I wasn’t sure whether to include Communards in this series – but using the same logic as I did with Bronski Beat then I’m more than happy to do so.
They formed in 1985 after Jimmy Somerville left his band behind to team up with classically trained musician Richard Coles who was best known as a pianist although he was already familiar to Bronski Beat fans thanks his clarinet solo on the hit single It Ain’t Necessarily So.
Pursuing a left-wing political agenda in their lyrics while making hi-energy dance music proved to be a successful formula. The duo gradually expanded, incorporating, among others, Sarah Jane Morris on vocals and June Miles Kingston on drums, and would go onto enjoy nine hit singles, including a #1 with a cover of Don’t Leave Me This Way and two Top 10 albums.
There was an acrimonious split in 1988, sparked seemingly by the instrumentalist lying to the singer that he had contracted HIV/AIDS.
Jimmy Somerville would subsequently embark on a solo career which has been sporadically successful while Richard Coles firstly pursued a career as a journalist before training as a priest, eventually being ordained in 2005, all the while maintaining a writing career combined with an increasing number of radio and television appearances, often in the area of light entertainment but increasingly on religious issues. He’s actually better known and more famous these days than his former sidekick.
This was on the b-side of their debut single back in 1985. It’s sadly still as relevant and poignant more than three decades on.