Dave Dobbyn: Wikis


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Dave Dobbyn
Birth name David Lyle Dobbyn
Born 3 January 1957 (1957-01-03) (age 53)
Origin Dunedin, New Zealand
Genres Pop, rock
Occupations Singer, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar, piano
Years active 1979-present
Labels Warner
Sony BMG
Associated acts Th'Dudes
DD Smash
Website www.davedobbyn.co.nz

Dave Dobbyn, ONZM (born 3 January 1957) is an award-winning musician, singer-songwriter and record producer from New Zealand. In his early career he was a member of rock group Th' Dudes and the main creative force in popsters DD Smash, but since then has released the majority of his recordings as a solo act.


Th' Dudes

Dobbyn's first success came with rock band, Th'Dudes, which he formed while still at Sacred Heart College in the suburb of Glen Innes, Auckland. The band's hit "Be Mine Tonight" won single of the year in 1979 in New Zealand, while "Bliss" has become an iconic (and ironic, as it was originally written as an anti-drinking song) New Zealand drinking song.

DD Smash

After Th'Dudes folded, Dobbyn formed pop group DD Smash. The band's first album Cool Bananas debuted in the New Zealand charts at number one. The band's hit singles included "Devil you Know", "Outlook for Thursday", and the violin-tinged "Whaling".

Solo career

When DD Smash folded, Dobbyn began a successful solo career, by writing the soundtrack music for the animated feature film Footrot Flats in 1985. The film yielded two hit singles: "Oughta Be in Love" and the chart-topping "Slice of Heaven", recorded with the band Herbs. After the release of the film, Slice of Heaven became one of Dobbyn's best-known songs, frequently used in tourism advertisements aired on Australian television that encouraged people to visit New Zealand. As a result, many Australians jokingly referred to the song as the New Zealand National anthem.

Since 1988 Dobbyn has released seven solo albums and a compilation. The solo albums include the American-recorded, Mitchell Froom produced Lament for the Numb, and 1994 follow-up Twist, produced by fellow Kiwi singer/songwriter Neil Finn.

Dobbyn's hit song "Loyal" (1988) was used as an anthem for Team New Zealand's failed 2003 America's Cup defence. He has also produced albums for Australian singer Grant McLennan and contributed to albums by, amongst others, Jenny Morris, Gyan and Bic Runga. He has also toured with Runga and Tim Finn, a tour commemorated on the 2000 live album, Together in Concert: Live.

Dobbyn's album Available Light, released in 2005, received popular and critical acclaim. His 2008 release Anotherland entered the NZ Top 40 Album Charts at Number 2[1] and remained in the charts for 6 weeks, eventually attaining Gold status.

Personal life

Dobbyn is a born-again Christian and has, for most of his career, been happily married to long time sweetheart Anneliesje, with whom he has two children Grace and Eli.


In December 1984, DD Smash were playing an outdoor concert in Aotea Square in Auckland. During their set there was a power failure leading sections of the crowd to become restless. Some of the crowd started throwing beer bottles and police arrested them. The situation escalated and the riot squad was called in. Dobbyn made negative remarks about the police which allegedly spurred on the crowd. The concert was stopped by the police and sections of the crowd rioted, smashing shop windows along Queen Street. Prime Minister David Lange called a commission of inquiry and as a result Dobbyn was charged with inciting a riot. The criminal prosecution against Dobbyn began June 1985. His lawyer successfully defended him and he was acquitted on the charge of "behaving in a manner likely to cause violence against person or property and using insulting language".[2]

In 2005, Dobbyn performed the lead single from Available Light, "Welcome Home" at the New Zealand Music Awards awards ceremony. During the performance, Ahmed Zaoui, who was appealing a security certificate issued due to alleged links to terrorist groups, appeared on stage with Dobbyn. [3]

Awards and Accolades

At the 2001 New Zealand Music Awards Dobbyn won a Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2005 and 2006 he won "Songwriter Of The Year" and "Best Male Solo Artist" respectively, both for his work on Available Light..

