Sunday, 4 October 2009

The Dave Clark Five: The U.S. Singles, 1963 - 1973



London's The Dave Clark Five were the first act to seriously rival the Merseybeat groups spear-headed by The Beatles, Gerry And The Pacemakers & The Searchers in the early sixties, with 'Glad All Over' replacing 'I Want To Hold You Hand' at the number one spot in the U.K. charts in January 1964. Soon afterwards the group concentrated their efforts mostly in the U.S.A., where they toured heavily & appeared regularly on major TV shows including more appearances on 'The Ed Sullivan Show' than any other act, & achieving twenty-four Top 100 'Billboard' chart hits over the next few years. For this article I'm concentrating on their U.S. rather than U.K. singles for two reasons: they released far more records in the U.S.A. during their 1964-1967 commercial peak than they did in the U.K. (often including songs not released elsewhere) ; and many of these singles featured exclusive picture sleeves which (where possible) I've featured in this post, though I've substituted other sleeves when none were issued for U.S. singles.



I Walk The Line / First Love (Rust 5078, 1964)

Prior to signing with Columbia in the U.K. & Epic in the U.S.A. the band released three flop singles on the budget Ember & Piccadilly labels in the U.K., & these were also released in the U.S.A. on other minor labels. This first U.S. single was actually their second U.K. single though the sides were flipped, with the slower 'First Love' being the U.K. A-side. Both this & Johnny Cash's 'I Walk the Line' are performed as Duane Eddy-style instrumentals (though there are some background vocals on the A-side) & are nothing special at all. Note: this single was possibly also issued earlier on Laurie 3188, though it seems that no-one has ever seen a copy. 3 / 3



Chaquita / In Your Heart (Jubilee 5476, 1964)

The group's debut U.K. single, 'Chaquita' is a blatant re-rewrite of The Champs' classic 'Tequila' though there's some excellent saxophone, & 'In Your Heart' starts as a pretty good instrumental until some very dodgy vocals enter about halfway through. 3 / 3



Glad All Over / I Know You (Epic 9656, February 1964) (USA # 6 / UK # 1)

Their first major hit both in the U.K. & the U.S. & one of the greatest records ever made! This sound would be the template for most of their singles over the next year or so though there would be some exceptions as we shall see. The stomping 'I Know You' is nearly as good & could've made a pretty decent A-side too. In the U.K. their first single on Columbia (& 4th single in total) was 'Mullberry Bush' (backed by an inferior re-cut of 'Chaquita') but it wasn't a hit & remained unissued in the states. 5 / 4



Bits And Pieces / All Of The Time (Epic 9671, April 1964) (USA # 4 / UK # 2)

Even more raucous than the previous hit, 'Bits & Pieces' was banned from many venues as people were apparently causing too much damage with their stomping feet (& they weren't alone either; I was 15 months old when this was released & my family can recall that I used to stomp around the front room [lounge] to it, obviously loving The Dave Clark Five even then!). The melodic B-side is notable for it's unusual guitar sound. 5 / 4



I Knew It All The Time / That's What I Said (Congress 212, April 1964) (USA # 53)

Another single from their pre-Columbia & Epic days, this was first issued in the U.S.A. in 1963 but was then re-issued (with a picture sleeve) after 'Glad All Over' was a hit. Sung by Mike Smith in an uncomfortable-sounding baritone, part of the melody would later be used to far greater effect in 'Catch Us If You Can'. The B-side is a re-write of The Big Bopper's 'Chantilly Lace' & features uncharacteristic female backing vocals. 3 / 3



Do You Love Me / Chaquita (Epic 9678, May 1964) (USA # 11 / UK # 30)

A minor hit in the U.K. due to Brian Poole & The Tremeloes' rival version (The Contours' original didn't do anything in the U.K.), this is my favourite version of the song despite the lack of a 'slow' intro as featured on other versions. The B-side in the U.K. was 'Doo Dah' but unfortunately that was no improvement over 'Chaquita'. 5 / 3



