Skip to content

Dexys Midnight Runners – Too-Rye-Ay (1982)

July 22, 2015

[Album 407/1001]220px-Dexys_Midnight_Runners_Too-Rye-Ay

10 years ago, I spent a summer in Glasgow.  During my time as a Glaswegian, I used to enjoy going to a questionable market where CD vendors would chant “2 for a Fiver.”

Perhaps questionable isn’t the right word – the CDs were less than authentic burned copies, somewhat hastily arranged on blankets; blankets that could be bundled up at a moments notice if the vendor had to make a quick escape with his inventory.

Seemed legit.


1 year ago, I went to a more permanent flea market structure in Kingston.  Although the merchandise was displayed on less portable fixtures and the CDs & LPs were genuine articles, it still felt like a cash-only kind of place.

On that fateful day last summer, the “2 for a Fiver” promo in 2005 Pound Sterling ended up being “2 for a Tenner” in 2014 Canadian Dollars.

But I couldn’t be more pleased with my return on investment.

For $10 CAN, I walked away with a pair of stellar (and legitimate!) LPs: The Pretenders & Too-Rye-Ay.


I recognize I sometimes have trouble separating the record purchase from the record play experience.

Yet even if I’d paid considerably more, I can’t see myself being remotely disappointed with this Dexys Midnight Runners record.

In fact, one of my more reliable metrics for evaluating records is how disappointed I am when life causes me to leave an album mid-listen.  The very definition of a first world problem of course, but I found it particularly disappointing when I couldn’t get through one of the sides before I had to go elsewhere.

The music is a lot of fun and the singer, Kevin Rowland, sounds somewhere between Robert Smith on Friday I’m in Love and Justin Hawkins on Friday Night.  And in my books, that’s fine company.

Perhaps my most reliable evaluation metric?  How much I listen to the record after it’s been reviewed.

Which is where I anticipate Dexys will join The Cure, The Darkness, and its flea market purchase partner, The Pretenders: never straying too far from my listening rotation.

From → 1980s

  1. Ahh, shady CD vendors! I was at a Record Show in London when I spied a stack of cool bootlegs. I asked the seller if they were burned CDs? She had the audacity to pretend she didn’t know what burned CDs were!

    Two for a tenner is pretty good though!

  2. Sounds like you were at the Barras, Geoff! “Get yir laytist chart CDs … 2 furafiver!”

    Anyhoo, I keep meaning to give this album a listen. A friend of mine was really fond of it and my brother has also, on occasion, assured me that it’s a winner. Sounds like you’re in agreement with them!

    • That sounds like the sales pitch exactly J!
      The Barras, couldn’t remember the name – really enjoyed that summer in Glasgow.
      I reckon your friend and brother have good taste!
      It’s funny, in North America, I believe most would call these guys a one-hit-wonder. But they’ve got 3 albums on the 1001 and I’ve really liked the first 2.

      • I used to go there every weekend when I was younger (my gran lived nearby and liked to visit the prize bingo there). Visits lasted right up until my mid-20s, too – there was a really great trio of stalls that sold a bunch of great music (promos, etc) at really great prices. Got to know those dudes pretty well over the years.

        Anyway, I’m surprised that they have 3 albums in there!? Definitely needto be checking them out!

  3. Hi Geoff,
    Life as a Glaswegian must have been grand! The record buying experience can enhance the musical enjoyment and I always love a good story. Portable displays and all can be okay, but when it looks like glass may have been smashed somewhere in the process is where I hit my do-not-cross line.
    Nice selections too, Geoff. Thanks for this post.

    • And it was grand being able to call myself a Glaswegian! My current citizen title of Kingstonian’s nice and all, but nowhere near the fun of being a Liverpudlian or Halegonian.

      Thanks for your comments Danica!

  4. Keep your eyes on the book store shelves, folks, for the new national bestseller by our Geoff, entitled My Weegie Summer. It’ll be a page-turner! 🙂

    Man, I would never buy CDs off a blanket from some guy in the street. Haha no no no. “Seemed legit.” Yeahhhhhh… no.

    2 For $10 is pretty damned good (only beaten, to my knowledge, by BMV in Toronto’s 3 For $10 bin). And two solid choices! Well done!

  5. Meant to add: if it gets continued play after the review, it’s all good! I’m glad you brought that up, actually, in the quest to always be listening to something new, how much of what has already be played gets spun again? TIME FOR ANOTHER CHART GRAPHIC!

  6. jprobichaud permalink

    Can’t say as I’ve ever listened to a full Dexy’s record. I sure know the singles well enough though. Life in Glasgow sounds like it was swell.

  7. That idea that the purchase experience fuses somehow with the listening is a fascinating one.
    Joe and I once kicked around ideas for a theme were ‘the usual suspects’ each wrote a post on an agreed theme. Reading this post of yours, Geoff, I’m reminded of that idea. I explored it in a post on Hawkwind’s Warrior on the Edge of Time but would be up for another tilt…
    “A memorable purchase”.

    • I’d be keen to read such a themed post Bruce! The more I think about it, the more some of the purchasing experiences have enhanced certain albums for me. One that springs to mind is The Tragically Hip’s ‘trouble at the henhouse’ – they a launched it on a Friday night at midnight. So even if the album was a dud (which it was far from), the good memories associated with procuring the CD likely gloss over some of its flaws

  8. Hackskeptic permalink

    I had a very very unfavourable attitude to “Too Rye Ay” back in the day. You see, I felt “Searching For The Young Soul Rebels” was such a significantly original record compared to everything else that was released in 1980, for Kevin Rowland to break up the band straight after it was a downright tragedy. Maybe after all these years I may be able to listen to it with a more forgiving ear. Certainly won’t forgive the dungarees but then again, Rowland has had a history of fashion faux pa’s.

    • And searching for… was new to me within the last couple years so I didn’t have too much history with the group going in.
      I picked up Don’t Stand Me Down a few weeks ago but haven’t explored it yet – did you find they were back on track with that one?

      • Hackskeptic permalink

        Never picked it up Geoff. Unfortunately my anger hadn’t subsided when it came out. It’s on the 1001 list and the random number generator will pick it out at some stage.

      • I like the random number generator approach to the list!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Dexys Midnight Runners – Don’t Stand Me Down (1985) | 1001albumsin10years
  2. 1982 | 1001albumsin10years

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: