|Don't Stand Me Down|
|Studio album by|
|Released||13 September 1985|
|Genre||New wave, blue-eyed soul|
|Dexys Midnight Runners chronology|
|Singles from Don't Stand Me Down|
Don't Stand Me Down is the third studio album by English pop band Dexys Midnight Runners, released in September 1985 by Mercury Records. The title of the album was inspired by a line in the album's song "The Waltz".
The album was released three years after their second album, the internationally successful Too-Rye-Ay . At the time, Dexys' lineup had been pared down from ten members to just four: vocalist/guitarist Kevin Rowland, guitarist Billy Adams, violinist Helen O'Hara, and saxophonist Nick Gatfield, the last of whom left the band after the recording sessions were completed.These four members are pictured on the original album cover in suits (and, for the men, ties), in what Rowland referred to as an "Ivy League" or "Brooks Brothers" look.
The album was a commercial failure upon release, and its rejection by both critics and the public resulted in the group's disbandment in 1987. The album was later described as a "neglected masterpiece" by Uncut ,and was selected as one of the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die . In 2002, EMI and Rowland co-operated on a remastered "Director's Cut" edition of the album, which included an additional song added to the tracklist and expanded liner notes.
Because the band's lineup had been reduced to a quartet by the time of the recording, a number of performers and session musicians filled the other roles during the lengthy recording sessions, including Vincent Crane (ex-Atomic Rooster) on piano, Julian Littman on mandolin, Tim Dancy (who had been Al Green's drummer) on drums, Tommy Evans on steel guitar, and former Dexys members "Big" Jim Paterson on trombone, John "Rhino" Edwards on bass, and Robert Noble on organ and synthesizer.
In an interview with HitQuarters, saxophonist Gatfield described the recording as a "long drawn out painful process".Gatfield, who did not play on Too-Rye-Ay, felt that the new album marked a telling and troubling shift from it, as unlike that record, which he claimed was made very inexpensively and "had an energy about it", Don't Stand Me Down cost a huge amount of money and, according to Gatfield, "felt uncomfortable and unnatural".
O'Hara expressed a different perspective in a newspaper interview accompanying the reissue of the album. O'Hara, who had been part of the Too-Rye-Ay band, said that "it became clear that Kevin wanted to experiment more musically" than the record company was comfortable with, and that, even before the album was released, "it was obvious that nobody was really going to promote it." To her, the best thing about Don't Stand Me Down was "that it got released at all", but the lack of commercial success was "quite hard to deal with, particularly for Kevin."
On the original issue, just Alan Winstanley and Rowland were credited as producers, but Adams and O'Hara were added as co-producers in 1997, when the CD was reissued on Creation Records; at the same time, the titles to two of the songs were changed.
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|
The album was a commercial failure upon release, in part due to frontman Kevin Rowland's refusal to do publicity for the album or to release a single from it. An edited version of "This Is What She's Like" was eventually released as a single, backed with part one of "Reminiscence", but the two-month delay from the album's release to its release led to the single missing the charts entirely.
Some reviewers were highly critical,with "Trouser Press" characterizing the release as "a torpid snore that denies entertainment on every level", although writing in the Melody Maker , Colin Irwin described it as "quite the most challenging, absorbing, moving, uplifting and ultimately triumphant album of the year". The album is now considered something of a lost treasure: it was featured in 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die , published in 2006 by Universe, where it was referred to as "a towering achievement... a Pet Sounds for the 1980s". Writing for Uncut in 2007, Paul Moody called it a "neglected masterpiece".
Rowland remarked in 2008 that "I don't want to think about it too much because I want to think about what I'm doing now, but I remember coming out of the studio thinking, 'That's the best I can do.'"In 2008, Bob Stanley of The Guardian commented on the album's failure, noting that it "emerged in a far less adventurous era than the one Too-Rye-Ay was released into. New mavericks on the block such as the Smiths and the Jesus and Mary Chain were entirely ignored by Radio 1. The same happened to Dexys, though it was their own fault – no single was released from the album."
In the 1990s, Rowland purchased the rights to Don't Stand Me Down from Mercury and decided to license a digitally-remastered CD reissue of the album to Creation Records, which was releasing his current material. The album was issued by Creation in 1997 (CRECD154), and the cover of the album was changed to a shot of just Rowland and Adams from the same photo sessions as the original cover. Rowland's new sleeve notes, entitled "Foreword to the Second Edition", discusses the changing of two of the song titles from the original release: "Knowledge of Beauty" became "My National Pride", and "Listen to This" became "I Love You (Listen to This)". "My National Pride" was the original title of the former song, but Rowland "didn't have the courage to title it that when it came around to the artwork." In addition, the writers of the Warren Zevon song "Werewolves of London" were given co-writing credit on "One of Those Things", which uses the Zevon song as a background theme. Finally, two extra tracks were added to the release: "Reminisce (Part One)", recorded in the spring of 1983 prior to Don't Stand Me Down (and released as the B-side to the reissue of "The Celtic Soul Brothers" that year), and a version of "The Way You Look Tonight".
