Too-Rye-Ay is the second album by Dexys Midnight Runners, released in July 1982. The album is best known for the hit single "Come On Eileen", which included the lyrics "too-rye-ay" that inspired the album's title.
Shortly before recording this album, Dexys' bandleader Kevin Rowland had decided to add a violin section to the band's existing horn section, which had contributed strings (viola and cello) to the band's latest single, "Liars A to E". However, after violinists Helen O'Hara and Steve Brennan joined the band, the three members of the horn section, including Dexys' co-leader and album co-composer "Big" Jim Paterson, decided to leave Dexys and become an independent horn band (ultimately known as The TKO Horns). Rowland was able to convince them to stay with the band long enough to record the album and to do a kick-off concert debuting the album on BBC Radio One in June 1982.
All the songs on the album were rearranged to add strings, which caused Dexys to re-record the 1981 singles "Plan B", "Liars A to E", and "Soon". During the rearrangement process, "Soon" was revised into the opening section of "Plan B"; since both songs were written by Rowland and Paterson, the merged songs are just credited on the album as "Plan B".
Prior to "Come On Eileen", Dexys' only North American single was the Northern Soul classic "Seven Days Too Long", which Dexys' previous label EMI America had released only in Canada (with "Geno" as the B-side). However, on the strength of "Come On Eileen", Too-Rye-Ay reached number 14 in the U.S. But the U.S. success failed to last;, the best performer in the U.S. of Dexys' U.S. follow-up singles was "The Celtic Soul Runners", which peaked at number 86.
Different releases of Too-Rye-Ay featured different versions of "Come On Eileen." Certain editions of the album featured a version beginning with a violin introduction and then simply fading out at the end (length: 4:07). This version of the song is the one featured on the single release. Other editions of the album (including many of the "re-releases") featured a version without the violin intro and including a tag of Kevin Rowland singing the folk song "Believe Me, if All Those Endearing Young Charms", at the end, while the digital version offered by Spotify includes both front and end "Young Charms" tags (length: approximately 4:32). In addition, the most common release of the album features "Come On Eileen" as the final track, while the original U.S. release features the tune as the opening track on Side 2.
The album was re-released in 1996 on CD with 8 bonus tracks. In 2000 an enhanced edition was released with the music videos for "Come On Eileen" and "Jackie Wilson Said" as bonus material. In 2002 a US edition with bonus tracks was released. Marking its 25th Anniversary, a 2007 2-CD Deluxe Edition was released, which included the entire 14-song kickoff performance on BBC Radio 1.
"Jackie Wilson Said (I'm In Heaven When You Smile)" (BBC Session with David Jensen)
"All in All (This One Last Wild Waltz)" (BBC Session with David Jensen)
"Old" (BBC Session with David Jensen)
"Reminisce Part One" ("The Celtic Soul Brothers" reissue B-side)
There are several unlisted tracks on the album— "Old" includes a reprise of "Let's Make This Precious" at the end. The beginning of "Plan B" is actually the song "Soon," a version of which is the B-side to the "Show Me" single.
US pressings have "Come On Eileen" at the beginning of side two.