Because of You|
CD (550 003-2)
Celtic Soul Brothers
With constanst personnel changes along with shifts in musical direction, the one remaining constant factor in the Dexys Midnight Runners' history is front man, Kevin Rowland. During the two-year period where they achieved great success, their style could not have been more different, but both periods saw them achieve massive hits in Britain and around the world.
They were formed during the hey-day of punk in 1978 in Birmingham, England, playing against the grain music, a mixture of soul, R&B, and hard-edged dance. After building up a large devoted following with a controversial and exciting live act, they signed to EMI. Their first chart single success was "Dance Stance." This set the scene for this period in the Dexys story, using brass and Rowland's high pitched vocals, and they grew on their success with a British No. 1 "Geno." This was a tribute to mid 60s soul legend, Geno Washington. They followed this up with a major hit album called "Searching for the Young Soul Rebels."
The group then hit a series of controversies caused in the main by Rowland's rebellious and arrogant personality. He was particularly upset with the group's record contract. This led him and the rest of the band to kidnap the master tapes of their debut album until it was improved; they took the unusual step of replacing press interviews with adverts containing essays to their fans and they also took to insulting and belittling their live audience. Kevin also went on a hate trip of British Premiere, Mrs. Thatcher. Always at odds with the current music scene, they were far removed from the New Romantic scene. They took a metamorphosis in 1982 when they transformed into an Irish style Folk act. They had changed record companies and with this change came a new image: torn clothes, long curly hair and dungarees replaced boxer boots and skinheads of old. They drew on Van Morrison influences along with traditional songs and became Britain's biggest selling act of 1982. British No. 1 "Come On Eileen" became an American chart topper and the album "Too-rye-aye" was a massive seller. They took on a persona of the Celtic Soul Brothers to the limit and won a whole new audience.
By 1985 they had changed again, going back to the soul influences of old with a new image of smart suits shortly after Kevin released "Because Of You," the theme to a major TV show "Brush Strokes."
Kevin is a figure who can emand attention in whatever form he decides to take his group and the years for Dexys certainly have seen change. They lived up to their name and have constantly been on the run.