Dexy's Midnight Runners

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Dexy’s Midnight Runners

Let’s celebrate Dexy’s Midnight Runners 1982 classic “Come On Eileen” and ask where are they now?

by Christopher Smith

It topped the chart in the UK (1.4m million copies sold), it topped the chart in America, it topped the chart in Australia, Belgium, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa and Switzerland and nearly forty years later, it’s still being played in clubs, pubs and student parties the world over. This is Dexy’s Midnight Runners and the force of “Come On Eileen”!

You wouldn’t perhaps think so, but Dexy’s have recorded other songs! It seems, however, that their 1982 track “Come On Eileen” has found its way into the world’s conscience and continues to do so. Indeed, two years earlier, the group had topped the UK singles chart with “Geno” and made No.7 with “There, There My Dear” later that year.

Formed in Birmingham in 1978, their debut single “Dance Stance” reached the UK top 40 in 1979 prior to “Geno” topping the chart. The lineup has changed many times each year since then, and in fact there have been a total of 55 members of the group since its inception forty years ago! The one consistent presence being frontman and vocalist Kevin Rowland throughout this whole time.

The group released their debut album “Searching For The Young Soul Rebels” in 1980 which made No.6 in the UK and No.11 in New Zealand. In 1981 they released the singles “Plan B” and “Show Me” (UK No.16), although neither of these featured on any long player’s till a greatest hits release in the early-1990’s. Their second studio album “Too-Rye-Ay” came in early 1982 and featured the singles “Liars A To E” and “The Celtic Soul Brothers” (UK No.45).

But it would be the album’s third single “Come On Eileen” released in June 1982 that would seal the groups fame, worldwide, forever. The video was filmed in and around Kennington in London and the role of ‘Eileen’ is played by actress and singer Marie Fahey, sister of Siobhan ‘Bananarama’ Fahey! The success of the single sent “Too-Rye-Ay” to No.2 in the UK and No.14 in The States, becoming by far their biggest selling ’33’ by a long distance.

Dexy’s followed this with “Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven When You Smile)” which made the top 5 in the UK and re-issued “The Celtic Soul Brothers”, this time making the UK top twenty. Another non-album single, “Let’s Get This Straight (From The Start)”, was released at the end of 1982 reaching No.17 in the UK.

But no sooner had the group topped the world, decline and fall soon followed. Their third album “Don’t Stand Me Down” failed to make the top twenty and its lead single “This Is What She’s Like” reached No.78 in the UK in 1985. A further single “Because Of You” made No.13 the following year but the group downed tools in 1987, seemingly for good.

With the exception of a “Best Of” in 1991 (UK No.12), that silence lasted until 2003 when Kevin and a new set of musicians reformed and began touring with huge success. And that has continued to this day, and true to form, with continued line up changes virtually every year since! Why break with tradition?!

Keep up-to-date with Dexy’s through their WEBSITE and their FACEBOOK group

Take a look at all our other Where Are They Now posts and don’t forget to follow the playlist!

Where Are They Now?

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Written by Christopher Smith

So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!

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