Dexy's Midnight Runners - Searching for the Young Soul Rebels (Vinyl)

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Searching for the Young Soul Rebels is the debut studio album by English pop group Dexys Midnight Runners, released on 11 July 1980, through Parlophone and EMI Records. Led by Kevin Rowland, the group formed in 1978 in Birmingham, England, and formed a strong live reputation before recording their first material. Recorded during April 1980, the album combines the aggressiveness of punk rock with soul music, particularly influenced by the Northern soul movement.

The album was preceded by and contains the hit-single "Geno", which topped the UK Singles Chart. It also contains two other charting singles: "Dance Stance" (re-recorded as "Burn It Down") and "There, There, My Dear" (which included the lyrics "I've been searching for the young soul rebels" that inspired the album's title). The album reached number 6 on the UK Albums Chart and is certified Silver by the British Phonographic Industry. It has been widely acclaimed by music critics since its release and is included in 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.


If, like me, you are born after this record came out, you likely know one and only song by this band, "Come on Eileen". (In Norther America, anyway. Their other biggest hit, the one from this record, was not a hit here.) Moreover, you've heard that song so much that you hate it and the band that made it. (Or, at the very least, you hate all the drunk people who get very happy when it comes on.) Well, if that's true, you're missing out on something special, just like I was.
This is a pretty great record, which combines American soul with the (somewhat mild) edge of British punk. It's a fusion that should have been obvious to somebody before this record. (And maybe it was, honestly. I know nothing about Northern Soul.) And it's a fusion that is mostly expertly executed on this album. After a decade + of soul being bastardized into safe pop music, something like this was necessary to revitalize the genre. (Not that Americans noticed...)
The songs are mostly pretty good. The melodies are catchy enough and the lyrics are sometimes better than you would expect from a soul record. (It should come as no surprise that some snotty British young people would try to write lyrics that aspired to something a little more than "Ooo baby, love you baby" or "Please come back" or whatever.)
But the real stars here are Rowland's delivery - he almost sounds like a soulful Robert Smith - and those horns. This is what soul should sound like, a wailing singer and wailing, nearly drunk horns. It's pretty fucking great.
I have one quibble: The poem is obnoxious. If Rowland was, like, 22 when he recorded it, I'd forgive him. But he wasn't so I find it less forgivable. And it really is the only blemish on what is, for me, very likely the best soul album of its era. (I say this partly from ignorance, of course. But compare this to the vast majority of successful "soul" records coming out of the US in 1980, it's not even close).

By: Schicken77

A1 Burn It Down
Written-By – Rowland*
A2 Tell Me When My Light Turns Green
Written-By – Rowland*
A3 The Teams That Meet In Caffs
Written-By – Archer*
A4 I'm Just Looking
Written-By – Blythe*, Rowland*, Saunders*
A5 Geno
Written-By – Archer*, Rowland*
B1 Seven Days Too Long
Written-By – J. Bailey*, V. Harrell*
B2 I Couldn't Help If I Tried
Written-By – Paterson*, Rowland*
B3 Thankfully Not Living In Yorkshire It Doesn't Apply
Written-By – Rowland*, Saunders*
B4 Keep It
Written-By – Archer*, Blythe*
B5 Love Part One
Written-By – Rowland*
B6 There, There, My Dear
Written-By – Archer*, Rowland*

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Parlophone Records Ltd.
Copyright (c) – Parlophone Records Ltd.
Pressed By – Optimal Media GmbH – BE 47897
Engineer – Barry Hammond
Producer – Pete Wingfield
Sleeve – Fly By Night
Comes with lyrics inner sleeve.