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Smalltown Boy (1984) - Bronski Beat - All about the song ...

The story of one of the most controversial hits of the 1980s.... How was the Bronski Beat's biggest hit "Smalltown Boy" created?

History of the song "Smalltown Boy" (1984) - Bronski Beat

Today, every avid 80's music lover will recognise this song... "Smalltown Boy" is a very intimate and heartfelt song that touches on a very, very relevant issue for the homosexual culture of those years....

Bronski Beat Band!
Bronski Beat Band!

History and significance

"Smalltown Boy" was the debut single by Bronski Beat Brits. The composition about parental misunderstanding and homophobic attitudes in society was released in the summer of 1984. Afterwards, it was released on The Age of Consent!

The cover artwork for the band's debut album,...
The cover artwork for the band's debut album,...

This song is considered to be the main anthem of homosexual minorities. "Smalltown Boy" brought the young band great success and fame, becoming No 1 in Holland and Italy, as well as number 3 in their homeland. As for the United States, the song about "Smalltown Boy" reached number one on the US Dance Top Chart!

Its lyrics are filled with the main problems of the homosexual culture of the 1980s... Jimmy Summerville - the vocalist of the band - sings about how hard it is when even close people don't understand you, you are a stranger to everyone, in a word - an outcast....

Bronski Beat
Bronski Beat

Taking into account that such attitude to sexual minorities has remained in many countries to this day, the theme of the song can be called "eternally topical"... In addition, "Smalltown Boy" raises the issue of moral morality, spiritual values, the problem of loneliness, alienation from society and even family is touched upon....

Music video

An atmospheric music video was soon made for "Smalltown Boy". Jimmy Summerville played in it the lyrical hero of the song - a young gay man. In many ways, his character's story is similar to his own....

Jimmy Summerville
Jimmy Summerville

In the clip, Samerville's character makes friends (played by fellow band members Larry Steibacek and Jonathan Heller) and comes home beaten up by a gang of homophobes... The irony of the clip is much deeper than it may seem.

A boy falls in love with one of the swimmers in the pool, but admitting his feelings only confuses him. Later on the street he and his friends are attacked by a gang of homophobes led by the swimmer. Our hero is brought home by a policeman, where his negatively-minded parents are waiting for him....

After a cold farewell to his family, the friends board a train and leave the notorious town... The hero Jimmy is determined to rid himself forever of the memories of his childhood as a typical quiet man from a small English town and the events that forced him to leave his hometown....

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