One Hit Wonders of the ’80s: 1983 – Dexys Midnight Runners

“Come On Eileen” by Dexys Midnight Runners

Dexys Midnight Runners was a British group founded by Kevin Rowland and Kevin “Al” Archer. They named the band after the drug Dexedrine, and “midnight runners” referred to the energy the Dexedrine gave, enabling one to dance all night. Am I the only one who thought that the lead singer was named Dexy and the Midight Runners were the band playing behind him? Ah, the innocence of youth! In 1980, they had a hit in the U.K. with the #1 song “Geno”. But, it wasn’t until 1982 that the band hit it big in the U.S. with “Come On Eileen”. It was the biggest-selling single of 1982, and peaked at #1 on April 23, 1983. It would turn out to be their only U.S. hit.
The band took a two year break, and came back in 1985 with the album Don’t Stand Me Down. It was a flop, and they disbanded the following year after a brief return to the U.K. charts with the single “Because Of You” (which was used as the theme tune to a British sitcom, Brush Strokes).

In April 2003, a new incarnation of the group announced that they would be embarking on a tour. A greatest hits album, Let’s Make This Precious, was released in September 2003, and a successful tour took place in October and November. Two newly recorded songs, “Manhood” and “My Life in England,” appeared on the album and were touted as new singles. Despite airplay on national radio, neither was officially released as a commercial single.
In 2008, Kevin Rowland gave an interview to Uncut magazine about work on the new Dexys album.

While we hold our breathe wating for that new album, here is their hit, “Come On Eileen”:

2 thoughts on “One Hit Wonders of the ’80s: 1983 – Dexys Midnight Runners”

  1. I thought the same thing about the name of the band! I was quite naive then…also thought the moaning lady in “Hungry Like The Wolf” was an electric guitar, and that when Madonna sang about “keeping my baby” she was talking about not dumping her boyfriend.

    I used to watch that show “Brush Strokes” on A&E, so I’m familiar with “Because Of You.” A good song for a good show.


    1. There are probably a lot more songs that had meanings that we didn’t understand back then. I just can’t think of any off the top of my head right now. I had never heard of “Brush Strokes” before. That is a good song!


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