Sunday, December 03, 2006

Number 703 - Simple Minds

Number 703

Simple Minds

"Promised You A Miracle"

(1982)
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Genre:New Wave
Best known in the U.S. for their 1985 number one hit "Don't You (Forget About Me)" from the film The Breakfast Club, Scotland's Simple Minds evolved from a post-punk art rock band influenced by Roxy Music into a grand, epic-sounding pop band along the lines of U2. The band grew out of a Glasgow punk group called Johnny and the Self-Abusers, which featured guitarist and lead singer . The inaugural 1978 lineup of Simple Minds featured a rhythm section of on bass and Brian McGee on drums, plus keyboardist Mick McNeil; was soon replaced by . Their early albums leaped from one style to another, with Life in a Day consisting mostly of dense, arty pop songs; critical acclaim followed the darker, more experimental art rock of Reel to Real Cacophony and the Euro-disco of Empires and Dance. The group began a transition to a more accessible pop style with the albums Sons and Fascination and Sister Feelings Call, originally issued together and subsequently split up. New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84) became their first chart album in the U.S., and the tour-shy McGee quit owing to burgeoning popularity, eventually being replaced by Mel Gaynor. Following the Steve Lillywhite-produced Sparkle in the Rain, married Pretenders lead singer Chrissie Hynde (the two groups had toured together).

After Bryan Ferry rejected the opportunity to sing "Don't You (Forget About Me)," Simple Minds almost did so as well; was dissatisfied with the song's lyrics, which he regarded as formulaic. His change of heart gave Simple Minds their only American chart-topper, and the song later became an international hit as well; however, 's feelings about the song remained ambivalent, and it did not appear on the follow-up album, Once Upon a Time. This album went gold and reached the U.S. Top Ten, in spite of criticism for its bombastic, over-the-top approach. A live album and the uncompromisingly political Street Fighting Years squandered Simple Minds' commercial momentum, however. By the time the group returned to more personal themes and its straightforward, anthemic rock on 1991's Real Life, personnel changes and audience loss left the group's future viability in doubt.

But they weren't totally deterred, however. and trudged on, releasing Good News From the Next World in 1995 while the single "She's a River" received moderate airplay. A short tour of North America soon followed, but Simple Minds' direction also quickly faded. They needed a break to clarify their own personal stance in music. returned for 1998's Néapolis, but that, too, wasn't strong enough to sustain Simple Minds' newfound creativity. Their famed pop songs had diluted a bit; however, the new millennium proved poignant. and signed to Eagle Records in early 2001 and constructed their first covers album, Neon Lights, later that fall, paying tribute to Patti Smith, Neil Young, David Bowie, and others. In summer 2002, Kerr and issued Cry, Simple Minds' first batch of new material since 1995's Good News From the Next World. Our Secrets Are the Same, an album that was intended for release in 2000, saw official release in 2003. ~ [Steve Huey]
For Neil Young see Number 938
What does Rolling Stone think about Simple Minds
From their late-Seventies origins as ambitious, artsy punks, Simple Minds have evolved into stylish conjurers of a new synthesized romanticism. While they still rely heavily on such recent electropop clichés as ticktock rhythms and superflanged bass, the Scottish group's sound is seductive in its liquid keyboard grace and rich, pillowy production grandeur. In fact, the only problem with New Gold Dream, Simple Minds' second U.S. release, is that it's often too seductive, with the band writing atmospheres for dreaming instead of real songs. In "Big Sleep," for example, Charles Burchill's distant siren-like guitar and the gently tumbling rhythm fail to compensate for the lack of a sharp melody. The same is true of the quiet contrast of disco thump with the soft lyricism of guest Herbie Hancock's keyboard solo in "Hunter and the Hunted." But the erotic hook in singer Jim Kerr's beckoning croon during the lush "Someone Somewhere in Summertime" and the sultry ascending curves of "Promised You a Miracle" highlight the Minds' talent for turning clever tuneful phrases. (RS 393)

Crowbarreds choice for Website to find more on Simple Minds ... Click on the address http://www.sparkle.be/

Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (U2 wannabes!) and the Album ranked at Number (Never!)
This song has a crowbarred rating of 68.4 out of 108 pts
Search Artist here:1-2-3-A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z

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