During the mastering process for the Creation release, a stereo enhancer was used, which both Rowland and original recording engineer Pete Schwier felt "ruined the dynamics." As a result, Rowland ultimately licensed the tracks to Dexys original label, EMI, to release a third and definitive version of the album in 2002, subtitled The Director's Cut. The tracks were again digitally remastered, but without the stereo enhancer, and the CD featured new artwork, further notes by Rowland, and the additional track "Kevin Rowland's 13th Time", but excluded both of the extra tracks on the Creation release. The cover photo was changed to a photo from a contemporaneous but different photo session of Rowland, Adams, and O'Hara strolling in a park wearing "preppy" clothes (which had been used as the back-cover photo on the Creation reissue). According to Rowland, the album now sounded to him "as it was intended to sound." The extra tracks added in the Creation release were excluded, but another new track was added. According to Rowland, "Kevin Rowland's 13th Time" had originally been intended to be the opening song (with the introductory lyric "My name is Kevin Rowland, I'm the leader of the band" and, in a later verse, a "joke" of sorts, to "kick off the proceedings"), but was left off the original issue of the album due to his perception at the time of a "dodgy drum beat" at one point; it was restored for The Director's Cut.
Rowland penned two pages of notes relating to the track, as well as a new "foreword to The Director's Cut", while also including his sleeve notes from the Creation "Second Edition".
A limited-edition version of The Director's Cut had a DVD disc included, featuring videos for the songs "This Is What She's Like", "My National Pride", and "I Love You (Listen to This)", directed by Jack Hazan. Rowland penned another page of notes regarding the videos. The booklet shows, in a two-page spread, a photo from the video shoot, with Dexys as an eight-piece band, with Rowland, Adams, and O'Hara in the foreground. All three videos feature footage from this set. While "This Is What She's Like" includes footage of Rowland and Adams walking the streets of New York City, and "My National Pride" shows the band in pastoral scenes evocative of Ireland, "I Love You (Listen to This)" is shot entirely on this set, dark, with a single spotlight on Rowland, no other band member visible, just various angles on Rowland singing the verses and choruses—the majority of the song—until the final instrumental ride-out, when Billy Adams, Helen O'Hara, and the rest of the musicians are finally seen for a few seconds.
Dexys Midnight Runners are an English pop band with soul influences from Birmingham, who achieved major commercial success in the early to mid-1980s. They are best known in the UK for their songs "Come On Eileen" and "Geno", both of which peaked at No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart, as well as six other top-20 singles. "Come On Eileen" also topped the US Billboard Hot 100, and with extensive airplay on MTV they are associated with the Second British Invasion.
The Blue Ox Babes were an English pop group, formed in early 1981 by the former Dexys Midnight Runners guitarist Kevin 'Al' Archer, together with his girlfriend Yasmin Saleh, guitarist Nick Bache and former Dexys keyboard player Andy Leek. Archer was keen to mix the soul sounds of his previous group with folk styles. To this end he recruited fiddle player Helen O'Hara to play on demo tapes of the new songs he had written. When former colleague Kevin Rowland heard these demo tapes, he invited O'Hara to join Dexys, and adopted a similarly folk-influenced sound for his own group.
Kevin Rowland is a British singer-songwriter of Irish descent and frontman for the pop band Dexys Midnight Runners, which had several hits in the early 1980s, the most notable being "Geno" and "Come On Eileen", both of which reached number one on the UK Singles Chart.
"Come On Eileen" is a song by English group Dexys Midnight Runners, released in the United Kingdom on 25 June 1982 as a single from their album Too-Rye-Ay. It reached number one in the United States, and it was their second number one hit in the UK, following 1980's "Geno". The song was initially claimed to be written by Kevin Rowland, Jim Paterson and Billy Adams, and it was produced by Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley, although Rowland later stated that the essence of the tune should be attributed to Kevin Archer.
Warren William Zevon was an American rock singer, songwriter, and musician.
Helen O'Hara is a British musician, formerly a member and violinist of the band Dexys Midnight Runners between 1982 and 1987, including performing on songs such as "Come on Eileen" from the Too-Rye-Ay album.
Searching for the Young Soul Rebels is the debut studio album by English pop group Dexys Midnight Runners, released on 11 July 1980, through EMI Records. Led by Kevin Rowland, the group formed in 1978 in Birmingham, England, and formed a strong live reputation before recording their first material. Recorded during April 1980, the album combines the aggressiveness of punk rock with soul music, particularly influenced by the Northern soul movement.
Too-Rye-Ay is the second studio album by English pop band Dexys Midnight Runners, released in July 1982 by Mercury Records. The album is best known for the hit single "Come On Eileen", which included the lyrics "too-rye-ay" that inspired the album's title. It was the band's most successful album, debuting at number two on the UK Albums Chart.
