Never Ending Internet Mix Tape

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Vol 07 / Trk 01 / Dance Stance / Dexys Midnight Runners

One of the great pleasures in being obsessed with music is learning about what a band was like before they made it big. And there’ll probably be no better period for this kind of discovery than the early ’80s. Dozens of bands made it big when they turned their sound from an idiosyncrasy to a novelty, sacrificing what’s often a long and interesting career to a flash in the pan, all in the name of radio airplay and MTV fame.

A great example of this is Dexys Midnight Runners—before Ms. Eileen came along, before they dressed like Irish rednecks, before there was a fiddle-drenched “Celtic soul” sound, the band looked like Cockney bootblacks and thugs and were primarily influenced by Stax Records. In 1980, anyway, they were occupying a particular niche between the punk sounds of what, for example, The Jam were, and the lighter indie pop of what The Jam of “Ghosts” became.

One of my very favorite Dexys lyrics goes, “Sing me a record that cries pure and true. Not those guitars, they’re too noisy and crude.” On “Dance Stance,” the band’s sure-footed debut single, they’re pushed to the background while the horns are gloriously front and center. It does sound a little like it’s lacking a good low end—my only real gripe with “Ghosts” because of how excellent The Jam’s rhythm section was. But I wanted to turn that disadvantage into an advantage here, kicking off this volume with a spiky, joyous call-and-response hidden gem from an underrated and overexposed band of young soul rebels.

m. joosse


Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 07,

One Response

  1. agrayspace says:

    I’m going to have a hard time following this. Think dammit think!

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