Never Ending Internet Mix Tape

a musical exquisite corpse. look it up.

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

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Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 07,

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Every couple of days, one of the NEIMT authors will post a song that is in some way a reaction to the previous song posted by another author. Every 15 songs will be packaged up with cover art and presented for download as a complete mix. The only rule is that no artist can appear more than once in the same volume.

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