Tuesday, July 14

dexy's -don't stand me down

This is the rerelease cover from 2002. The original 1985 cover is here.

Dexy's Midnight Runners. Kevin Rowland. Barking mad? Undervalued. This album Don't Stand Me Down is a gem from the 1980's. Still recognizable as DMR of course, but more personal and a conceptaulised whole. OK stopping now. Found a fantastic article at RockPopFashion breaking down Rowland's transition to the Ivy League look in those later years. (The look was not just a goof for the album).

"I kept on looking at the clothes people were wearing as we toured the States that year. In Texas outside a restaurant I saw these two guys. They had parallel pleated trousers on, with plain cap shoes and button-down shirts, short Ivy League haircuts and were standing with their hands in their pockets, which gave their look a shape that made them exactly resemble a couple of well-dressed hard-nuts from Harrow in 1969."

"I loved the fact that this ultra-conservative look was still going strong in America, and was worn only by squares or people who had to wear it for their work. At that time there didn’t seem to be any British equivalent, until Jeremy Hackett later re-defined the British look. At first I bought a pair of Florsheim Imperials (plain caps or GIs) for old time’s sake, but I kept looking at them in wonderment, at their beauty. I would sit in my hotel room at night looking at them. I was dreaming about them. I felt so inspired again. I began to fantasise about wearing lots of Ivy League stuff and looking really clean and crisp."

"I knew this look could be great and massively popular. It seemed so opposite of what was happening and yet so 100% right. I was going on stage in America wearing dungarees and an old overcoat, but during the day I was going to the record company and asking for cash so that I could raid Brooks Brothers."

"Then, in spring 83, when I went to my Dad’s 65th birthday party, I wore some of the gear and my sister-in-law said: ‘You look like an extra from The Graduate‘. I was delighted." -via RockPopfashion

The accent and vocal mannerisms are a bit of an acquired taste but give this a shot... Listen.

"With its elongated songs (including the 12-minute epic "This Is What She's Like"), unusual arrangements, strong political content and dead-pan comedy conversations between Rowland and Adams, "Don't Stand Me Down" either delighted or baffled those who heard it in 1985, but the decision not to release a single ensured that it was overlooked by most at the time." -dexys.org

3 comments:

Cris said...

Great post. Never knew about their back catalog.

Steve said...

Great band. "Come on, Eileen" is timeless. An epic. I never knew about the preppy side of these guys. On a separate note, a friend of mine just burned me a copy of The Glasgow School by Orange Juice. I think I'm fairly musically aware, but these guys were totally new to me. It's frigging great stuff - early 80s jangling guitars, arch lyrics and a singer (Edwyn Collins) that sounds like a corss between Morrissey, David Johanson and Bing Crosby. They were early indie pioneers - it's amazing how well their songs have held up - and how little attention they got over here anyway. if you don't know about this band, you should check em out.

james at 10engines said...

man, Orange Juice... that is going back... Rip It Up... classic.