Smalltown Boy Bronski Beat



” Smalltown Boy ” is by Bronski Beat, the British synthpop trio formed in 1983 by Jimmy Somerville, Steve Bronski and Larry Steinbachek. Larry had heard Jimmy sing during a 1982 documentary film, Framed Youth: The Revenge of the Teenage Perverts.
He suggested they make some music together, playing their first gig at September in the Pink, an arts festival. The three friends were unhappy with contemporary gay performers at the time and set out to be more political and outspoken.
The song was written by Steve Bronski, Jimmy Somerville and Larry Steinbachek with production for the single by Mike Thorne. Mike is an English record producer, arranger, composer, engineer and musician. He produced the cover of ” Tainted Love ” for Soft Cell, the English synthpop duo led by Marc Almond. He has also worked with artists like Roger Daltrey, John Cale, Nina Hagen and Laurie Anderson.
” Smalltown Boy ” was released in 1984 by record label London Records ( Universal Music Group ) and taken from their debut Album, The Age of Consent. The Album was to be the trio’s one and only Album; Jimmy Somerville left to form the Communards in 1985 with Richard Coles, a classically trained pianist, who is now a Church of England vicar and broadcaster.
Lyrically the song is about issues members of the Gay community faced during the 1980s. The song addresses rejection, often by families and society in general of anyone who was openly Gay at the time. Lyrically the song also addresses homophobia in British society, loneliness and very often bullying.
The accompanying music video was directed by English director Bernard Rose, who found fame with the 1992 Horror film Candyman. The video shows lead singer Jimmy on a train; flashbacks tell the story of the events that cause him to leave his home and parents.
” Smalltown Boy ” was a commercial success for Bronski Beat. In the United States the song reached number forty-eight on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart in 1985 and spent a total of sixteen weeks on the chart there.
In the United Kingdom, the song entered the UK Singles Chart on the 2nd of June 1984 and reached a peak of number three. It spent four weeks in the Top Ten and a total of sixteen weeks on the UK chart.

BillBoard Hot 100 Highest Chart Position: 48

UK Highest Chart Position: 3

Other Countries Highest Chart Positions: Australia (Kent Music Report) 8, Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders) 1, Belgium (VRT Top 30 Flanders) 1, Canada (CHUM) 3, Canada Top Singles (RPM) 9, Europe (Eurochart Hot 100) 18, Germany (Official German Charts) 3, France (SNEP) 8, Ireland (IRMA) 4, Italy (FIMI) 2, Netherlands (Dutch Top 40) 1, Netherlands (Single Top 100) 1, New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ) 5, Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade) 2

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