Lost In Time – Day Ten: Dexys, Radio 4 & Hefner

 

Lost In TimeDMR

 

My final choice in our wander along the mews cottages at the back of memory lane is ‘This Is What She’s Like’ by Dexy’s Midnight Runners. After the commercial triumph of Too Rye Aye, Kevin Rowland decided to release Don’t Stand Me Down, a ‘concept’ album with no obvious singles and only reluctantly released this track to promote the album. Meanwhile on the cover Dexys abandoned the dungarees in favour of smart office attire. Suffice it to say there would not be another Dexys album for 27 years. Nonetheless it is probably one of the greatest, bravest and most moving albums ever and with the hindsight of decades is often now cited as an all time classic album. Commercial suicide in 1985 however.

‘This Is What She’s Like’ clocks in at over 12 minutes. The only version of the video on youtube is heavily edited and I have imbedded it below. However the full version of the song and video, which I cannot recommend highly enough can be found on a French music site here, but I can’t work out how to embed it directly. For non French-speakers, to get rid of the banner ad click the pink button top right saying ‘ Acceder directement a wat.tv’. You won’t regret it.

“Bill, you know the newly wealthy peasants
With their home bars and hi fis?
Eh, I’m not sure actually
You know, the ones who parade all their possessions
And put ‘fabulous’ and ‘super’ in each sentence
Oh yeah, I know the ones
Well I don’t really like these scumbags
May I be clear on this point. Sure.
She’s not a bit like that
No, nothing like that”

Meanwhile scroll down for Andy and Roy’s choices, see the whole list here and a big thanks to all who have contributed to this particular theme, our most popular yet. Let us know if there’s another topic you’d like us to do in the future.

So… what is she like, Kevin?

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12 thoughts on “Lost In Time – Day Ten: Dexys, Radio 4 & Hefner

  1. Whatever else you may think of Kevin Rowland (personally, I think he is a wasted talent), you can never accuse him of courting commercial mass popularity, even when he managed to achieve it !

    1. Just remembered that a film about Kevin Rowland – ‘Nowhere Is Home’ is due to be released this year (providing Kevin doesn’t threaten to kidnap the film cans presumably). Here is an intriguing two minute trailer and the song in the background is indeed ‘This Is What She’s Like’, a 20 minute version of which was the highpoint of their recent tour:

  2. For my final contribution, I’ve gone all post-millennial.
    ‘Dance To The Underground’ by Radio 4. This was released in 2001 as lead single from their excellent debut album, ‘Gotham’. Leaders of the US ‘Punk-Funk’ upsurge that also brought us LCD Soundsystem, The Rapture, The Juan Maclean and The Gossip,Radio 4 were soon commercially eclipsed by the others. As a result this near perfect blend of Agit-prop, 70’s NYC punk and the Gang Of Four, remains a lost classic, so much so that this is the only original version of the song I could find to post – their anti-capitalist stance, obviously mitigating against anything so commercial as an ‘official video’. Enoy.

    1. I loved this at the time and I agree that the remix is better – just about the only chance of me listening to Radio 4 otherwise. Would you put The Music in that category? They were the next big thing at one point.

      1. The Music were indeed the next big thing at one point (future blog theme alert) but in a more Led Zep meets Roses style – still love Welcome To The North.

  3. Thinking what to choose for my final selection kept me awake for several hours over the weekend (I take my responsibility very seriously indeed, dear reader!) and in the end all this angst somewhat inevitably lead me to this. So, just edging out Nu Shooz’s “I Can’t Wait” is this lost classic. Taken from their third album, “We Love The City”, in which main man, Darren Hayman, continues to open up about his various relationships, this is one such example from a series of melodic confessions. Doubts, fears, honesty and vulnerability are the subject matter explored in these autobiographical accounts.

    Sadly, but probably unsurprisingly given the emotional outpouring of his output, the lack of positive reaction to their fourth album, “Dead Media”, led to Hayman splitting Hefner up in 2001. However, he continues to make music to this day, either solo or as part of a London bluegrass quartet (no, I’m not sure about that either!), so hopefully there’s a happy ending in there somewhere. Great “pop” artwork too!

    Anyway, here’s my final choice, which concludes the 30 Lost In Time classics – a bit like jumping the Grand National fences, you never quite know whether you’re going to take to it like Red Rum, or fall at the first hurdle, but the important thing is to grab the reins with both hands! So, on with the jodhpurs and with whip in hand for one last time, here’s the video, which coincidentally references Dexy’s at the start, to Hefner’s “Good Fruit”…

    If it doesn’t mean a thing, then don’t say anything.
    But it means something, more than we can say.
    ‘Cos you kissed me so, even though,
    Your heart said no, so when will you phone?

  4. That is indeed a huge coincidence: ‘We are trying to do a Dexys Midnight Runners type thing’. I can certainly hear the influence. Had not heard this before but it’s a great track and a lovely video. They passed me by at the time, but I’ve resolved to investigate more on the basis of this. Nice to end on a track I both like and had never heard before. A great way to end our journey. But wait, perhaps it’s not all over yet…..

    1. May I present The Pierces – arguably the best underrated sisters in music.
      Like ELO, they also hail from Birmingham … but the sunnier Alabama one.
      I must admit that I started my listening pleasure with the GLORIOUSly (geddit)
      crafted first single from the fourth album ’You & I’, thinking it was from the ‘60s and possibly a song by the Mamas & Papas. Anyhow after purchasing said album, I set about the gleeful discovery of the varied and classy examples from their back catalogue (first album was in 2000 I believe)…. and boy there are so many quality examples that showcase their harmonious and quirky talent that it’s so difficult to choose a track of theirs. Seek out the dark ‘Secret’ or ‘The Good Samaritan’ or ‘Technology’ for tasters. Well, I plumped for this one of many definitely already lost in recent time (well, last decade) … or should that be never really found in the first place by mainstream UK audience. This is an acoustic version of an earlier single: ‘Turn On Billie’ [ from their third album Thirteen Tales Of Love & Revenge ( 2007) ] – it’s apparently about a couple that fights a lot but they do love each other and want to work it out. The chorus is possibly a reference to Billie Holiday’s music calming them down so they’d have made up by the time they were finished listening.

  5. sorry i fell off the radar for the last few days. loving your choices. May I add 3? 80s, 90s & Noughties. I’ve gone a bit poptastic. hope that’s ok!

    Touch and Go – Any Trouble
    Stay – Lisa Loeb
    Long Time Coming – Delays

    yes yes – find them on you tube, add the links……too much like hard work for me, Rich!!

  6. Here you go, in ascending order of personal palatability… When does your 50 list go ‘live’? Or are the playoffs demanding all your attention at the moment?

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