Chart Peak: 26
We've met Jimmy Somerville on this blog before in his famous guise as a purveyor of dubious cover versions. 'Read My Lips', the title track of his first solo album, finds him in the more admirable form of aggrieved campaigner.
So far as I can deduce the subject matter is - not unusually for him - sexuality, and in particular the public response to AIDS. "What we need is money, not complacency!" he trills, before promising that "The power within, we can use it to win". Deeply admirable, and it's certainly a good thing that it got to be so widely heard (I remember it as a big radio hit, despite the surprisingly low chart position). But perhaps in places the desire to make it danceable undermines the impact. Sometimes I wish his obvious talent had found its home in a different musical style, but I guess he knew what he was doing.
Also appearing on: Now 16, 18, 31
Available on: Small Town Boy: The Best of Jimmy Somerville, Bronski Beat & The Communards (Which says For A Friend on the cover, but never mind).
Charting 1997: 27th December
5 years ago