Simple Minds

Simple Minds are a Scottish rock band that released eleven studio albums between 1979 and 1995. They first achieved fame in the UK, Europe, and Australia with the 1981–83 hits “Love Song,” “Promised You a Miracle,” “Glittering Prize,” and “Waterfront.” In 1985, they scored a global hit with “Don’t You (Forget About Me).”

Simple Minds emerged in 1979 on Zoom–Arista with the punk-inspired Life in a Day and its experimental followup Real to Real Cacophony. They embraced electro-rock and avant-garde on the 1980 release Empires and Dance and signed to Virgin for the paired 1981 albums Sons and Fascination and Sister Feelings Call, comprised of ethereal jams produced by Steve Hillage. Their first five albums feature the same lineup: singer Jim Kerr, guitarist Charlie Burchill, keyboardist Michael MacNeil, bassist Derek Forbes, and drummer Brian McGee, who departed in 1981 for Endgames.

Members: Jim Kerr (vocals), Charlie Burchill (guitar), Brian McGee (drums, 1977-81), Tony Donald (bass, 1977-78), John Milarky (vocals, guitar, saxophone, 1977), Alan McNeil (guitar, 1977), Derek Forbes (bass, 1978-85, 1997-98), Michael MacNeil (keyboards, 1978-89), Duncan Barnwell (guitar, 1978), Kenny Hyslop (drums, 1981-82), Mike Ogletree (drums, 1982), Mel Gaynor (drums, 1983-94, 1998-present), John Giblin (bass, 1985-88), Malcolm Foster (bass, 1989-95)


Background

Simple Minds are one of two bands to emerge from Glasgow punks Johnny & the Self Abusers, which cut the September 1977 Chiswick single “Saints and Sinners” (b/w “Dead Vandals”) and disbanded on the day of its release. That band featured three guitarists, two of whom (friends Allan McNeill and co-vocalist John Milarky) went off to form Cuban Heels. The remaining four Abusers — singer Jim Kerr, guitarist Charlie Burchill, drummer Brian McGee, and bassist Tony Donald — renamed themselves Simple Minds, derived from the lyric “He’s so simple-minded” in the David Bowie song “Jean Genie.” The four had been schoolmates.

In early 1978, Simple Minds added keyboardist Mick MacNeil and second guitarist Duncan Barnwell, though the latter only lasted ten months. That summer, Donald cleared way for bassist Derek Forbes, a friend of Barnwell’s. The lineup of Kerr, Burchill, McGee, MacNeil, and Forbes established a following on the Scottish club circuit and impressed Zoom Records owner Bruce Findlay, who became their manager and secured a contract with Zoom’s parent label Arista.


1979

Simple Minds recorded their first album during the winter of 1979 with John Leckie, a soundman on recent albums by The Adverts (Crossing the Red Sea With The Adverts), Be-Bop Deluxe (Drastic Plastic), Magazine (Real Life), and the first two albums by XTC: White Music and Go 2. They first requested musician–producer (and onetime Velvet Underground) violinist John Cale but Arista vetoed this suggestion (possibly due to Cale’s erratic nature, which Squeeze experienced during sessions for their first album).


Life in a Day

Simple Minds released their debut album, Life in a Day, on April 20, 1979, on Zoom. It features ten songs with lyrics by singer Jim Kerr, who co-wrote the music with guitarist Charles Burchill.

Musically, Life in a Day covers riff-based hard rock (“All for You” “Wasteland”) and harmonized pop–rock (“Chelsea Girl”) with forays into sax-driven soul rock (“Sad Affair”) and electro-rock (the synth-laden title track). Each side opens with an uptempo new wave cut (“Someone,” “No Cure”) and ends with a maximalist neo-psych epic: the slow, reverberating “Pleasantly Disturbed” and the multi-movement “Murder Story.”

Select tracks have unique input by Burchill (violin on “Pleasantly Disturbed”) and keyboardist Michael MacNeil (harpsichord on “Someone” and “Chelsea Girl”).

