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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Searching For The Young Soul Rebels

Dexys Midnight Runners

1980

Searching For The Young Soul Rebels

Album Summary

Searching for the Young Soul Rebels is the debut studio album by English pop group Dexys Midnight Runners, released on 11 July 1980, through Parlophone and EMI Records. Led by Kevin Rowland, the group formed in 1978 in Birmingham, England, and formed a strong live reputation before recording their first material. Recorded during April 1980, the album combines the aggressiveness of punk rock with soul music, particularly influenced by the Northern soul movement. The album was preceded by and contains the hit-single "Geno", which topped the UK Singles Chart. It also contains two other charting singles: "Dance Stance" (re-recorded as "Burn It Down") and "There, There, My Dear" (which included the lyrics "I've been searching for the young soul rebels" that inspired the album's title). The album reached number 6 on the UK Albums Chart and is certified Silver by the British Phonographic Industry. It has been widely acclaimed by music critics since its release and is included in 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.05

Votes

5258

Genres

  • Pop
  • Rock
  • New Wave
Reviews
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Mon Jan 25 2021
3

One I've not listened to before. Always heard praise for them but just thought of them as one hit wonders with "Come on Eileen" and kind of dismissed them. Love the way it starts with dialing through the radio. I'd bet this was a real fun live show to catch back around when this record came out. Ambitious punks trying to get soulful. Walking a fine line between earnestness and irony but it sure sounds like they are having a good time doing it. I think my favorite thing on the record is the verses on "thankfully not living in yorkshire..." (But not necessarily the choruses). Probably my favorite whole track is "tell me when my light turns green." I'd bet if I was really fucking drunk I'd love this.

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Fri Jan 29 2021
5

Love the little nudge to the specials at the start. Definitely a very good album with a nice touch with all the horns. Love the ska vibes it gives off

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Fri Aug 06 2021
4

“Searching for the Young Soul Rebels” by Dexys Midnight Runners (1980) “Dexys” is a term that apparently refers to kids in northern England who were recreational users of dextroamphetamine in the late 70s and early 80s. They wanted to stay awake all night to dance energetically, I suppose. I recently read somewhere that during the WWII Battle of Britain (July-October 1940) the British RAF aircrews used dextroamphetamine (Benzedrine), while German Luftwaffe aircrews used methamphetamine (Pervitin). Everybody stayed high during the flights and the fights. But since dextroamphetamine leaves the system faster than methamphetamine, RAF crews could sleep the next day, but Luftwaffe crews could not. The result was long term German fatigue. If it had been the other way around, the title of this album might have been “Auf der Suche nach den jungen Seelenrebellen”. The photo on the cover art depicts an Irish Roman Catholic boy being forced from his Belfast home in 1971. These bits of background have significant explanatory power for one seeking to understand the creative impetus behind “Searching for the Young Soul Rebels”. You don’t have to search very far for the rebels. They’re the ones making the music, along with all serious listeners. And the music is a call for the hesitant fence-sitting warrior to get his ass back in the fight for the long term. The best poetry in these Kevin Rowland lyrics comes to the listener in the imperative mood—anger on uppers. In “Keep It”, he scolds: “You give credit for might, inspiration and sight But you miss the point You won't join the fight . . . You hear the sounds, miss all the hooks Your best is what you least understand You hate the graft, won't join the race You're scared to scar your pretty face Safe now cause your head is in the sand”. Okay, Kevin, you’ve got my attention. Now what? Your best is what I least understand. Help me, here, dude. Well, on “There There My Dear”, we get “You're always so happy, how the hell? You're like a dumb dumb patriot . . . You're supposed to be so angry, why not fight?” Alright, then give me a weapon and point me in the right direction. Crickets. I personally wish he had been more explicit and less obscurely referential about what the hell we’re supposed to be fighting for, or even who the enemy is. But he apparently wasn’t writing for boomers raised in the Midwest U.S. (like me). This does not, however, diminish the art. It appeals to rebellious old guys with young souls. I can attest. Spoken poetry on “Love Part One” is angrily potent, demanding a second listen. And a third . . . It’s good. The sound throughout most of this album is refreshingly dominated by trombone of all things, ably performed by “Big” Jim Patterson (with significant use of dubbing, to good effect) and saxophones by Jeff Blythe and Babyface Spooner (Love that handle!). Added to this are the very musical bass lines by Pete Williams, resulting in a very attractive mix. Vocals are uniformly bad. Don’t even get me started. This album isn’t for everyone, which is fine by me. But it’s very good. I am so pissed, and I don’t even know why. And finally, don’t do drugs, kids (unless you’re hurtling through home skies at 350 mph in a single engine Spitfire defending western civilization from the horrors of fascism—then we might make an exception). 4/5

