Originally formed in 1966 from the ashes of UK skiffle outfit the Mourners, this lightweight pop band comprised Les Gray (vocals), Dave Mount (drums/vocals), Ray Stiles (bass guitar/vocals) and Rob Davis (lead guitar/vocals). Their debut single for CBS Records, 1967's 'Flower Power', was unsuccessful but they continued touring for several years. The band's easy-going pop style made them natural contenders for appearances on The Basil Brush Show, but still the hits were not forthcoming.
Teaming up with songwriting duo Chinn And Chapman and signing a new recording contract with Mickie Most's RAK Records, Mud eventually broke through in the UK in 1973 with 'Crazy' and 'Hypnosis'. Their uncomplicated blend of pop and rockabilly brought them an impressive run of 12 more Top 20 hits between 1973 and 1976, including three UK number 1 hits: 'Tiger Feet' and 'Lonely This Christmas' (both 1974), and 'Oh Boy!' (1975). The band atrophied after the hits ceased in the late 70s and following one final album for RCA Records, 1979's As You Like It, Margot Henderson replaced Gray as lead singer. Only one unsuccessful single, 'Drop Everything And Run', was released by this line-up before the original members decided to call it a day. The original quartet reunited in 1983 and recorded one more album before going their separate ways once again.
Gray struggled to keep his solo career afloat in the 80s and eventually succumbed to the lure of cabaret, re-forming Mud with new musicians and touring as Les Gray's Mud. Stiles turned up unexpectedly in 1988 as a latter day member of The Hollies at the time of their belatedly chart-topping 'He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother'. Davis went on to establish himself as an in-demand writer on the UK pop scene in the late 90s and new millennium, co-authoring material for Spiller ('Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)') and Kylie Minogue ('Can't Get You Out Of My Head') among others. Gray, who had been battling throat cancer for some time, died of a heart attack in 2004. Mount took his own life two years later.
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