The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

21 years ago this month

“Of course it could never really be important or bring about any change, but it needn’t be so proudly disposable. I know of records of that give me strength. I have heard records that inspire people to BE who whatever they choose. I own records that have the power to make me cry. Records to BE by or with – truly precious possessions. It is the ambition of the Midnight Runners to make records of this value” – From the sleeve of ‘Liars A to E’.

September 1985, I can’t be sure which week because I don’t know but Dexy’s Midnight Runners released their third album. This week because this week is as good as any in September I’m posting a selection of images of the band as a mini tribute to the band and their last great album.

“Success? The LP was a success the second we left the studio” – Kevin Rowland.

The third album ‘Don’t Stand Me Down’ did not sell well on initial release, there was no obvious single, Rowland didn’t want a single released (later and edited single was released but again did not sell and only reached #78 in UK). The previous two albums had both gleaned number one single’s, ‘Don’t Stand Me Down’ was very different from previous albums, only seven songs and then of course this band was wearing suits. Were people put off by the latest costume change or were they just confused in general? Musically it wasn’t easy to classify, eleven minute confessional, immensely personal songs with significant dialogue parts are never going make it readily accessible but for those I know who own this record they agree it is special.

“The LP is a complete statement, it is a complete picture, a complete collection of thoughts and ideas and feelings and knowledge that I have experienced over the last couple of years. It’s all there in black and white and all the points I want to make are in there” – Kevin Rowland.

What am I hoping to achieve? Today, this week or this month if you own ‘Don’t Stand Me Down’ then give it a spin, if you don’t yet own a copy then it’s not too late, I came to this ten years after it’s release – your local record emporium will be able to furnish you with a copy. What are you waiting for?

I am very grateful to my friend John for introducing me to this album.

3 comments :

Mike D said...

a fantastic record for sure. dexys were one of the last truly great bands of the rock n roll era i think.

but whats she like....?

Mike Mercury said...

Hmmm....my view of Dexy's altered somewhat when I stumbled upon Kevin Rowland's MY BEAUTY album.

mikeovswinton said...

Just come across these images. Some of the ones of Kevin R singing are from the 1985 (October or was it November) tour. I was there, at the Apollo in Ardwick. What a line up. I remember Vincent Crane - now sadly dead - coming round the curtain to get us to clap louder for the encore. That's THE Vincent Crane, as in The Crazy World of Arthur Brown etc. Half the band were straight from Al Green's live band. They bombed, of course and the rest is history. But do buy the records, and now you can get Apples and Oranges, the collected recording of the Blue Ox Babes, Kevin Archer's post Dexys project. Worth a spin, guys n gals.