1. “Someone” (3:42)
2. “Life in a Day” (4:05)
3. “Sad Affair” (2:45)
4. “All for You” (2:51)
5. “Pleasantly Disturbed” (7:59)

6. “No Cure” (3:34) originated as the early setlist number “Cocteau Twins,” inspired by French surrealist Jean Cocteau (who also inspired Be-Bop Deluxe frontman Bill Nelson).
7. “Chelsea Girl” (4:34) takes its title from the 1967 John Cale-produced debut solo album by German model–singer Nico; recorded after her stint in the Velvet Underground and romance with VU frontman Lou Reed. The riff comes from “Temporary Thing,” the closing track on Reed’s 1976 Arista release Rock and Roll Heart.
8. “Wasteland” (3:45)
9. “Destiny” (3:38)
10. “Murder Story” (6:17)

Sessions took place between December 1978 and February 1979 inside the Rolling Stones Mobile Unit, which producer–engineer John Leckie placed on the grounds of Farmyard Studios in Little Chalfont, where owner Rupert Hine worked on 1978–79 albums by Anthony Phillips (Wise After the Event, Sides), Camel (I Can See Your House From Here), and fellow Scots Cafe Jacques (International). The Mobile itself facilitated 1979 recordings by No Dice, Whitesnake, and ex-Stones guitarist Mick Taylor. (Leckie used it for Drastic Plastic on the grounds of Chateau Saint Georges in France.)

Additional Life In a Day sessions occurred at Abbey Road Studios. Leckie produced and engineered the album after the February 1979 Harvest release Sound-On-Sound, the singular album by Bill Nelson’s post Be-Bop band Red Noise. The tape op, George Chambers, gained concurrent credits on albums by Fischer-Z (Word Salad), The Jam (Setting Sons), The Ruts, and Jane Aire & The Belvederes.

Simple Minds intended to name the album after the 1955 Jean Cocteau novel Children of the Game but reconsidered after the completion of “Life in a Day,” a song written late in the sessions. An unfinished track titled “Children of the Game” is one of two session outtakes along with “Rosemary’s Baby,” inspired by the 1968 Roman Polanski film starring Mia Farrow.

Leckie’s friend Carole Moss photographed the cover image: a low aerial view of the salt marshes at Morecambe Bay, an estuary in northwest England (rendered under red skies). Simple Minds appear on the back cover (color group photo) and inner-sleeve (monochrome profile pics).

Three weeks ahead of the album, Zoom lifted “Life in a Day” on March 30 as the first single, backed with the non-album “Special View.”

B. “Special View” ()

Simple Minds performed “Life in a Day” and “Chelsea Girl” on the March 27, 1979, broadcast of the BBC music program The Old Grey Whistle Test.

On June 22, “Chelsea Girl” became the group’s second single, backed with the exclusive “Garden of Hate.” Cheshire artist Thomas Rathmell (1912–1990) illustrated the picture sleeve, based on a 1965 picture of model Jean Shrimpton that appeared on The Sun (Melbourne). The back sleeve features a modernist illustration of three frowning bald harlequins in wraparounds by Mary Ruth Craig.

In the “Chelsea Girl” video, Simple Minds perform black clad in a white studio (saturated) with full-scale and multi-view scenes.

B. “Garden of Hate” ()

Simple Minds performed both sides and two new songs (“Here Comes the Fool,” “The Naked Eye”) on June 7 for a Piccadilly Radio broadcast.

Life in a Day reached No. 30 on the UK Albums Chart. Simple Minds promoted the album as the opening act for Magazine (then touring their second Virgin longplayer, Secondhand Daylight). The twenty-date tour commenced on April 16 at Malvern’s Winter Gardens and wrapped on May 6 at Liverpool’s Empire. On the penultimate night (5/5: Leeds University), they welcomed a third act: Sheffield Virgin signees The Human League. On August 12, Simple Minds played London’s Lyceum, supporting Squeeze and The Yachts.