BBC Radio One Live in Concert was a live album by Dexys Midnight Runners, recorded for the BBC in 1982 and released in 1995. It was the group's first official live album and remained their only official live album until the release of The Projected Passion Revue in 2007. The album is unique as it is Dexys' only live recording where the members of The Projected Passion Revue horn section are present alongside the Too-Rye-Ay strings. Immediately after this concert, the horn section left the group and formed The TKO Horns.
"Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral " is a classic Irish-American song that was written in 1913 by composer James Royce Shannon (1881–1946) for the Tin Pan Alley musical Shameen Dhu. The original recording of the song, by Chauncey Olcott, peaked at #1 on the music charts. The song was brought back to prominence by Bing Crosby's performance in 1944's Going My Way. Crosby's single sold over a million copies and peaked at #4 on the Billboard music charts
"Jackie Wilson Said " is a song written and performed by Van Morrison and featured as the opening track on his sixth studio album, Saint Dominic's Preview. It was released by Warner Bros. in July 1972 as the first of three singles from the album and charted at number sixty-one on the US Billboard Hot 100. Both the music and lyrics are inspired by rhythm and blues singer Jackie Wilson and his song "Reet Petite", which is directly quoted in the song.
The Projected Passion Revue is a compilation album by the group Dexys Midnight Runners, comprising recordings made in 1981, between the group's first album Searching for the Young Soul Rebels and its second, Too-Rye-Ay. The album represents a stage in the group's development which built upon the blue-eyed soul sound of the original line-up, but came before the group's adoption of a significant folk influence.
"There, There, My Dear" is a song by English pop band Dexys Midnight Runners, released in June 1980 as the second and final single from their debut album Searching for the Young Soul Rebels. It peaked at number 7 on the UK Singles Chart.
"The Celtic Soul Brothers" is a song written by Mickey Billingham, Jimmy Paterson and Kevin Rowland of Dexys Midnight Runners.
The Very Best of Dexys Midnight Runners is a best of compilation album by Dexys Midnight Runners. The album contained seven Dexys singles that had also been album tracks but was more notable as the first album to contain ten of Dexys' non-album singles, including "Let's Get This Straight ", "Because Of You", "Show Me", "One Way Love", "Breaking Down the Walls of Heartache", "Dance Stance", "Keep It Part Two ", "I'm Just Looking", "Soon", and "Soul Finger"), plus the original recordings of two more. "One Way Love" was the only Dexys song with Kevin Archer as the lead vocalist. The tracks covered Dexys' entire career, shown by the fact that, although the album was released on Mercury Records, 9 of the album's 19 songs were recorded for EMI Records, Dexys' first label.
Close Your Eyes: A Collection 1965–1986 is a career-spanning compilation of Vincent Crane recordings. He was the founder and only constant member of British progressive rock band Atomic Rooster. As well as having 21 of its 37 tracks culled from all of Atomic Rooster's studio albums, it includes several rare and previously unreleased cuts from various Vincent Crane solo and side projects. As with all previous Castle Communications/Sanctuary Records Atomic Rooster CDs, it was compiled by music journalist Colin Harper, who also supplied a detailed biography.
One Day I'm Going to Soar is a 2012 album by Dexys, the band formerly known as Dexys Midnight Runners. It was the band's fourth studio album, but its first in 27 years. The album features, alongside Dexys' lead singer Kevin Rowland, 1980s Dexys members Big "Jim" Paterson, Pete Williams and Mick Talbot, new recruits Neil Hubbard, Tim Cansfield and Lucy Morgan, and guest vocalist Madeleine Hyland, who duets with Rowland on several songs.
The Wanderer is a solo album by Kevin Rowland, lead singer of Dexys Midnight Runners. It was released in 1988 as his solo debut, three years after the third Dexys album, Don't Stand Me Down.
Let's Make This Precious: The Best of Dexys Midnight Runners is a best-of compilation album by Dexys Midnight Runners, which also contained two newly recorded songs by the group, "Manhood" and "My Life in England ". Dexys had broken up in early 1987, and these two songs, recorded in 2003, were the first new Dexys material since the single "Because of You" in 1986. Nevertheless, the album was similar to the 1991 compilation The Very Best of Dexys Midnight Runners, as eleven of the sixteen older Dexys songs on it had also been included on that album. However, to record the two new songs, Rowland put together a new version of Dexys that featured prior members Pete Williams and Mick Talbot (keyboards) plus new members such as Lucy Morgan (viola) and Neil Hubbard (guitar), and the reformed band played a series of live concerts later in 2003.
Let the Record Show: Dexys Do Irish and Country Soul is a 2016 album by Dexys, the band formerly known as Dexys Midnight Runners. The album includes interpretations of Irish songs and other select compositions. It reached number 10 in the UK Albums Chart on 10 June 2016.