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Sun Jul 25 2021
3

L'album est bon mais une fois de plus la voix dégueulasse de Kevin Rowland à mi-chemin entre une poule en panique et un Jeff Buckley constipé vient gâcher la fête.

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Tue Apr 06 2021
2

I'm on record as being morally opposed to any "rock" band with a horn section. That comes into play here as every damn song is horn driven. I'm so sick of saxophones. Also, blue-eyed soul is just the worst. The. Worst. In short, this album was a trial to listen to and I didn't enjoy my time.

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Mon Jun 07 2021
2

Come off it Eileen

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Mon Jun 07 2021
1

God awful vocal style shits all over a clearly talented band. Why you'd throw a microphone at a guy having a stroke rather than ring 999 is beyond me.

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Fri May 20 2022
5

There is something simply uplifting and joyous about Dexys - the exuberance, the horns, a bit of ska, a bit of northern soul, a bit of blues, a bit of chanting, a bit of foot stomping - and a charming sincerity from Rowlands. Imaging them in their pomp, 14 band members prowling the stage, smashing out the tunes, playing soul covers… I bet their gigs were legendary. Geno is an absolute monster (and as a side note, I listened to Geno Washington for the first time and boy let me tell you that cleared out the cobwebs!). Fast, furious, infectious.

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Mon Jan 25 2021
4

Totally melodramatic but sort of leaning into it, I like it??? The crooning vocals are so hamfisted but it sounds fun. I love the punk element. It's like punk D'Sievers. Like, this live would be a fun time with friends. I didn't know these guys were the ones who did "Come on Eileen" which is a banger. I agree with Jon that "Tell Me When My Light Turns Green" might be my fav, along with Geno. I'd prob give it a 3.5 but I'll round up to 4.

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Sun Mar 21 2021
4

This was a grower. I guess you have to be in the right mood, as Kevin Rowland can be quite annoying. But it's very catchy, soulful, lots of horns.

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Sat Jan 30 2021
3

Groovy tunes, pretty catchy at parts but even 39 min is long for it 3.3

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Fri May 28 2021
5

Wonderful

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Wed Jan 27 2021
5

Que pieza tan maravillosa de la música, bonito rock steady, bonito ska, bonito blue eyes Sin duda un gran aporte al New wave

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Tue Jan 26 2021
5

Fantastic album.

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Wed Feb 17 2021
5

Fantastic

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Sun Apr 11 2021
5

vibey but old

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Thu Jun 17 2021
5

I really dug this album with its punk sound meets some classical/jazz instrumental ensemble. It gave me some pep in my step and swing in my jive Top Tracks: Tell Me Why My Light Turns Green, Geno, Burn it Down, There There My Dear

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Thu Nov 25 2021
5

So so good omg

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Thu Feb 10 2022
5

Una especie de The Cure animado y trompetero. Les compro el vinilo, va.

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Sun Apr 10 2022
5

The first side of this is just astonishing - six, even seven stars. A fully formed sound from nowhere. If the second half can't quite sustain the extra-ordinary first five tracks (of which Geno is perhaps the weakest. Think about that.) then its just by comparison. An album so in love with a form of music it seems entirely natural to have a cover from that genre that fits perfectly. ps fun fact Burn It Down was called Dance Stance on original release, as I have the 45.

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Mon Apr 18 2022
5

This is a fab album- love the sound!

