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(YouTube) Video Jimmy Sommerville, one of the first openly gay musicians who rose to prominence in the tumultuous 1980s, turns 52 today. Here's the 1984 Bronski Beat classic Smalltown Boy   (youtube.com) divider line 48
    More: Video, Original Videos, Smalltown Boy, Jimmy Somerville, gay boys, Trieste, age of consent, Qui  
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2104 clicks; posted to Video » on 22 Jun 2013 at 8:28 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-22 08:31:28 PM
I always thought he would make an apt replacement for Freddy in Queen
 
2013-06-22 08:37:06 PM
Prominence? No, not really.
 
2013-06-22 08:40:07 PM

Atomic Spunk: Prominence? No, not really.


Yea ... pretty much this.  One hit wonder.
 
2013-06-22 08:47:47 PM

gingerjet: Atomic Spunk: Prominence? No, not really.

Yea ... pretty much this.  One hit wonder.


Never Can Say Goodbye and Comment te dire adieu come to mind...
 
2013-06-22 08:48:53 PM

gingerjet: Atomic Spunk: Prominence? No, not really.

Yea ... pretty much this.  One hit wonder.


Yea.. it was a wonder it was a hit

back in the days when it was all about the video and almost no stations would play that one.
 
2013-06-22 09:00:42 PM

finnished: gingerjet: Atomic Spunk: Prominence? No, not really.

Yea ... pretty much this.  One hit wonder.

Never Can Say Goodbye and Comment te dire adieu come to mind...


Also the cover of "Don't Leave Me This Way", when he led the Communards, post-Bronski Beat.

He also provided the backing vocals on the Fine Young Cannibals' cover of "Suspicious Minds."

Gorgeous voice on that man.
 
2013-06-22 09:02:04 PM
I had heard of Bronski Beat in the 80s but had no recollection of their music.  Also don't remember that video and I watched videos on MTV all day during summer break in 82 and 83.  That was really interesting and waaaay ahead of the crowd.  Good video.  Didn't much care for the music.
 
2013-06-22 09:06:51 PM
Always thought that was a chick singing.
 
2013-06-22 09:15:52 PM
That was some bad music, even for 80s music.  This is not a challenge to find worse, we all know it exists.
 
2013-06-22 09:16:20 PM
You know, I always knew the subtext of the song was gay but there was always a universal element of alienation that I spoke to me.  It's a good song.  The best buy Bronski beat.
 
2013-06-22 09:28:57 PM
That was back when evidently stubby thought this guy was straight.

img.fark.net
 
2013-06-22 10:02:09 PM
The Village People, Elton John, Freddie Mercury, The Eurhythmicts, Joe Jackson, Rough Trade and Frankie Goes to Hollywood were all openly gay, all had bigger hits than Bronski Beat and all preceded Bronski Beat.

/just off the top of my 40-something year old head
 
2013-06-22 10:07:58 PM

Miss Stein: Also the cover of "Don't Leave Me This Way", when he led the Communards, post-Bronski Beat.


That was so soul-less and quantized and banal that I had to crank up Thelma Houston's version to re-funkify my soul.

/bass line that's thick like melted chocolate
/ooooooh baby
 
2013-06-22 10:21:08 PM
"Tumultuous"?

Gender-bending was the big fad in the 80's, and there was no recession.

Methinks stubby wasn't alive during that decade.
 
2013-06-22 10:31:37 PM

Bill_Wick's_Friend: The Village People, Elton John, Freddie Mercury, The Eurhythmicts, Joe Jackson, Rough Trade and Frankie Goes to Hollywood were all openly gay, all had bigger hits than Bronski Beat and all preceded Bronski Beat.

/just off the top of my 40-something year old head


Annie Lennox isn't gay.
 
2013-06-22 10:42:16 PM

wellreadneck: Annie Lennox isn't gay.


Really? Last time I paid any attention to Annie Lennox I had a pink button-down and giant hair, but I thought she and Dave Stewart were both openly gay?

Hmmm.  They were just "fashionably androgynous 80s"?  Who knew?

