James William Somerville (born 22 June 1961) is a Scottish pop singer and songwriter. He sang in the 1980s with the pop groups Bronski Beat and The Communards and has also had a solo career. He is known in particular for his powerful and soulful countertenor/falsetto singing voice. Many of his songs, such as “Smalltown Boy”, contain political commentary on gay-related issues. In 1983, Somerville co-founded the synthpop group Bronski Beat, which had several hits in the British charts. Their biggest hit was “Smalltown Boy”, which reached No. 3 in the UK charts. In the music video, Somerville plays the song’s titular character, who leaves his hostile hometown for the friendlier city, reflecting Somerville’s own experiences when he moved to London. In February 2021, Somerville teamed up with producer Sally Herbert (formerly of 1990s duo Banderas and also part of The Communards’ backing band) to record a cover of “Everything Must Change” by Nina Simone as a charity record for End Youth Homelessness, a network of projects which includes Centrepoint in London and a number of other homeless charity organizations around the UK. Here are all of Jimmy Somerville’s albums ranked.
Don’t miss out on the unique voice of Jimmy Somerville! Click below and experience pop music at its finest!
6. Suddenly Last Summer (2010)
“Suddenly Last Summer comprises acoustic arrangements from a wide range of sources including Blondie, Dusty Springfield, Cole Porter and spirituals, yet Jimmy makes them his own along with six other musicians. The whole project arose out of a stay in Australia where it was recorded in 2006, and the results are full of easy-going enjoyment, like a holiday romance, where the material is obviously solid. “
5. Dare to Love (1995)
“Powerful, very brave statements. What a great album. This has more to do with the spirit of the Rock n Roll era than most other major artist albums put together. Dare is the key element here, and Love. Singable! Great cover of the Supreme’s “Someday We’ll Be Together”.Favorite cuts:By Your Side,Safe In Your Arms,Love Thing,Dare To Love,Too Much Of A Good Thing,all of them,what the heck.”
4. Read My Lips (1989)
“I think he is one of the greatest entertainers in the world. Just listen to his voice and you will hear hard work and skill and natural born talent. No one ever has gripped your soul with feelings and inventive melodies. This is an album for every collector.”
See more: A Day To Remember Songs Ranked
3. Manage the Damage (1999)
“I liked Bronski Beat, when they were still at it some 1000 years ago, in large part because of Somerville’s high-pitched voice. However, I never liked him when he stepped out of Bronski Beat and continued in The Communards, where the female singer had a lower voice than he did. When I came across this album, I decided to give it a go. Surprisingly, Somerville seems to have created a disc here that’s closer to the original Bronski Beat while being original enough to entertain at least for a few hours.”
2. Home Again (2004)
“This by far is Jimmy’s best cd ever! The music is wonderful, and his voice is still beautiful. With great lyrics, and an incredible team producing, mixing, and songwriting this cd, it will be hard to surpass such perfection. You’re a credit to the music world, Jimmy, please don’t ever stop making music like this.”
1. Homage (2015)
“This is a smart album for Jimmy. In his youth, his voice did much of the heavy lifting. Now that he’s in his 50’s, he rightfully lets the beats and instruments take center stage. He then becomes the cream on top. This isn’t a look-at-me album like so much of his earlier work, but more like look what I can do with hard work on arrangements, orchestration and collaboration.”