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The Celtic Soul Brothers

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Title: The Celtic Soul Brothers  
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Subject: The Very Best of Dexys Midnight Runners, Dexys Midnight Runners, 1983 in music
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The Celtic Soul Brothers

"The Celtic Soul Brothers"
Single by Dexys Midnight Runners
from the album Too-Rye-Ay
B-side "Love (Part 2)" (1982 release)
"Reminisce Part One" (1983 release)
Released March 1982
Recorded 1981-1982
Genre New wave, pop rock
Length 3:08
Label Mercury
Writer(s) Kevin Rowland, Jim "Big Jim" Paterson, Mickey Billingham
Producer(s) Clive Langer, Alan Winstanley
Dexys Midnight Runners singles chronology
"Liars A to E"
"The Celtic Soul Brothers"
"Come On Eileen"

"The Celtic Soul Brothers" is a song written by Mickey Billingham, Jimmy Paterson and Kevin Rowland of Dexys Midnight Runners that was first released by the band in March 1982 as a single and was also the first song on the band's 1982 album Too-Rye-Ay.[1] It reached #45 in the UK on its initial release,[1][2] and #20 in the UK and #86 in the US when re-released in March 1983.[1][2][3] The song also reached #13 on the Irish charts.[4]

"The Celtic Soul Brothers" was the first song recorded and released by the revamped Dexys Midnight Runners' lineup, which added [1][3][5] Reflecting the revised lineup, the song's instruments feature mandolins and violins rather than the horn fanfares featured in the group's earlier work.[5] The song was inspired by 1960s soul music, and coauthor Billingham has stated that The Whispers' song "Needle in a Haystack" was a particular influence, accounting for "The Celtic Soul Brothers'" unusual melody.[3] Coauthor and Dexys Midnight Runners' lead singer Rowland has stated that the song was about him and Dexys' trombone player Paterson; Rowland being Irish and Paterson being Scottish.[3] Rowland also stated the song expresses his devotion to the band.[3] Author Richard White calls the song "a stand aside, effervescent statement."[3] Critic Ned Raggett of Allmusic referred to the song as a highlight of Too-Rye-Ay.[6] Ira Robbins of Trouser Press refers to the song as "jolly, rollicking jug band fare."[7] Author Simon Reynolds called the song "a manifesto of a single."[5] Julie Burchill of New Musical Express remarked that although the song is intended to sound ethnically Celtic, it sounds more like a "Redcoat romp."[8] Author Maury Dean claims that this song was an inspiration for Roddy Doyle's 1987 novel The Commitments, which was later made into a 1991 film by the same title.[9]

"The Celtic Soul Brothers" was included on the soundtrack of the 1983 movie Breathless starring Richard Gere.[10] It has also been included on a number of Dexys Midnight Runners' compilation albums, including The Very Best of Dexys Midnight Runners, Because of You, Let's Make This Precious: The Best of Dexy's Midnight Runners and 20th Century Masters: The Best of Dexy's Midnight Runners.[11][12][13][14] A live version of the song, recorded shortly after the single release, is included on BBC Radio One Live in Concert.[3][15]


  1. ^ a b c d Strong, M.C. (2006). The essential rock discography. Canongate. p. 302.  
  2. ^ a b "Dexys Midnight Runners singles". Retrieved 2011-09-18. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g White, R. (2006). Dexys Midnight Runners: Young Soul Rebels. Omnibus Press. pp. 117–120, 129, 132, 143.  
  4. ^ "The Irish Charts: Dexy's Midnight Runners". Retrieved 2011-09-18. 
  5. ^ a b c Reynolds, S. (2006). Rip it up and start again: postpunk 1978-1984. Penguin.  
  6. ^ Raggett, N. "Too-Rye-Ay".  
  7. ^  
  8. ^ Gimarc, G. (2005). Punk diary: the ultimate trainspotter's guide to underground rock, 1970-1982. Hal Leonard. p. 583.  
  9. ^  
  10. ^ Stone, D. "Breathless".  
  11. ^ Woodstra, C. "The Very Best of Dexys Midnight Runners".  
  12. ^ Schnee, S. "Because of You".  
  13. ^ "The Best of Dexy's Midnight Runners".  
  14. ^ "20th Century Masters: The Best of Dexy's Midnight Runners".  
  15. ^ Badgley, A. "BBC Radio 1 in Concert".  

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