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Thu Aug 04 2022
5

I was not expecting long songs for this punkish album, but it's not bad. I must say that I love it much more than I tough and I'll surely listen to it many more times in the future. A great point to this list. I like it very much when I discover new things around here!

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Fri Aug 05 2022
5

biggest surprise so far - loved the sound

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Thu Sep 15 2022
5

the more I listen to this bands stuff, the more amazing it all sounds no complaints - easily a 10/10

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Mon Sep 19 2022
5

I can't pin point what it is, but there's just something special in this album. The ska and Talking Heads vibes, the talent of these young musicians, the general "mood". I don't know why, but this whole album filled me up with overwhelming joy.

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Thu Oct 13 2022
5

Love this - a real classic album, both timeless and completely of its time.

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Fri Oct 14 2022
5

cool

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Sun Oct 23 2022
5

One of th greatest albums ever made. In my all time top 5

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Thu Oct 27 2022
5

Yes, another pearl from the 1001 catalogue. Great songs performed by intense vocals and swinging brass instruments.

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Thu Oct 27 2022
5

Classic album from one of the best UK bands from the 80s - does not contain a single weak song. Ome of these like-it-or-not albums and this factor is more or less determined by whether or not you like the first song: Burn It Down / Dance Stance, one of their best singles. The bonus edition contains the Plan B single which is very different from the version on the follow-up album when they (that is, Kevin Rowland) changed style. I do appreciate that album as well and although concerts from that lineup must have been great to attend, a concert by the original Dexys lineup, with horn section, must have been more special.

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Fri Nov 18 2022
5

Early ska/punk, this is my jam, shame it wasn't the right weather for it but still great stuff

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Fri Nov 25 2022
5

Thankfully not living in Yorkshire is so good but so random

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Fri Dec 16 2022
5

I was surprised that I enjoyed this so much. I knew their one hit, 'Good night, Irene', when it first came out, but knew nothing else about the band. This album has a lot to offer.

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Fri Feb 12 2021
4

7/10 FT: tell me when my light turns green

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Tue Jun 22 2021
4

Goeie chille en toch swingende muziek. Mooi aangevuld met blazers.

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Wed Feb 24 2021
4

4.5 Very ska like, but almost sounds like the precursor to it

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Wed Jan 27 2021
4

De Dexys Midnight Runners solo conocía Come On Eileen, que no está en este disco. Me gustó especialmente notar como estos sonidos son enrome influencia a todo el rock latinoamericano que vino unos años después. De pronto la voz se pasa de chillona, pero me gustaron mucho Geno y Seven Days Too Long (que leí que está basada en otra rola)

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Tue Mar 30 2021
4

Nice covers. Lots of horns!

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Sat Apr 03 2021
4

Another band where I'm familiar with the name and one song. But I thought it was very good, if a little outside my genre tastes.

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Tue Jan 26 2021
4

Really cool that this was made in 1980. Brass instruments in rock music is fun.

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Sun Jun 27 2021
4

This one surprised me a little. I wasn’t really sure I would like it, but it’s pleasant with some surprising instrumental pieces that I enjoyed.

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Mon Feb 22 2021
4

La voz se parece a la del de The Cure. Son divertidos. Mucha trompeta.

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Sun Mar 07 2021
4

Great album

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Thu Apr 08 2021
4

Really good fun. Listened with the kids and they really enjoyed it too.

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Mon Jul 12 2021
4

This was quite an enjoyable album from an important time and music scene. I found it to be a fusion of punk and ska. The vocals are a punk growl that is Johnny Rotten like while the horns remind me of The Skatalites.

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Thu Mar 11 2021
4

Listens a lot like ska. I really liked it.

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Sat Jul 03 2021
4

This is a fantastic debut album. Fun music, kind of a punk-ish ska-ish pop, great trumpets or trombones or whatever, and a pretty cool voice. This band had a fine personality from the start, and I'll sure be coming back to them some other time

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Sun Jun 20 2021
4

All 3 Dexy's LPs are justifiably highly rated and on the 1001 list. Great driving soul, youthful modern lyricism and attitude. Great bass and brass. Those unmoved by Geno and There there my Dear must have ice in their veins!

