26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 20 March 2002
From the disillusioned, distortion-filled radio flicking that precedes the triumphant cry, "for Godsake Burn It Down" on the opening track, you get the feeling that here is a band not prepared to hide their innermost emotions, but instead, through the vocal pyrotechnics of enigmatic frontman Kevin Rowland, thrust the listener in amongst their largely dissatisfied thoughts through a barrage of musically and lyrically distinctive tracks. The complexity of the musical arrangements is evident from the off, and continues throughout - there's anger at unfulfilment in Tell Me When The Lights Turn Green, salutes to inspirational heroes such as in Geno, even poetic lines of anti-love in Love Part One, and to top it all a ferocious cry to wannabe hipsters in "There There My Dear", to whom Rowland chaotically explains, "You Know The Only Way To Change Things Is To Shoot Men Who Arrange Things".
It's startling, and a little worrying, to think that such a ridiculously unique and musically innovative band will mostly be remembered for their later smash "Come On Eileen" - this album truly belongs in any collection.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 2 June 2010
No reviews have mentioned that the enhanced 2000 reissue CD also contains the 5 singles and their B-sides, plus lyrics and photos:
- Dance Stance / I'm Just Looking
- Geno / Breakin' Down The Walls Of Heartache
- There There My Dear / The Horse
- Keep It Part Two (Inferiority Part One) / One Way Love
- Plan B / Soul Finger
The music is hidden on the enhanced section. EMI have presented this very badly by not giving any indication that this tracks are available. You'd only find them accidentally if you were looking for the videos (Geno and There There My Dear). Unfortunately, they can only be played through a computer, not on a regular CD player.
To get there, find the CD on your desktop, and open the CD folder (instead of playing it). Then click on START.EXE to open the enhanced content.
You'll have a choice of RECORDS or VIDEOS - select RECORDS. This displays a screen with the album cover and tracklisting. At the top, there's a heading RECORDS with left and right arrows next to it. Use these arrows to move between the album and the five singles.
To play tracks from the singles, select A-SIDE or B-SIDE at the bottom of the screen. This should bring up a picture of a record player, with the relevant track title and a PLAY button.
Press PLAY, sit back, and enjoy!
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
While never questioning the brilliance of the surge of artists that came out of the two tone movement there was at one time in the early 80s when the ska bandwagon so big it could have rivalled Eddie Stobbart. Not that Dexys Midnight Runners ever fully jumped on it, as Kevin Rowland announced in 1980 "we didn't want to become part of anyone else's movement. We'd rather be our own movement". Over a career characterised by risk taking on a epic scale this band produced a range of brilliant albums and mutated through images ranging from "on the waterfront chic" - this album, the raggle taggle gypsy look - "Too Rye Aye" to an American preppy college assemblage - "Don't stand me down" (Rowland's outfit on "My Beauty" will pass without comment here!). The music changed with the look and was on occasions wilfully perverse yet never dull or safe.
Dexys were a music collective subject to the exercise of almost totalitarian discipline and control by Rowland that paid off in terms of commitment and passion. Dexys missionary zeal for what they did was only matched by the Clash. This was a band that effortlessly took the raw energy and fury of punk rock and stirred it in a very large pot containing everything from ska to Caledonian soul, from rootsy R & B to rock and punk to Irish folk. In this sense the iconic album cover acknowledged Rowland's Irish roots by setting out a photo of a young boy carrying his belongings in a suitcase as a result of the Belfast evictions in 1969.
Was it 30 years ago that that blast of British soul assaulted us and left us wanting more? Still today the sheer brazen confidence of "Burn it down" (formerly Dance Stance) starting with a scan across a crackling radio station playing respectively Deep Purple, The Sex Pistols and then the Specials is inspiring. As those horns blast and the chorus kicks in "never heard about Oscar Wilde/don't want know about Brendan Behan/ don't think about Shaun O'Casey/ don't care about George Bernard Shaw/won't talk about Gene O'Neil/ won't know about Edna O'Brian/won't think about Laurence Sterne" its sets out a new soul vision in the dreary context of Thatcherism and was a scathing attack on the anti-Irish jokes which seemed to be everywhere at the time. This is reinforced by the stunning last song "There, There my dear" where Rowland stops and highlights his search for the young soul rebels. Frankly he needn't have bothered looking since he had found them in this band particularly with his deeply troubled relationship with soul mate 'Al'' Archer.
In between these two songs there are the huge highs of "Tell me when my light turns green", a nice bit of poetry "Love Part 1" and possibly the greatest soul song ever recorded by a British band "I couldn't help it if I tried" which mixes Al Green influences with Otis Redding and somehow comes out sounding totally original (The Manchester Square demo on the extras disc is amazingly good). Ok "Geno" still seems to soundtrack every crap disco and drunken wedding but at the time it sounded great, while there is more emotion and feeling ploughed into the instrumental "Team who meet in Caffs" than the average band can muster on a whole LP.
