Monday, March 12, 2012

1980: Where have you hidden them?

Here's an odd one. This record reminds me of precisely nothing.

'Why is that, JP?', a reader asks.

Well, mainly because - like Gary Numan's She's Got Claws and Roxy Music's Oh Yeah - I have no memory of it being around whatsoever. When I discovered his song about 20 years later and found out it was a Top Ten hit, I was stunned. I adore it. How could I not have known about it?

By the same token, you couldn't get away from Geno, a huge number one and the talk of the school, the band's trend-setting woolly hat and donkey jacket ensemble being pretty much a uniform in certain quarters. So why did this one pass me by? It wasn't like I didn't have the radio on constantly. Perhaps because it came out in the summer holidays and I was busy doing stuff and not paying attention. When I think summer of 1980 I'm thinking Xanadu and Feels Like I'm In Love. If they played it on the radio. They must have done, but perhaps it wasn't on the A-list, what with it being incomprehensible.

If you know it but can't make sense of it, here are the words. Who knew?

"Dear Robin,
Hope you don't mind me writing, it's just that there's more than one question I need to ask you.
If you're so anti-fashion why not wear flares, instead of dressing down all the same.?
It's just that looking like that I can express my dissatisfaction.

Dear Robin,
let me explain, though you'd never see in a million years.
Keep quoting cabaret, Berlin, Burroughs, J. G. Ballard, Duchampe, Beauvoir, Kerouac, Kirkegaard, Michael Rennie.
I don't believe you really like Frank Sinatra.

Dear Robin,
you're always so happy, how the hell do you get your inspiration?
You're like a dumb patriot.
If you're supposed to be so angry, why don't you fight and let me benefit from your right?
Don't you know the only way to change things is to shoot the men who arrange things.

Dear Robin,
I would explain, but you'd never see in a million years.
Well you've made your rules but we don't know that game, perhaps I'd listen to your records but your logic's far too lame and I'd only waste three valuable minutes of my life with your insincerity.

You see Robin, I'm just searching for the young soul rebels and I can't find them anywhere. Where have you hidden them? Maybe we should welcome the new soul vision."

I'm sure they can't possibly fit all this lot into that that tune. Try following it and you'll see what I mean. Anyway, it's one of my favourites of all time. Such a shame I was late to the party.


  1. Ah yes of course,'maybe you should welcome the new soul vision - welcome the new soul vision - welcome the new soul vision..'

    Good track and personally I much prefer it to Come On Eileen which is too over played. The Stax style horn and sax blasts are great.

    That whole first Dexy's album was pretty good though.

  2. Funnily enough, I too was mystified to find out - much later on - that Dexys had been steadily releasing singles throughout 1980 and '81.

    At the time - and for years afterwards - I thought that the follow-up to Geno was the first issue of Celtic Soul Brothers in 1982! Quite how I'd missed five singles... There There My Dear, Keep It, Plan B, Show Me and Liars A To E... I've really no idea.

    I was a right one for Top Of The Pops, the Tuesday lunchtime new chart rundown on Radio 1 and of course, the Sunday night R1 show, so I can't explain how they went "under my radar" either.

    Anyway, great choice for today!

  3. Oh, this really burned a hole in me. I'd never hear ANYONE sing like that before. Of course I had no idea what he was on about, but he sounded angry and that was the main thing. Wonderful stuff, and still sounds great to my ears.

  4. I was listening to the first Dexys album the other day - cracking stuff. As office pest says, the horns are ace.

    Confession time: for the first fancy dress party I was ever invited to, at the age of 18, the theme was ‘pop stars', so I went as a low-rent Kevin Rowland. My outfit was a borrowed donkey jacket, a woolly hat, a white t-shirt, blue jeans and Dunlop Green Flash trainers (which I practically lived in for a couple of years). I took off the jacket and hat when it got too hot, thus destroying any slight resemblance to Kevin I might have achieved. And no, before you ask, I didn't pull.

    1. Ah, but did you have the pencil tash too, TT?

      Actually, I must bear this in mind for the next pop stars-themed fancy dress do I get asked to. It's a good one.

      How nice that everyone loves this song.

  5. Love this and most Dexy's stuff in fact. For anyone interested they've just released a new album, doing the interview circuit at the mo. Looking very dapper.