Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Number 476 - Simple Minds


Number 476

Simple Minds

"Alive & Kicking"

(1985)
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Genre:Rock
Stand back !
When Simple Minds were in their heyday, I actually thought they had the potential to be as big as U2 turned out to be. They had this "Arena sound", you could just imagine packed out stadiums across the globe. But it never happened to the extent that I thought it would turn out. In fact, U2 and Simple Minds are very familiar with each other as it turns out ... here's an excerpt from wikipedia [but of course] .... Because of Simple Minds powerful stage presence and lyrics that trafficked in Christian symbolism, the band was criticized by some in the music press as a lesser version of U2, despite the fact that both bands were now heading in different musical directions. However, the two groups were well-acquainted with one another, and Bono joined Simple Minds onstage at the Barrowlands in Glasgow in 1985 for a live version of "New Gold Dream." I guess the problem for most bands is, that to make it worldwide big, you have to have 2 things.... 1:Either be American or 2:Make it big in America, but without America you will never be as big as the likes of U2 and unfortunately, that's exactly what didn't happen to Simple Minds. But they were this close.
Don't you forget about me
Riding the coat tails of the John Hughes flick The Breakfast Club, Simple Minds finally broke America with their theme song "Don't You Forget About Me," and their 1985 release Once Upon a Time captured the heart-wrenching excitement found in bands such as U2. They were now one of the biggest names in music and Jim Kerr's thirsting vocals became the band's signature. Once Upon a Time, featuring producer Jimmy Iovine (U2, Stevie Nicks, Bruce Springsteen), showcased more of a guitar-driven sound. The band's heavy synth-pop beats had relaxed a bit and Charlie Burchill's charming playing style was most noticeable. Also enlisting the choir-like beauty of Robin Clark, Simple Minds' popularity was expounded on songs such as Alive & Kicking" and "Sanctify Yourself." This album was one of their best, most likely leading the pack in the band's album roster, because it exuded raw energy and solid composition not entirely captured on previous albums. ~ [MacKenzie Wilson, All Music Guide]
For U2 see Number 661
For more U2 visit Mellow Mix Vol 1 #038 & #129
For more Simple Minds see Number 703
For Bruce Springsteen see Number 817
For Stevie Nicks see Number 707
What does Rolling Stone think about Simple Minds?
A hit song can be a mixed blessing. The catbird seat atop the singes chart must be a satisfying (not to mention scary) perch, but imagine attaining it with someone else's song after releasing seven LPs of original material. How do you convince a devoted cult that said smash isn't a sellout, no matter how strongly it may recall Bitty Idol? And what happens to those new admirers when, seduced by a modest but irresistible come-on, they discover you are as hard to fathom as to forget? In Simple Minds' case, the hit single may be a bit misleading, but it's not necessarily misbegotten.
Suspicious detectives?
Reportedly, writer and producer Keith Forsey first offered "Don't You (Forget about Me)" to Bryan Ferry, who declined to record it. Unknowingly, the former leader of Roxy Music helped put the most promising of his musical progeny in a tricky position. Once upon a Time finds Simple Minds trying to have it both ways – building on that unexpected success without forsaking its base of supporters. The album contains neither a film-soundtrack tie-in nor the sort of sprawling dance-track epic that endeared this Scottish band to a generation of European teens and a clutch of American import-bin mavens. Instead, producers Bob Clearmountain and Jimmy "I Tamed Patti Smith" Iovine have harnessed singer Jim Kerr's emotionalism without slipping a noose around his neck and reined the band's expansiveness without limiting its reach. ~ [Source:Rolling Stone 1985]
Rolling Stone magazine deemed their '476th Song of all Time' was "I Want To Know What Love Is" by Foreigner. Foreigner has not appeared in The Definitive 1000.
Other songs with reference to Simple Minds #757
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (Simple Minds?) and the Album ranked at (We have a shrine of U2 yanno)
This song has a crowbarred rating of 76.2 out of 108

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