[[caption-width-right:350:The original lineup, with a moustachioed Kevin Rowland in front.]]
-> "''People call us arrogant, but just because we know we are right, it doesn't make us arrogant.''"
--> -- '''Kevin Rowland's live show banter'''
A British [[NewWaveMusic New Wave]] group founded in [[UsefulNotes/TheWestMidlands Birmingham]] in 1978, Dexys Midnight Runners are probably one of the best known [[OneHitWonder One Hit Wonders]] of all time, although to label them as such would be a misnomer. The band that brought us the [[EarWorm ridiculously catchy]] single "Come On Eileen" was created by Kevin Rowland and Kevin "Al" Archer, two guitarists who had previously been members of a a Birmingham [[PunkRock punk]] group called the Killjoys. Fans of soul music, this duo created Dexys Midnight Runners as a horn-driven NorthernSoul outfit which achieved success with its early singles "Geno" and "There, There, My Dear" and their seminal album ''Searching for the Young Soul Rebels''.
After several changes in their line-up, including the integration of strings into the group to create a fusion of Irish folk and soul music (heavily influenced by the work of Van Morrison) described by Rowland as "Celtic Soul", Dexys released a second album entitled ''Too-Rye-Aye'', which contained the enormously successful single "Come On Eileen", the group's only American hit.
This was followed up by several further singles, a whittling down of the band from LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters to a core quartet (Rowland, violinist Helen O'Hara, guitarist Billy Adams and long-time trombonist Jimmy Paterson[[note]]Paterson appears on the cover of ''Don't Stand Me Down'', but left before its recording[[/note]]) and a third album, ''Don't Stand Me Down''. Unfortunately for Rowland's vision, this album turned out to be a commercial failure, primarily due to his ardent perfectionism in the studio which saw the album (which he originally resolved to complete in three weeks) taking three ''years'' and at least as many producers to record, with costs running to ''half a million pounds''. This was compounded by his refusal to release a single before the album was released (and it didn't help that the song eventually issued as a single, "This Is What's She's Like", was ''twelve minutes long''). Nevertheless, it is considered to be the band's ultimate artistic triumph, and frequently appears on "best album" retrospective lists in the British music press. The band would break up a short time later.
After a few solo efforts (most infamously the ''[[ContemptibleCover My Beauty]]'' CoverAlbum) and years spent battling personal demons, Kevin Rowland got the band back together in 2003 under the abbreviated name "Dexys". A new studio album, ''One Day I'm Going To Soar'' was released in June 2012.
The band's albums are:
* ''Searching for the Young Soul Rebels'' (1980)
* ''Too-Rye-Ay'' (1982)
* ''Don't Stand Me Down'' (1985)
* ''One Day I'm Going to Soar'' (2012)
Notable songs include:
* "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsyvrfMkafU Dance Stance/Burn It Down]]"
* "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnoUlZnwYy4 Geno]]"
* "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdxPhLP9ROg&feature=related Show Me]]"
* "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oc-P8oDuS0Q Come On Eileen]]"
* "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7r4fcnpbYdo Let's Make This Precious]]"
* "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZYKVatVx3Q Because of You]]" (the theme song from the BritCom ''Brush Strokes'')
* "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-avJdGnHe0 This is What She's Like]]"[[note]]Remember when we said this song was 12 minutes long? Well, Rowland refused to even make a ''single edit'' for the song when he finally decided to make it a single, with this short 4 1/2 minute version only existing for this video. He eventually relented and split the song in two halves on the A and B side of the single.[[/note]]
* AlbumTitleDrop: A short spoken section in "There, There, My Dear" for the first album and the bridge of "Come On Eileen" for the second.
* TheBandMinusTheFace: The spin-off soul group known as The Bureau was essentially the original Dexys line-up without Kevin Rowland.
* ControlFreak: Kevin Rowland by all accounts. Aside from making other band members called Kevin use stage names, he reportedly frustrated the Killjoys by refusing a £20000 record deal, imposed a strict physical training regimen for band members and refused to release a single from ''Don't Stand Me Down'', which is often blamed as a reason for its failure. More outlandishly, he refused to associate with the music press and insisted on communicating with fans through printed essays in ad space in music magazines. He later admitted that in he had a tendency to try and change others' opinions by "being autocratic", and that a lot of this was driven by insecurity and self-esteem issues.
* CoverVersion: Many of their early B-sides and live performances were covers of classic soul songs, including "Breaking Down the Walls of Heartache", "Hold On, I'm Comin'" and ''[[ArethaFranklin Respect]]'', and their last top ten single was a cover of Van Morrison's "Jackie Wilson Said (I'm In Heaven When You Smile)".
* GratuitousItalian: Subverted in "This Is What She's Like": during their conversation about his new girlfriend, the singer knows there's a word in Italian that sums her up perfectly ... but can't actually remember what it is:
-->'''Singer:''' I think it means 'thunderbolt'.\\
'''Friend:''' You mean, the Italian word for 'thunderbolt'?\\
'''Singer:''' Uh, yeah. I don't speak Italian myself, you understand. But I knew a man who did.
* InTheStyleOf: "Geno" is not only a tribute to Northern Soul legends Geno Washington's Ram Jam Band, it was also done in the Ram Jam Band's signature style. This style was used again in "Come On Eileen".
* LongList: The first half of "This Is What She's Like" is the singer, after being asked what his new girlfriend is like, rattling off a long list of everything and everyone he hates while insisting that she's nothing like that. The second half is him explaining without words what she is like.
* NewSoundAlbum: ''Searching for the Young Soul Rebels'' featured horn-driven songs rooted in American soul music, accompanied by a mod-influenced image. The next album, ''Too-Rye-Aye'', saw the addition of strings and brought in influences from Irish folk music. It also generated the most recognised Dexys "hillbilly"/UsefulNotes/IrishTravellers image. ''Don't Stand Me Down'' turned them into a experimental soul/post-punk band that performed twelve minute songs laced with spoken dialog.
* OfficiallyShortenedTitle: The 2012 revival is just called Dexys.
* OneHitWonder: "Come On Eileen" was their only American hit single, although they'd had a few top forty hits in Britain including the number one single "Geno", as well as one more song in the top ten after "Come On Eileen". Even so, even in Britain most people will only readily remember that they did "Come On Eileen".
* OneSteveLimit: Guitarists Kevin Archer and Kevin Adams were required to go by their nicknames Al and Billy respectively, because Kevin Rowland insisted, "There's only room for one Kevin in this band."
* SexDrugsAndRockAndRoll: The band was named after a recreational drug called Dexedrine, which was popular among fans of Northern Soul at the time. Even so, the group itself made a point of avoiding drugs and pursued a group exercise regimen because they didn't want to risk giving a bad show (although Kevin Rowland had problems with drugs after Dexys broke up).
* ShoutOut: The number one hit "Geno" is a shout out to the American expatriate soul singer Geno Washington and describes one of Kevin Rowland's experiences at one of his concerts, "back in '68 in a sweaty club."
* TheRival: According to Horace Panter of Music/TheSpecials, they had a habit of booing when a demo tape by fellow Birmingham musicians Music/TheBeat were played on a tour bus.