It sure seems like the most appropriate follow-up to last week’s One for Friday involves a song from Mr. Marti Jones. Most of the Girls Like to Dance But Only Some of the Boys Like To, Don Dixon’s solo debut, was first released in the United States in late 1986, only after it had proven successful as an import in Europe, where it had received distribution the year before. Making the journey seem even more arduous, most of the material on the album was first peddled to labels well before. As Dixon acknowledged at the time, practically every song on the album had been turned down repeatedly. But by the mid-eighties Dixon had a modicum of fame, at least among a certain subset of record-buyers. He’d co-produced the first two R.E.M. albums, both of which were widely viewed as instant classics, but he was maybe even more admired for shepherding the Smithereens’ Especially for You. It was that band’s label, Enigma, that snagged Dixon’s album for stateside release.
The album definitely plays like it’s made my someone who’s put a lot of thought into how to make songs sound good, especially the different methodologies that can be used to draw in the listener and hook them good. Dixon knows when to be brash and how to delve into achingly romantic emotions. He’s also appealing clever with a sharp ability to turn a phrase, best evidenced by the album’s title, which serves as the chorus for the song “Girls L.T.D.” I think it’s fair to say that Dixon was never able to stamp his name on the front cover of an album that was within striking distance of the very best efforts that benefits from his skills as a producer, but every one of his own releases has exciting peaks that speak to his ability to be more than the guy in the room behind the glass, turning all the knobs.
Listen or download –> Don Dixon, “Girls L.T.D.”
(Disclaimer: It appears to me that the bulk of Dixon’s output as a solo artist, at least from that stretch of time, is out of print, at least as physical objects that can be ordered through and then purchased from your favorite local, independently-owned record store. That includes the album with the lengthy title referenced in this post. Therefore, this song is shared in this space with the belief that doing so causes no undue financial harm to any worthy individual or entity. If I’m asked to remove it by anyone with due authority to make such a request, be it a person or an institution, I will gladly and promptly comply.)