Red (The Communards album)

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Communards Red.jpg
Studio album by The Communards
Released October 1987
Recorded June 1987 – August 1987
Genre Synthpop, dance
Length 45:11
Label London
Producer Alvin Clark, Richard Coles, Stephen Hague and Jimmy Somerville
The Communards chronology

Red is the second album from British pop duo The Communards. The Stephen Hague-produced album was released in 1987 on London Records in the UK and MCA in the US. It reached number 4 in the UK Albums Chart and number 93 on the US Billboard 200 and was certified platinum in the UK. Red features the hits "Never Can Say Goodbye", "Tomorrow", "There's More to Love Than Boy Meets Girl" and "For a Friend".

Notable songs[edit]

"Never Can Say Goodbye"[edit]

This Clifton Davis penned song was originally performed by The Jackson 5[1] but this version is more of a remake of Gloria Gaynor's disco version.[2][3][4] Jimmy Somerville's "straight ahead"[3] vocals are a strength of the song, with Andy Kellman of AllMusic crediting him with producing a recording that "stands apart" from other versions.[2] The single proved to be a hit on both sides of the Atlantic; reaching number 4 in the UK[1] and 51 in the US[5] while being certified silver in the UK.[6] The track was used in the Doctor Who episode "Father's Day".[7]

"For a Friend"[edit]

The last cut on the original vinyl side one is an emotional ballad. It was written in memory of Mark Ashton[4] a friend of Somerville and Richard Coles[2] who died of HIV/AIDS.[2][4] Mark Hooper of The Rough Guide to Rock writes that this cut may be Somerville's "most impassioned moment".[4] It was among the first pop songs to address AIDS.[8] "For a Friend" reached number 28 on the British charts.[1] It was featured in the soundtrack of the 2014 film Pride.[9]

Artwork and title[edit]

The album cover is white with a grey five-pointed star containing two faces in profile (the group's logo). Directly above the star is the band's name in plain all capital letter. Above the band's name in red flowing script is the album title 'Red'. The title is a nod to the duo's socialist leanings. The US issue features the cover in red.[3]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars

Opinions vary as to where this album stands next to its predecessor, Communards. Andy Kellman of AllMusic's retrospective review feels it "tops their respectable debut in nearly every aspect" and that the singles "Tomorrow" and "There's More to Love Than Boy Meets Girl" are "stronger than anything on the debut".[2] On the other hand, Kate Walter of Spin said it is "weaker than [their] sizzling debut album".[3] Balancing these opinions was Mark Hooper of The Rough Guide to Rock who wrote that the album is "every bit as accomplished as its predecessor".[4]

Kellman's review praises the production work of Stephen Hague and calls the album "a defining Euro-dance record of the latter half of the '80s".[2] Walter credits Cole's "rickety–tickety synthesizers" and "tingly keyboards" along with Somerville's "squeals" and "whoops" as strengths of the album but bemoans the cohesiveness of the album's side two.[3]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Richard Coles and Jimmy Somerville except where noted.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Tomorrow" 4:52
2. "There's More to Love Than Boy Meets Girl" 4:38
3. "Matter of Opinion" 4:27
4. "Victims" 4:32
5. "For a Friend" 5:03
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
6. "Never Can Say Goodbye" Clifton Davis 4:53
7. "Lovers and Friends" Coles 4:16
8. "Hold on Tight"   4:49
9. "If I Could Tell You" W. H. Auden, Somerville 4:17
10. "C Minor"   5:10
Total length: 45:11


