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Dexy's Midnight Runners - Come On Eileen (1982)

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  • 80's Score80's Score80's Score 80's score: 2.51
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“Come On Eileen” is a song by English group Dexys Midnight Runners (credited to Dexys Midnight Runners and the ...

“Come On Eileen” is a song by English group Dexys Midnight Runners (credited to Dexys Midnight Runners and the Emerald Express), released in the United Kingdom on 25 June 1982 as a single from their album Too-Rye-Ay. It reached number one in the United States, and it was their second number one hit in the UK, following 1980’s “Geno”. The song was initially claimed to be written by Kevin Rowland, Jim Paterson and Billy Adams, and it was produced by Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley, although Rowland later stated that the essence of the tune should be attributed to Kevin Archer.

“Come On Eileen” won Best British Single at the 1983 Brit Awards and in 2015, the song was voted by the British public as the nation’s sixth favourite 1980s number one in a poll for ITV. It was ranked number eighteen on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of the ’80s.

Music video

The 1982 music video was directed by Julien Temple and filmed in the inner south London suburb of Kennington in the vicinity of the corner of Brook Drive and Hayles Street, then Austral Street and Holyoak Road. The character of “Eileen” in the music video, as well as on the single cover, is played by Máire Fahey, sister of Siobhan Fahey from Bananarama.

Archival footage of Johnnie Ray arriving at London Heathrow Airport in 1954 was featured in the video.

Chart success

In a poll by Channel 4, a UK TV channel, the song was placed at number thirty-eight in the 100 greatest number one singles of all time. Similar polls by the music channel VH1 placed the song at number three in the 100 Greatest One-hit Wonders of all time, number 18 in VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of the 1980s and number one in the 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 80s (the group had a previous number one single in the UK—”Geno” in 1980—but “Come On Eileen” was their only US hit). “Come on Eileen” has sold 1.33 million copies in the UK as of June 2013.

The song reached number one in the United States on the Billboard Hot 100 charts during the week ending 23 April 1983. “Come on Eileen” prevented Michael Jackson from having back-to-back number one hits in the US: “Billie Jean” was the number one single the previous seven weeks, while “Beat It” was the number one song the ensuing three.

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