The Communards were a British pop\dance act which consisted of members Jimmy Sommerville, Richard Coles and Dave Renwick.
They formed in 1985 after Jimmy left his former band, Bronski Beat to partner up with Richard Coles.
Even though Richard was a pianist, he played numerous instruments and was seen performing the clarinet solo on Bronski Beat's song, "It Ain't Necessarily So." They soon teamed up with bass musician Dave Renwick, who also performed with Bronski Beat.
In 1985, the Communards released their self-titled debut album which peaked at #7 on the UK Albums chart and #90 on the Billboard 200 chart.
The first single from the album, "You are My World" peaked at #30 on the UK Singles chart, but didn't make much impact in the US. The song also peaked at #30 in France.
The second single, "Disenchanted" peaked at #29 on the UK Singles chart and #43 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart. The song was also moderately successful in the Netherlands, peaking at #47.
The third single and the Communards' biggest hit to date, a cover version of Thelma Houston's "Don't Leave Me This Way" peaked at #1 on the UK Singles chart for 4 weeks. The song was successful in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, France, and Austria.
The song was a hit in the US, peaking at #40 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped Billboard's dance chart in November of 1986.
The song featured jazz singer Sarah Jane Morris as a co-vocalist. She became an unofficial third member of the group as both a backup & co-lead singer.
The last single from the album, "So Cold the Night" peaked at #8 on the UK Singles chart and #25 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart. The song was also successful internationally.
In 1987, the Communards released their sophomore album, "Red" which peaked at #4 on the UK Albums chart and #93 on the Billboard 200 chart.
The first single, "Tomorrow" peaked at #23 on the UK Singles chart and also managed to peak at #2 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart.
The second single from the album, a cover version of the Jackson 5's "Never Can Say Goodbye" peaked at #4 on the UK Singles chart and #51 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was also successful on Billboard's dance charts and internationally.
The third single, "For a Friend" peaked at #28 on the UK Singles chart, but failed to chart at all in the US.
The last single, "There's More to Love Than Boy Meets Girl" peaked at #20 on the UK Singles chart and once again, failed to make any impact in the US.
In 1988, the Communards disbanded and Jimmy Sommerville started his own solo career. Richard Coles worked as a journalist for the Times Literary Supplement and the Catholic Herald.
He became ordained in the Church of England, spending his time as the curate of St. Botolph's in Boston, Lincolnshire, England.
These days, Richard is the assistant priest at St. Paul's Kingsbridge and a chaplain to the Royal College of Music.
Jimmy Sommerville continues his solo career and is still active in the music biz, releasing his latest album "Suddenly Last Summer" in May 2009 as a digital download.
To see Jimmy Sommerville's official website, go to:
To see the music video for "Don't Leave Me This Way," go to:
To see the music video for "Disenchanted," go to: