After an acrimonious split with EMI and half of his original band walking out to form The Bureau, Kevin Rowland re-emerged with a new Dexys line-up and spent most of 1981 honing the sound and playing a series of astonishing live shows, which are still regarded as legendary. No album was released until the following year’s raggle-taggle million-seller Too-Rye-Ay, but this belated compilation goes some way to illustrating just how extraordinary the new-look group sounded. Bringing together three singles and B-sides, a Radio One session and a live show recorded for the BBC, it represents a magnificent statement of defiance, as Rowland set about silencing the critics who’d already written him off as a one-hit wonder. Much of the material would ultimately appear on Too-Ry-Ay with a Celtic makeover, but these are the embryonic versions of songs like Let’s Make This Precious and Liars A To E, minus the violin embellishment. At first, Roland’s lyrics may seem to be full of personal rage, but it’s an anger triggered by broader political themes, similar to that of The Specials (a group the first Dexys once toured with). Presenting that aggression in a cacophony of Stax horn riffs and almost pleading melodies made for some of the most vital music of the early 80s. Here, at last, are the missing pages of the Dexys story.