Showing posts with label Bronski Beat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bronski Beat. Show all posts

Saturday, 12 April 2014

It ain't necessarily so - Bronski Beat

Bronski Beat had already had two hits in 1984 when they released 'It ain't necessarily so', a cover of the George and Ira Gerschwin classic. The song questions the authenticity of biblical tales; the song is a metaphor for African-Americans questioning slavery, Jim Crow and oppression in the USA as the natural order of things. The single reached the UK Top 20.

This 12" single features a slightly longer version of the track as well as two more dance-oriented B-side tracks.

My collection: 12" single no. 647
Found: Record fair, Utrecht
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'It ain't necessarily so' / 'Close to the edge', 'Red dance'

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Smalltown boy - Bronski Beat

The single 'Smalltown boy' was an instant hit upon its release in 1984. Part of this was due to the track, with a driving beat and haunting vocals, but the music video had a lot to do with it as well. It told the story of a boy moving to the big city after having issues with his parents - his father especially. It wouldn't be all too obvious if it weren't for the fact that the lead singer Jimmy Somerville was very vocal in gay rights groups.

'Smalltown boy' reached number 1 in the Dutch Top 40 and in Italy, and managed to reach number 3 in the UK top 40. Subsequently, the song has been covered by acts like Rosetta Stone, Indochine, Sharon Corr and the gothic metal band Paradise Lost.

My collection: 7" single no. 4957
Found: Record Exchange, London, October 31, 2010
Cost: 50p
Tracks: 'Smalltown boy' / 'Memories'

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)

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Why - Bronski Beat

'Why?' was the second single taken from Bronski Beat's debut album 'The age of consent'. I already own the 7" single since 1994, but it's been quite a search to get the 12" single as well.

The 12" single features a 7 minute remix of 'Why', plus the B-side of the single, 'Cadillac car'.

My collection: 12" single no. 515
Found: Kringloop, Den Haag, October 24, 2009
Cost: 1,5 euro
Tracks: 'Why? (extended mix)' / 'Cadillac car'

Saturday, 15 August 2009

I feel love - Bronski Beat and Marc Almond

Entitled 'I feel love', this is actually a medley of three songs: 'Love to love you' and 'I feel love', originally by Donna Summer and 'Johnnie remember me', originally by Johnny Leyton. Bronski Beat invited Marc Almond to sing on their track. Although the original had been one of Marc Almond's all-time favourite songs, he had never read the lyrics and thus incorrectly sang 'What'll it be, what'll it be, you and me' instead of 'Falling free, falling free, falling free'.

The single was a success, peaking at number 3 in the UK singles chart and number 17 in the Dutch Top 40. The music video was a decidedly camp affair.

My collection: 7" single no. 2245
Found: Disco Market, Den Haag, February 23, 1995
Cost: 1 guilders
Tracks: 'I feel love' / 'Puit d'amour'

Sunday, 2 August 2009

It ain't necessarily so - Bronski Beat

'It ain't necessarily so' was written by George and Ira Gershwin (pictured here on the sleeve) in 1935 for the opera Porgy and Bess. In the opera, the track is sung by a drug dealer who expresses his doubt about several statements in the bible.

Covered by Bronski Beat in 1984, the song took on a whole new meaning. The gay trio used the song to make a statement about homosexuality, as some religious groups kept using the bible to attack gay people. Like the song says, 'Things that you're liable to read in the Bible, ain't necessarily so'. The single reached number 16 in the UK singles chart and number 32 in the Dutch Top 40.

My collection: 7" single no. 1095
Found: All that music, Leiden, November 11, 1989
Cost: 3 guilders
Tracks: 'It ain't necessarily so' / 'Close to the edge'

Saturday, 10 January 2009

NME Readers' Pollwinners '84 EP - Bronski Beat, Cocteau Twins, The Smiths, U2

British music magazine New Musical Express, or NME in short, started giving away free EP's with the magazine in 1985. The first EP featured tracks from four readers poll winners. And quite exclusive tracks, too, as far as I know!

As is usual with such giveaway discs, they turn up in second hand shops years later. I spotted this one in a Dutch shop(!), then saw that it included a dub mix of U2's 'Wire' and decided that I needed to check this out.

My collection: 7" single no. 2215
Found: Grammofoonwinkel, Utrecht, November 14, 1994
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'Hard rain' (Bronski Beat), 'Ivo (new version)' (Cocteau Twins) / 'What she said (live)' (The Smiths), 'Wire (dub mix)' (U2)
Download: here

Monday, 29 December 2008

Why? - Bronski Beat

Bronski Beat released 'Why?' as the follow-up single to 'Smalltown boy'. The song was recorded at RPM Studios, New York City and pursued an energetic musical formula. The lyrics focused more centrally on anti-gay prejudice. It became the trio's second Top 10 success in the UK and the Netherlands, peaking at number 6 in the former and number 2 in the latter. These days it is still considered to be a popular gay anthem.

My collection: 7" single no. 2126
Found: Record Palace, Amsterdam, July 30, 1994
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'Why?' / 'Cadillac car'
Download: here

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Smalltown boy - Bronski Beat

'Smalltown boy' was the debut single of Bronski Beat. The song is about a gay boy who faces homophobia, loneliness and family misunderstanding. The video for the song was a powerful story of a boy - played by lead singer Jimmy Somerville - who makes friends - played by band members Larry Steinbachek and Steve Bronski - but is attacked by a gang of homophobes. A policeman brings him back to his home. He catches a train and reunites with his friends.

The song became a number one hit in the Netherlands. Some radio stations played the 12" version of the track at the time, which is how I got to know the extended version. It was such a good version that I had to have it. It was one of the first 12" singles I bought.

My collection: 12" single no. 4
Found: LP top 100, Den Haag, 1984
Cost: 14,95 guilders
Tracks: 'Smalltown boy [extended version]' / 'Infatuation', 'Memories'
Download: here
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