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David Watts

by

The Jam



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

Ray Davies wrote this. The original version can be found on The Kinks' 1967 album Something Else. It wasn't released as a single.
The Jam's version was released as a double sided single along with "A Bomb In Wardour Street." (thanks, Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England, for above 2)
The song bemoans the fact that most of us will never attain the glory or stature we want. "David Watts" is the person we all want to be, but will never become. (thanks, scott - cape cod, MA)
Jam Bassist Bruce Foxton rather than Paul Weller sang lead on this as it wasn't in the right key for the Jam frontman.
Weller told Mojo magazine June 2008 that it was his idea to cover this. He explained: "The first time I went to America (October 1977), you could buy all these old Kinks records that you couldn't get here at the time. As a kid I'd only heard the singles. So it was our choice to record the track, with 'A' Bomb on the B-side. We wanted Billy Hunt as the single, but the record company turned it down. But David Watts worked for us- it put us back on the map."
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Comments (12):

David Watts was indeed a real person and a friend to the band, and he supposedly had the sparks for Dave Davies.
- Rayna, Pembroke pines, FL
In "The Kinks: The Official Biography" Ray Davies is quoted as saying Watts was a concert promoter who was gay and came on to his brother, David. That's why there's the line about David Watts "being so gay and fancy free."
- David, Youngstown, OH
David Watts was the keyboard player in the Tornados "Testar" he was involved with many of the sixties and seventies pop records iether playing in the bands, or being the session pianiston on their recordings. I have heard that this was recorded as a bit of a laugh as a B side. Nobody expected it to be a hit.Least of all David Watts
- Dave Watts, London, United Kingdom
The Jam version is nota t all crap. I just listyenned to it just after the Kinks one and, to my tast, I frefer the Jam one. More va va voom.
- Udi, London, Israel
I lke this song because my Dad IS David Watts, not only in personality wise but also in his name. My Dad's name really is David Watts!
- Tamara, Kyabram, Australia
to tom in newark and john in boston listen to revolver then sound affects by the jam then you'll see where mudassir is coming from as weller admitted in 1980 he'd been listening to revolver a lot and took his influence from there
- jeff, liverpool, England
Was David Watts a real person? Ray Davies brother (who was also a member of The Kinks) was called Dave, perhaps he was the inspiration for the song?
- Dave, Cardiff, Wales
John, in defense of Mudassir, he is not comparing the Jam and the Beatles. He simply said that they produced "one of the finest volley of singles in the history of music". That certainly does not mean that the Beatles did not produce a finer volley, just that the Jam are up there. I agree with that.

P.S. you are all wrong, this song is great, very infectious beat. Ba-ba-ba-bah-bah-bah-bah-bah! Ba-ba-ba-bah-bah-bah-bah-bah!
- Tom, Newark, DE
Well, Mudassir, I like the Jam just as much as the next guy, but to compare the singles released by The Jam to the singles released by The Beatles for example, well that's just plain stupid
- John, Boston, MA
Totally agree with you Nessie, Paul Weller needs to be on here, he's a legend!
- lucy, Glasgow, Scotland
Mudassir, I agree. There are plenty of better Jam songs -- and Kinks songs, for that matter. And why are there no Paul Weller postings on this site? A crime!
- Nessie, Sapporo, Japan
Between Tubestation and Absolute Beginners, the Jam produced one of the finest volley of singles in the history of music. This preceded that era and to be honest, compared to the original, its crap and a bit of a let down - it was really just a weller/childhood-mod tribute thing.
- Mudassir, Bolton, England
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