The Specials really took the 2-Tone revival as far as it could go. Quite simply – they were the revivals best exponents. Other bands hit the spot with real style too. Madness, The Beat, The Selecter, The Bodysnatchers, hell, even Bad Manners too.
Almost in tandem, came a band from Birmingham that are rarely ‘lumped’ into this equation. Technically they do not fit. Technically Schmechlingally!
Dexy’s Midnight Runners gave my ears as a 9-year-old one hell of a musical wake-up call with Geno. It’s one of the best Number 1 singles that has ever graced the U.K. Charts – and it’s not even their best song.
There, There, My Dear peaked at Number 7 in 1980. Urgent. Frustrated. Just Damn On-It. Sounding oh so of its time and purely timeless too – this is a very difficult feat to pull-off. What the song does is that it goes beyond the 2-Tone revival that it was not technically lumped with. Music of this time was magic. Remember them stickers about keeping live music,um, Live? (or something like that) – that’s what this song does and kindles thoughts of. It also, unlike some of the more dour 2-Tone records, has Soul. I’ll be the first to throw my hands up and say I do not totally get Soul music – but I know when I feel something. To me this song is the ultimate soul record.
Of course, time was kind in the short-term to Dexy’s Midnight Runners and the band achieved astonishing sales in the U.K. and America with Come On Eileen in 1982. That huge seller, for all of its charming pop qualities is no “There. There My Dear though.
For real soul, near Ska, perfect post-punk pop look no further than this near lost gem. There are no rules on this blog which I write purely for escape, fun and musical musing. But for once allow a rule. The simple rule is, if you are reading this and nodding even slightly then hit the first video – first. Then firstly listen and less importantly watch. Then consider that the 2nd video of its time which was post the Come On Eileen success. Dexy’s go back to their roots here. The timeframe is short but it underlines what the band where all about – Soul. Rarely have I seen musicians just going with the moment. There, There, My Dear comes across like a musical celebration post success but stating this is what they really all about. It’s barmy, daft and just too joyous for words. Explore this band further. When the song charted I attended ‘discos’ at an army barracks of which my Grandparents were caretakers in their twilight working years. Despite the stereotypes, Punks, Mods, Rockers, Skinheads, Teddy Boys, Army Cadets (!) and regular folks all went nuts to this song – in total mayhem / harmony. The song is a melting pot of all that should be celebrated about good music. Enjoy…