Top of The Pops performance broadcasted November 12th 1987
The Communards formed in 1985 after singer Jimmy Somerville left his earlier band Bronski Beat to team up with classically trained musician Richard Coles. Somerville often used a falsetto singing style. Coles, though mainly a pianist, played a number of instruments and had been seen previously performing the clarinet solos on the Bronski Beat hit “It Ain’t Necessarily So“. They were joined by bass player Dave Renwick who had also played with Bronski Beat.J
The band had their first UK Top 30 hit in 1985 with the piano-based number 30 single “You Are My World”. The following year, they had their biggest hit with an energetic Hi-NRG cover version of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes‘ soul classic “Don’t Leave Me This Way” (in a version inspired by Thelma Houston‘s cover) which spent four weeks at number one and became the UK’s biggest selling single of 1986. It also made the US Top 40. It featured Sarah Jane Morris as co-vocalist, taking advantage of the contrast between Morris’ deep and rounded contralto and Somerville’s soaring falsetto. Morris performed both backing and co-lead vocals on many of the Communards’ other recordings, and appeared in group photos as an unofficial third member.