Communards Double CD
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|Audio CD, Double CD, 2 Jul 2012||
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Having achieved immediate success with Bronski Beat and Smalltown Boy , Jimmy Somerville left after their first album and formed Communards in 1985 with multi-instrumentalist Richard Coles.
First two singles You Are My World and Disenchanted charted, but were topped by the Europe-wide # 1 hit version of Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes classic Don t Leave Me This Way . Featuring Sarah-Jane Morris as co-vocalist, it became the biggest-selling UK single of 1986.
This slip-cased 2 CD edition features as many of the non-album single sides and remixes as can be fitted be on, selected by Jimmy Somerville expert Heiko Bollman. Many tracks appear on CD for the first time.
The booklet contains the lyrics, photos, singles sleeves, and notes from Jimmy and Richard.
About the Artist
1. Don t Leave Me This Way
2. La Dolarosa
5. So Cold The Night
6. You Are My World
7. Lover Man
8. Don t Slip Away
9. Heavens Above
10. Forbidden Love
11. Breadline Britain
12. Disenchanted (Dance)
13. Judgement Day
14. Don t Leave Me This Way
[Son Of Gotham City Mix 1986]
[Part 1] (incorporates Sanctified)
15. When The Walls Come Tumbling Down [live]
1. You Are My World [ 87 Single Version]
2. Don t Leave Me This Way
[Son Of Gotham City Mix] [Part 3]
3. So Cold The Night
[Remixed Club Version]
4. Heavens Above [10 version]
5. Johnny Verso
6. Sentimental Journey
7. The Message
8. Disenchanted [instrumental]
9. So Cold The Night [instrumental]
10. Never No More
12. When The Walls Come Tumbling Down
13. The Multimix (inc. Don t Leave Me,
So Cold The Night, Disenchanted)
Top customer reviews
This is probably Jimmy's masterpiece. A well rounded and varied collection stuffed full of great songs, from the joyful pop of Don't Leave Me This Way and Disenchanted, to the intricate La Dola Rosa and Reprise.
But this reissue turned out to be a disappointment. For some reason they decided to use the seven inch versions of the four singles rather than the longer album versions. I can think of no real reason for this, and, as a result I have, on the whole, stuck with my battered old copy of the original CD release. The sound is better on the later release, but it is marred by those inexplicable edits. Just to rub it in the sleeve notes refer to the original length of the album, which was getting on for an hour. The edits take it down to a more typical length.
And the bonus mega mix of Don't Leave Me This Way (all 22 minutes plus of it) is far too long and outstays its welcome by quite a margin.
The old CD issue is very hard to get hold of these days, so any new buyers will have to put up with this flawed release. It is still a great album, even in this form, but it should have been so much better.
I was excited when I saw this advertised and immediately pre-ordered it. Most Edsel reissues are first class giving a comprehensive collection of tracks from the original album with well-researched bonus tracks, so I had no worries about buying this because I know they do a great job and usually no stone is left unturned. I was particularly interested in seeing "Don't Leave Me This Way (Son Of Gotham City Mix Part 3)". There never was a Part 3, so I thought this must be some unreleased gem and the idea of that alone was exciting.
Unfortunately when the CD arrived it turned out to be a catalogue of disappointments. Firstly, the original album featured longer versions on the CD issue for all of the singles. On the vinyl LP they were the short versions and those are the versions we find here on this CD which instantly feels like a huge disappointment for a "deluxe edition". I have had to track down the original CD to get the full versions. On a positive note, these shorter versions aside from "Disenchanted" are not the 7" single versions, they are actually all longer original vinyl album versions. But these were included on the last reissue, so it's not like they are exclusive to this CD. I feel most people would prefer to have the longer versions because they feel much more satisfying.
This is a comparison of the CD timings for this edition with the original 1986 CD timings in brackets:
"Don't Leave Me This Way" 4:52 (6:26) (1 minute 34 shorter!)
"Disenchanted" 4:13 (6:13) (2 minutes shorter!)
"So Cold The Night" 5:46 (6:48) (1 minute 2 seconds shorter!)
"You Are My World" 4:30 (8:00) (3 minutes 30 seconds shorter!!!!!!!!)
