How to kill momentum in a music career

First, take three years to record an expensive follow-up to your big international hit.

Then, make that follow-up a concept album.

Next, have the thematic thread be delivered mainly through a dialog between band members, something akin to two mates meeting at a pub to discuss this and that, such as how love is like heartburn, or a thunderbolt, and the IRA.


Okay so far?

Now, make the songs long, so that you only have seven songs on the LP.

So you only have, say, seven songs on the album.

And then determine that there will be no singles released to promote the album.

And no videos either.

Finally, get a makeover that takes you from raggle-taggle street urchins to a crisp, prim corporate countenance that suggests you are going to foreclose on someone’s house.

And there you have it.


Today, that album, Don’t Stand Me Down by Dexy’s Midnight Runners is regarded as something of a lost classic by several reviewers, but in 1985, just seemed barmy, like Kevin Rowland had lost the plot.

For me, it has always been a fascinating listen,  a wild and noble experiment that is as ridiculous as it is lovable in a shaggy dog way.

I’m sure the Italians have a word for it.

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