To the media machine rolls on...
Sept 5th 2003, page 54 of the Daily Mail has a good review of dexys and favourable is an understatement!
Word magazine features dexys.
Uncut feature on dexys
Kevin, Pete and Mick appear on two radio 2 interviews.Firstly with Mark Goodier and laterly with Mark Lamarr.
Dexys interviewed by Gideon Coe for BBC 6music.
This doesnt float my boat at all. Im sorry, but will someone please enlighten me as to what the attraction to the Dexys is? Ok, Ill admit the chorus is quite catchy, but thats about the only praise I can muster for Manhood.
This has all the musical flair of the songs that get laughed off Song for Britain. It's bad karaoke to my ears, almost like someone horribly intoxicated is trying to cover something by the Beautiful South. Maybe if the vocals werent so disproportionately laid over the nifty mellow ska-like tunes then it wouldnt be so bad.
This is from the new best of album, which personally I won't be going anywhere near. Maybe like red wine you need to be of a certain age to enjoy the Dexys, but I cant stand red wine.
- Azeem Ahmad <../azeem.htm>
Dexys Midnight Runners
reviewed by Adrian <member.php?s=21>
'Lets Make This Precious' Greatest Hits Dexys Midnight Runners have had a varied career. Their greatest success was in the 80s when they scored 4 top ten hits, including two number ones. Come on Eileen, which is still a huge favourite 21 years on, was the best selling single of 1982, selling over 1.2 million copies. In total they have spent 92 weeks in the Top 75. As well as Come on Eileen their other number one was the excellent Geno with lead singer Kevin Rowlands distinctive vocals making this anthem like tune what it is. Dexys are also infamous for the classic Top of the Pops performance when singing Jackie Wilson Said (I'm In Heaven When You Smile). Rather than use a backdrop of legendary soul singer Jackie Wilson, someone used a picture of darts player Jockey Wilson!! Classic!! Anyway back to the music. Lets Make this Precious is a compilation of Dexys greatest hits. As well as eight of their charts hits, it also includes Kevin Rowlands solo track from Brush Strokes Because of You and also some new material including the forthcoming single Manhood. This return shows Dexys have lost nothing of their unique charm. Combining almost folk music instruments the sound is unique, yet still seems to sound clean and up to date. 'Manhood' really gets inside you brain after a couple of listens - could this year see a full Dexys assault on the charts - I think the answer maybe yes.
" The look the visual creation and expression of an identity is part of the very essence of rock & roll." Anthony DeCurtis of Rolling Stone said this in 1995. And for Dexys Midnight Runners it was nothing short of vital.
Not that the band needed it at all, or as one might first suspect. With the insurmountable swagger of a thumping horn section, the lingering swell and burn of a Hammond stab and the vociferous and athletic soul address of the cantankerous Rowland it was a potent enough brew anyway regardless of what they were wearing. Thesedays, great clothes may lead us naturally to assume that theres nothing behind them to back them up; that fashion demonstrates by over-production, a fundamental absence of substance and personality. But in the hands of Kevin Rowland, the clothes, the look became the conduit through which Dexys' mighty theatre of the soul could be realised. The clothes were more than a reference point, they provided the blood, the flesh and the bones upon which everything else stood. From the torturous, spiralling octaves of Tell Me When The Lights Turn Green to the ecstatic release of This Is What Shes Like the tough mean streets look, the boxer boots, hoods and sweatpants, the dungarees and the wild gypsy locks, the shirts and the ties bore us through the critical stages of nothing less than spiritual cleansing and redemption. Whilst Come On Eileen pitted the pretensions of outrageous love against the backdrop of a quick knee trembler and the ravages of an ordinary life, Geno sought the transcendent and sublime in the sweaty confines of a London club. Rowland delivers his mighty rhetoric with the fervour and intensity of a fallen-angel: a priest of love. And his assembly? The unlikely hopeless cases of the street, the town where you live: angels with dirty faces, those kids on the street, those resigned to what their fate is. Some seek truth through scaling the lofty heights of academia, Rowland seeks it within the hopeless and the obscure, the commonplace, the ordinary and I defy anyone to argue for a more finely staged public pursuit of purity, than what you have here. Lets make This Precious, Show Me, Plan B, Until I Believe In My Soul, There There My Dear its there in the very titles: the relentless pursuit of truth, perfection and consolation.
The Christian Gnostics believe that when the seeker has achieved true gnosis when theyve perceived the truth - they are exempt from sin and error thereafter. Rock journalists believe much the same. When a true visionary has transformed a generation once in his lifetime, its nothing less than scandalous to expect them to keep transforming our lives. Rowland has taught us how to live, how to fight, how to learn and how to love. What more could we possibly ask of him?
Theres really no words to express how beautiful the songs, how beautiful the soul, how beautiful the execution: my bombers, my dexys, my high.
The original soul rebels are back with a new line-up, extensive tour dates and a forthcoming book, so you cant really blame them for rushing out this compilation that updates and extends the 1991 Very Best Of collection.
Dexys' blend of Celtic folk, soul and pop made them one of the most ubiquitous bands of the early '80s which is perhaps why, although its good to hear the likes of Geno and Come On Eileen again, they suffer from over-familiarity. More interesting are the tunes that might have slipped out of the memory, such as the Brush Strokes theme Because Of You, the boozy after-hours sing-a-long Lets Get This Straight and the epic This Is What Shes Like.