(point still stands, though.  putting Bronski Beat in the forefront of out-of-the-closet prominent artists fails to take into account his lack of being in the forefront and his lack of prominence)
 
2013-06-22 11:03:50 PM

Bill_Wick's_Friend: wellreadneck: Annie Lennox isn't gay.

Really? Last time I paid any attention to Annie Lennox I had a pink button-down and giant hair, but I thought she and Dave Stewart were both openly gay?

Hmmm.  They were just "fashionably androgynous 80s"?  Who knew?

(point still stands, though.  putting Bronski Beat in the forefront of out-of-the-closet prominent artists fails to take into account his lack of being in the forefront and his lack of prominence)


Got to disagree.  Those others may have been rumoured to be gay back in those days or alluded to their bisexuality in some magazine interview, but none dared have a song and a video about coming out-of-the-closet. Those guys were definitely at the forefront and much more prominent in the mainstream than any of the other truly openly gay artists of the time, excluding the guys from La Cages.
 
2013-06-22 11:04:51 PM

gingerjet: Atomic Spunk: Prominence? No, not really.

Yea ... pretty much this.  One hit wonder.


They were big in the UK at the time.  Here in the homophobic USA?  Not so much.
 
mhd
2013-06-22 11:08:07 PM

Gunderson: I always thought he would make an apt replacement for Freddy in Queen


Huh? Does he have any range beyond this falsetto?

/Never mind that Freddy wasn't the guy to call for really high pitched vocals in Queen
 
2013-06-22 11:32:26 PM

finnished: gingerjet: Atomic Spunk: Prominence? No, not really.

Yea ... pretty much this.  One hit wonder.

Never Can Say Goodbye and Comment te dire adieu come to mind...


Bronski Beat had a few more top 10 hits in Europe:
Tell Me Why
Hit That Perfect Beat
 
2013-06-22 11:41:00 PM

wellreadneck: none dared have a song and a video about coming out-of-the-closet.


Joe Jackson - Real Men (hell...most of the Night & Day album)

Rough Trade - High School Confidential (was this a hit outside Canada?  not sure.)

Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Relax (when you wanna cum).  Even the most obtuse square parent caught the reference.  The explicit bathhouse-themed videos on MTV were a clue as well to what was in the songwriter's mind

Village People -- YMCA - ok... middle America might have been a bit obtuse and somehow missed that the flaming mustachioed half-naked cop, biker, construction worker and sailor had gay connotations, but it's not like they were hiding anything.  If the midwest was too clueless to realize what was "fun" about the YMCA that's not the band's fault for being too subtle, eh?

Growing up a bi teen in the 80s Carol Pope and Joe Jackson (and Morrissey) were far more influential to me than anything that came out of Bronski Beat.  YMMV.
 
2013-06-22 11:54:47 PM
Top 40 radio was so much more varied and creative in the 80s....
 
2013-06-22 11:55:12 PM

Bill_Wick's_Friend: The Village People, Elton John, Freddie Mercury, The Eurhythmicts, Joe Jackson, Rough Trade and Frankie Goes to Hollywood were all openly gay, all had bigger hits than Bronski Beat and all preceded Bronski Beat.

/just off the top of my 40-something year old head


IIRC only one of the Village People was gay. Elton John didn't come out until 1988 (three years prior to Small Town Boy), Freddie Mercury was bi, Annie Lennox has been married twice with multiple children - although she's always toyed with androgyny, she is, by all appearances, straight. AFAIK Joe Jackson has never come out - he's been coy about his sexuality pretty much all of his career.

Yeah, Frankie Goes to Hollywood was very, and openly gay.


/not familiar with Rough Trade - don't think they made much of an impact in the US.
 
2013-06-23 12:07:15 AM

Bill_Wick's_Friend: wellreadneck: Annie Lennox isn't gay.

Really? Last time I paid any attention to Annie Lennox I had a pink button-down and giant hair, but I thought she and Dave Stewart were both openly gay?

Hmmm.  They were just "fashionably androgynous 80s"?  Who knew?

(point still stands, though.  putting Bronski Beat in the forefront of out-of-the-closet prominent artists fails to take into account his lack of being in the forefront and his lack of prominence)



She's may be an icon in the LBGT community, but Annie herself isn't gay, kinda like Madonna and Cher.

