1001 Songs Challenge,  1980s,  Music

1001 Songs Challenge #539: Geno (1980)

On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.

My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.

I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.

So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!


Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Geno (1980)

We’re continuing our stay in the UK, dear reader, and find ourselves in Birmingham which is in the midlands of England if you’re curious. Formed in 1978 by Kevin Rowland and Kevin Archer, Dexy’s Midnight Runners were a group who prided themselves on being different, not just in appearance but in their music. When we join them in 1980 the group have released one single and a follow up has now arrived by the name of Geno

Geno was written by Rowland and Archer and is a tribute to Geno Washington, an R&B singer who toured with the Ram Jam Band in the 1960s before turning solo in the 1970s. As an 11 year old, Rowland had seen Geno Washington live and the experience clearly left a huge impression. The music to the track is inspired by Geno Washington’s Ram Jam Band, while the lyrics from Rowland are a celebration of the singer’s majesty on stage, hero worship, idolising, you name it. However, there is a suggestion later in the track that Washington has lost his sparkle with his music but the narrator is not concerned, assuring Washington he will never forget him but now he will continue his hero’s work.

When one mentions Dexy’s Midnight Runners, it’s inevitable that Come On Eileen will be mentioned first but, for me, Geno has always been the superior of the two tracks, though both would hit no.1 in the UK. I had not delved deeply into the meaning contained within Geno but it was interesting to learn more about Geno Washington and this song actually led to renewed interest in the R&B singer who was studying at university but soon returned to live performances. Oh Geno indeed.


Favourite songs so far:

The Animals – House of the Rising Sun (1964)

Simon & Garfunkel – The Sounds of Silence (1965)

The Doors – The End (1967)

The Beatles – A Day in the Life (1967)

Rod Stewart – Maggie May (1971)

Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (1975)

Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell (1977)

Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now (1978)

The Police – Message in a Bottle (1979)

Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Geno (1980)

My name is Dave and I live in Yorkshire in the north of England and have been here all my life. I hope you enjoy your visit to All is Ephemeral.

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1001 Songs Challenge #540: Guilty (1980)

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