Dexys Midnight Runners’ “The Very Best Of” is a compilation album that takes music lovers on a nostalgic journey through the 80s. Released in 1991, the album features some of the band’s greatest hits from their early days to their commercial peak.
The album opens with “Geno,” the band’s first number one hit in the UK charts in 1980. The song is a tribute to Geno Washington, an American soul singer who inspired Kevin Rowland, the lead singer of Dexys Midnight Runners, to pursue a career in music. “Geno” has a catchy horn riff and an irresistible groove that will get anyone dancing.
Next up is “Come On Eileen,” the band’s biggest hit and one of the defining songs of the 80s. Released in 1982, the song topped the charts in the UK, US, and Australia. Its infectious melody, sing-along chorus, and fiddle solo make it a classic that still resonates with audiences today. “Come On Eileen” is a love song that captures the youthful exuberance and romantic yearning of its time.
The album also includes lesser-known gems like “There There My Dear,” a biting critique of the music industry and the culture of celebrity. The song features Rowland’s signature spoken-word style and a memorable chorus that satirizes the shallow aspirations of wannabe rock stars. “Plan B,” another standout track, showcases the band’s eclectic mix of genres, combining soul, punk, and new wave influences into a dynamic and funky sound.
One of the strengths of “The Very Best Of” is its ability to capture the range and depth of Dexys Midnight Runners’ musical vision. The band was known for its high-energy live performances and its commitment to social and political issues. Songs like “This Is What She’s Like” and “Liars A to E” tackle themes of gender inequality, class struggle, and media manipulation with a raw honesty that still resonates today.
The album also features some of the band’s lesser-known tracks, like “Dance Stance” and “Keep It Part Two (Inferiority Part One).” These songs showcase the band’s early punk influences and Rowland’s distinctive vocal style. They are a testament to the band’s musical evolution and their willingness to experiment with different genres.
Another highlight of the album is the inclusion of live versions of some of the band’s classic hits, like “Geno” and “Come On Eileen.” These recordings capture the raw energy and spontaneity of Dexys Midnight Runners’ live performances, which were legendary for their intensity and passion. The live versions of these songs are a testament to the band’s ability to connect with their audience and create a sense of community through music.
Overall, “The Very Best Of” is a must-have for fans of Dexys Midnight Runners and anyone who loves 80s music. It is a journey through the ups and downs of one of the most innovative and influential bands of the decade. From the punky energy of their early days to the soulful ballads of their later albums, Dexys Midnight Runners always pushed the boundaries of what was possible in popular music. This album is a tribute to their legacy and a celebration of their impact on the music world.