11 7 / 2010
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Dexys Midnight Runners were on top of the world. The Bohemian-inspired British pop group, featuring an eclectic mix of pop, rock, folk, and soul, rocketed to superstardom on both sides of the Atlantic with the inescapable 1982 hit “Come On Eileen.”
In a year when Michael Jackson’s Thriller was the best-selling album in the world, radio listeners found “Come On Eileen” to be a welcome alternative to the synth-heavy pop records dominating the charts. While Duran Duran and Eurythmics were pumping out multi-tracked, electronic singles, Dexys Midnight Runners offered jangly banjos, harmonic accordions, and even a full strings section. The group’s distinctive look, with a wardrobe that looked somewhere between Opie Taylor and Crocodile Dundee, made them a welcome and memorable part of music history.
So what happened to Dexys Midnight Runners? “Come On Eileen” remains a radio staple some thirty years later. How did Dexys Midnight Runners go from the top of the charts to complete obscurity?