Communards 1987

COVER vs ORIGINAL: ‘Never Can Say Goodbye’

The song, “Never Can Say Goodbye”, was originally recorded by the Jackson 5 in 1970

Disco standard “Never Can Say Goodbye” was written by Clifton Davis (b.1945) for the Jackson 5’s fifth studio album, “Maybe Tomorrow”, and recorded in late 1970. It was released as the first single from the album in March 1971 and peaked at No.2 in America and No.1 on the R&B chart. The song only made No.33 in the UK.

Disco queen Gloria Gaynor (b.1943) recorded a version in 1974 for her debut album of the same name and scored a bigger hit with it internationally, giving her a first hit in the UK where it peaked at No.2, No.3 in Australia, top ten across most of mainland Europe and No.9 in The States, while topping the then new Dance/Disco chart.

In 1987, British duo Jimmy Somerville and Richard Coles aka The Communards recorded their version for their second studio album, “Red”. Having already achieved a big hit with “Don’t Leave Me This Way”, the song was released as the second single in November and would chart at No.4 on home territory, top ten across Europe and No.51 in America and No.2 on the Dance chart.

But whose version is the best? JACKSON 5’s original, GLORIA’s disco version or COMMUNARDS’ 80’s rework

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