Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Let's Make This Precious

Song: Let's Make This Precious
Artist: Dexys Midnight Runners
Album: Too-Rye-Ay (Expanded)

Often times, when we consider a band a one hit wonder, they had “one hit” by revisionist history standards, not conventional. What I mean by this is that while you may think of Soft Cell as a one hot wonder (of “Tainted Love’ fame) they in fact had eight top forty hits in the UK. Usually a band is able to chart, and therefore have a “hit” with a follow up single to a massive song, but if it not remotely as successful as the big “hit,” despite landing in the top 40, it doesn’t somehow count. (Mainly because nobody remembers the other song.)

Birmingham, England’s Dexys Midnight Runners are certainly within this group of one hit wonders that never came close to matching the success of their massive hit “Come on Eileen.” Their follow up single, “Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven When You Smile)” went to number five in the UK, but I sure as heck don’t think I’ve ever heard it. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I’d ever heard anything from the band other than “Come on Eileen,” which I think I have heard maybe four to five hundred times. Until now…

My writing about an obscure Dexys Midnight Runners song isn’t exactly totally random. I’m a fan of Q Magazine, sort of the British Rolling Stone, and they have a feature in the front of every monthly issue in which they name fifty songs to download that month. Mostly they are new tracks from upcoming records or recently released records, but sometimes they highlight something seemingly out of nowhere, as it may someone be linked to something new or a current hit. Or… as in the case of “Let’s Make This Precious,” they happened to be hocking a reissue of the album, so the inclusion was most likely at the request of some publicity person at Mercury/Universal.

Beyond this not very random “random” inclusion… I accidentally bought the song off iTunes when I went and decided I wanted to hear what the song was like after reading it in the fifty essential tracks list. This hasn’t happened to me before… as they have the safeguard pop-up window that asks “are you totally sure you want to buy this?” But I happened to hit return twice and thusly.. now own the track.

Regardless of the road it took to my music library, “Let’s Make This Precious” is actually a pretty cool song. Again, I haven’t heard anything else off the album, but this makes me want to hear the rest. (Q also gave the reissue a four out of five star review.) It keeps in line with the Irish ska-lite of “Eileen” though less like an anthem. Lead “Runner” Kevin Rowland certainly had had an already tumultuous time with the band, as he remained the only consistent member for three complete line-up changes before they scored big with “Eileen.” He also made the career-suicide decision to release a single-free concept album as the follow up to “Too-Rye-Ay,” ugh… these artists!

As a DJ, I have used “Come on Eileen” as a party saver in time of need, and many times over in fact… despite its over-saturation just about everywhere. Like “My Sharona” or even “Tainted Love,” it’s been played and played and played out but yet in the right context (and enough booze) it can create a sing-a-long situation that always is remembered fondly the next day.


Come on Eileen


Not sure what this is… but it’s not altogether a “tribute”

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