Y’all ready for this?

From the UK singles Top 10 of the last week of March 1993.

mp3: The Style Council – Speak Like A Child (#4)
mp3: Altered Images – Don’t Talk To Me About Love (#7)
mp3: Orange Juice – Rip It Up (#8)

Oh, and Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) by the Eurythmics was at #5, well on its way to what would be six weeks in the Top 10.

There were also some other great pop tunes at the higher end of the charts….not all of which will be to everyone’s taste, but can offer an illustration that we were truly enjoying a golden age of memorable 45s:-

mp3: Duran Duran – Is There Something I Should Know (#1)
mp3: David Bowie – Let’s Dance (#2)
mp3: Jo Boxers – Boxerbeat (#6)
mp3: Bananarama – Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye (#9)

The other two places in the Top 10 were taken up by Bonnie Tyler and Forrest (no, me neither!!!)

Do you fancy looking a bit further down the Top 40?

mp3: Big Country – Fields Of Fire (400 Miles) (#13)
mp3: New Order – Blue Monday (#17)
mp3: Blancmange – Waves (#25)
mp3: Dexy’s Midnight Runners – The Celtic Soul Brothers (#36)
mp3: Wah! – Hope (I Wish You’d Believe Me) (#37)

Some facts and stats.

The debut single by The Style Council was the first of what would be four chart hits in 1983.

Altered Images and Orange Juice had both appeared on Top of The Pops the previous week on a show presented by John Peel and David ‘Kid’ Jensen, with both singles going up in the charts immediately after.

Is There Something I Should Know? was the first ever #1 for Duran Duran It had entered the charts at that position the previous week.

David Bowie would, the following week, supplant Duran Duran from the #1 spot, and Let’s Dance would spend three weeks at the top.

The debut single by Jo Boxers would eventually climb to #3.  It was the first of three chart singles for the group in 1983.  They never troubled the charts in any other year.

Bananarama‘s single would reach #5 the following week. The group would, all told, enjoy 25 hit singles in their career.

Fields of Fire had been at #31 when Big Country had appeared on the same TOTP show presented by Peel and Jensen.  A rise of 18 places in one week after appearing on the television was impressive.

Blue Monday was in the third week of what proved to be an incredible 38-week unbroken stay in the Top 100.  It initially peaked at #12 in mid-April and eventually fell to #82 in mid-July, at which point it was discovered for the first time by large numbers of holidaymakers descending on the clubs in sunnier climes.  By mid-October, it had climbed all the way back up to #9.

Blancmange were enjoying a second successive hit after Living On The Ceiling had gone top 10 in late 1982.  Waves would spend a couple of weeks in the Top 20, peaking at #19.

The success of The Celtic Soul Brothers was a cash-in from the record company.  It had touched the outer fringes of the charts in March 1982, but its follow-up, Come On Eileen, had captured the hearts of the UK record-buying public.  It was re-released in March 1983, going on to spend five weeks in the charts and reaching #20.

Hope (I Wish You’d Believe Me) was the follow-up to Story Of The Blues.  It wasn’t anything like as successful and spent just one week inside the Top 40.



The traffic to the blog slows up over the Festive period, and it’s therefore something of an opportunity to take a bit of a breather.

Over a period of 26 days, I’ll be posting a single never previously featured on its own before – it might have sneaked in as part of an ICA or within a piece looking at various tracks – with the idea of an edited cut’n’paste from somewhere (most likely wiki) and then all the songs from either the vinyl or CD.

J is for Jackie Wilson Said (I’m In Heaven When You Smile) released by Dexys Midnight Runners as a single in October 1982.

Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven When You Smile) was written by Van Morrison and is the opening track of the album Saint Dominic’s Preview, released in 1972.

Dexys Midnight Runners were just over two years removed from the success of Geno and the album Searching For The Young Soul Rebels when seemingly out of the blue, and sporting a whole new look and sound, they had the big hit of the summer of 1982 with Come On Eileen. The new album, Too-Rye-Ay became an instant success, entering the charts at #2 in its first week of release at the beginning of August. Come On Eileen was still riding high and so there was no urgency for a follow-up 45, and it took until October before Mercury Records opted for the cover version as being the most suitable.

It also proved to be a huge hit, reaching #5 despite the fact that it, and its b-side, could both be found on the album.

mp3: Dexys Midnight Runners – Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven When You Smile)

There are maybe some hints that Kevin Rowland would have preferred that the b-side had been chosen as the single. Its name appears on the front of the picture sleeve, and its lyrics can be found on the reverse. I’m surely not alone in thinking that this is a far superior song to the cover:-

mp3: Dexys Midnight Runners – Let’s Make This Precious

This one can be heard, more weeks than not, blaring out pre-match at Stark’s Park in Kirkcaldy as one of the tunes that I choose, in my role as match day announcer, to play prior to kick-off. It’s an uplifting and rousing sort of number, one that always help with gradual build-up of the atmosphere.



many_faces_of_dexysA re-run of a guest posting from August 2011

They took their name from the recreational drug of choice for the Northern Soul fans at the time of their formation, Dexedrine, a brand of dextroamphetamine, the “midnight runners” refers to ability to dance all-night after taking said drug !!