Ten songs written by Dave Dobbyn appeared in New Zealand's Top 100 songs (the Nature's Best series) as voted by APRA members. These were:

  • 3: Dave Dobbyn - "Loyal"
  • 7: Dave Dobbyn with Herbs - "Slice of Heaven"
  • 12: DD Smash - "Whaling"
  • 27: Th' Dudes - "Be Mine Tonight"
  • 29: Dave Dobbyn - "Beside You"
  • 31: DD Smash - "Outlook For Thursday"
  • 35: Dave Dobyyn - "Language"
  • 50: Th' Dudes - "Bliss"
  • 70: Dave Dobbyn - "You Oughta Be In Love"
  • 100: Dave Dobbyn - "Naked Flame"


Date Title Label NZ
Catalog Number
Studio Albums
1979 Right First Time
17 -
1982 So You Wanna Be a Rock n' Roll Star?
11 -
Cool Bananas
DD Smash
1 -
1984 The Optimist
DD Smash
6 -
1986 Footrot Flats: The Dog's Tale
Various Artists
Sony BMG 5 -
1988 Loyal
Dave Dobbyn
CBS Records 9 - 460655 2
1993 Lament For The Numb
Dave Dobbyn
Warner Music 13 - 450992330-2
1994 Twist
Dave Dobbyn
Epic Records 8 - 477792.2
1998 The Islander
Dave Dobbyn
Columbia Records 1 - 491456.2
2000 Hopetown
Dave Dobbyn
Epic Records 9 - 498886.2
2005 Available Light
Dave Dobbyn
Sony BMG 3 - 5202672000
2008 Anotherland
Dave Dobbyn
10 - 88697327202
1993 The Collection
(Dave Dobbyn, Th'Dudes and DD Smash)
Columbia Records 4 - 496084.2
1999 Overnight Success
(Dave Dobbyn, Th'Dudes and DD Smash)
4 - 496084.2
2001 Where are the Girls?: Th' Definitive Collection
FMR Records 31 - DUDES2001
2009 Beside You
(Dave Dobbyn, Th'Dudes and DD Smash)
Live Albums
1983 Live
DD Smash
Epic Music 11 -
2000 Together in Concert: Live
Tim Finn, Dave Dobbyn & Bic Runga.
- - 5011402000
2006 2006 Reunion Tour - Live!
Th' Dudes
- -


Year Title NZ
1978 "Be Mine Tonight"
Th' Dudes
1979 "That Look in Your Eyes"
Th' Dudes
1979 "Right First Time"
Th' Dudes
1979 "Walking in Light"
Th' Dudes
1980 "Tonight Again"
Th' Dudes
1980 "Bliss"
Th' Dudes
1980 "On the Rox"
Th' Dudes
1981 "Lipstick Power"
Dave Dobbyn
- -
1981 "Bull By The Horns"
Dave Dobbyn
- -
1981 "Repitition"
DD Smash
1982 "Devil You Know"
DD Smash
1983 "Outlook for Thursday"
DD Smash
1984 "Whaling"
DD Smash
1985 "Magic (What She Do)"
DD Smash
1985 "She Loves Me Back"
DD Smash
1986 "Slice of Heaven"
Dave Dobbyn with the Herbs
#1 #1
1986 "Shouldn't You Oughta Be"
Dave Dobbyn
1988 "Love You Like I Should"
Dave Dobbyn
1988 "Loyal"
Dave Dobbyn
1989 "Space Junk"
Dave Dobbyn and the Lunnettes
1991 "Shakey Isles"
Dave Dobbyn
1993 "Maybe the Rain"
Dave Dobbyn
1994 "Language"
Dave Dobbyn
1995 "Lap of the Gods"
Dave Dobbyn
1995 "Naked Flame"
Dave Dobbyn
1996 "Poor Boy"
ENZSO feat. Dave Dobbyn
1999 "Beside You"
Dave Dobbyn
2005 "Welcome Home"
Dave Dobbyn


  1. ^ NZ Album Chart
  2. ^ Queen Street riot 1984 (from New Zealand history online, New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage)
  3. ^ Zaoui sings with Dobbyn (from News Talk ZB news story, dated 2006-10-6

External links

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