]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 382. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 348. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  3. ^ "Stephen Glover: A prissy judgement by the PCC". The Independent (London). 20 September 2010. [dead link]
  4. ^ Giulio D'Agostino (2001). Glam Musik: British Glam Music '70 History. p. 193. ISBN 0-595-16563-X. Mud's Discography Date Label Tracks Highest 1967 CBS203002 "Flower Power" / "You're My Mother 
  5. ^ Dafydd Rees, Luke Crampton (1991). Rock Movers and Shakers: An A-Z of People Who Made Rock Happen. p. 354. ISBN 978-0874366617. MUD.. Apr They make their first live appearance at Streatham Ice Rink, South London, and release one-off debut single "Flower Power", for CBS. ... After 2 years' gigging as a semi-professional band, Mud turns professional and re-signs with CBS, releasing "Up The Airy Mountain 
  6. ^ Colin Larkin (2006). Encyclopedia of Popular Music 10. p. 57. ISBN 978-1846098567. Their debut single for CBS Records, 1967's 'Flower Power', was unsuccessful but they continued touring for several ... 
  7. ^ Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 167. ISBN 0-85112-250-7. 
  8. ^ Eder, Bruce. "Mud - Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-07-05. 
  9. ^ a b "The MUD Story - The Cast". 1947-10-07. Retrieved 2013-12-01. 
  10. ^ a b c "Mud Discography - UK". 45cat. Retrieved 2013-12-01. 
  11. ^ "Mud - Slow Talking Boy". YouTube. 2011-11-27. Retrieved 2013-12-01. 
  12. ^ Steffen Hung. "Forum - Top Singles of 1977 (Personal Charts: Your Special Occasion Charts)". Retrieved 2013-12-01. 
  13. ^ "Les Gray/Mud-Rocket (ATV-Starburst tv )". YouTube. 2012-02-25. Retrieved 2013-12-01. 
  14. ^ "Dave Mount". The Independent (London). 18 December 2006. Retrieved 13 May 2010. 
  15. ^ "Mud Discography - UK - 45cat". Retrieved 16 January 2015. 
  16. ^ "Mud Discography". 16 March 2009. Retrieved 2012-08-23. 

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