All of her 3 marriages, including her current one, have been to men and Dave Stewart is married to a women, Anoushka Fisz

So even if they happen to be gay, they are not very open about it.
 
2013-06-23 12:12:43 AM

Snapper Carr: Bill_Wick's_Friend: The Village People, Elton John, Freddie Mercury, The Eurhythmicts, Joe Jackson, Rough Trade and Frankie Goes to Hollywood were all openly gay, all had bigger hits than Bronski Beat and all preceded Bronski Beat.

/just off the top of my 40-something year old head

IIRC only one of the Village People was gay. Elton John didn't come out until 1988 (three years prior to Small Town Boy), Freddie Mercury was bi, Annie Lennox has been married twice with multiple children - although she's always toyed with androgyny, she is, by all appearances, straight. AFAIK Joe Jackson has never come out - he's been coy about his sexuality pretty much all of his career.

Yeah, Frankie Goes to Hollywood was very, and openly gay.


/not familiar with Rough Trade - don't think they made much of an impact in the US.


The gay one married Cosby's wife Phyllis later Rashid.
 
2013-06-23 12:50:47 AM

mcreadyblue: Snapper Carr: Bill_Wick's_Friend: The Village People, Elton John, Freddie Mercury, The Eurhythmicts, Joe Jackson, Rough Trade and Frankie Goes to Hollywood were all openly gay, all had bigger hits than Bronski Beat and all preceded Bronski Beat.

/just off the top of my 40-something year old head

IIRC only one of the Village People was gay. Elton John didn't come out until 1988 (three years prior to Small Town Boy), Freddie Mercury was bi, Annie Lennox has been married twice with multiple children - although she's always toyed with androgyny, she is, by all appearances, straight. AFAIK Joe Jackson has never come out - he's been coy about his sexuality pretty much all of his career.

Yeah, Frankie Goes to Hollywood was very, and openly gay.


/not familiar with Rough Trade - don't think they made much of an impact in the US.

The gay one married Cosby's wife Phyllis later Rashid.


www.audiodrums.com
Never announced gayness.

Only this guy from the 80s I recall making it public that he was in fact gay.
It was kinda newsworthy at the time and became some figurehead for gay rights. However...
eil.com

He became a Bob Dylan-like 'Judas' when years later he announced that he was actually bi, having married a woman.
 
2013-06-23 01:23:54 AM

minoridiot: finnished: gingerjet: Atomic Spunk: Prominence? No, not really.

Yea ... pretty much this.  One hit wonder.

Never Can Say Goodbye and Comment te dire adieu come to mind...

Bronski Beat had a few more top 10 hits in Europe:
Tell Me Why
Hit That Perfect Beat


I came here to mention those two songs, both great tunes in addition to Smalltown Boy. Glad to see you beat me to it.

Bronski Beat didn't last long, but I remember them getting quite a bit of airplay on KROQ back in the day. And it was a big deal, because instead of just being gay and peppering songs with innuendo like many artists did, they declared it, much like Erasure.

But Erasure had the bigger hit album and stuck around longer, so they're more remembered as the big openly gay group of the '80s. I'm surprised no one else mentioned them.
 
2013-06-23 01:51:12 AM
His version of I Feel Love with Marc Almond is just awesome, funny damn video too.
 
2013-06-23 02:19:55 AM

wellreadneck: Bill_Wick's_Friend: wellreadneck: Annie Lennox isn't gay.

Really? Last time I paid any attention to Annie Lennox I had a pink button-down and giant hair, but I thought she and Dave Stewart were both openly gay?

Hmmm.  They were just "fashionably androgynous 80s"?  Who knew?

(point still stands, though.  putting Bronski Beat in the forefront of out-of-the-closet prominent artists fails to take into account his lack of being in the forefront and his lack of prominence)

Got to disagree.  Those others may have been rumoured to be gay back in those days or alluded to their bisexuality in some magazine interview, but none dared have a song and a video about coming out-of-the-closet. Those guys were definitely at the forefront and much more prominent in the mainstream than any of the other truly openly gay artists of the time, excluding the guys from La Cages.


