11:16am Friday 23rd March 2012
By Charles Hutchinson
THE higher Simple Minds rose up the stadium ranks to “Let me see you clap your hands” territory, the further they moved away from what made them stand out in the first place.
Here, re-assembled in a limited-edition box set of mini vinyl-sleeved CDs, are five reasons why they should still be cherished before that Mel Gaynor drum roll Don’t You (Forget About Me) took them beyond the pale on the theme tune to Bratpack movie The Breakfast Club.
Back in the days when bands were allowed to grow over a series of albums, Jim Kerr’s Glaswegian art-band could experiment from 1977 onwards with, in turn, post-punk guitars, Roxy Music glam rock, European disco and by the time of 1980’s textured, industrial, exotic Euro travelogue Empire And Dance, the Krautrock precision and mystery of Neu! and Kraftwerk.
It all came together for 1981’s Sons And Fascination and Sister Feelings Call, their Virgin debut of overlapping albums with strange yet magnetic lyrics, prog-rock flourishes from producer Steve Hillage, propulsive dance beats that still carry influence, and career peaks in The American and Love Song.
Their commercial breakthrough finally came with New Gold Dream, 81-82-83-84, where they aligned their experimental bent to the panoramic pop sensibilities of Promised You A Miracle and Someone, Somewhere (In Summertime). Bolstered by remixes, live cuts and extended versions, remember them this way, before new bold dreams made way for tub-thumping.
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group