Dexy’s Midnight Runners

 

Searching for the Young Soul Rebels EMI *****

Out of kilter in 1980, and even more out of kilter now, this is the kind of unique album that results when constituent parts of vision, genius and oddball are mixed. So say hello to Kevin Rowland, a Birmingham-Irish lad whose punk-rock leanings were swiftly replaced by music influenced by Stax, lyrics inspired by Irish literary heavies, and a working- class image purloined from Mean Streets. If the music hadn’t been so great, all of Rowland’s pretensions would have crumbled, but this reissue (which also includes a 21-track bonus disc of non-album singles, demos and radio sessions) highlights what could be achieved when tightly drilled, post-punk musicians paid ardent, almost bitter homage to soul music. Rowland’s singular talent soon buckled under the weight of his ambition and skewed artistry, but for one album he was in the zone and on the money. See myspace.com/dexysmidnight runners

Download tracks: Tell Me When My Light Turns Green, Love Part One