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(35th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)


Artist: The Communards
Label: London Records
Release Date: 28 October 2022

The Communards’ album Red is reissued as a special deluxe edition set by London Records. On its original 1987 release the album went into the top 5 in the UK charts, reached platinum status and remains an all-time classic. This re-issued release comes as a double CD or vinyl package on red and white vinyl with a track listing which includes an extended remix of ‘Never Can Say Goodbye’ by Shep Pettibone, live tracks and demo versions of ‘Hold On Tight’ and ‘Tomorrow’...

Growing up in the '80s you were either a fan of The Communards... or you weren't. Jimmy Somerville's countertenor / falsetto singing either won the band fans or turned people off them. Personally I was never a huge fan, and relistening to this album 35 years later I actually found that a lot of the tracks, other than the released singles, were instantly forgettable.

Red was the band's second, and last, full studio album. And for those who grew up in the '80s I'd argue that their 1985 debut LP, Communards, holds the songs that you'll remember more fondly. Whilst Red has 'There's More to Love Than Boy Meets Girl' and a cover of 'Never Can Say Goodbye', Communards has the much more popular cover version of 'Don't Leave Me This Way' and 'You Are My World'. Just the mention of titles of the two songs from Communards immediately had me singing them in my head, whereas I had to hear the two tracks from Red before I recognised them.

The first disc contains the original album as well as 9 additional tracks, including a Spanish version of 'Never Can Say Goodbye'. The second disc is mostly comprised of remixes of 'There's More to Love', 'Never Can Say Goodbye' and 'For a Friend'. There's a few demos, but nothing overly exciting to get worked up about.

The album contains 32 tracks (2 hrs, 35 min, 14 sec) and considering this is a band that produced only two albums I find it strange that a 2-disc release of a fairly average LP is being given such special treatment. However, fans of The Communards and lovers of '80s pop will no doubt find much to love here.


Nick Smithson

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