From the Mean Streets moodiness of 1980’s Searching For The Young Soul Rebels to the misjudged transvestism of Kevin Rowland’s 1999 solo release My Beauty, Dexys’ career path has often (perhaps lazily) been defined by its members’ clothing. Hence, Too Rye Ay can be referred to as their gypsy/dungarees phase, which, while plainly accurate, detracts from the music’s greatness. Rowland retained …Rebels’ hard-edge soul for its follow-up, but added violin and banjo to his intense songs of passion, honesty and purity. Come On Eileen may have been reduced to wedding disco fodder now, but in 1982 it was one of the most original, uncompromising songs to top the singles chart. Old and Until I Believe In My Soul equally flitted between joy and anguish, the singer painting himself as a troubled individual refusing to lose sight of hope. This deluxe version adds non-album single Let’s Get This Straight From The Start and period B-sides, all available on a previous reissue. Disc Two is the real attraction: a full live show in which brass-led early hits are given Celtic makeovers. Rowland is currently working on new Dexys material, and we can only wish him luck in matching the formidable benchmarks of his own magnificent past.
Dexys Midnight Runners - Too Rye Ay
Romany Rowland’s biggest seller fully accessorised
Universal | 9800889
Reviewed by Terry Staunton
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