ARTIST: Dexy’s Midnight Runners
TITLE: Searching for the Young Soul Rebels
YEAR RELEASED: 1980
CHART ACTION: #6 UK
SINGLES: Geno (#1 UK), There There My Dear (#7 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Not here
LINEUP: Kevin Rowland, Kevin Archer, Jim Paterson, Pete Williams, Jeff Blythe, Steve Spooner, Pete Saunders, Andy Growcott
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Neo northern-soul band releases first album on the back of a surprise hit.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Dexy’s Midnight Runners were quite the thing in the UK in the early 80’s. After a one-off single hit the charts, they signed an album contract and on the back of “Geno”, this was a sensation in 1980.
The tunes are copped, copied and inspired by soul from the 60’s, both in the US and the songs that were part of the Northern Soul revival in the UK. Musically, there’s not a lot of originality except that in 1980 it was standing out from the crowd on the UK scene. Rowland’s not much of a singer, more of a yelper, but the saving grace is the hooks in the songs. Those hooks are what make the album worth keeping around.
As with any UK band from this time frame, the non-LP singles tell a deeper story (thank goodness for deluxe editions). This album is a decent soul tribute with decent playing, some OK horn charts, and those hooks.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Rowland was already a notorious SOB even in his early days. He turned down a lot of offers, cut out a percentage of the royalties from many band members due to the contract signed with EMI, and stole the album tapes from EMI in order to get a higher royalty rate. By the time they were on to album two, only one other member remained and he was soon to leave, too.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, with hits “Dance Stance (#40 UK), “Keep It (Part Two)”, and “Plan B” (#58 UK).
GRADE: B: I do believe Rowland’s voice is a hinderance, as are the lack of true originality in most of the material. A couple songs are just not worth the time. That said, it’s hooky as heck.