Dexys Midnight Runners - Searching For The Young Soul Rebels - Review
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critics' view

Kevin Rowland’s Birmingham soul gang were named after the drug Dexedrine which was used by fans of Northern Soul – for many, that would speak volumes before a single note was heard. On “Searching For The Young Soul Rebels” they delivered on the promise of the three incredible singles – “Dance Stance”, “Geno” and “There, There, My Dear” – which had preceded the full-length debut in July ‘80. Grabbing your attention right from the start, the album opens with the sound of a radio dial being turned, tuning from station to station and finding (amongst other things) “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple, “Holidays in the Sun” by Sex Pistols and “Rat Race” by The Specials, underneath a noisy crackle which would’ve been familiar to listeners of Radio Luxembourg. Rowland then leads his group with shouts of “Jimmy… Al… for god sake burn it down” whereupon they begin their young soul rebel assault with a stupendously fresh and brassy re-recording of their “Dance Stance” single of late ‘79, here retitled “Burn It Down”. As a self-assured statement of intent, the intro couldn’t possibly be any more perfect. The album is a treat throughout, and works brilliantly whether in the mood for the upbeat scorcher or the introspective ballad. Like many bands in this innovative era, Dexys were brilliant to listen to because there was no-one else like them; they had style in abundance.

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