Never Can Say Goodbye 12" Vinyl – MCA Records MCA-23812 (US)
No. Title Length
1. "Never Can Say Goodbye" 7:50
2. "Tomorrow" (Extended Version) 7:15
Never Can Say Goodbye 12" White Label Vinyl Promo- MCA Records L33-17469 (US)
No. Title Length
1. "Never Can Say Goodbye" 11:14
2. "Never Can Say Goodbye" (Dub Mix) 5:45
3. "Never Can Say Goodbye" (Instrumental Mix) 5:42
Tomorrow 12" Vinyl – London LONX 143 (UK)
No. Title Length
1. "Tomorrow" (Extended Version)  
2. "I Just Want to Let You Know"  
3. "Romanze For Violin, Piano And Hedgehog"  
4. "Scat"  
There's More to Love 12" Vinyl – London LONX 173 (UK)
No. Title Length
1. "There's More to Love" (Extended)  
2. "Zing Went the Strings of my Heart"  
3. "Spanish Rap (El Amor No Es Solo Un Hombre Y Und Mujer)"  
4. "When the Boy in Your Heart is the Boy in Your Arms"  
For a Friend 12" Vinyl – London LONX 166 (UK)
No. Title Length
1. "For a Friend"  
2. "Victims (Live)"  
3. "Don't Leave Me This Way (Live)"  
4. "Heavens Above"  
For a Friend 12" Vinyl – London LONY 166 (UK)
No. Title Length
1. "For a Friend (Remix)"  
2. "You Are My World (Live)"  
3. "So Cold The Night (Live)"  
4. "Victims (Live)"  
For a Friend 12" Vinyl Promo – London LOXDJ 166 (UK)
No. Title Length
1. "For a Friend"  
2. "Megamix"  
3. "Never Can Say Goodbye"  
4. "Don't Leave Me This Way"  
5. "Disenchanted"  
6. "You Are My World"  
7. "Heaven Above"  
8. "You Are My World"  


Additional musicians[edit]


  • Alvin Clark – assistant producer, engineer, producer
  • Stephen Hague – producer
  • David Jacob – engineer, mixing
  • Avril MacKintosh – assistant engineer



Country Format Title Certification Date
United Kingdom (BPI) single "Never Can Say Goodbye" Silver 1 December 1987[6]
United Kingdom (BPI) album Red Platinum 8 January 1988[6]



Year Single Peak
1987 "Tomorrow" 23[1]
1987 "Never Can Say Goodbye" 4[1]
1988 "For a Friend" 28[1]
1988 "There's More to Love" 20[1]


Year Single Peak
1988 "Never Can Say Goodbye" 51[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Warwick, Neil; Kutner, Jon; Brown, Tony (2004). The Complete Book of the British charts: Singles & Albums. Omnibus Press. p. 256. ISBN 978-1-84449-058-5. Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Kellman, Andy. "Review: Red". AllMusic. Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Walter, Kate (April 1988). "The Communards Red MCA". Spin. p. 20. Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Hooper, Mark (2003). Buckley, Peter, ed. The Rough Guide to Rock. Rough Guides. pp. 221–222. ISBN 978-1-84353-105-0. Retrieved 5 January 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "Charts & Awards Billboard Singles: Red". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 January 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c "British album certifications: The Communards". Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 5 January 2011.  Enter The Communards in the field Search. Select Artist in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  7. ^ "Doctor Who – "Father's Day" – Episode Guide". BBC. Retrieved 19 January 2015. 
  8. ^ Theophano, Teresa (2004). Queer Quotes: On Coming Out and Culture, Love and Lust, Politics and Pride, and Much More. Beacon Press. p. 177. ISBN 9780807079065. Retrieved 9 November 2014. 
  9. ^ Brightmore, Dan (12 September 2014). "The Story Behind the Making of Pride – Producer and Cast Q&A". NME. Retrieved 9 November 2014. 
  10. ^ Netherlands – Mechacharts – Red
  11. ^ Germany – Media Control Charts – Red
  12. ^ a b Italy – Albums Charts – Red
  13. ^ Switzerland – Albums Chart – Red
  14. ^ Switzerland – Albums Chart – Red
  15. ^ New Zealand – Albums – Red
  16. ^ U.S. – Billboard 200 – Red