Dexys Midnight Runners

Dexys Midnight Runners

Biography

Dexys Midnight Runners are one of those bands who are consistently seen as a one-hit novelty act in the States -- their hit being 1983's pop-chart-topping and early-MTV New Wave jig "Come On Eileen" -- but who are actually halfway important artists back home in England. There, they scored several hits between 1979 and 1986, including "Geno," a tribute to soul singer Geno Washington that went No. 1 in the U.K. Their outspoken if off-key singer, Kevin Rowland, helped them get plenty of press, too. They were considered the forefront act of a soul revival, even though they started out doing a flattened sort of accidental art-punk, and added three fiddlers (the so-called "Emerald Express") and covered Van Morrison ("Jackie Wilson Said") at the same time they stopped dressing gangster-dapper and started looking like gypsy hobo urchins. By their third album, 1985's unsuccessful Don't Stand Me Down, they picked up a drummer (Tim Dancy) who used to back Al Green and a keyboardist (Vincent Crane) formerly in proto-metal bands Atomic Rooster and The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. But Rowland soon went solo, and -- give or take intermittent reunions in the '00s -- that was all Dexys wrote.
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