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Dexy’s Midnight Runners is a British band formed in 1978 by singer and songwriter Kevin Rowland. The band became a major player in the UK music scene during the 1980s with their unique blend of pop, rock, soul, and Celtic folk music. Their energetic live performances, distinctive image, and catchy tunes made them a favorite among fans and critics alike. Dexy’s Midnight Runners released several successful albums during their heyday, and their songs continue to inspire and entertain music lovers around the world.
In this article, we will take a look at the 10 best Dexy’s Midnight Runners songs of all time. We will explore the band’s discography and select the tracks that best showcase their talent, creativity, and signature sound. From their early hits like “Geno” and “There, There, My Dear” to their later classics like “Come On Eileen” and “Jackie Wilson Said,” we will celebrate the enduring legacy of one of the most beloved bands in British music history. So put on your dancing shoes and get ready to sing along to the top 10 Dexy’s Midnight Runners songs of all time!
1. Come on Eileen
“Come On Eileen” is a popular 1982 single by British band Dexys Midnight Runners. The song has an upbeat and catchy tune that became a chart-topping hit in the UK and the US. Its lyrics revolve around a young man trying to convince a girl named Eileen to have a romantic relationship with him. The song’s unique sound features a combination of fiddles, piano, and brass, making it an instantly recognizable classic of the 1980s.
“Geno” is a soulful 1980 single by British band Dexys Midnight Runners. The song is an ode to soul singer Geno Washington, and it tells the story of lead singer Kevin Rowland’s admiration for him. With its upbeat and funky rhythm, “Geno” became one of the biggest hits of the 1980s, reaching the top of the charts in the UK. The song features a powerful brass section, punchy drums, and Rowland’s soulful voice, creating a unique sound that perfectly captures the band’s energetic and passionate style.
3. There, There My Dear
“There, There My Dear” is a 1980 single by British band Dexys Midnight Runners. The song’s lyrics are a scathing critique of the music industry, calling out bands that prioritize fame and fortune over authenticity and creativity. With its driving rhythm, brass section, and lead singer Kevin Rowland’s powerful vocals, “There, There My Dear” became a hit, reaching the top 10 in the UK charts. The song’s message of artistic integrity and rebellion against commercialism made it an anthem for the punk and post-punk generations.
4. Both Sides Now
“Both Sides Now” is a classic 1967 folk song by Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell. The song’s lyrics explore the complexities of love and life, as the narrator reflects on the different perspectives and emotions that come with age and experience. With its simple but poignant melody and Mitchell’s emotive voice, “Both Sides Now” became an instant classic, covered by many artists and featured in numerous films and TV shows. The song’s message of embracing the beauty and pain of life resonates with listeners of all ages and backgrounds.
5. Tell Me When My Light Turns Green
“Tell Me When My Light Turns Green” is a classic rock song by the band Dexys Midnight Runners, released in 1980. The song features a distinctive brass section, a driving beat, and lead singer Kevin Rowland’s soulful vocals. The lyrics are a plea for a lover to signal their readiness to take their relationship to the next level, with the repeated refrain of “tell me when my light turns green.” The song has been described as a “motivational anthem for lovers,” and remains a beloved classic of the genre.
6. Incapable of Love
On the other hand, “Incapable of Love” is a haunting and introspective song by the British synthpop band The Magnetic Fields, released in 1999. The song features lead singer Stephin Merritt’s distinctive baritone vocals and sparse, melancholic instrumentation. The lyrics explore the idea of being unable to feel love, and the loneliness and isolation that can come with that. The song has been praised for its poignant portrayal of emotional detachment and the human condition.
7. Plan B
“Plan B” is a Latin pop and reggaeton song by Puerto Rican singer and rapper, Plan B. Released in 2018, the song features a catchy beat, energetic vocals, and a mix of Spanish and English lyrics. The song tells the story of a man who is ready to move on from a failed relationship and find love again, with lyrics like “I’m not the same guy I used to be, I have a plan B.” The music video features Plan B and his crew performing the song in a colorful urban setting. The song has become a popular hit in Latin America and beyond.
8. The Celtic Soul Brothers
“The Celtic Soul Brothers” is an upbeat rock song by the Scottish band, Dexys Midnight Runners, released in 1982. The song features a prominent brass section, driving rhythm guitar, and lead singer Kevin Rowland’s distinctive vocals. The lyrics celebrate the power of Celtic music to unite people from different backgrounds, with lines like “we are the Celtic soul brothers, we are the ones who can’t be brung down.” The song has become a beloved classic of the genre and is known for its high-energy live performances.
9. Nowhere is Home
“Nowhere is Home” is a 2018 song by British musician, songwriter, and producer, Tom Speight. The song, which features the vocals of artist Lily Moore, is an introspective piece that explores the theme of searching for a sense of belonging and purpose in life. The lyrics express the feeling of being lost and disconnected, with the title phrase “nowhere is home” emphasizing the idea that one can feel out of place even in familiar surroundings. The song is accompanied by a music video that features a couple’s journey to find home in each other. The upbeat melody and catchy chorus provide a contrast to the song’s contemplative lyrics, creating a unique and memorable listening experience.
10. Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven When You Smile)
“Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven When You Smile)” is a song originally written and recorded by Van Morrison in 1972. The song was later covered by Dexys Midnight Runners in 1982 and became a hit, reaching the top five in the UK singles chart. Dexys Midnight Runners’ version of the song features a faster tempo and a more soulful sound than Morrison’s original. The band’s frontman, Kevin Rowland, delivers an energetic vocal performance, backed by a brass section and lively percussion. The lyrics of the song express the joy and ecstasy of being with a loved one, comparing the feeling to being in heaven. The song’s title references Jackie Wilson, a soul singer from the 1950s and 60s known for his energetic live performances. “Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven When You Smile)” remains a popular song today and is often considered one of the highlights of Dexys Midnight Runners’ discography.