Can't You See That She's Mine / No Time To Lose (Epic 9692, June 1964) (USA # 4 / UK # 10)

Another excellent uptempo song though this one is more straight 50's-styled rock 'n' roll albeit with very '60's organ. The B-side is a bit too close to 'Twist And Shout' for comfort but is otherwise an inspired performance (apparently they actually recorded 'Twist And Shout' & then rewrote the lyrics but used the same backing track when they found out that Brian Poole & The Tremeloes were releasing it as a single!). Incredibly the superb 'Because' was thrown away as the U.K. B-side. 5 / 4



Because / Theme Without A Name (Epic 9704, August 1964) (USA # 3)

Possibly their greatest slower song, this is apparently Dave's favourite Dave Clark Five song. The B-side is a pretty guitar instrumental (backed by strings) very reminiscent of 'Ringo's Theme' also known as 'This Boy'. Instead of this great single the U.K. got the far more mediocre 'Thinking Of You Baby' backed with 'Whenever You're Around' (both of these songs were featured in the movie 'Get Yourself A College Girl', also known as 'The Swinging Set'). 5 / 4



Everybody Knows (I Still Love You) / Ol' Sol (Epic 9792, October 1964) (USA # 15 / UK # 37)

Not to be confused with the similarly-titled 1967 single, this is a very good mid-paced song though it's not quite as memorable as 'Because'. The U.S. B-side is a mid-paced rhythm 'n' blues instrumental that could almost be mistaken for The Yardbirds if it wasn't for Mike keep shouting 'Ol Sol', while the U.K. B-side was 'Say You Want Me' which sounds a bit like 'Anyway You Want It', their next U.S. single. 4 / 4



Anyway You Want It / Crying Over You (Epic 9739, November 1964) (USA # 14 / UK # 25)

Perhaps the pinnacle of their early "stomping" hits, this sounds as if it was recorded from the back of a cavern (or perhaps The Cavern!), such is the reverb. The B-side is a slow romantic ballad, & for once both the U.K. & U.S. flips were identical. 5 / 4



Come Home / Your Turn To Cry (Epic 9763, February 1964) (USA # 23 / UK # 16)

Their first really slow A-side ('Because' & 'Everybody Knows (I Still Love You)' were more mid-paced), this starts with just bass & drums with other instrumentation added as the song progresses, an imaginative arrangement of a strong song. The B-side (again the same in the U.K. as in the U.S.) is pretty good though perhaps a bit too similar to 'Because'. 5 / 4



Reelin' And Rockin' / I'm Thinking (Epic 9786, April 1965) (USA # 23 / UK # 24)

A wild version of the Chuck Berry classic, & proof that The Dave Clark Five could re-create genuine '50's rock 'n' roll better than almost any of their Beat Group contemporaries. 'I'm Thinking' is a powerfully-performed mid-paced song that was strong enough to be an A-side, while in the U.K. we got a very good version of Bobby Day's 'Little Bitty Pretty One' as the B-side. 5 / 5



I Like It Like That / Hurting Inside (Epic 9811, June 1965) (USA # 7)

Not issued as a single in the U.K., this is a raucous version of the Chris Kenner song (also recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis in 1979), whilst the mid-tempo B-side is a stunning ballad that I could easily imagine Paul McCartney singing circa 'A Hard Day's Night'. 5 / 5



Catch Us If You Can / On The Move (Epic 9833, August 1965) (USA # 4 / UK # 5)

The title track from their entertaining movie (which was retitled 'Having A Wild Weekend' in the U.S.A.), this was a move away from the more raucous earlier hits, & superb it is too. Dave Clark recalls his contemporaries at the time asking how they got that smooth harmonica sound (perhaps they speeded the backing track up?). The B-side is a moody instrumental (one of their best), this time with superb saxophone, & was also used on the U.K. flip side. 5 / 4



Over And Over / I'll Be Yours (My Love) (Epic 9863, November 1965) (USA # 1 / UK # 45)

