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|Tags:||80s pop electronic synth pop synthpop gay british new wave|
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James Somerville, 22 June 1961, Glasgow, Scotland. Somerville came to prominence during the 80s as lead singer with first Bronski Beat and then the Communards, and while his solo career has never reached those commercial heights he has maintained a steady fanbase and is a popular live performer.
Raised in Glasgow, Somerville developed his dramatic falsetto singing style at an early age. He was also openly gay by the time he joined Steve Bronski and Larry Steinbachek in the synth-pop group Bronski Beat. Formed in 1983, the trio enjoyed a number of UK hit singles (including their memorable debut, Smalltown Boy) before Somerville left in 1985 to form the Communards with pianist Richard Coles. This disco-pop outfit also enjoyed success on the UK charts, notably with the biggest selling UK single of 1986, Dont Leave Me This Way, but the restless Somerville bowed out in 1989 to launch his solo career. His debut Read My...