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Jimmy Somerville Delivers Haunting 30th Anniversary Reprise of Bronski Beat Classic 'Smalltown Boy': VIDEO


Bronski Beat's Jimmy Somerville has recorded a haunting, reprise of the plaintive 1984 classic "Smalltown Boy", about a gay kid forced to leave town after being bullied by peers and rejected by his family.

Still stunning and sadly relevant after 30 years.


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  1. Oh Jimmy, where did you ever go? Voice is better than ever, and you've turned into a sexy beast. Glad to hear that this song is still alive, even if we (the royal we) wish it wasn't still relevant.

    Posted by: tinkerbelle | Jun 16, 2014 1:05:49 PM

  2. His heartbreak is still evident in every note, every syllable.

    Still as haunting as it ever was.

    Powerful and moving.

    Way to go, Somerville. You've still got it.

    Posted by: Bill | Jun 16, 2014 1:31:38 PM

  3. Jimmy, I love this version, it is just beautiful. You sound better than ever.

    Posted by: Michael | Jun 16, 2014 1:42:17 PM

  4. Powerful! Better than the original.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Jun 16, 2014 1:42:58 PM

  5. Ah, la recherche de temps perdu.

    "We had the best songs.
    We taught you how to dance."

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Jun 16, 2014 1:59:45 PM

  6. Damn, Jimmy. Just damn!

    Posted by: Chadd | Jun 16, 2014 2:28:22 PM

  7. LOVE Sommerville and B.B.!

    Posted by: Tom | Jun 16, 2014 2:33:17 PM

  8. Perfection

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jun 16, 2014 2:36:57 PM

  9. This song is on my ipod and whenever it comes on I get more defiant - it was always a rallying song for me. And I love this rendition, thanks for sharing

    Posted by: Ted | Jun 16, 2014 2:53:00 PM

  10. @ TED :

    On my iPod also.....a rallying song......
    "you never cry to them, just to your soul !."

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Jun 16, 2014 3:15:44 PM

  11. Wow! Seriously better than ever. Please tour the US!

    Posted by: Trevor | Jun 16, 2014 3:47:12 PM

  12. HAUNTINGLY BEAUTIFUL Jimmy! Just wish that this heartbreaking gay anthem would cease to be played out in actuality every bloody day . . .

    Posted by: Mike | Jun 16, 2014 3:51:17 PM

  13. This is a real song that changed people, and maybe continues to do so 30 years on.

    Posted by: bicurious | Jun 16, 2014 5:17:47 PM

  14. That was almost unbearably beautiful. More please!

    Posted by: Darrell | Jun 16, 2014 5:31:03 PM

  15. it is reassuring to see that so many other people are moved by that strange haunting voice, that light bulb shaped head and jerky little body movements. the song was the sound track to my rebellion, my claim to my own life all those years ago, and somehow, i have found jimmy somerville wildly attractive then, and now, and at every stage in between.

    and even now i can't help checking out his package.

    Posted by: bandanajack | Jun 16, 2014 7:17:59 PM

  16. .wow.

    Posted by: Island Planet | Jun 16, 2014 7:28:45 PM

  17. Oh Jimmy...That was so gorgeous. You saved my gay ass in High School by showing I wasn't the only one. Thank for such a lovely new rendition.

    Posted by: Trevor | Jun 16, 2014 9:35:33 PM

  18. Jesus I couldn't click out of the clip, and tears ran down my face as I try to block him out

    Posted by: Manny Espinola | Jun 17, 2014 2:15:02 AM

  19. I bought the album with the original liner notes, including gay ages of consent around the world, before the US record company decided to ban it and make it a plain inner sleeve. Amazing album, amazing voice, haunting all these years later.

    Posted by: SoLeftImRight | Jun 17, 2014 3:47:21 AM

  20. This song resonates as strongly now as it did when it was first released thirty years ago in 1984. The struggle that many of us faced and still continue to is powerful and ongoing.

    Most gay men on some level can identify with what it's like to be bullied, shunned and turned away and having to forge a new life for ourselves someplace else where we can be the person we truly are without being made ashamed or vilified for it.

    Jimmy Somerville's vocals are amazing. His falsetto is terrific and this version is sublime. Thanks Jimmy for creating an amazing song that still strikes a deep chord for me all these years later.

    Posted by: Woohooboy | Jun 17, 2014 8:39:55 AM

  21. It hold up really well in this version. Thanks.

    Posted by: Joe in Ct | Jun 17, 2014 10:03:06 PM

  22. "about a gay kid"

    Nothing in the song suggests this.

    Posted by: Randy | Jun 18, 2014 2:14:54 PM

  23. Randy, yes that is true but everything in the song suggests it at the same time. That is the brilliance of it. The double life, screaming and silent in tandem. It is the history of gay feeling and existence.

    Posted by: Den | Jun 18, 2014 4:58:47 PM

  24. yes, potatoeheid has aged well, bless & it is an anthem, in the proper sense

    Posted by: smithy | Jun 18, 2014 9:41:06 PM

  25. Gorgeous, then and now. The new vocal is lovely.

    @Randy: The song doesn't say "gay kid," but, as Den says, it is completely suggested, especially in the context of the original album. It was obvious to all of us who related to the song 30 years ago and remains so. A great, out album, one that still holds up.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jun 18, 2014 10:12:39 PM

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