Showing posts with label Communards (the). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Communards (the). Show all posts

Sunday, 10 June 2012

For a friend - Communards

In the late Eighties, record companies released as much formats of a single as they could, to sell more copies which meant higher chart placings. In the case of the Communards' impressive 1988 single 'For a friend', the record company opted for a luxurious three disc 12" single set, featuring live tracks from a concert in Paris.

Entitled 'The Communards storm Paris', the set featured twelve tracks, but weirdly enough the single's original B-side, a live version of 'Victims', featured on all three discs. Still, it's a nice item to have and I have searched for it for a couple of years.

My collection: 12" single no. 637 to 639
Found:, received May 10, 2012
Cost: 10 euro
Tracks disc 1: 'For a friend', 'Victims (live)' / 'Don't leave me this way (live)', 'Heavens above (live)'
Tracks disc 2: 'For a friend (remix)', 'You are my world (live)' / 'So cold the night (live)', 'Victims (live)'
Tracks disc 3: 'For a friend (live)', 'Never can say goodbye (live)' / 'Victims (live)', 'Hold on tight (live)'

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Don't leave me this way - Communards

As far as gay anthems go, this cover version of Thelma Houston's 'Don't leave me this way' by the Communards must be one of the biggest ones. Performed by Richard Coles, highpitched singer Jimmy Somerville and guest vocalist Sarah Jane Morris, this hi-NRG version topped the charts in several countries.

Several remixes were released, but the 'Gotham City Mix' was without a doubt the longest one. Side A of this 12" single features a remix of 11 minutes and 25 seconds, and side B runs for 11 minutes and 30 seconds. This mix also incorporates the single's B-side, 'Sanctified'.

My collection: 12" single no. 555
Found: La La Land, Den Haag, May 14, 2011
Cost: 2,5 euro
Tracks: 'Don't leave me this way (Gotham City mix)' / 'Don't leave me this way / Sanctified / Don't leave me this way (Gotham City mix)'

Sunday, 2 May 2010

There's more to love - The Communards

This 12" single contains a very different kind of extended mix: basically it sounds like the whole track has been re-recorded. 'There's more to love (than boy meets girl)' has been given an infusion of Latin brass, giving the track a summery feel. The serious message in the lyric still remains: love is not reserved for straight couples only.

The B-side gives the listener three further treats: two old-fashioned-sounding tracks and one acapella-ish version of the A-side track.

My collection: 12" single no. 539
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'There's more to love (extended)' / 'Zing went the strings of my heart', 'Spanish rap', 'When the boy in your heart is the boy in your arms'

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

So cold the night - Communards

The Communards released 'So cold the night' in 1986 as a track from their self-titled album from the same year. The 12" single featured a nine minute extended version of the track. It drags out a bit but it is never boring.

The B-side 'When the walls come tumbling down' was dedicated to Nelson Mandela, who at the time was still imprisoned in South Africa.

My collection: 12" single no. 373
Found: Plaatboef, Rotterdam, 1999
Cost: 2,5 guilders
Tracks: 'So cold the night (extended)' / 'When the walls come tumbling down', 'Never no more'

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Don't leave me this way - Communards

'Don't leave me this way' first charted in 1975 when it was recorded by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. A year later, a cover version by Thelma Houston hit the international charts.

The Communards decided to record another cover version in 1986. It was a very Hi-NRG version, featuring guest vocals by Sarah Jane Morris. The single topped the UK singles chart for four weeks in September 1986 and stayed at number 1 for five weeks in the Dutch Top 40. Several remixes were issued, notably the 'Son of Gotham City Mix' which was split across two sides of a 12" single and ran for a total of 22 minutes 55 seconds.

My collection: 7" single no. 4626
Found: Markt, Rotterdam, March 9, 2010
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Don't leave me this way' / 'Sanctified'

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Smalltown boy (1991 remix) - Bronski Beat

When the record company released a compilation album of Jimmy Somerville's work with Bronski Beat and the Communards in 1991, they also decided to release a single to promote the collection. Bronski Beat's debut single 'Smalltown boy' was remixed by Stephen Hague and released in January 1991.

The single did not chart in Europe, but did manage to reach number 32 in the UK singles chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 4196
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, November 8, 2009
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Smalltown boy (1991 remix)' (Bronski Beat) / 'There's more to love than boy meets girl' (Communards)

Friday, 1 May 2009

Never can say goodbye - Communards

After the Communards had a number one hit in the UK in 1986 with 'Don't leave me this way', a cover of Thelma Houston's Seventies disco track, they tried to repeat this feat in 1987 with another cover of a disco track. They recorded a version of 'Never can say goodbye', which was a disco hit for Gloria Gaynor in 1974. This time around, however, they only made number 4 in the UK. The single did slightly better in the Netherlands, where it peaked at number 3.