You clearly have never heard or seen the video of I Want Break Free by Queen. Freddie Mercury wasn't just aluding to his homosexuality and he's vocal skills are matched by only very few others.
 
2013-06-23 04:06:52 AM

Shenanigans!: But Erasure had the bigger hit album and stuck around longer, so they're more remembered as the big openly gay group of the '80s. I'm surprised no one else mentioned them.


Vince Clark is straight.
 
2013-06-23 04:57:56 AM
 
2013-06-23 05:19:15 AM
Bronski Beat in general and Small town Boy in particular were huuuuge in Vancouver in the 80s in both the straight and gay clubs.

Vid was groundbreaking for it's time.
 
2013-06-23 05:26:27 AM

Snapper Carr: /not familiar with Rough Trade - don't think they made much of an impact in the US.


img.fark.net

"Avoid Freud" the album "High School Confidential" is off of is still worth listening to.

"Grade B Movie", "Fashion Victim" and "Lie Back Let Me Do Everything" hold up particularly well.

/"What's the Furor about the Fuehrer?" isn't a great song but it's still an awesome song title.
 
2013-06-23 06:09:34 AM

LewDux: Shenanigans!: But Erasure had the bigger hit album and stuck around longer, so they're more remembered as the big openly gay group of the '80s. I'm surprised no one else mentioned them.

Vince Clark is straight.


True...but Andy Bell is openly gay, and their music has always reflected that. The Innocents was a pretty groundbreaking album in that regard.
 
2013-06-23 07:21:43 AM

Shenanigans!: LewDux: Shenanigans!: But Erasure had the bigger hit album and stuck around longer, so they're more remembered as the big openly gay group of the '80s. I'm surprised no one else mentioned them.

Vince Clark is straight.

True...but Andy Bell is openly gay, and their music has always reflected that. The Innocents was a pretty groundbreaking album in that regard.


Really, they used gay chord progressions?
 
2013-06-23 08:04:26 AM
LewDux:
Really, they used gay chord progressions?

F, A, then G.
 
2013-06-23 08:42:09 AM
I assume he played the organ?
 
2013-06-23 10:25:48 AM

wellreadneck: LewDux:
Really, they used gay chord progressions?

F, A, then G.


OK, my day is off to a good start.  That was funny.
 
2013-06-23 10:26:37 AM

Bill_Wick's_Friend: Last time I paid any attention to Annie Lennox I had a pink button-down and giant hair, but I thought she and Dave Stewart were both openly gay?


She and Dave Stewart were married.
 
2013-06-23 10:31:21 AM
img.fark.net

/Hi, what's going on in this thread?
 
2013-06-23 10:32:48 AM
Correction: Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart were romantically involved, not married. FTFM.
 
2013-06-23 10:35:45 AM
I had the 12 inches of this
3.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-06-23 11:01:17 AM

HempHead: That was back when evidently stubby thought this guy was straight.

[img.fark.net image 409x500]


Or these guys
i.ytimg.com
 
2013-06-23 11:03:29 AM

GungFu: Never announced gayness.


Neil Tennant said he was gay back in '94, but it wasn't exactly a secret before then.  "I Want a Dog" is probably the most obvious example.
 
2013-06-23 11:38:53 AM

Glitchwerks: GungFu: Never announced gayness.

Neil Tennant said he was gay back in '94, but it wasn't exactly a secret before then.  "I Want a Dog" is probably the most obvious example.


Well, there was the cover of the "Before" single...

/Not subtle
//Very NSFW
 
2013-06-23 12:00:20 PM

abhorrent1: HempHead: That was back when evidently stubby thought this guy was straight.

[img.fark.net image 409x500]

Or these guys
[i.ytimg.com image 480x360]




George Michael still thought he was straight back then. And Andrew Ridgeley lives with one of the cuties from Bananarama now.
 
2013-06-23 01:58:15 PM
 
2013-06-23 08:38:50 PM
Bah. even as a kid i knew bob halford was gay and that was in the 70's and i had never seen a leatherman.
Boy George ? well, duh.
 
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