Our Top 10 Dexys Midnight Runners Songs introduces us to an England pop-rock band that added some glamour to the music genre. Founded in Birmingham in 1978, Dexys Midnight Runners would achieve commercial success later on in the 1980s. Amongst its founders were songwriter, guitarist, and lead vocalist Kevin Rowland and vocalist and guitarist Kevin Archer who were members of the punk band the Killjoys. The two would have their band’s name derived from Dexedrine, a recreational drug among soul fans, to give them the energy to dance all night.
Dexys Midnight Runners lived up to their name, having some of their songs receive international recognition, including topping in the Billboard Hot 100, which was probably the band’s highlight. Like most bands, Dexys Midnight Runners would have their lineup redefined, bringing in new faces in each lineup change. Unfortunately, the band would break up in 1987, having Kevin Rowland pursue a solo career. However, the urge to put the band members together proved greater than its disbandment, and after two failed attempts, Dexys would come back to the game in 2003. Of course, this would have some new members on the band, but members like Kevin Rowland in the new Dexys made the band retain its original vibe. Here are the top 10 Dexys Midnight Runners songs that remind us much of an amazing band in its prime years with multiple international hit ballads.
# 10 – Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven When You Smile)
Introducing us to the top 10 Dexys Midnight Runners songs is a cover of the classic Van Morrison song that proved too good for just live performances having it appear in their 1982 album, Too-Rye-Ay. Rowland admitted to having had quite a soft spot for the song, which was the primary reason he led Dexys Midnight Runners to cover the song. “Jackie Wilson Said” was perfectly done by Dexys Midnight Runners, having their cover reach number five on the UK Singles Chart. However, with the song performed on Top of the Pops in front of darts player Jocky Wilson’s picture, there was a dilemma whether this was some misunderstanding or a deliberate act.
# 9 – Nowhere is Home
With the song “Nothing is Home,” lead vocalist Kevin Rowland reflects on his working-class Irish heritage. From an interview, Rowland would reveal that the song is about rootlessness and Irish nationalism. The song saw some changes, which probably translated to the song’s success, having Rowland originally singing “Can’t be myself with you” rather than “Nowhere is home.” Credit to Sex Pistols’ bassist Glen Matlock for his contribution in writing this song.
# 8 – The Celtic Soul Brothers
Featured in Dexys Midnight Runners’ 1982 album, Too-Rye-Ay, the song “The Celtic Soul Brothers” proved to be one of the band’s favorites having it perform extremely great on the charts. Peaking at number 20 in the UK and 86 in the US, “The Celtic Soul Brothers” brings the best of collaborative songwriting skills by Rowland, Jim Paterson, and Micky Billingham. The song is about the band, having its members share Celtic roots and a love for soul music. “The Celtic Soul Brothers” compares to “Jackie Wilson Said,” having the two songs channel what the band members share in common.
# 7 – Plan B
Showing us the best from the band’s 1980 album, Searching for the Young Soul Rebels is the song “Plan B.” The song brings on a more brilliant Kevin Rowland having him combine his conviction in the perfection of his vision. Here, Rowland urges his fellow band members to accompany him even with his paranoia. “Plan B” was a perfectly delivered song having his message strike deep as the following album, the band members would play a pivotal role in its success.
# 6 – Incapable of Love
Even decades after their prime years, Dexys Midnight Runners can still give rock lovers a reason to smile and nod to the beat of their compositions. Featured in their 2012 album, One Day I’m Going to Soar, the song “Incapable of Love” brings back the Dexys vibe to rock lovers who knew the band in its 80s. Thanks to Rowland, Paterson, and Talbot, for the great lyrics that made the song quite a banger. Madeleine Hyland is spectacular on this one.
# 5 – Tell Me When My Light Turns Green
Sometimes the greatest of our life moments are pre-created when we rarely notice. In this context, the song “Tell Me When My light Turns Green” was written when Rowland was still a member of the short-lived band Killjoy. Rowland already dreamed of forming a great band with a brass section and started writing tons of songs, hoping to ever make it big. Thanks to his sublime songwriting skills, the song “Tell Me When My Light Turns Green” became one of the band’s highlights in their first album, Searching for the Young Soul Rebels.
# 4 – Both Sides Now
The song “Both Sides Now” is featured in Dexys Midnight Runners’ most recent album, Let The Record Show: Dexys Do Irish and Country Soul, is the song “Both Sides Now.” Here, Dexys Midnight Runners reminded us of a great song ever composed in the 1960s with this cover originally done by Joni Mitchell and made into a big hit by Judy Collins.While the band never replicated the success that the song achieved in its prime, “Both Sides Now” brings out the true quality of the band. Rowland’s vocals never seem to disappoint, even in his old age, having him sing the song perfectly.
# 3 – There, There My Dear
The 1980 album, Searching for the Young Soul Rebels did quite well thanks to songs like “There, There My Dear,” which proved the band worth listening to in an age where music bands were sprouting like mushrooms. Composed as an open letter to a pseudo-intellectual artist Robin, “There, There My Dear” acts as a dismissal of a dishonest music scene. Despite being a sad song, “There, There My Dear” performed great on the charts having the song attain a peak position of number 7 on the UK Singles Chart.
# 2 – Geno
The song “Geno” proved to be the best song from Dexys Midnight Runners’ album, Searching for the Young Soul Rebels, having it reach the top of the UK Singles Chart. Notably, “Geno” is about Geno Washington, a US soul singer that Dexys Midnight Runners admired. While Geno was barely big in his nation, he became quite popular in the UK, collaborating with major artists such as Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix. Thanks to the distinctive Celtic flavor added to the song that “Geno” became unique amongst music lovers making it one of the best releases by Dexys Midnight Runners.
# 1 – Come on Eileen
And now at number is the song, “Come on Eileen” from the band’s second studio album, Too-Rye-Ay. From a natural and superb rhythm, sublime vocals, to great lyrics, everything about “Come on Eileen” was top-notch, having the song achieve the topmost position on the UK Singles Chart and Billboard Hot 100. The song is based on a girl Eileen that Rowland grew up with, having them get into a relationship when they were 13, which turned sexual a while later. With Rowland raised a catholic, the song tries to break the thin line between love and lust.
Top 10 Dexys Midnight Runners Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
Classicrockhistory.com claims ownership of all its original content and Intellectual property under United States Copyright laws and those of all other foreign countries. No one person, business or any organizations is allowed to republish any of our original content anywhere on the web or in print without our permission.