As you can see, this has shaved an amazing 8 minutes off the total over just 4 songs, which presumably was a decision made to allow for more bonus tracks. However, in my opinion the full versions could have been used and the bonus tracks rearranged. Particularly in relation to the mixes of "Don't Leave Me This Way", which has been messed up on this release with bogus "Son Of Gotham City" titles. Originally there was the "Gotham City Mix" Parts 1 & 2 on either side of the Remix 12" with the green sleeve (LONXR 103). Then ONE "Son Of Gotham City Mix" on the Remix 12" with the blue sleeve (LOXRR 103). This mix was 13:30 and in my opinion the best (and longest) version. There was never a "Son Of Gotham City Mix Part 3" as listed here on Disc 2. What you actually get is just the "Son Of Gotham City Mix" in a horribly butchered edit (the entire intro is missing) to bring the time down to 10:23. I see absolutely no point in including this mix which is ruined by the removal of the intro. You just get one second of intro and then the vocal starts! This nasty edit was already on the CD single of "For A Friend" anyway, so it's a complete waste of space. The full version is therefore still unavailable on CD. The only reason the edit was included on the CD single in the first place was because of the BPI ruling that CD singles had to have a running time of less than 20 minutes to be eligible for the charts. This edit brought the running time to 19:51.
As if that isn't bad enough, on Disc 1 we are told we get "Don't Leave Me This Way (Son Of Gotham City Mix Part 1 - incorporates "Sanctified")". Firstly, it is called "Gotham City Mix Part 1" not "Son Of..." and secondly, this is the mix without "Sanctified". Well done, two errors in one there! Surely it doesn't take a genius to hear that there is only one song here, no sign of "Sanctified". Maybe it is no longer a requirement to have ears to work at record companies these days? Where is the quality control? I swear I put more effort into my review!
If you feel a sense of déjà vu when listening to the two long mixes of "Don't Leave Me This Way" that may be because from 5:07 on the mix on Disc 1 and from 3:57 on the mix on Disc 2 they are both IDENTICAL for the last 6 and a half minutes! Who decided to include both? If one was dropped we could have reclaimed the space for the full version of the "Son Of Gotham City Mix" and the full versions of the 4 hits. Failing that we could have had the original 12" mix of "So Cold The Night" which I would expect to see on a deluxe edition. It has not been included on the previous reissues or the 2-Disc version of "The Very Best Of Jimmy Somerville, Bronski Beat & The Communards" and I'm now so tired of waiting for that mix on CD that I've just tracked down the rare 1986 German CD single which cost me £20, but at least I've got it now. The inclusion of the Remix version was good to see here however. But an almost 10 minute instrumental version was tedious. I couldn't stand to hear it all, particularly when it follows a boring 9 minute instrumental of "Disenchanted". I can't imagine many people are very excited to have those mixes, which are literally just the backing tracks to the 12" mixes. It only serves as a reminder that the vocal 12" mix of "So Cold The Night" is absent, instead we just get the same mix minus the vocals!
I'm keeping this CD for the B-Side tracks that are not available on any other CD because it is great to finally have these on CD, but I do hope that at some point a record label will actually give us a definitive release of this album and include that full "Son Of Gotham City Mix". For what is here, the album is good if you never had it before or you are a more casual buyer, but for fans it isn't up to scratch and the frustration of not having a comprehensive collection has cost me an additional £25 exactly tracking down what should have been included here if the job was done properly and still not able to get the full "Son Of Gotham City Mix" on CD at all.
In summary, the Communards music gets 5 stars, but the execution of that material by Edsel is so slapdash for what is called a "deluxe edition". It feels like it has been thrown together without any real care. The order of the tracks particularly seems odd. I really strongly dislike it and if all the material was available on other CD's this would not have a place in my collection. For now, I have to keep it for that reason and I feel I am being quite generous in giving this a 3 star rating. Unless you particularly want any of the bonus tracks here, I would say track down the original 1986 CD with the longer versions of the 4 singles.
*** Update: September 2014 ***
Great news! The full 13:36 version of "Don't Leave Me This Way (Son Of Gotham City Mix)" is now available on: 12 Inch Dance: 80s Synthpop
this delux edition gives you everything you had on vynil and adds a few bits and bobs to the mix. All on shiny digital disc
In particular, the 1986 chart hit 'Don't Leave Me This Way' (which was the UK's biggest selling single that year) provides the fast-tempo beat for an excellent feel-good song, along with another disco speed track 'Disenchanted'. The slightly jazzy, torch-song of 'Loverman' has Sarah Jane Morris' guest vocals complementing Jimmy Sommerville perfectly, and stands the test of time, in my opinion.
One of my other faves from this album was 'Breadline Britain', melodic but telling in the 80s culture, where more pop songs recorded social inequalities and 'real' life for many people.
All in all, with its talented musicianship of Jimmy Somerville and Richard Coles, it has plenty of tracks you'll really enjoy.
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