Mud facts: Glam rock band's members, songs and where they are now explained

23 January 2024, 13:37

Photo of MUD
Photo of MUD. Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

Mud was one of the most popular and successful glam rock bands of the 1970s, with a string of hit singles that combined catchy melodies, cheeky lyrics, and a distinctive style.

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The band were formed in 1966 by four friends from Carshalton, Greater London.

They struggled to find success until they signed with producer Mickie Most’s Rak Records in 1973, and teamed up with songwriters Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, who wrote most of their hits.

Mud’s music was influenced by 1950s rock and roll and rockabilly, as well as contemporary pop and glam rock. Some of their best-known songs include 'Dyna-mite', 'Tiger Feet', which was the UK’s best-selling single of 1974, and 'Lonely This Christmas', which reached number one in December 1974.

Mud’s career peaked in 1975, when they had seven singles in the UK Top 40, more than any other artist that year. However, by the late 1970s, their popularity declined as musical tastes changed, and the band split up in 1979.

Les Gray continued to perform as Les Gray’s Mud until his death in 2004, while the other members pursued different projects. Mud’s legacy lives on as one of the most iconic and influential bands of the glam rock era.

  1. When and how were Mud formed?

    Mud was formed in 1966 by four friends from Carshalton, Greater London: Les Gray, Rob Davis, Dave Mount, and Ray Stiles.

    They played in various bands together before settling on the name Mud in 1968. They initially performed as a rock and roll revival band, covering songs by Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, and others.

  2. What are Mud's biggest songs?

    MUD - The Cat Crept In (1974) TopPop

    Mud had many hit songs in the 1970s, especially in the UK. Some of their biggest songs are:

    • Tiger Feet (1974): This was their first and biggest number one single, selling over 500,000 copies and becoming the UK’s best-selling single of 1974.
    • Lonely This Christmas (1974): This was their second number one single, and a festive classic that has re-entered the UK charts several times since its release.
    • Oh Boy (1975): This was their third and final number one single, a cover of the Buddy Holly hit that featured on their album Mud Rock Volume 2.
    • The Cat Crept In (1974): This was their second number two single, and one of their most catchy and upbeat songs.
    • Dyna-mite (1973): This was their first top ten hit, reaching number four in 1973. It was written by Chinn and Chapman for Sweet, but Mud made it their own with a heavy guitar intro and a rock n roll chorus.
  3. When did Mud break up and what versions of Mud still exist?

    Mud - Tiger Feet (1973) [Restored]

    Mud broke up in 1979 after their popularity declined and musical tastes changed.

    However, Les Gray reformed the band as ‘Les Gray’s Mud’ with a new lineup in 1980, and continued to perform until his death in 2004.

    The three remaining members of Les Gray's band were given permission by the other founding members of Mud, plus that of Gray’s family, to continue using the band’s name.

    They are now still active as 'Mud II', and have released several albums and toured with other bands.

    Since 2015, founder members Rob Davis and Ray Stiles have been performing together again under the band name 'Mud', alongside Keith Read and Pete Phipps.

  4. What happened to the original members of Mud?

    Mud (L-R: Dave Mount, Ray Stiles, Les Gray and Rob Davis)
    Mud (L-R: Dave Mount, Ray Stiles, Les Gray and Rob Davis). Picture: Getty

    The original members of Mud were Les Gray, Rob Davis, Dave Mount, and Ray Stiles.

    Les Gray

    Les Gray continued to perform as Les Gray’s Mud with a new lineup until his death in 2004.

    He died of a heart attack while fighting throat cancer. He was 57 years old.

    Rob Davis

    Rob Davis became a successful songwriter and producer, working with artists such as Kylie Minogue, Spiller, and Sophie Ellis-Bextor.

    He is still active in the music industry and lives in Surrey.

    Dave Mount

    Dave Mount retired from music and worked as a financial adviser and a postman.

    He died in 2006 of a suspected suicide. He was 59 years old.

    Ray Stiles

    Ray joined The Hollies in 1986 and is still a member of the band.

    He also lives in Surrey and has a son1.