Dexys Midnight Runners

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About Dexys Midnight Runners

With their chart-topping 1982 single “Come On Eileen,” Dexys Midnight Runners blended the influence of classic American soul music with Celtic folk for a distinctive new sound. • Singer and guitarist Kevin Rowland formed the band in 1978 in Birmingham, England. Their name derives from Dexedrine, an amphetamine popular in the Northern Soul club scene. • Amid an ever-fluctuating lineup, Dexys released their first album in 1980. Searching for the Young Soul Rebels reached No. 6 in the UK and yielded their first No. 1 hit, “Geno.” • A mostly new roster of musicians recorded Dexys’ second—and biggest—album, 1982’s Too-Rye-Ay. The album went to No. 2 in the UK and No. 14 in the US and sent “Come On Eileen” to No. 1 on both sides of the Atlantic. • Yet another cast of musicians contributed to the band’s third album, 1985’s Don’t Stand Me Down. The album was a commercial disappointment, peaking at No. 22 in the UK and failing to chart at all in the US. As attendance fell off at subsequent gigs, Rowland broke up the band in early 1987 for a solo career. • The success of a greatest-hits release in 1993 prompted Rowland and Too-Rye-Ay-era members Jim Paterson and Kevin “Billy” Adams to re-form for a single TV performance. A more substantive reunion failed to materialize until 2003, when Rowland formed a new version of the band to record and tour. • With their name shortened to Dexys, the band hit No. 12 in the UK with their 2012 album One Day I’m Going to Soar. Dexys cracked the Top 10 for the first time in more than three decades with 2016’s Let the Record Show: Dexys Do Irish and Country Soul.

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