Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#894 in the Series) is Don Dixon, Most of the Girls Like to Dance but Only Some of the Boys Do
Quite often the hardest thing about maintaining this website is trying to come up with the next day’s “Cool Album of the Day.” There are times when nothing jumps out at you that you feel like telling people about. Then there are times when you get an idea from places you never expected. That’s what happened yesterday when I was looking for our next entry. As you know we also have a Facebook page for “Cool Album of the Date.” On the page there is often continuous discussion on the entries along with the usual clicks of “Like.” Sometimes when people comment or “Like” something I’ll check out their profile, I sometime like to look at their musical tastes as it gives me ideas on where to take the site. Yesterday someone’s profile picture had a praying mantis as their profile picture. That’s all it took, a picture of a praying mantis to make me say “Ah!” How about some Don Dixon?”
Not only did that graphic suggest to me a great idea for an album to cover, but it also brought back a memory of an artist that I really enjoyed, but haven’t listened to in quite some time.
So I went searching through some of the old music and sure enough, there was Don Dixon’s great album Most of the Girls Like to Dance, But Only Some of the Boys Do.
This 1985 release was actually a compilation of demo tracks recorded in the previous three or four years. “Praying Mantis” was the first song on the disc and for many people the first song they knew from Don Dixon as a recording artist. His name was not new, as many had known him already through his great production work with bands like Dumptruck, Guadalcanal Diary. But of course nothing could be more impressive than being a co-producer (along with his friend Mitch Easter on the historic, Murmur by REM. This was really where he made his name not only because that album was just flat out great, but it was also known for it’s ground-breaking sound and approach. Yes. that works wonders in a producers career.
Here, Don provides a nice combination of originals and songs written by a diverse cross-section of songwriters of this era. “Praying Mantis” is one of his, as is “Southside Girl.” Some of the covers included are “Skin Deep” by Nick Lowe, “Wake Up” from The Doors, “Talk to Me” by Ace Fraley and even “Andy” from the great Frank Zappa.
Don Dixon would still release albums for many more years. Most of them would be with his wife Marti Jones, but his life as a producer would become more and more his main career as he would go on to even more production credits with bands like The Smithereens, Marshall Crenshaw, Hootie & the Blowfish, Tommy Keene, Michael McDermott, James McMurtry, Chris Stamey, Matthew Sweet and on and on. He’s a hell of a musician and songwriter, and yes, producer as well.
- Praying Mantis (Dixon) 4:04
- (You’re A) Big Girl Now 3:04
- Skin Deep (Lowe) 2:51
- Eyes On Fire 3:18
- Girls L.T.D. (Dixon) 2:54
- Swallowing Pride (Dixon) 3:01
- Just Rites (Dixon) 4:36
- Wake Up (Densmore, Guthrie, Krieger, Manzarek, Morrison) 1 :57
- Talk to Me (Frehley, Montana, Seneca)2:54
- Pocket 3:12
- Ice on the River 3:16
- Renaissance Eyes (Dixon) 3:22
- Fighting For My Life (Bolton) 2:25
- Southside Girl (Dixon) 2:56
- Andy (Zappa) 3:21
- When A Man Loves A Woman 4:15
- Don Dixon – Bass, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
- Rod Abernethy – Guitar
- Sonny Burnett – Saxophone
- Scott Davison – Drums
- Mitch Easter – Guitar
- Jamie Hoover – Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
- Robert Kirkland – Guitar, Vocals
- Mary Stout – Keyboards
Listen to Praying Mantis and Southside Girl