IT CAME adorned with the artist expressing his beauty – in lippy and suspenders, eyes level, straight to camera.
It contained an eclectic range of covers, from Merseyside anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone” to the passion of the opener, Whitney’s “The Greatest Love of All”, which seeped in on a burst of very open internal dialogue.
And it reportedly sold in numbers too low to detail without blushing – some sources saying in the low hundreds.
Altogether, Kevin Rowland’s My Beauty proved a dish too rich for its intended 1999 audience, and didn’t help a failing Creation Records to rein in its losses. It was to be the label’s last release. Kevin’s appearance at that year’s Reading Festival also received a somewhat … lukewarm reception.
But for the select few – those who knew, and your correspondent counts himself amongst that cohort – it was a work of truth and nakedness and majesty, a record Kevin had to make.
Now some 21 years on, Cherry Red have decided My Beauty is long overdue a chance to reconnect with Dexy’s fans, cover version aficionados and musicophiles in general.
Come September 25th, and you’ll be able to lay your hands on a copy of this exceeding scarce document once more – and in not only expanded CD, but for the first time ever, a vinyl edition.
Restored to the tracklist is Kevin’s cover of Springsteen’s “Thunder Road”, only ever heard by the select few who got their mitts on an advance Creation promo of the original (yes, I was one of those too): an ailing Creation failed to achieve clearance for the version in time, and it never appeared.
Also included on the CD will be two instrumental B-sides to the only single to be lifted from the album, Kevin’s take on Unit 4+2’s 1965 hit, “Concrete and Clay”.
And the limited vinyl pressing will of course be shocking pink.
To learn more and to pre-order Kevin Rowland’s My Beauty, visit https://www.cherryred.co.uk/artist/kevin-rowland/