Saturday, April 30, 2016

Dexys Midnight Runners

Artist: Dexys Midnight Runners
LP: Don't Stand Me Down
Song: "This Is What She's Like" 
[ listen ]

In North America, Dexys Midnight Runners is known for just one thing: "Come On Eileen." I was disappointed right along with the rest of my countrymen when I caught a glimpse of the group's 1985 follow-up LP, "Don't Stand Me Down," in the bins at my local Yakima record store. No singles were released from the album that I was aware of, and not only that—the band's charmingly ragamuffin appearance that could have been described as "'80s hillbilly chic" had somehow been supplanted by some much-less-charming "mid-'80s life-insurance-salesperson chic."

Flash forward 30 years, and guess what. The album is brilliant! While no 16-year-old in Yakima, Washington is ever going to appreciate this LP, fully-grown adults, especially ones no longer living in Yakima, can now delight in how completely and thoroughly non-commercial this record is, while marveling at the level of integrity demonstrated by Rowland and his crew by releasing "Don't Stand Me Down" as the followup to "Too-Rye-Ay," which had been an international success.

There's nothing on "Don't Stand Me Down" that could even accidentally be mistaken as a potential hit single (desperate for another hit from the group, Mercury released a three-minute version of "This Is What She's Like" two months after the album came out, but they gave up on promoting the record when the song slid off the UK singles charts after peaking at #78). I'm apparently not alone in my rediscovery of "Don't Stand Me Down" as something well worth listening to, as you can see here. There's more to read about Dexys Midnight Runners here, and there's a video here featuring more recent music from the group, now simply called Dexys.

[ Kevin Rowland of Dexys Midnight Runners ]

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