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Inarguable Pop Classics #8: Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Geno

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Dexy’s Midnight Runners‘ second single, 1980’s ‘Geno’, was a splendid stylish sax dappled tribute to one of their heroes Geno Washington. Performed with all the glee and addictive majesty of a group of musicians who have meticulously studied the work of Geno Washington’s Ram Jam Band, the memorable communal chant of ‘Oh Geno! Oh Geno! Oh Geno! was a tip of the hat to Washington’s 1960s’ live shows.

‘Geno’ is in keeping with the work of contemporaries such as The Clash ( who covered ‘Police and Thieves’ by reggae singer Junior Murvin) and The Specials (who covered ‘Monkey Man’ which had been a hit for Toots & the Maytals in the 60s), who both in their own way referenced and paid tribute to their musical heroes too. Yet Dexys glorious portrait of Geno’s career and night time escapades isn’t a cover: it’s a unique one off, vividly drawn with Kevin Rowland’s staccato storytelling notes that switch to a soulful chorus, ride the effortless instrumental punctuations and changes in pace, replete with bountifully swaying brass and a rock steady beat. A resonant pop single that offers a snapshot of their hero in the midst of performance in the club that sticks with one even after they have played one of their more discussed classic singles ‘Come on Eileen’. It is the joyous sound of a group at the peak of their powers.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.