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Bronski Beat - Smalltown Boy (1984)

  • Video Views 49,484,981
  • 80's Score80's Score 80's score: 2.23
  • Find this song on: Music Stack

"Smalltown Boy" is a song by the British synth-pop band Bronski Beat. It was released in June 1984 and appeared on the band's ...

"Smalltown Boy" is a song by the British synth-pop band Bronski Beat. It was released in June 1984 and appeared on the band's debut album, The Age of Consent, released in December 1984.

The song was a big commercial success, reaching number 3 in the band's native UK. It was also a number one hit in the Netherlands and Belgium, and hit the top 10 in Australia, Canada, France, Ireland, Italy and Switzerland. The track reached number 48 in the US pop chart and was a number one US dance hit.

The song was released again in December 2013 after featuring in a Christmas advertising campaign for Boots UK. Smalltown Boy was also re-recorded by Jimmy Somerville and released as Smalltown Boy Reprise (2014) for the 30th anniversary of its initial release.

Music video

An official music video made by Bernard Rose was shot and released later in 1984. The narrative video features band member Jimmy Somerville as the boy who has experienced the issues described in the lyrics. Seen on a train, he is contemplating his childhood through flashbacks and the events that have caused him to leave his parents' home.

At a swimming pool, his friends (played by band members Larry Steinbachek and Steve Bronski) dare him to approach a boy that he is attracted to, for which he is later attacked in an alley by an anti-homosexual gang led by the young man he had approached at the swimming pool. A police officer takes him back to his home. It is implied that the boy's parents learn of his homosexuality for the first time through this incident and are shocked, but only the father seems unsupportive. The boy is then shown hugging his mother goodbye, getting some travel money from the father and catching a train to London, on which he is reunited with his friends.

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