While the single was in the chart I bought it on the then rather new cd-single format. I found the 7" single years later.

My collection: 7" single no. 2814
Found: Record fair, February 1, 1997
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'Never can say goodbye' / '77 the great escape'

Sunday, 26 April 2009

You are my world 87 - The Communards

I wrote about the Communards' 'You are my world' before (although Blogger seems to have deleted that post again in their random actions vandalism), but that was the original version from 1986 with which they made their debut.

In 1987, they re-released the track in a re-recorded version. This version did better than the original: while that one peaked at number 30 in the UK, this one peaked at number 21. And in the Netherlands, where the original didn't chart, it reached number 24. I bought the single to get my collection of Communards singles complete. Always a good feeling to be complete.

My collection: 7" single no. 3646
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 18, 2009
Cost: 0,8 euro
Tracks: 'You are my world 87' / 'Judgement day'

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

There's more to love - The Communards

This was the last single released by the Communards before Richard Coles and Jimmy Somerville split up. The upbeat song comes with a serious message: 'There's more to love than boy meets girl / For love is strange and uncontrolled and it can happen to anyone'. Not surprisingly for this band the subject of the song was gay rights.

The B-side of this single is also interesting: it's a cover of the 1934 song written and composed by James F. Hanley. It was performed in the Broadway revue 'Thumbs up!'. The most famous version was performed by Judy Garland.

My collection: 7" single no. 2382
Found: House of Rhythm, London, July 1, 1995
Cost: 60p
Tracks: 'There's more to love' / 'Zing went the strings of my heart'

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Tomorrow - Communards

The Communards have released several great singles. 'Tomorrow' may not have been their biggest hits, but I think it's one that's stood the test of time very well. It was the first single from the duo's second album 'Red', which came out in 1987.

This single peaked at number 32 in the Dutch Top 40, and number 23 in the UK singles chart. The second single would be 'Never can say goodbye', one of their best known hits.

My collection: 7" single no. 636
Found: Disco Market, Den Haag, 1988
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'Tomorrow (remix)' / 'I just want to let you know'

Friday, 6 March 2009

Disenchanted - The Communards

'Disenchanted' is one of the forgotten singles by the Communards. Known for their high energy dance tracks like 'Never can say goodbye' and 'Don't leave me this way', 'Disenchanted was a bit too intricate for most audiences. In the Netherlands, it didn't chart and in the UK it peaked at number 30 in the singles chart.

To be honest, I'd forgotten about this track when I bought it too. But I had most of the other Communards singles, so this one shouldn't be left out. I'm glad I have it now.

My collection: 7" single no. 2683
Found: Beanos, East Croydon, London, July 3, 1996
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Disenchanted' / 'Johnny Verso'

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

So cold the night - Communards

The Communards had their biggest hit in 1986 with a cover version of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes' 1975 soul classic 'Don't leave me this way' - although the Communards' version was inspired by the dance version recorded in 1976 by Thelma Houston. A year later they reached number 8 in the UK singles chart with 'So cold the night', which peaked at number 11 in the Netherlands.

A limited edition two record set of 'So cold the night' included the single 'Don't leave me this way' as the second disc. On all four tracks, Jimmy Somerville screams like a demented choirboy - but always with great effect.

My collection: 7" single no. 2755
Found: House of rhythm, London, October 29, 1996
Cost: 80p
Tracks: 'So cold the night' / 'When the walls come tumbling down' // 'Don't leave me this way' / 'Sanctified'

Monday, 9 February 2009

For a friend - Communards

Jimmy Somerville left his band Bronski Beat in 1985 and teamed up with classically trained musician Richard Coles. They will probably always be remembered for their versions of 'Don't leave me this way' and 'Never can say goodbye', but 'For a friend' remains, to me, their most beautiful song. They wrote the song for a close friend of theirs, whose life was taken by AIDS. And as the B-side track 'Victims' stated: 'No-one to blame there's only victims'. A good statement in a country where gays were continually blamed for the spreading of the disease at the time. Released in 1988, it reached number 28 in the UK singles chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 628
Found: Disco Market, Den Haag, 1988
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'For a friend' / 'Victims (live)'
Download: here
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