Although this was their biggest U.S. hit, I've always found their version of Bobby Day's 'Over And Over' a little corny myself (it sounds almost like something Bill Haley would've sung). The flip side (same in the U.K. & U.S.) is another slow ballad, though more soul than pop this time. 4 / 4



At The Scene / I Miss You (Epic 9882, February 1966) (USA # 18)

Another single not released in the U.K., the A-side is notable for some great drumming (apparantly by session man Bobby Graham) & Mike's vocals at their most raucous, while the B-side (featuring a rare Denis Payton lead vocal) again reminds me of 'This Boy' (or is it 'Yes It Is'?) but with it's excellent harmonies it is still more than worthwhile. 4 / 4



Try Too Hard / All Night Long (Epic 10004, April 1966) (USA # 12)

A bit more experimental than most of their singles up until this point, 'Try Too Hard' has a memorable guitar & piano intro & is one of their more interesting songs. The B-side is an absolutely manic instrumental with a Bo Diddley rhythm, really excellent. Sadly this combination of A & B-side was their first U.K. single since March 1963 that failed to chart, probably because they weren't in the country to promote it at the time. 5 / 5



Look Before You Leap / Please Tell Me Why (Epic 10031, June 1966) (USA # 28 / UK # 50)

Despite 'Look Before You Leap' being the official A-side, it was actually 'Please Tell Me Why' which charted (when released in the U.K. this was actually the A-side). Both are very good mid-paced songs but 'Please Tell Me Why' with it's 3 / 4 (waltz) timing is probably the stronger side. Their popularity in the U.S.A. was starting to wane a little by now in favour of groups like Herman's Hermits (& soon) The Monkees, hence the lower chart placing. 4 / 4



Satisfied With You / Don't Let Me Down (Epic 10053, August 1966) (USA # 50)

A real change of direction here, with the A-side being almost a country song with restrained vocals, harmonica & honky-tonk piano. The B-side has nothing to do with The Beatles but is instead a '50's styled rock 'n' roll song with pounding piano. An under-rated single that wasn't released back in their homeland. 4 / 5



Nineteen Days / Sitting Here Baby (Epic 10053, October 1966) (USA # 48)

'Nineteen Days' is my personal favourite Dave Clark Five track! Powerful falsetto laden vocals, guitar that Keith Richards would've been proud of & fantastic rock drumming from session man Bobby Graham, my only criticism is that it's too short. 'Sitting Here Baby' is very different, sounding like the kind of song George Formby would've sung. Perhaps it was inspired by Herman's Hermits giant U.S. hit 'Mrs Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter' though it's superior to that. The B-side in the U.K. was the more rocking 'I Need Love', but despite this the single failed to chart. 5 / 4



I've Got To Have A Reason / Good Time Woman (Epic 10114, January 1967) (USA # 44)

Another U.S. only single, the A-side isn't a bad song but it sounds a little too much like the superior 'Catch Us If You Can' to be an out & out classic, while 'Good Time Woman' is a fast breezy number with honking sax & a strong bass line. 4 / 4



You Got What It Takes / Doctor Rhythm (Epic 10144, April 1967) (USA # 7 / UK # 28)

Their last big U.S. hit, this enthusiasticly performed Marv Johnson song (later a big U.K. hit for Showaddywaddy) is backed by a brass section to good effect, though I prefer the R&B / soul 'Doctor Rhythm'. The B-side in the U.K. was 'Sitting Here Baby', already released on an earlier single stateside. 4 / 4



You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby / Man In The Pin Striped Suit (Epic 10179, June 1967) (USA # 35)

Again backed by brass, this is a rauciously sung song with 'old time' chord changes (I could easily imagine Chas & Dave including this in one of their sing-a-long medleys!). Personally I find the end result strangely unpalatable, though the U.K. A-side 'Tabatha Twitchit' was worse. 'Man In The Pin Stripped Suit' (the B-side to both singles) is quite catchy & commercial. 3 / 4



A Little Bit Now / You Don't Play Me Around (Epic 10209, August 1967) (USA # 67)

