Note: This post is really drippy, for which I apologize, so try to ignore my terrible "blog-tone," and just listen to the songs. They're still great.
I love Dexy's. Without question.
If anyone knows of them at all, then they would know them for Come On, Eileen. Well, that's fine. Come On, Eileen, despite it's popularity and ubiquitousness on one-hit wonder lists, it's a great song!
The thing is that the rest of Dexy's catalogue are all equally great and catchy and wonderful as Come On, Eileen, if not more so.
Having done my research (as I do with all obsessions), I've dug into their library. And am a better person for doing so.
They've got three albums:
The first, Searching for the Young Soul Rebels, is a Northern Soul Dance Energy Explosion. It's horn heavy, which smacks of deadly ska, but rather than being terrible, it's got wild tempo swings, more heartfelt energy, and Kevin Rowland's wailing, soaring, amazing voice. I swear to god he doesn't get enough credit for his singing. Or for anything, really.
Tell Me When My Light Turns Green
The second, Too-Rye-Aye, switches gears a little bit. There's still hecka horns, but joining the fray are fiddles and banjos and other sorts of celtic fun. This is the era that most people associate with Dexy's, as the grungy look of Come On Eileen is from this album. But it's got tons more. You can find Eileen easy, so don't look here.
Celtic Soul Brothers
Liars A to E
Then Dexy's threw everyone for a spin, releasing Don't Stand Me Down, a record-memoir of sorts, as it's content for the most part concerns itself with Kevin Rowland telling stories of his life, from day to day to back in the day. It's verse/chorus style is generally Kevin and the band talking followed by a soaring chorus. It's not irritating at all, in fact I think this album is one of the great misunderstood gems, ever. You could also say it's a neat precursor to the talk-rap-british style that's going on these days.
The other thing about Don't Stand Me Down is that behind the talking and reminiscing, there's really great musicianship, totally moving music. It's really great. I promise.
Kevin Rowland's 13th Time
Dexy's broke up (of course), and Kevin Rowland got weird (not in my opinion), put on women's clothing, and released a covers album, My Beauty. Personally, I would love to hear it, but as of now I'm having trouble finding it. The fact that they say it only sold 500 copies isn't helping that. But, today Kevin soldiers on, and apparently is brewing a new album for Dexy's. Too-rye-aye, indeed!!
P.S. The lyrics to come on eileen are really really dirty.