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The Communards


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The Communards formed in 1985 after singer Jimmy Somerville left his earlier band Bronski Beat to team up with classically-trained musician Richard Coles. Though mainly a pianist, Coles played a number of instruments and had been seen previously performing the clarinet solos on the Bronski Beat hit “It Ain’t Necessarily So”. They were joined by bass player Dave Renwick who had also played with Bronski Beat. Somerville was well-known for his falsetto singing style, and that he was openly gay during a period of increasing socio-political debate and conflict in the UK regarding homosexuality.

The band had their first UK Top 30 hit in 1985 with the piano-based #30 single “You Are My World”. The following year they had their biggest hit with an energetic cover version of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes’ soul classic “Don’t Leave Me This Way” (in a version inspired by Thelma Houston’s cover) which spent four weeks at number one and became the UK’s biggest selling single of 1986. It also made the US Top 40. It featured Sarah Jane Morris as co-vocalist, taking advantage of the contrast between Morris’ deep and rounded contralto and Somerville’s soaring falsetto. Morris performed both backing and co-lead vocals on many of the Communards’ other recordings, and appeared in group photos as an unofficial third member.

Later that year The Communards had another UK Top 10 hit with the single “So Cold the Night,” which reached number 8. In 1987, they released an album titled Red, which was partly produced by Stephen Hague. Red featured a cover version of the Jackson 5’s hit “Never Can Say Goodbye” (in a version inspired by Gloria Gaynor’s cover), which the Communards took to Number 4.


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  • VGoRiLLaZ

    Throwin' some shade.

    7 Aug 2013 Reply
  • jPeMelin

    150th anniversary of the Paris communes they took their name from, today!

    28 Mar 2013 Reply
  • DJSMusicfactory

    Love it!!! :-)

    21 Oct 2012 Reply
  • Cimersies

    Disenchanted !

    17 Oct 2012 Reply
  • DJSMusicfactory

    I love them!!! Cool!!! :-)

    13 Oct 2011 Reply
  • DJSMusicfactory

    The 80's!!! The Best Dacade Ever!!! "Never can say goodbye" rocks!!! Love this band!!! :-)

    15 Sep 2011 Reply
  • eightiespopfan

    It was a joy growing up in the eighties and their energy and flamboyance added immensely to the remarkable pop adventures of this era.

    5 Apr 2011 Reply
  • Tr1xx

    I'm surprised there's not more plays for Jimmy in his various guises . . . they were mega in the 80s.

    30 Jan 2011 Reply
  • nitty_look

    C minor and For a friend - two great ballads Don't leave me this way and There's more to love than boy meets girl - I just love these songs!!!! Jimmy's voice is fantastic!

    8 Oct 2010 Reply
  • pe84

    Tengo muchos recuerdos de la infancia con the comunards,mi padre los ponia en el coche cuando viajabamos. Maravilloso grupo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    29 May 2009 Reply
  • german_in_la

    Red was a brilliant album.

    23 May 2009 Reply
  • Vanilla-villa


    6 May 2009 Reply
  • TetrisRock

    Wish more of their stuff was on my personal radio station has some bad gaps because of the artists/labels refusing to put their stuff on here.

    6 Feb 2009 Reply
  • CreJans


    8 Jun 2008 Reply
  • Killerdwarf

    great stuff !

    22 Oct 2007 Reply
  • pattiscool

    the band has some of the most interesting new wave beats yet suffers from almost comical vocals

    16 Oct 2007 Reply
  • ChrissyM

    Is anyone else noticing this? You can play never can say good bye on last fm radio, but it's not scrobbling. Maybe there is a communards filter?

    1 May 2007 Reply
  • Quarex


    2 Apr 2007 Reply
  • silviapattini

    The Gates of Instambul = So cold the night - The Communards?

    23 Mar 2007 Reply
  • snotface2

    the one with glasses came from where i come from :D

    9 Mar 2007 Reply
  • All 22 shouts

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