Yet again with heavy brass backing, this is a far better uptempo soul-pop song, which also features distorted guitar & soulful female backing vocals. The soul influence continues on the superbly-sung slower B-side. Incidentally whoever compiled the Dave Clark Five discography on Wikipedia forgot to include this U.S. only single! 4 / 4



Red And Blue / Concentration Baby (Epic 10244, November 1967) (USA # 89)

A superb ballad backed by strings & brass & with a restrained Mike Smith vocal, again this fine single wasn't issued back home. 'Concentration Baby' has a strong soul Otis Redding / Sam & Dave influence & is another good song wasted as a B-side. 5 / 4



Everybody Knows / Inside And Out (Epic 10265, November 1967) (USA # 43 / UK # 2)

With ever-decreasing record sales in the U.S. they now started concentrating their efforts more on the U.K. again, with dramatic results! A fine gentle ballad sung by guitarist Lenny Davidson (it suited his voice better than Mike Smith's) & backed by a full orchestra & female backing vocals, this was the group's final (minor) U.S. chart entry yet it propelled the group nearly back to the top of the U.K. charts, & they would continue having U.K. hits (off & on) for the next three years. The B-side 'Inside And Out' can best be described as pop-psych, with oriental-sounding guitar, a Lennon-esque vocal from Mike Smith (think 'I Am The Walrus') & swirling violins. The U.K. had 'Concentration Baby' as the flip instead. 5 / 5



Please Stay / Forget (Epic 10325, May 1968)

A slowed-down & very soulful version of a song originally recorded by The Drifters (& recently revived by Duffy) though the strings tend to overpower things a little towards the end. The B-side 'Forget' must surely be an older previously unreleased recording (maybe they did forget!). A pretty good song, but it is a typical Dave Clark Five 1964-1965 B-side that must've sounded very dated in 1968. This wasn't released in the U.K. where they chose 'No One Can Break A Heart Like You' (backed with 'You Don't Want My Lovin''), an inferior 'Everybody Knows' soundalike again sung by Lenny Davidson. 4 / 4



The Red Balloon / Maze Of Love (Epic 10325, September 1968) (UK # 7)

'The Red Balloon' is a catchy but lightweight pop song with a rare Dave Clark lead vocal & sounds more like Herman's Hermits than The Dave Clark Five. Despite or because of this it became a big U.K. hit. 'Maze Of Love' is a psychedelic rock song, similar to what The Pretty Things were doing at the time on 'S.F. Sorrow', though the opening guitar riff is a little reminiscent of 'Sgt Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band'. If they'd released A-sides like this & 'Inside And Out' at the time instead of lightweight pop songs then they might've been taken a bit more seriously by the music critics. Both U.S. & U.K. releases featured the same two songs, but after this the two were rarely the same, with far more singles released in their homeland. I won't list all the U.K.-only releases from this point on, but you can see here for more details. 4 / 5



Paradise (Is Half As Nice) / 34-06 (Epic 10476, March 1969)

A slightly re-titled version of the U.K. smash hit by Amen Corner, this is performed faster & with full orchestral backing though is inferior in my opinion. '34-06' is a slow ballad with a soaring vocal by Mike Smith. This song was issued in the U.K. a few months later as the flip side to the memorable 'Put A Little Love In Your Heart', but the 'Paradise (Is Half As Nice)' remained a U.S.-only single, no bad thing for once. 3 / 4



If Somebody Loves You / Best Day's Work (Epic 10509, March 1969)

Again not released in the U.K., this is an orchestrated breezy pop song with female backing vocals & would've perfectly suited Andy Williams. A poor choice for the group. Far, far better is 'Best Day's Work', a song with distorted guitar & heavy drums that is performed at medium pace throughout except in the faster instrumental section. One of the better later Dave Clark Five recordings. 3 / 5



Bring It On Home To Me / Darling, I Love You (Epic 10547, November 1969)