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Mon Mar 29 2021
4

Had tried to get into Dexys before with no success but I really enjoyed this. Tell Me When My Light Turns Green my favourite track.

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Mon Mar 29 2021
4

Great album

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Sun Apr 25 2021
4

Excellent album. Extremely fun instrumentation with unique vocals. The opener really catches your attention instantly.

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Sat May 29 2021
4

1 neis

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Wed May 12 2021
4

I liked this

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Fri Jul 30 2021
4

A fun, high-energy record. Feel like if the Clash brought in a horn section. Theatrical, though not in a crazy, unbearable way. Favorite tracks: "Seven Days Too Long", "Tell Me When My Light Turns Green"

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Tue Aug 10 2021
4

Rating: 7/10 Best songs: Seven days too long, I couldn’t help it if I tried

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Wed Aug 11 2021
4

Surprisingly good

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Sat Aug 28 2021
4

4/5 Pretty fun album to listen to

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Mon Sep 06 2021
4

Pretty enjoyable album this one

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Fri Sep 10 2021
4

Have tried this before and not got into it. But growing on me. Shame he can’t sing.

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Mon Sep 20 2021
4

This was a surprising joy

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Sun Oct 10 2021
4

So everyone knows 1 Dexy's song (I know 3!) - and this features Geno one of the greatest get up and dance songs ever. So happy to listen to an entire album, might feel 'samey', but an absolute joy.

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Wed Nov 10 2021
4

Okay. I know Geno, and that this is a band which had a very loyal following. A strong couple of openers to start. I'm not sure I love the strained singing voice, but it does make Dexys sound unique beyond their brass led music. Bold to then have a four minute instrumental, The Teams That Meet In Caffs. It had to be good not to lose me, and thankfully it is. The run from Geno (an all timer) to Thankfully Not Living In Yorkshire..." (an odd falsetto Northern Soul stomper) is bloody good! Even a poem being read out doesn't offend me. Have I mellowed in my old age, or is this band just dead charming?!

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Wed Nov 10 2021
4

I do like the sound, never been that keen on the vocals mind

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Mon Nov 15 2021
4

3.75

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Fri Dec 03 2021
4

Wat een lekker album, een dansje in de keuken gedaan!

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Mon Dec 06 2021
4

Really surprised by this. I think I know where the Kooks were born.

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Fri Dec 10 2021
4

Even in remaster, the timbre of the instruments is often a bit harsh. Nonetheless, I dig the brass and its contrast with the vocal affect. It's not what I expected, but I think the combination takes the band a long way. The jazzier tunes and instrumental sections are also points in favor.

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Mon Dec 13 2021
4

It turns out there's a lot more to Dexys than that one song. I'd heard their other hit single "Geno" before but the rest of the album was new to me. It's a lively collection, with a surprising (for the early 80s) amount of hard swearing.

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Fri Dec 17 2021
4

Great 80s pop album. More than a one-hit-wonder.

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Sat Dec 18 2021
4

didn't finish the album but I liked the stuff I heard

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Fri Jan 14 2022
4

I didn't think I'd like this, but I do. Poppy, but not over much. Far more than "Come On Eileen"

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Wed Feb 02 2022
4

Hadn’t heard of these guys and really enjoyed the ska punk type vibe

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Wed Mar 02 2022
4

This is a much more interesting band than I would have given them credit for based on Come On Eileen. I watched a YouTube video about their history, and it was pretty cool what they were trying to do. I liked the album after Too-Rye-Ay, so it's cool to get to hear the album before it Overall it's a neat album. I didn't have a lot of time to make notes while I was listening, but the variety of instrumentation was great 4/5

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Fri Mar 11 2022
4

Pretty good.

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Sun Mar 27 2022
4

Although not the first time listening to this, I only discovered this recently. For me it is and still remains a very surprising and original album. The 80s update on classic soul which doesn't even sound like R&B, and his voice, also so typically 80s; alright, I might be alone in this but the way he sings reminds me of Robert Smith. It is not supposed to work but it does!

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Sun Apr 03 2022
4

Hress og skemmtileg plata!

