Don't Stand Me Down
|Don't Stand Me Down|
|Studio album by Dexys Midnight Runners|
|Genre||New wave, blue-eyed soul|
|Dexys Midnight Runners chronology|
The 2002 "Director's Cut" reissue
|Singles from Don't Stand Me Down|
Don't Stand Me Down is the third studio album by Dexys Midnight Runners, released in September 1985.
The album followed their internationally successful second album Too-Rye-Ay and featured a lineup pared down from ten members to just four: vocalist Kevin Rowland, guitarist Billy Adams, violinist Helen O'Hara, and saxophonist Nick Gatfield, the last of whom left the band after the recording sessions.
In an interview with HitQuarters saxophonist Nick Gatfield described the recording as a "long drawn out painful process". It marked a telling and troubling shift from Too-Rye-Ay, as unlike that record, which was made very inexpensively and "had an energy about it", "Don't Stand Me Down" cost a huge amount of money and, according to Gatfield, "felt uncomfortable and unnatural".
The album was a commercial failure upon release, in part due to frontman Kevin Rowland's refusal to release a single. "This Is What She's Like" was eventually released as a single, backed with part one of "Reminiscence". Some reviewers were highly critical, with "Trouser Press" characterizing the release as "a torpid snore that denies entertainment on every level", although writing in the Melody Maker, Colin Irwin described it as "quite the most challenging, absorbing, moving, uplifting and ultimately triumphant album of the year". The album is now considered something of a lost treasure: it was featured in 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, published in 2005 by Cassell Illustrated. Writing for Uncut in 2007, Paul Moody called it a "neglected masterpiece".
Rowland remarked in 2008 that "I don't want to think about it too much because I want to think about what I'm doing now, but I remember coming out of the studio thinking, 'That's the best I can do.'" In 2008, Bob Stanley of The Guardian commented on the album's failure, noting that it "emerged in a far less adventurous era than the one Too Rye Ay was released into. New mavericks on the block such as the Smiths and the Jesus and Mary Chain were entirely ignored by Radio 1. The same happened to Dexys, though it was their own fault - no single was released from the album."
1997 Creation CD
The album was digitally remastered and issued on CD by Creation Records in 1997 (CRECD154). Two of the song titles were changed from the original release: "Knowledge of Beauty" became "My National Pride", and "Listen to This" became "I Love You (Listen to This)". "My National Pride" was the original title of the former song, but Rowland "didn't have the courage to title it that when it came around to the artwork." He contributed two pages of sleeve notes, entitled "Foreword to the Second Edition". Two extra tracks were added: "Reminisce (Part One)", recorded in spring of 1983, and a version of "The Way You Look Tonight".
2002 Director's Cut
During the mastering process for the Creation release, a stereo enhancer was used, which, Rowland felt, "ruined the dynamics." As a result, a third version of the album was released in 2002, subtitled The Director's Cut. The tracks were again digitally remastered, and the CD featured new artwork, further notes by Rowland, and the additional track "Kevin Rowland's 13th Time". According to Rowland, the album now sounds to him "as it was intended to sound." "Kevin Rowland's 13th Time" had originally been intended to be the opening song (with the introductory lyric "My name is Kevin Rowland, I'm the leader of the band" and, in a later verse, a "joke" of sorts, to "kick off the proceedings"), but was left off the original issue of the album due to Rowland's perception of a "dodgy drum beat" at one point. Rowland penned two pages of notes relating to the track, as well as a "foreword to The Director's Cut."
A limited-edition version of The Director's Cut had a DVD disc included, featuring videos for the songs "This Is What She's Like", "My National Pride", and "I Love You (Listen to This)", directed by Jack Hazan. Rowland penned another page of notes regarding the videos. The booklet shows, in a two-page spread, a photo from the video shoot, with Dexys as an eight-piece band, with Rowland, Adams, and O'Hara in the foreground. All three videos feature footage from this set. While "This Is What She's Like" includes footage of Rowland and Adams walking the streets of New York City, and "My National Pride" shows the band in pastoral scenes evocative of Ireland, "I Love You (Listen to This)" is shot entirely on this set, dark, with a single spotlight on Rowland, no other band member visible, just various angles on Rowland singing the verses and choruses—the majority of the song—until the final instrumental ride-out, when Billy Adams, Helen O'Hara, and the rest of the musicians are finally seen for a few seconds.
Original 1985 version
- "The Occasional Flicker" (Kevin Rowland) – 5:49
- "This Is What She's Like" (Billy Adams, Helen O'Hara, Rowland) – 12:23
- "Knowledge of Beauty" (O'Hara, Rowland, Wynne) – 7:01
- "One of Those Things" (Rowland) – 6:01
- "Reminisce Part Two" (Rowland) – 3:31
- "Listen to This" (Adams, Rowland) – 3:19
- "The Waltz" (Rowland, Torch) – 8:21
The Director's Cut
- "Kevin Rowland's 13th Time" (Adams, O'Hara, Rowland) – 5:05
- "The Occasional Flicker" (Rowland) – 5:49
- "This Is What She's Like" (Adams, O'Hara, Rowland) – 12:23
- "My National Pride" (O'Hara, Rowland, Wynne) – 7:01
- "One of Those Things"(LeRoy Marinell, Rowland, Waddy Wachtel, Warren Zevon) – 6:01
- "Reminisce (Part Two)" (Rowland) – 3:31
- "I Love You (Listen to This)" (Adams, Rowland) – 3:19
- "The Waltz" (Rowland, Torch) – 8:21
- "One of Those Things" has a riff taken from Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London". For the 1997 re-release, Rowland admitted in the liner notes that he had used the riff and consequently Zevon and his cowriters, LeRoy Marinell and Waddy Wachtel were given writing credits on the song.
- "Reminisce (Part Two)" includes "I'll Say Forever My Love" (James Dean, William Weatherspoon, Stephen Bowden).
- Kevin Rowland — Bass, Guitar, Piano, Vocals, Producer, Liner Notes
- Billy Adams — Guitar, Vocals, Producer
- Helen O'Hara — Violin, Vocals, Producer
- "Big" Jim Paterson — Trombone
- Nick Gatfield — Saxophone, Vocals
- Vincent Crane — Piano
- Tim Dancy — Drums
- Julian Littman — Mandolin
- Tom Evans — Steel Guitar
- Robert Noble — Organ, Synthesizer
- John "Rhino" Edwards — Bass
- Crusher Green — Drums on "Listen to This"
- Mick Boulton — Piano on "The Waltz"
- Randy Taylor — Bass on "Knowledge of Beauty"
- Woody Woodmansey — Drums on "The Waltz"
- Alan Winstanley — Producer
- Pete Schwier — Engineer, Mixing
- John Porter — Mixing on "Kevin Rowland's 13th Time"
- Peter Barrett — Cover Design
- Kim Knott — Photography
- Claire Mueller — Photography
- Jack Hazan — Director
- Arun Chakraverty — Engineer (reissue)
- Nigel Reeve — Project Coordinator (reissue)
- "Interview With Nick Gatfield". HitQuarters. Oct 8, 2007. Retrieved Jun 30, 2010.
- Allmusic review
- Irwin, Colin (1985-09-07). "Stand And Deliver". Melody Maker.
- "1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die". rocklist.net. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
- Paul Moody Uncut, March 2007, p.10.