The third U.S. single in a row not to be released in the U.K. (though we were getting plenty of alternative singles of varying quality), this is a gospelised version of the Sam Cooke classic that was also recorded by The Animals, Little Richard & John Lennon amongst many others. Here it is performed slower, with churchy organ, passionate Mike Smith vocals & a soulful female vocal group that was probably led by Madeline Bell. 'Darling I Love You' isn't a great song but the strong arrangement & vocals (similar to the A-side) raise the song well above mediocrity. 5 / 4



Here Comes Summer / Five By Five (Epic 10635, February 1970) (UK # 44)

A Beach Boys type update of the old Jerry Keller song with good harmonies & country-ish guitar, this deserved to do much better chart wise. 'Five By Five' is one of their best instrumentals with organ, tom-tom drums & distorted guitar though the song was at least three years old by this point (the U.K. single had 'Break Down And Cry' on the flip instead). 4 / 5



Good Old Rock 'n' Roll Medley / One Night / Lawdy Miss Clawdy (Epic 10684, June 1970) (UK # 7)

1968-1969 saw a big revival of interest in '50's rock 'n' roll in the U.K. with records like Bill Haley's 'Rock Around The Clock' becoming hits again as well as groups like The Beatles & The Rolling Stones recording more rootsy music. The Dave Clark Five were always good at this type of music, so they belatedly recorded a couple of U.K. singles featuring medleys of '50's classics, 'Good Old Rock 'n' Roll' & 'More Good Old Rock 'n' Roll' (the latter actually being recorded by Dave Clark & Friends rather than the full DC5). Confusingly, the U.S. 'Good Old Rock 'n' Roll' single is in fact the U.K. 'More Good Old Rock 'n' Roll', & this is backed by two more revivals. While they don't quite match the originals they are still more than worthy efforts. 4 /4 /4



Southern Man / If You Wanna See Me Cry (Epic 10704, January 1971)

The Dave Clark Five announced their break-up in August 1970, though Dave Clark & Mike Smith continued to record with various session men (& women) until 1973 to complete their ten year contract, with most of these records credited to 'Dave Clark And Friends'. These tended to sound far more contemporary though perhaps more anonymous too. The first single under this new arrangement both in the U.S. & U.K. was this one. A Neil Young song, this features lots of percussion & heavy distorted guitar, & while the end result doesn't really sound like The Dave Clark Five (apart from Mike Smith's distinctive vocals) full kudos to them for trying something different & adventurous. 'If You Wanna See Me Cry' is a bluesy mid-tempo song with good piano & guitar. 4 / 4



Won't You Be My Lady / Into Your Life (Epic 10768, August 1971)

Again issued in the U.S. & U.K., this is a mid tempo guitar boogie song, a sort of poppier version of Canned Heat. Again it sounds nothing like The Dave Clark Five but the music is good. The flip is slower & less memorable but features some nice guitar. 4 / 3



Rub It In / I'm Sorry Baby (Epic 10894, July 1972)

After 'Won't You Be My Baby' the group (or duo) released a further five singles in the U.K., but only this one (the third U.K. single) was released in the U.S. & became their final single state side. 'Rub It In' is (I think) a song about being given a massage though judging by some of the noises Mike Smith is making she must've been giving him a few "extras"! 'I'm Sorry Baby' is completely different, sounding like a Fred Astaire song complete with tap dancing, two very interesting choices for a single to say the least. 4 / 4

Click here for my The Dave Clark Five DVD list!

20 comments:

  1. I have the Over & Over 45 (it was my big bro's)...It was actually originally the B-side to Bobby Day's Rockin' Robin in 1958. He was the author of both songs, as well as Little Bitty Pretty One.

    Love I'll Be Yours (My Love)...it really brings back memories...

    Never knew the Dave Clark Five covered Southern Man...Apparently they also covered another Canadian song -- Sweet City Woman, a huge international hit for the Stampeders in 1971. Know anything about the DC5's version?

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  2. That was Bobby Graham drumming on At the Scene but otherwise very nice job!