The extras here are also good although the Peel and Jensen sessions have been around a while and whatever version it comes in I still hate "Thankfully not living in Yorkshire it doesn't apply" with a vengeance. But minor gripes overall, indeed what a joy in addition to have "Plan B" included here since more than any Dexys song it captures the sheer intensity and power of the band and reduces this reviewer to a wreck everytime it plays. The remaster on this album is immaculate thus for the modest price of this album you get feast of music from one of the most important British bands of any decade. Once in a classic episode Homer Simpson predicted that "you haven't heard the last of Dexys Midnight Runners"; what a visionary that man is.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 25 April 2002
I'm now on my third Vinyl copy of the LP. It's the only record I've ever managed to wear out. The lyrics are angry and cutting at times as well as fervent - a good word to describe Kevin Rowland's approach. Rowland's vocals are mercurial - at times the modulation grates, but the passion carries it through.
The whole album is carried by a super-powerful horn section that emulates (but, for me, surpasses) the Stax sound. It was the springboard to the commercial success of 'Too Rye Aye' and the fantastically under-rated 'Don't Stand Me Down' - the only LP that I've ever come across that was a commercial failure but has a sizeable following who hold it to be "The Greatest Album in the World - Ever".
Buy this. And buy the other two as well - if you can find them.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 27 February 2001
This album is one of my all time favourate's and with good cause. Kevin Rowland created a type of music on these tracks that in my view, has never been repeated, but boy oh boy, could we use it!! A type of dirty, heart felt, gut wrenching soul, with its roots deeply in Northern Soul. Buy it, please, you will not reget it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 September 2013
Searching For The Young Soul Rebels had so much to say, politically, culturally and from it's opening minute of radio hiss and snippets of The Sex Pistols, The Specials and Deep Purple I devoured it as if my life depended on it, which at the time it pretty much did. Amongst blaring brass and cool keyboard stabs Rowland's voice was brilliantly painful; harrowing, pleading, so different from what the charts were (by the time this album had its wicked way with me in 1981) becoming - a synthetic, soulless, new romantic upchuck. Whilst their hit singles were upbeat and immediate the album's slower tracks are those that really reach the soul. `The Teams That Meet In The Caffs', `'I'm Just Looking', `I Couldn't Help It If I Tried' and in particular the brilliantly scornful `Keep It'.
For me the album was a springboard to soul and all manner of social references, but more than that it was a genuine inspiration and the more I listened the more I felt enlightened. That said, to love it and believe in it as I did was further evidence of not just a love of music, but an appreciation and acceptance of the fact that music was moulding my life, asking me as many questions as it was giving me answers. Soon I would be gorging on soul as part of an unrelenting 60s binge, but for now Dexys Midnight Runners were - much as Geno Washington was to Kevin Rowland - a perfect inspiration.
Full review here:
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 8 September 2005
"I've been searching for the young soul rebels, I can't find them anywhere, where have you hidden them?" - Well their here Kevin - your band mates.
This is how ska/early UB40 would have sounded like, if they had gone down the Wilson Picket/pre - The Commitments soul route. I'm glad they didn't, because I love ska music, but I also love this. Kevin was obsessed by creating a visual image for each album released, and on this their debut, it's all donkey jackets and black woolly hats. Their is also a mod element to this album, i.e. a shared love of motown, a tight sound, and a tune that could even be about the mod culture - 'The Teams That Meet In Caffs'.
The highlights for me are: Burn It Down, Tell Me When My Light Turns Green, Geno, Keep it (which just oozes soul) and Dear Dear My Dear, but it's all great.
If I had to recommend one Desky's album, I'd recommend all three. Their all equally spectacular and beautiful in their own way. The other two for the uninitiated are: Too-Rye-Ay and Don't Stand Me Down.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 1 December 2007
the first time i heard this album
when it came out,the hairs on my neck
stood up,sorry only way to describe
the feeling,even now ive got the cd
still the same,a classic.all the covers
dexys did ive since tracked down, there are no words
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 12 January 2001
For those who are only familiar with Too Rye Aye, this previous album from Dexy's will be a pleasant surprise. Can the bagpipes - Bring on the horns..
It just is a lot stronger than the folksy hopscotch of their second release. Try it out.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 2 May 2003
Where do I begin? There,There, My Dear ALONE would make this album essential! Has there ever been a better introduction to any single? It occours to me that when Kev called for the fashonista to prove their cred by wearing flares, he was for real. The rest of the album almost matches the standard set by its closing track and has grown over time in my personal standing. I still listen to it regullarly, which can't be said for too many 80's albums.