The 1990s were not a particularly happy time for Kevin Rowland. His extremely successful band Dexys Midnight Runners had split up
acrimoniously in 1988, and his first solo album had been a flop. Without a record contract for the first time since 1976, and with all his
personal bridges effectively burned, he slipped into a long depression, made worse by mounting debt and drug dependency.
In 1999, Alan McGee threw Rowland a lifeline by signing him to Creation Records.
The deal was for one solo album, then a follow up from the reformed Dexys Midnight Runners.
The resulting album My Beauty was an abject failure, a disaster. Consisting of cover versions of familiar songs like The Greatest Love Of All
and Daydream Believer the LP was an odd mix of karaoke and motivational speaking. Many of the songs feature what sound like pep talks,
internal monologues externalised and pressed to vinyl.
The icing on this very odd cake was the cover: Rowland in full make up and a pearl necklace, wearing a blue velvet dress hoiked up to reveal
suspenders and his tight black drawers.
The record sold less than 500 copies and Rowlands was bottled off stage during his appearance at that years Reading festival; the Creation
contract was cancelled and Rowlands has not made an album since.
To illustrate how unusual it gets, find below the promotional video for the single from the album, a cover of the 1965 hit Concrete & Clay.
Everything about it raises a question, but the three overarching concerns are what are you thinking?, what are you wearing?