Thirty years ago this month, synthpop trio Bronski Beat released its career-making single “Smalltown Boy” — and to celebrate that milestone, the group’s lead singer, Jimmy Somerville, has recorded a haunting new stripped-down version of the song, which you can hear below via a live-in-the-studio video or purchase on iTunes and Amazon.com.
According to a post on Somerville’s website:
“June 2014 marks a very special anniversary — 30 years since the release of Smalltown Boy. Originally released in 1984, the song addressed key issues in 1980’s LGBT culture, and brought homosexuality and homophobia into the pop mainstream. The song deals with loneliness, rejection by family and society and also being bullied because of supposed differences. The song has been and continues to be an inspiration to many people. It has also inspired so many, varied cover versions and been celebrated musically worldwide, as you may have seen from the recent videos posted on Jimmy’s Facebook page.”
And if you missed it last year, check out this video of Somerville surprising a busker singing the song.
Below, hear the new “Smalltown Boy” (via Waist High) and see the video for the original 1984 single.
Jimmy Somerville, “Smalltown Boy” (Reprise 2014)
Bronski Beat, “Smalltown Boy” (1984)