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Fri Apr 15 2022
4

Beter als verwacht, beetje ska achtig

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Fri Apr 15 2022
4

I'll dance my ass off to Come on Eileen every goddamn time that song comes on and love every minute of it. I'll never get sick of it! But I always thought this band was a one hit wonder. Was pleasantly surprised by this album. Contrary to everyone else who hates the sloppy vocals and horns I love those things! I like uniqueness and going against the grain. This is the kind of band I'd love to have seen live at a small dingy shithole bar before they got their 15 minutes of fame. Ooo-ooo ah ah indeed!

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Mon Apr 18 2022
4

They have other music

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Wed Apr 20 2022
4

I actually really enjoyed the sound on this one. I suppose it was the brass. Consequently it scores above average and is a 4*

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Thu Apr 28 2022
4

A splendid album with quality songs and excellent arrangements. The singing works but is a grating on the odd occasion. And really it's just fun and who would not jump in and sing along with their mates.

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Fri Apr 29 2022
4

I had only ever heard come on Eileen from this band, and assumed they were a one hit wonder, but wow this was a great album!

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Wed May 04 2022
4

extremely british and extremely good pop music! this album just makes keeps you in a constant state of happiness for 50 minutes. simply great

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Wed May 11 2022
4

Liked this. More to Dexys than Come on Eileen.

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Wed May 18 2022
4

Listened to on 5/17/22 4/5 Favorite song: Geno, I couldn’t help it if I tried I had no expectations for this album but it was SO fun to listen to, very British, upbeat and just wildly entertaining - Eileen would be proud

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Fri Jun 10 2022
4

I listened to this two or three times, it really grew on me. A bit more ramshackle than the other Dexys album a few months ago, but a really happy vibe.

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Fri Jun 24 2022
4

Hugely fun, british soul. I love a good horn section, and they use it well.

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Thu Jul 14 2022
4

Seems like I underestimated Dexys because of the Monster smash they had after this album, I had them pegged as a novelty pop act. I’m really glad I listened to this debut to actually put the band into real context. They were a legit soul/punk project with vision and purpose. Northern Soul Rebels, but they also had the ability to pen a massive pop crossover which overshadowed their authentic* beginnings.

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Thu Jul 14 2022
4

I have to commend the band backing the singer. They’re doing amazing with this jazzy rock sound. The singer, however, is fully ruining all the songs with his crying voice. He sounds like the cowardly lion on every song. I can see why the band has a high turnover rate because they are way too good for him. I would give 5 stars if the singing was better because I really like the music besides that.

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Fri Aug 12 2022
4

I'm a little torn on this one. I really liked it, but is it a 4? I want to say its like a 3.8, but at that point might as well round up. 4/5

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Mon Sep 26 2022
4

Cool album. I liked it. 7/10

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Wed Oct 05 2022
4

Little rock

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Fri Oct 21 2022
4

7/10, gotta be honest this band was only recognizable to me when I realized they were the come on Eileen band. But, enjoyable energy and I’m impressed at their ability to keep it fresh for a whole album, I imagine if I heard this as a teen in 1980 I’d probably be crazy about it, but to adult Claudia in 2022 it does get a bit grating here and there

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Fri Oct 21 2022
4

Great debut album.

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Fri Nov 04 2022
4

fantastic album. Full of intent and conviction and heart

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Wed Nov 16 2022
4

Denys Midnight Runners are a brilliant band and if the only song you know is Come on Eileen you're missing out. This album is a joy to listen to and only gets better after a couple of drinks.

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Thu Nov 17 2022
4

I thought it was okay. Don't know if I'd go rushing back to this one as the ska-esque horn sections got a bit old over time, but there were some good songs in there for sure. Favourite: Thankfully Not Living in Yorkshire It Doesn't Apply

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Thu Dec 01 2022
4

Toffe muziek, met heel wat blazers.

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Thu Dec 15 2022
4

Boppy. I really liked the instrumental track, The Teams That Meet in Caffs.

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Thu Dec 15 2022
4

Feeling ecstatic to actually hear an other song than "Come On Eileen" Good shit! Reminds me of Fishermans Blues. 4

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