I’d been having a hard time thinking of more singers to use in this column, when it hit me like a bolt of lightning. Well, no, it wasn’t that dramatic, but it did pop up on my iPod when I least expected it…a cover of Donna Summer’s I Feel Love, performed by Jimmy Somerville, former lead singer of Bronski Beat and The Communards. A fixture of 1980s pop who has never stopped recording, Somerville also deserves notice as one of the first openly gay pop musicians.
Having obviously taken stylistic tips from Sylvester, Somerville’s falsetto can best be described as piercing. He can sing higher than most female singers I can think of, which is pretty damn high. Come to think of it, unlike just about every other singer I’ve profiled in one of these columns, I don’t think I’ve ever heard him perform in his natural register.
47-year old Somerville still performs, although his album releases are few and far between, and as far as I know, can still hit those high notes. Not bad, eh? Here’s one of the many disco-era covers Somerville’s recorded-a take on “Don’t Leave Me This Way”.