Alongside semi-hits like Show Me, and high quality album tracks I Love You and My National Pride (both from the excellent Dont Stand Me Down LP), the album features two new songs: Manhood, an apparent reference to Kevin Rowlands late '90s predilection for wearing womens dresses, and the touching, autobiographical My Life In England, both of which sound strangely out of place in this company. Long-time fans will, however, relish the inclusion of a couple of tracks from early BBC sessions, Lets Make This Precious and Until I Believe In My Soul.
Taken as a whole this compilation is a reminder of just how uneven Dexys could be, but also, on their day, how joyous. If the forthcoming tour, for which Rowland is joined by original members Pete Williams and Lucy Morgan, can capture at least some of the visceral energy of, say, The Celtic Soul Brothers or the Van Morrison cover Jackie Wilson Said, then few, surely, will go away disappointed.
- Simon Evans
Dexys Midnight RunnersLet's Make This Precious: The Best Of(EMI)
He looks like my dad in early 70s holiday photos. He has one of the greatest voices in British popular music. As mavericks go, he's one of pop's finest; magpie-ing his influences; a true reinterpreter of the records that moulded him. The fact that he always wandered a fine line between madness and passion allowed his moon-barking a deep resonance and, at times, painful authenticity. And he knew how to walk the talk and sport the cloth. His wilderness years, cocaine habit and comeback cross-dressing have become rich myths in pop's repetitious folklore, dwarfing his recorded body of work, which although spanning 25 years, comprises of roughly 70 songs. He really loved emotional rock; Bryan Ferry <http://www.bbc.co.uk/cgi-perl/music/muze/index.pl?site=music&action=biography&artist_id=10468>, Roxy Music <http://www.bbc.co.uk/cgi-perl/music/muze/index.pl?site=music&action=biography&artist_id=26094>, Van Morrison <http://www.bbc.co.uk/cgi-perl/music/muze/index.pl?site=music&action=biography&artist_id=20924> and made a soul music that was his own; he is Kevin Rowland. His outfit is called Dexys Midnight Runners.
There has been never been a more scintillating marriage of punk, soul and Irish showband. There was no Q-Tips-like good time nature to their densely packed horn symphonies. They would have been most unwelcome at a wedding reception; they would have terrorised the family and made off not only with the bridesmaids but very possibly the bride too. And remarkably, for such a bunch of wild-hearted outsiders, they managed to notch up two UK (and, of course, one US) No.1 singles.
So, the fifth Dexys compilation to date wanders down the overview route, packing in all the hits, but not all the singles. Compiled by Rowland himself, the collection begins with the big hitters, so as not to put off the garage forecourt transients with ''This Is What She's Like'' at the top of the tracklist. Given his continual reappraisal of the group's work, at the moment, ''Dance Stance'', one of the most confrontational debut singles of all time is out, as is the nervous-breakdown-in-sound ''Keep It Part Two'', ''Liars A To E'', ''Old and One Way Love'', replaced with half of the ever-flowering Don't Stand Me Down album.
''There There My Dear'' is even more salient today as it was in 1980, with its weary eye being cast across the chancers and poseurs (what an 80s rock paper word) that populate pops nether regions. ''Plan B'' is still one of the most economical singles ever there is not an ounce of flab in its two-and-a-half-minutes, and the BBC session versions of ''Let's Make This Precious'' and ''Until I Believe in My Soul'' brings the beauty of the 81 pre-fiddle funky monks to the widest audience yet.
After the big punch of the first three albums - even the much maligned Too Rye Aye kicks ass here - Kevin seemed to take The Bluebells <http://www.bbc.co.uk/cgi-perl/music/muze/index.pl?site=music&action=biography&artist_id=3589>' ''Young At Heart'' as a template and created these Aero-lite country 'n' Irish vignettes (which reached their apogee on The Wanderer). The two new songs, ''Manhood'' and ''My Life In England'' suffer somewhat from this lightness in execution but the subject matter and the beauty of the melodies show there is much more life in the old dog yet. Let's trust the Reinvention tour is the success that everyone is hoping for and more new material follows. Soon.
And on top of all this, the big hits are on here, too. A truly precious collection.
Reviewer: Daryl Easlea
I dont understand why the runners ran off in the middle of a good career. Their songs were brilliantly written and produced and Kevin Rowlands voice was and still is a unique and a pleasure to listen to.
This album features the classic Dexys including wedding favourite Come on Eileen, Geno, Jackie Wilson Said, Because Of You and my absolute favourite for nothing else than its sheer stompability The Celtic Soul Brothers.
The Runners are a complete package and should never have split, which is why Im excited by the fact that they have now reformed and are set to tour later in 2003.
There are also some songs Ive not heard before and these still have the Dexys charm.
A brilliant album form a brilliant band.
From the David Bowie forum!:
New Dexys Single
I've just heard the above, 'Manhood', on BBC Radio London 94.9.....it's typical in that it's a bit 'call and response', quite wordy, and features the lyric "I've always been the stranger at the door", but there's no horns, just strings....but essentially, it's a storming return, and just makes so much of 'current' stuff pale into huge insignificance.....
If anyone else catches it, pls post what you think, esp. in comparison to the original stuff...
DEXYS ARE BACK! DEXYS ARE BACK, HELLO, HELLO!