The Communards "So Cold The Night"
By Mark Nobes, chief editor
"So Cold The Night" was released as the fourth and final single from The Communards debut self-titled album. This is actually my favourite track on the album, quite possibly, because I just adore the middle eastern/arabic sound. Blending it with electro pop beats and Jimmy Somerville's falsetto vocal certainly works for me.
The song entered the UK singles chart at No.26 on November 23rd 1986, while Berlin were at No.1 with "Take My Breath Away". It was also the highest new entry that week.
The single climbed to No.14 the following week and then to No.10, reaching a peak position of No.8 for one week on 14th Dec, before falling back to No.11. The song spent 11 weeks inside the official UK Top 100.
The video opens with imagery of drifting desert sands before focusing on on a middle eastern building, in which we see Jimmy Somerville dressed in full denim and Richard Coles at his grand piano and providing us with some Egyptian style hand movements. Sarah Jane Morris (who sang with Jimmy on the previous No.1 single "Don't Leave Me This Way"), is also in the video and provides backing vocals with another female vocalist who's name I do not know, unfortunately, and they also indulge in some middle eastern dance moves, as does Jimmy, in his own special kind of way. There is also a female drummer, two female violinists, and a cello player.
The song featured as track 5 on the original vinyl LP and CD album, and also the 1997 and 2012 reissues, the latter also including a remixed club version and an instrumental. A 35th anniversary edition of Communards released in 2021 included a live version performed on the Janice Long radio 1 show on 23rd October 1985, and also a remix lasting for 8 munites and 22 seconds.
The lyrics refer to the feeling of yearning for a secret lover "Soon we will be together, Until then so cold the night". But it is also clear the lover is nearby, as in the opening lines "I watch your window, I shake so scared, spying from my room with nervous unrest".
Here are The Communards performing "So Cold The Night" on Top Of The Pops, which aired on Dec 4th 1986. They are introduced by DJ Mike Smith.
Jimmy and Richard in 1986