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Album Review

Despite the inability of the music to live up to the high standards of Jimmy Somerville's ridiculously skilled falsetto voice, the Communards' first album achieved platinum status in several countries. Somerville's spirited duet with Sarah Jane Morris on a cover of Thelma Houston's "Don't Leave Me This Way" helped push the record into the Top Ten on the U.K. charts, and a decent blend of other dancefloor fillers with Richard Coles-centric piano ballads lends variety for the ears that can't take a full album's worth of dance music. Both "Breadline Britain" and "Reprise" continue Somerville's activist ideals; the latter has to be one of the sharpest dissections of Margaret Thatcher. Compared to the following Red, much of the duo's self-titled debut sounds flat, lacking punch — all the more surprising from a Mike Thorne (Wire, Marc Almond) production. [The remastered version adds a lengthy mix of "Don't Leave Me This Way."]


Formed: 1985

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s

The whirlwind success Bronski Beat experienced during its mid-'80s beginnings took a major toll on singer Jimmy Somerville, who surprised a lot of people with his decision to leave the group after only one full-length album. Thanks to the popularity of singles like "Smalltown Boy" and a cover of Donna Summer's "I Feel Love," both of which showcased Somerville's singular falsetto, Bronski Beat found itself at the forefront of several countries' pop scenes. Though Somerville's departure from the group...
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Communards, The Communards
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