The actual musicianship isn’t horrendous. It’s the fake reggae voice that irritates me to the point of wanting to tip a bucket of instant sunshine over Birmingham in retribution for them inflicting this crap on the world.
Oddly I mentally lump the two acts together as well.
If memory serves, Food For Thought and Geno came out at around the same time, and I loved both of them.
Regarding Dexys: I work very close to Shoreditch - hipster central. A lot of the locals seem to get dressed up in some pretty ridiculous outfits. I thought I’d seen it all when I saw a guy in a full Andy Pandy romper suit strolling down the road, until I realised it was Kevin Rowland .
I’m no expert when it comes to the music so if you say they were treading on the toes of ‘real music’ then I’ll believe you. I liked the sound though, and I still do. Their inability to sing in tune puts me off in a way that Bob Dylan’s doesn’t. But they did feel like they were on the right side at a time when the charts included the likes of Cliff Richard, Gary Glitter and Sigue Sigue Sputnik.
He was interviewed the other morning on TV & said that he’d always sung through his nose,(inadvertently) the one positive being that he hadn’t been afflicted by the throat polyps etc that other singers who do it for decades often suffer from. Actually Robin Campbell sang as much on the early songs & was perhaps a better singer.
I recall seeing them play live at our local technical college back in about 1979 just as Food for thought was coming out. They were a lively dancey sort of band who were pretty together from the outset. At that time they were also giving off quite a cool, left wing, multicultural vibe tackling subjects like unemployment, imminent nuclear war, racism etc & I liked the first couple of albums. The two Labour of Love albums were just covers of stuff they’d grown up with so I guess they thought it was fair to revisit some of those often quite obscure songs.
Tyler & King from Signing off were good songs as was the single the Earth dies screaming.