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Customer Review

20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Britain's best eighties pop singers, 15 Mar. 2005
This review is from: The Very Best of Jimmy Somerville, Bronski Beat & The Communards (Audio CD)
The eighties are not my favorite decade when it comes to pop music. Nevertheless, some great pop music was recorded during those years, some of it by Jimmy Somerville, who was lead singer of Bronski Beat and, later, the Communards. Both of those groups are represented here but there are also some of Jimmy's solo songs, too. Jimmy's distinctive falsetto voice could not be mistaken for any other. It is worth pointing out that Jimmy was gay and this is reflected in the lyrics of many of the original songs. I'm not sure how well Jimmy's music did in America but he was, for a while, an important singer on the British scene.

Bronski Beat had six UK hits but only the first four are included here. Hit that perfect beat (a top three hit) and Come on come on, both recorded after Jimmy left the group, are missing (presumably because this is a compilation of Jimmy's music). Two of the others also made the top three, these being Small town boy and an unlikely medley (with Marc Almond) of I feel love (Donna Summer) and Johnny remember me (John Leyton). Why made it to number six while It ain't necessarily so made the top twenty.

The Communards had a UK number one hit with Don't leave me this way, a cover of a song that had been a hit in the seventies for two different singers - Thelma Houston and Harold Melvin. Harold's version charted higher in the UK but Thelma's version went to number one in America. I enjoy all three versions but the Communards' version features not only Jimmy's excellent lead singing but also excellent vocal support by Sarah Jane Morris, a singer otherwise unknown to me.

The Communards had one other UK top five hit - another cover, this time Never can say goodbye, originally a hit for Gloria Gaynor - and one other UK top ten hit, the original song, So cold the night. Their other UK hits were You are my world, Disenchanted, Tomorrow, For a friend and There's more to love.

Jimmy had five UK hits without either group, the biggest of which was You make me feel mighty real, a top three hit. A cover of To love somebody (Bee Gees) made the UK top ten. Comment te Dire adieu (featuring June Miles Kingston) made the UK top twenty. Read my lips was a minor UK hit.

While I think that it would have been good to include the post-Jimmy Bronski Beat hits, their omission is understandable. All the essentials among Jimmy's own recordings are here, making this an excellent collection of music by one of the best British pop singers of the eighties.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 May 2008, 11:44:57 BST
S. Stevenson says:
Most of this review is fair enough. My only comment is your major gripe about "Hit that Perfect Beat" not been included. This song, along with the single "C'mon C'mon" was recorded after Sommerville left the band. When Jimmy left, the remaining band members recruited a new lead singer, John Foster (known as John Jon). It was he who provided lead for these songs before leaving the band himself in 1987.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 May 2008, 10:15:06 BST
Thanks for that info. I changed my review accordingly.
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