Bronski Beat’s ‘Smalltown Boy’ Celebrates 40 Years With Remix

Bronski Beat’s ‘Smalltown Boy’ Celebrates 40 Years With Remix
Image: Source: @bronskibeat on Instagram

Revolutionary gay anthem Smalltown Boy by British synth-pop band Bronski Beat has just turned 40 years old, and a brand new rework of the song by ABSOLUTE. has been released to celebrate.

Released on May 25th in 1984, the melancholic song is one of the most important gay anthems ever written – Smalltown Boy is openly about a gay man leaving his home after facing violence and discrimination, hoping to find acceptance in the city.

Lead singer Jimmy Somerville posted to Instagram celebrating the incredible anniversary of the song: “Today marks 40 Years (!) since ’Smalltown Boy’ was released! Thanks to everyone who’s shared their memories and here’s to it continuing to create new ones!”

Producer and DJ ABSOLUTE., who’s a fixture of the LGBTQI+ club scene in the UK, was brought in to rework the song for its 40th anniversary, giving the song more of a club vibe while simultaneously maintaining Somerville’s iconic vocals.

The DJ was thrilled to get the chance to work on such an iconic piece of music, saying: “What a very emotional honour to rework one of the greatest tracks of all time, Smalltown Boy.

“With a message that still resonates deeply with so many LGBTQ+ people today, creating this felt like I’ve been given an opportunity to add a very small piece to its legacy in queer history.”

The significance of Smalltown Boy

Released as a single in a time where discrimination against gay people in England and across the world was still widespread, Smalltown Boy is nothing short of a landmark song for the LGBTQI+ community that continues to inspire to this day.

Written by Bronski Beat’s Jimmy Somerville, Smalltown Boy and its famous music video are semi-autobiographical retelling of his experiences moving from his hometown to London in 1980.

Smalltown Boy struck an incredible chord with both the gay community and the wider music-listening world, becoming a top 10 single all around the world thanks to its ominously pulsing synths and forlorn songwriting.

The song put Bronski Beat on the map, and ensured that follow-up single Why? And debut album Age of Consent enjoyed similar success on the global charts in 1984.

In the same year, the band also headlined the ‘Pits and Perverts’ benefit gig, organised by the Lesbian and Gays Support the Miners group in support of the South Wales miners’ strikes of 1984-85, and helped to raise the modern equivalent of £20,000 for the strike. This event is featured in the beloved 2014 film Pride.

Undoubtedly one of the greatest gay songs ever made, there’s no better time than the present to let Smalltown Boy hit you in the feels all over again.

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