Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Single From Between Dexys' Smash LPs...

The year following the hugely successful debut album 'Searching For the Young Soul Rebels' was a tumultuous one for Dexys Midnight Runners. Label issues and a less-than-friendly relationship with the music press made 1981 a real head-scratcher. Ultimately, Dexys jumped from EMI to Mercury and quit conversing with journalists all together. If Kevin Rowland & Co. had something to say, they would take out an ad or do what they did with the release of the single I'm featuring today... write a mini manifesto and stick it inside the sleeve. The band had much to get off their chests when "Show Me" was released in the summer of '81. I'm holding the single and the enclosed message in my hand right now. I thought I would share a snippet of the group's thinking at the time:

"Dexy's Midnight Runners are not a band, and we don't play gigs and we don't make albums. We're a group, we perform shows and we intend to make an LP quite soon. There's so much confusion surrounding us. Of course, our music paper essays help to get our point of view across, but they also supply the freedom and the motive for music writers to create the their own image of us. So from now on we'll use whatever means we can to communicate. The grooves in the records just aren't enough. Incidentally, our reasons for not talking to the music press are simple: We care passionately about what we do and feel the writers have very little understanding of the values and standards by which we judge our craft. We just happen to think that what we're doing bears no relation to the types of music usually appraised in those papers, and don't see why we should have to entrust our work to what are essentially 'Rock' writers."

This was merely the introduction. There are five more paragraphs that get into the specifics of the music, the shows, the group and, interestingly, their stance on the use of alcohol (or the lack thereof). You may know this was also around the time Rowland instituted an exercise program for the group. Interesting times, indeed, and quite a read.

"Show Me" made a nice bridge between the soul of the first album and the Celtic sound of 'Too-Rye-Aye,' and it peaked at No. 16 on the singles chart in the UK. The horns of "Big" Jim Paterson and the rest of the lads are top-notch. The short B-side, "Soon," may sound familiar to you. It would be reworked a tiny bit to become the 90-second intro to "Plan B" on the next album. If you like these songs, it might be worth it to you to pick up the deluxe edition of 'Too-Rye-Aye.' The second disc contains a live show from June 26, 1982, and both of these songs were on the set list that night.

Dexys Midnight Runners - Show Me (mp3)
Dexys Midnight Runners - Soon (mp3)

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