I don’t have lo loose many words about Mr. Rowland except that he was a trained hairdresser. First recognized him as the lead singer of the Killjoys (a band who started with the punk explosion in 1977) who made a brilliant single ‘Johnny won’t get to heaven’. Disillusioned from punk rock, he immersed himself into vintage soul music, particularly the records of Geno Washington. In 1978 he founded Dexy’s Midnight Runners together with Kevin Archer the former lead guitarist of The Killjoys. The hit the scene with a brilliant album. Every song of the record is a killer and it got on a very heavy rotation on my player. I still don’t know what impressed me more the music or the lyrics at this time. Playing vintage soul with a punk attitude and telling stories about very true things. I got old with this record and it was always a good friend to me. Saw him once live a couple of years later when he promoted the following album Too-Rye-Ay where he added Celtic Folk to his understanding of Soul music. The record was a big seller and ‘Come on Eileen’ is still played in every dance party in my place. After releasing the their third album Dexy’s Midnight Runners break up. They changed their style and music again but the listeners wouldn’t follow him and it was a commercial failure.
He did one solo album throughout the years what I never listened but he returned last year with the reunion of Dexys and a monument of record ‘One day I’m going to soar’. There he showed me that he never forgot what made him worth listen to. Perfect songs that grow the more times you listen to and lyrics full of wisdom and truth. Some of his words I agree to 100%. A great artist can celebrate today his 60th birthday.
Go on and stay well Kevin.