Formed in Birmingham by Kevin Rowland and Kevin “Al” Archer, they arrived on the music scene with their own distinctive sound and dress style, they didn’t want to be a part of anyone else’s movement they wanted their own.

Their look was described as being “straight out of Robert DeNiro’s film Mean Streets” with their Donkey Jackets, Leather Coats and Woolly Hats…. the same time in Kirkcaldy I was wearing a Donkey Jacket……this had absolutely nothing to do with any music scene, I just thought it may make me look more attractive to the young Irish student Midwives that were studying in my home town in the late seventies/early eighties!!!! For the record I had little success!!!

Rowland had a whole manifesto for the band – among other things they lived together in a squat and used public transport, which they never paid for. I remember seeing footage of them jumping over the barriers at an underground station in London and fleeing from the ticket collectors enroute to a gig.

After their first album, Searching for the Young Soul Rebels, Rowland fell out with most of the music press and many of his band members quit over Rowland’s antics including his “press embargo”.
The NME accused the band of “emotional fascism”.

This didn’t stop Rowland, he recruited new blood and changed their image again, this time his mantra was fitness and the band was seen out training together and running. With this change came a new look, which included hooded tops, boxing boots and ponytails. Alcohol was banned and exercise sessions would take place before gigs, he felt now the band had the right fighting spirit.

Co-founder Archer had left after the release of the first album, he formed a new band The Blue Ox Babes and was to later claim that Rowland stole his Celtic sound with the fiddles from Archer’s new group.
The one member of the band that stayed loyal to Kevin Rowland, was the leader of the brass section, Big Jim Patterson, the Scottish trombonist. He remained in Dexy’s until he felt their presence in the band had been diminished by the arrival of a new sound that used mainly fiddles. Big Jim and the rest of the brass players left to form the TKO Horns who played on Elvis Costello’s album Punch the Clock. They also went on to perform with numerous artists including Madness, Squeeze, Nick Lowe and Howard Jones.

In a BBC 2 Documentary for the Young Guns series, Archer played a demo he had made before the unveiling of Rowland latest re-incarnation of Dexy’s that sounded very much like their first single with the new direction, The Celtic Soul Brothers.

Rowland recruited Helen O’Hara from The Blue Ox Babes to join his “new” creation the Emerald Express, who joined the remainder of Dexy’s for the album Too-Rye-Ay, and with it came another new look best described as raggytail Gypsy, with dungarees, scarves and waistcoats.

Dexy’s Midnight Runners had worldwide success with the single Come on Eileen and I’m sure that it will be a floor filler at wedding evening discos for years to come. It was the biggest selling single in the UK and USA in 1982 and sold over 1.2 million copies in the UK alone.

I bought their first single Dance Stance after hearing it on Annie Nightingale’s Sunday Night Radio One Show, while working at St Andrews’ University.

On the February 1st 1980, the band played at the St Andrews’ Student’s Union, it was a blistering gig with Kevin Rowland turning in a very charismatic performance and, “Big” Jimmy Patterson a standout on trombone on his return to his homeland. A short while later, in May 1980, Geno No.1 in the UK charts.

mp3 : Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Geno (live)

Through all their time as a band Dexy’s produced some wonderful singles, the best for me being, produced during the brass/soul period and these are particular favourites of mine:-

mp3 : Dexy’s Midnight Runners – There There My Dear
mp3 : Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Plan B

They also turned in some very good cover versions of the Northern Soul Classics, Chuck Wood’s Seven Days Are Too Long and Johnny Johnson and the Bandwagon’s Breaking Down The Walls Of Heartache that showed where Kevin Rowland’s musical preferences lay.

mp3 : Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Seven Days Are Too Long

Over the years, Rowland proved himself to be a control freak and a bit of a prat, who liked to be a chameleon and change his appearance, at will, he took it too far in 1999, when after an absence of 11 years away from the music scene, he released his second solo album My Beauty complete with cover photo of himself in a dress and stockings!!!!

It has been said My Beauty was a good piece of work but many shied away from it because of the cover. He appeared at the Reading music festival to promote the album dressed as he was on the cover and was bombarded on stage with a hail of bottles.

FOOTNOTE : Best place seen wearing a donkey jacket:

Picture the scene it’s July 1982 in a nightclub in San Antonio, Ibiza. Everyone is dancing about wearing their finest shorts and t-shirts to show off their fast growing tans- when on the music system comes Rock the Casbah by The Clash and out of nowhere appears a guy wearing a DONKEY JACKET with NCB* emblazoned on the back!!!

* NCB means National Coal Board

John Greer, Monday 22 August 2011