“Too-Rye-Ay” by Kevin Rowland and Dexys Midnight Runners - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1982 →Album Chart of the Decade: 1980s →1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die external-link.png

TJR says

Dexys 1982 vintage arrives with a new sound accompanied by a new look, with the band attired in dungarees, scarves, leather waistcoats, and what is described as “a generally scruffy right-off-the-farm look”, and “a raggle-taggle mixture of gypsy, rural Irish and Steinbeck Okie”. Memphis horns with celtic fiddles? Clive Langer / Alan Winstanley – they do the nutty boys don’t they? Who’s that plonker in the dungarees? This’ll never work, surely? When he sings “First bare your hearts and cleanse your souls and then let’s try and make this precious” it sounds kinda corny, But Kevin Rowland means it - and I believe him. Once you’re on that wavelength this one’s a winner from start to finish; sing hallelujah for his likes that are prepared to think outside the box. Album opener “The Celtic Soul Brothers” gets the pop hoe down off to a foot-tappingly brilliant start. Rowland lays down the manifesto clearly on the aforementioned “Let’s Make This Precious”: “First let’s hear somebody sing me a record, That cries pure and true. No not those guitars. They’re too noisy and crude. The kind that convinces refuses to leave, There’s no need to turn it up. If it’s pure I’ll feel it from here, Let’s make this precious, (I think we probably will)”. One cover is neatly supplanted into the set of 9 originals – “Jackie Wilson Said (I’m In Heaven When You Smile)” which appears like a ray of sunshine and even slightly nicks it, for me, over the Van Morrison original. “Plan B” demonstrates that, at heart, they’re not too far away from the soul pop stomp that was such a dominant part of their 1980 repertoire, whilst “Liars A To E” digs deeply into a vibe that bizarrely screams out “Southern Soul was made in Ireland”. He’s in the mood for sharing - there’s some psyche insight if you want it: “Bad habits: you really shouldn’t keep, Quick nip next door to the vendor of charisma, Because the time, the place and the mood is right, And good old Kevin’ll be all right”. Those backing girls really carry it brilliantly. “Come On Eileen” the LP version doesn’t have the sweeping violin melody intro, but it uses the same melody when sung at the end, in the style of the traditional song from whence it came. It serves as a fantastic pop finish to a fantastic pop album. The record buying public gets one right at last…

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [03:08] 8.1.png Dexys Midnight Runners - The Celtic Soul Brothers (Kevin Rowland, Jim Paterson, Mickey Billingham) Cerebral Pop
A2 [04:03] 7.5.png Dexys Midnight Runners - Let’s Make This Precious (Kevin Rowland, Jim Paterson) Cerebral Pop
A3 [04:07] 6.3.png Dexys Midnight Runners - All In All (This One Last Wild Waltz) (Kevin Rowland, Jim Paterson) Alternative Folk
A4 [03:05] 8.8.png Dexys Midnight Runners - Jackie Wilson Said (I’m In Heaven When You Smile) (George Ivan Morrison) Pop
A5 [05:35] 6.6.png Dexys Midnight Runners - Old (Kevin Rowland, Jim Paterson) Cerebral Pop
B1 [05:04] 7.9.png Dexys Midnight Runners - Plan B (Kevin Rowland, Jim Paterson) Cerebral Pop
B2 [02:41] 8.0.png Dexys Midnight Runners - I’ll Show You (Kevin Rowland, Jim Paterson) Cerebral Pop
B3 [04:11] 9.2.png Dexys Midnight Runners - Liars A To E (Kevin Rowland, Jim Paterson, Steve Torch) Cerebral Pop
B4 [06:59] 8.1.png Dexys Midnight Runners - Until I Believe In My Soul (Kevin Rowland, Jim Paterson) Songwriter
B5 [04:38] 8.3.png Dexys Midnight Runners - Come On Eileen [album version] (Kevin Rowland, Jimmy Paterson, Billy Adams) Folk Rock / Americana

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