Dexys Midnight Runners Songs Ranked

Dexys Midnight Runners (currently officially Dexys, their former nickname, styled without an apostrophe) are an English pop band with soul influences from Birmingham, who achieved major commercial success in the early to mid-1980s. They are best known in the UK for their songs “Come On Eileen” and “Geno”, both of which peaked at No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart, as well as six other top-20 singles. “Come On Eileen” also topped the US Billboard Hot 100, and with extensive airplay on MTV, they are associated with the Second British Invasion. The band broke up in 1987, with Rowland becoming a solo artist. After two failed restart attempts, Dexys was reformed by Rowland in 2003 with new members, as well as a few returning members from the band’s original lineup (known as Dexys Mark I). Dexys released their fourth album in 2012 and a fifth followed in 2016. Here are all of Dexys Midnight Runners’ songs ranked.

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16. The Teams that Meet in Caffs (Searching for the Young Soul Rebels, 1980)

“There’s so much to commend this record – coming out as it did at the turn of the decade between 79-80, it contains so many unique elements yet equally so many forms either evoking or literally pinched from other genres.”

15. Plan B (Searching for the Young Soul Rebels, 1980)

“This could be a love song of sorts but I think it’s more likely about Kevin Rowland’s plan to launch the new Dexys after most of the original members had left to form The Bureau. The song is addressed to another member of Dexys who’s stood by him , and Plan B is the new Dexys. The “whispers more than loud enough” refers to tensions in the old band and the band members turning against him.”

14. Dubious (Too-Rye-Ay, 1982)

“Dubious” was a nice little ska inspired instrumental, offering a glimpse into Dexys Midnight Runners being more instrumentalists than lookers…as most pop bands of the time.”

13. Dance Stance (Searching for the Young Soul Rebels, 1980)

“Talk about hitting the ground running, Dexys’ debut single is a storming yet eloquent attack on ignorance, subverting the old running joke in the UK about thick Irishmen. To make his point, Kevin Rowland runs off a list of great Irish (in Eugene O’Neill’s case American-Irish) writers, even if he omits W B Yeats, J M Synge to name but two. There can’t be many songs that effectively make a great chorus out of a list of long-dead dramatists and it says much for Rowland and his merry men’s confidence that the band did so with their very first single.”

See more: Dexys Midnight Runners Albums Ranked

12. Burn It Down (Searching for the Young Soul Rebels, 1980)

“The 1st track “Burn It Down” first hears a listener looking for a radio station on shortwave … we can recognize in the passage “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple for a fraction of a second … Apart from this surprising appetizer, we arrive on any track …”

11. Because of You (The Very Best of Dexys Midnight Runners, 1991)

“This compilation mostly capitalizes both on the visual image – take a look at the cover- on the sound of the Dexys knew and massive seller Too-Rye-Ay, and last but not least, on the chosen title, that of a song which was probably the last recollection many people had – namely the BBC watching public – about the group”

10. Let’s Make This Precious (The Best of Dexys Midnight Runners, 2003)

“With a unique approach to post-punk that included Stax-styled horns and Celtic influences, Dexys Midnight Runners had no peers as no one really sounded like them at the time. Their idiosyncrasy was made memorable by the non-negligible amount of good songs they managed to compose in their three-album run.”

9. Let’s Get This Straight (From the Start) (The Very Best of Dexys Midnight Runners, 1991)

“Get me cane down. An utterly beguiling piece of wandering music-hall as Kevin Rowland perambulates the stage, no doubt with a flower in his button-hole and gives us his best Flanagan and Allen, tap-dancing percussion and all.”

8. Show Me (The Best of Dexys Midnight Runners, 2003)

“Absolutely marvelous stuff as Dexys put out a ramrod-straight piece of dynamite R ‘n B, powered by organ and especially those irresistible horns. When Kevin Rowland calls out to them “Show me now!”, do they ever.”

7. Tell Me When My Light Turns Green (Searching For The Young Soul Rebels,  (1980)

“This is the real deal. True soul music from a great band. To be perfectly honest i would buy this just for ‘Tell Me When My Light Turns Green’ which is a perfect example of Dexys.”

6. Seven Days Too Long (Searching for the Young Soul Rebels, 1980)

“I love this record! A short nasal British man does soul music, and through the skill and energy of the band, accompanied by great song writing, succeeds wildly. All the energy of a punk album, with all the melodic infectiousness of peak era Motown.”

5. The Celtic Soul Brothers (Too-Rye-Ay, 1982)

“My favorite track from “Too Ry Aye” expressing at once Kevin Rowland’s confidence and trepidation in one song but happily sung to the darlingest tune you’ll hear either side of the Irish Sea. Great lead fiddle, closely followed by banjo and accordion.”

4. There There My Dear (Searching for the Young Soul Rebels, 1980)

“A classic of its time, and if you – like me – appreciate horn riffs it has some of the best you’ll ever hear! accompanied by great lyrics and Kevin Rowlands distinctive voice.”

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3. Geno (Searching for the Young Soul Rebels, 1980)

“It could even be argued that “Geno” is rather more about Dexys, and about Rowland’s “new soul vision” than about Mr. Washington. “And now just look at me as I’m looking down on you / No, I’m not being flash, it’s what I’m built to do”. Move over, the new breed’s in town; every new generation needs kill their idols, it’s in the natural order of things. And Kevin Rowland, with ego enough for the whole group, is not above shoving his elders out of the way.”

2. Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven When You Smile) (Too-Rye-Ay, 1982)

“Impossible not to listen to this without visualizing the band’s classic, unintentionally hilarious “Top Of The Pops” appearance to a huge backdrop of a picture of toothless, beer-bellied Scottish darts legend, the late Jocky Wilson and not the intended beneficiary, the late, great 50’s and 60’s soul singer Jackie. Perhaps that might explain however, why Kevin Rowland has Jackie Wilson singing something other than “Reet Petite” in the lyric, but otherwise this is a storming, if almost note-for-note, ad-lib for ad-lib cover of Van Morrison’s great number.”

1. Come on Eileen (Too-Rye-Ay, 1982)

“Another classic example of why New Wave dominated the 1980s and for good reason too. “Come On Eileen” is known by everyone is the 1st world, and about 98% of those people will sing along. It’s so infectious due to it’s blending of folk instruments with more classic rock n roll instrumentation. This combined with a great bassline that holds the songs together and a fantastic climax makes this one of the best songs of the 1980s period.”