The Communards celebrate 35 years with album re-release

British band The Communards will be marking the 35th anniversary of their debut album by putting out a new version of the record with heaps of bonus content.

The band comprised singer Jimmy Sommerville and classically trained pianist Richard Coles. In 1985 Sommerville quit Bronski Beat and formed a new partnership with Coles, who had played with his former band.

Their self-titled debut album came out in 1986 and featured a Hi-NRG dance cover of Don’t Leave Me This Way. The song had previously been recorded by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, as well as Thelma Houston.

Their version went to the top of the British charts and became the highest selling UK single of the year, in Australia it reached number 6. The song also featured singer Sarah Jane Morris whose deep voice was juxtaposed with Sommerville’s famous falsetto.

The song had become of an anthem of the fight to get politicians to take more action during the AIDS pandemic. The band released an epic ‘Gotham’ mix of the song that was split across two sides of a 12 inch single, played back to back the song goes for over 22 minutes.

To celebrate the album’s 35th anniversary they’ll be a new 7th Heaven remix of Don’t Leave Me This Way as part of an expanded CD/Digital release, and there will be a limited edition vinyl release of the album, all available from 3rd December.

Also included is the only radio session The Communards ever recorded with Janice Long in October 1985 on which they debuted previously unpublished tracks and the demo version of Summertime, the only recording in existence of this collaboration with Sarah Jane Morris.

OIP Staff

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