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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Since his Bronski Beat debut in 1984 with (the still
wonderful) 'Smalltown Boy' Jimmy Somerville has always been
true to himself. His music, his politics and his lifestyle
are inseperable. He is also a thoroughly decent chap.

His voice is a remarkable instrument. A true falsetto which
can act as both a salve and a sword. A gentle dragon of a
voice, instantly recognisable and still solid as a rock.

This fine 2 CD compilation is a worthy retrospective of
Mr Somerville's career (how can a quarter of a century have
passed by so quickly?!) and includes pretty much everything
you might wish to hear by way of an introduction to his
worthy and extensive back catalogue.

To hear The Communards' 'For A Friend' again is alone worth the
price of the album. This utterly beautiful, heartwrenching song
is Mr Somerville's finest moment. The emotional truth and power
of the composition remains one of the most affecting expressions
of love and loss ever to have drawn breath in the listening world.

There's a lot of fun to be had as well as the odd tear however.
The rendition of 'Never Can Say Goodbye' stokes up more energy
than a rampant herd of migrating wildebeest. The earth truly
shakes with the bouncy, bouncy exhilaration of it all! If you
don't feel like dancing to this track then you should not have
come to the party! Disco heaven continues in the shape of the
FABULOUS arrangements of Sylvester's 'You Make Me Feel (Mighty
Real' (the brass burns holes in the dancefloor!); 'Read My Lips
(Enough Is Enough)'(Hands In The Air Everyone!!); the magical
take on 'Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You' and the blissfully
uplifting 'Don't Leave Me This Way' (still packing a mighty
punch twenty-five years on!!)

Mr Somerville is a little hero in his own quiet way.

He should be proud.

Highly Recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 10 March 2013
Can't get enough of Jimmy's outstanding voice & arrangements. He's been accompanying on many of my recent journeys at the expence of Madge, Kylie, Scissors, Debbie H, and a host of others.

Beautifully balanced album and especially enjoy the second disc with most of his solo work on it.

Can't speak too highly of it.
.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 October 2013
What a wonderful thing - to have the awesome voice and music of the wonderful Jimmy Somerville back in my life again....how i've missed you, Jimmy!
This double disk set is just superb; sublime! Classic tracks from Bronski Beat, The Communards, and Jimmy Somerville. A very worthwhile purchase. The feisty little Glaswegian with a wonderfully angelic voice, really packs a punch. A nice range of musical styles and genres. A comprehensive look at the work of this very impressive, gay artist.
In short: bl**dy fantastic - just buy it! ...lots of really great feel-good tunes. ;)
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 24 March 2010
Track 3 on Disc 2 is certainly NOT the San Paulo Remix of "Never Can Say Goodbye"! I bought this specifically to get that mix on CD, and was devastated to find it wasn't there!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 May 2013
Superb soulful sometimes haunting ...this CD is full of memories, beautifully evoked by Jimmy Somervilles stunning lyrics. As for the saxophone it pours into your ears like melted chocolate mmm ....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 November 2013
Fabulous album. All the major classic hits from both bands and when he was a solo artist. A feel good cd.
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on 14 January 2014
I already had this CD and it brought back so many memories of the disco's/ clubing and parties I used to go to in my youth. So, when I found out it provoked the same memories from my girlfriend I could not resist getting her a copy, so now we can play it at each others home. If you want to experience the genius and uniqueness of Mr Somerville then this is the CD to do it by.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 20 April 2010
This is probably the best of the three Bronski Beat/Communards/Jimmy Somerville compilations, spread over 2 CDs in nice presentation box with good sleeve notes too. These were radical songs in the 80s/90s pop charts, mainly because of the bold gay lyrics, sometimes political but more often love songs addressed to same-sex partners; still rare today and therefore of equal importance for the modern gay community. I bought this collection because of the more recent material included, such as the wonderful US Dance Chart topper "Heartbeat", the delicious "By Your Side" and the ultra-camp "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of you", plus the extended versions of major hits such as Don't Leave Me This Way and especially the excellent San Paulo mix of "Never Can Say Goodbye". Its a shame that Bronski Beat's terrific post-Jimmy song "Hit That Perfect Beat" (a big hit) and Jimmy's minor hit "Hurts So Good" aren't included, but this is the most comprehensive collection available to date. Even the less familar songs are very catchy, but the best material remains the early Bronski Beat songs, which have a darker and more soulful feel than the Communards and Jimmy's solo material. Very pleased by the inclusion of the Doors cover "People Are Strange" in which Jimmy loses his falsetto as he did in the early Bronski Beat song "Junk"; however I think his voice remains strong and possibly richer in the later recordings, although these are less well known.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This 2CD "Small Town Boy" collection shows Jimmy's own input especially in the selection and arrangement of the tracks. Every song on every one of his albums has been at least good - many are great, and quite a few - at least an album's worth - are all time classics performed with impeccable original style in his vocals and with consistently equally impressive musicianship and production.

Too many retrospective collections suffer from the volume of tracks being mismatched or some older tracks being compressed carelessly in order to compete with more modern ones (the unfortunate fallout from the loudness wars). However every track on this collection is pristine and both CDs are a pure joyous listening experience from start to finish.

I believe that Jimmy's voice and his songwriting are continuing to improve with age. I'm very happy with his 2009 "Suddenly Last Summer" laid back collection of acoustic cover versions, which provides the closing two tracks here.

I've interviewed Jimmy twice (in 1998 and 2005 - google my name and Jimmy's to hear them). His gentle manner, unflinching honesty and his passion for life convince me that he's one of the nicest, most vital and talented artists on the planet.

Even if you already own everything he's ever released on CD, you still could not possibly arrange and produce as perfect and representative a collection of the works of Jimmy Somerville. Superb value.
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on 18 December 2013
Cracking album that fills in a few holes in my album collection of songs... Smalltown Boy is a brilliant song, and he has such a unique voice. His work with the Communards also well crafted, and songs are hummable, singable and memorable.
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