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  3. Thanks for the info Laura, I knew I'd heard the original of 'Over And Over' somewhere! I've altered my post accordingly.

    Yes, I have 'Sweet City Woman' somewhere, in fact I have everything the group released (albeit mostly as mp3s).

    I've always loved their final big U.K. hit 'Everybody Get Together'.

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  4. Thanks Anon 11:14, I forgot that he played on some of their hits!

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  5. RE No Time To Lose - that was actually new words to a Twist and Shout backing track. Ron Ryan - the author - has what may be the last copy ( original acetate) of the DC5 doing Twist & Shout but they were again beaten to the punch in releasing the song (Twist & Shout) and Dave had Ron come up with a "new" song to make use of the track he'd already paid for

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  7. Thanks Anon 11:20, this certainly explains things. Incidentally, do you (or anybody) know of any circulating bootlegs of DC5 outtakes, concerts, etc? Someone did send me a recording of a live U.S. show a while back but the quality was very bad. I do have quite a bit of good DC5 footage on DVDs though.

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  9. Sweet City Woman by the DC5 was very good but nearly identical to the Stampeders - I believe the banjo playing was done by an actor that played Dr Who if memory serves.

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  10. Pretty well identical except the DC5 doesn't do the "Bom Bom See Bom Bom, So Long Ma" part after the first chorus...

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  11. nice job, just a few minor errors and comments.
    It was interesting that you started with the "Laurie" single as no one has ever seen it, it possibly doesn't exist. It might of been safer going with "Rust" 45 issued a year later which has the same two sides.
    "Get yourself a college girl" wasn't their movie debut they had been in 2 movies prior to that. In fact the DC5 never left the UK to film their part in GYACG . I would have thought those 2 songs preceeded the film rather than the other way around.
    19 Days is Bobby Graham on drums.
    The USA release of "Good Old Rock and Roll" is actually the UK "More Good old Rock and Roll!" It is actually a DC&Friends track too although the original GORR (yes its confusing) was DC5.
    In the "comments" the banjo on "Sweet City Woman" was played by Eric Ford who also played bass on all the DC5 and DC&F recordings.
    The writer is confusing SCW with "Officer McKirk" which was written by Ex Dr Who Peter Davison (using the pseudonym Moffit) who also sings on the record and on "Everybody Get Together".
    J

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  12. Thanks very much JB & everyone, I've learnt lots that I didn't know in just a few hours & have now edited my post to include all this new info.

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  13. Thanks Peter, please check out my DC5 site and you can read about those two very early DC5 "films",
    J

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  14. I've just taken a look JB, fascinating stuff (I've also added a link from my blog post!).

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  15. The Dave Clark Five were one of the most original bands of the 'British Invasion'. they included the best singer of the era in Mike Smith, and their blended blasting sound of the Sax, key boards and thumping drums can not be matched. No wonder Bruce Springstee has called the DC 5 his favorite British band of the era!!

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  16. Outstanding here taking us progressively through the 45s. I don't agree with all your ratings nor likes and dislikes, but they are all fair and well thought out, as well as explained.

    I love the DC5 and love reading about them, there is always something new to learn. Mike Smith was one for the ages, in my opinion, and his early death was a great loss to Music. He as well as the DC5 as a whole greatly influenced the Music Industry over the years. Their Hall of Fame induction was years too late, and that is not just my view, it is echoed by most people I've talked to or read.

    Thank you your for this detailed review, it does the Dave Clark Five great honor.

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  17. Great reviews, thanks. Do you know the writer's of the songs - most discographies don't have a complete list?

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  18. Thanks...& unfortunately not, they you should be able to find details via allmusic.com.

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  19. Aleda Dethloff23 May 2010 at 18:45

    Peter, I remember "In Your Heart" as a polka from when I was a youngster, pre-DC5 days. I like the way the guys handled it. And that little bit of lyrics was part of the polka as I remember it. They may have learned it when they were playing as a live band at military bases before becoming so popular.

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  20. Thanks for the info, & you're probably right! Such an under-rated band.

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