Don’t leave me this way (oooh baby)

Jimmy Somerville, Scottish singer-songwriter and musician with Bronski Beat and The Communards) was born June22nd 1961. He started his music career in 1983, Somerville co-founded the synth pop group Bronski Beat, who had several hits in the British charts. Their biggest hit was “Smalltown Boy” which reached #3 in the U.K. charts. Somerville played the song’s titular character in the music video who leaves his hostile ‘straight’ hometown for the friendlier city (..Alone on a platform, the wind and the rain…) Somerville left Bronski Beat in 1985, and formed The Communards with classically trained pianist Richard Coles (now a Church of England vicar).They had several hits, including a cover version of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes’s “Don’t Leave Me This Way”, which spent four weeks at #1 in the UK charts, and became the biggest-selling single of 1986 in the UK. He also sang backing vocals on Fine Young Cannibals’ version of “Suspicious Minds”, which was a UK Top 10 hit.

The Communards split in 1988, and Somerville launched his solo career. He had several solo hits between 1989 and 1991, also singing on the second Band Aid project at the end of 1989. After releasing his 1989 album Read My Lips, which included a hit cover ofSylvester’s disco classic “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” as well as a cover of The Bee Gees’ hit song “To Love Somebody” a year later, Somerville left the limelight. In 1990, Somerville contributed the song “From This Moment On” to the Cole Porter tribute albumRed Hot + Blue produced by the Red Hot Organization, the proceeds from which benefitedAIDS research.

In 1991 Somerville provided backing vocals to a track called “Why aren’t you in love with me?” from the album “Ripe” by Communards offshoot band Banderas. The Banderas duo Caroline Buckley and Sally Herbert had previously been part of Somerville’s backing band.Somerville returned in 1995 with the album Dare to Love, which included “Heartbeat”, a #1 hit on the U.S. dance chart, “Hurts So Good” and “By Your Side”. Another album, entitled Manage The Damage, was released in 1999, and its companion remix album Root Beercame out a year later. His dance-oriented fourth solo album, Home Again, was released in 2005.May 2009 saw the release of Somerville’s Suddenly Last Summer album, which contained acoustic interpretations of other people’s songs. The album was initially only available as a digital download but in May 2010 was made available in a limited edition (3.000 copies) CD/DVD in the UK.In 2011 Somerville released a dance EP called “Bright Thing”.Somerville has also led an acting career, appearing in Sally Potter’s 1992 film of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, in Isaac Julien’s 1998 Looking for Langston, and in an episode of the cult science fiction television series Lexx (“Girltown”).

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