“Geno” by Dexys Midnight Runners
This song is meant to serve as the Dexys Midnight Runners’ tribute to an American musician they admired by the name of Geno Washington. Washington’s heyday was during the 1960s, and during that time he was especially popular in the UK. But more to the point, as alluded to earlier, his music proved especially influential on the singer himself. In other words, Geno was one of the vocalist’s favorite musicians, a performer whose music, in a lot of ways, defined the narrator’s own youth. But in the present day Geno is presented as just being a shadow of the figure he used to be. And when the singer presents him as such, it isn’t that he is trying to diss Washington. Rather, with himself now being a professional musician, he is pointing how one can so effectively rise and fall in fame in the music industry.
Kevin Rowland worked with Kevin Archer to compose both the music and lyrics of “Geno”.
The production, on the other hand, was taken care of by Pete Wingfield.
“Geno” is a product of group’s maiden album which they titled “Searching for the Young Soul Rebels”. It was actually the album’s first single. However, “Geno” wasn’t the first proper single that Dexys Midnight Runners released. Their first single was a 1979 song titled “Dance Stance”.
Both “Geno” and its album were released respectively in March and July of 1980.
The song did very well in Britain. For example, it jumped straight to the position number one on the most important singles chart in Britain – the UK Singles Chart. Here, it stayed for a total of two weeks. In achieving this success, the song became the group’s first number 1 hit in Britain.
Furthermore, “Geno” made it to number 2 on Ireland’s official singles chart.
Simply put, this song remains one of the most relevant hits in the catalogue of the Dexys Midnight Runners.
FYI: the group didn’t enjoy a number 1 single again until the release of “Come On Eileen” in 1982.