Real to Real Cacophony

Simple Minds released their second album, Real to Real Cacophony, on November 23, 1979, on Zoom and Arista. It features twelve numbers: three instrumentals (“Cacophony,” “Veldt,” “Film Theme”) and nine songs with lyrics by Jim Kerr, who co-composed the music with guitarist Charlie Burchill, bassist Derek Forbes, drummer Brian McGee, and keyboardist Mick MacNeil. Burchill plays violin and saxophone on select passages.

Real to Real Cacophony takes experimental turns in stark contrast to Life in a Day. Select tracks advance recent outside innovations like the kinetic quirks of XTC and Red Noise (“Naked Eye”), the rhythmic sonic treatments of Berlin-era David Bowie (“Carnival (Shelter in a Suitcase)”), the drama–suspense of Ultravox (“Factory”), the martial intensity of Joy Division (“Premonition”), and the epic structures of Magazine (“Calling Your Name”). The titular opening track forecasts the lucid touches of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark.

1. “Real to Real” (2:47)
2. “Naked Eye” (2:21)
3. “Citizen (Dance of Youth)” (2:53)
4. “Carnival (Shelter in a Suitcase)” (2:49)
5. “Factory” (4:13)
6. “Cacophony” (1:40)
7. “Veldt” (3:20)

8. “Premonition” (5:29)
9. “Changeling” (4:11)
10. “Film Theme” (2:27)
11. “Calling Your Name” (5:05)
12. “Scar” (3:31)

John Leckie produced and engineered the album in September 1979 between singles by The Skids (“Masquerade”) and The Doll (“Cinderella With a Husky Voice”), plus one track (“Check It Out”) on Laser Love, the second album by After the Fire (otherwise handled by Muff Winwood). He recorded and mixed Real to Real in five weeks at Rockfield Studios in Monmouth, Wales. Anglo-Norwegian studio assistant Mariella Sometimes (then-wife of Skids frontman Richard Jobson) earned her only technical credit as the tape operator on this album.

Simple Minds composed half of Real to Real as work progressed at Rockfield, where they arrived with only six pre-written songs: “Premonition,” “Factory,” “Changeling,” “Naked Eye” (premiered with different lyrics on Piccadilly Radio), and the spring ’79 setlist inclusions “Calling Your Name” and “Scar.” Sessions ran concurrent with another Rockfield production: the 1980 Iggy Pop album Soldier, which features backing vocals by Simple Minds and David Bowie on the track “Play It Safe.”

Real to Real Cacophony is housed in a matte navy blue cover with textured bars by the design firm Graphyk and art director Paul Henry — both credited with visuals on 1979 Arista titles by Chorale, Iggy Pop (New Values), Peter Bardens, and The Zones. The inner-sleeve features a grid layout with credit boxes and assorted imagery (coils, tenements) amid band and member pics by Stranglers photographer Trevor Rodgers (Rattus Norvegicus, No More Heroes) and Sheila Rock, wife of rock photojournalist Mick Rock.

Arista issued “Changeling” (b/w “Premonition”) as the only single. Simple Minds promoted Real to Real Cacophony on an eight-month tour that commenced six weeks prior to the album’s release with an October 11 show in Berlin, where they opened the set with “Premonition.” On the 13th, they opened for Golden Earring at the Hannover Rotation Club.

Simple Minds made their US debut with October 24–25 shows at the New York clubs Hurrah and Trax, followed by a fifteen-date late-autumn tour of northern England with openers The Portraits, a precursor to The Fixx. On December 12, Simple Minds played a Christmas show at Keele University as the opening act for Hawkwind.


1980

On January 9, 1980, Simple Minds played London’s Paris Theatre for a live broadcast as part of the BBC’s In Concert series. On February 24, they played the Lyceum Ballroom with The Only Ones and Martha & The Muffins.

Simple Minds played Day 3 (March 9) of Europe Rock 1980, a week-long event at the Pavillion Espace Baltard in Paris with sets by Joe Jackson, The Revillos, and the French band Marquis de Sade. In late March, they played three German dates with Gary Numan, followed by a 3/29 show in Amsterdam with Dutch post-punks Mecano.

After sessions wrapped on their third album, Simple Minds supported The Skids on August 26 at the Hammersmith Palais with fellow openers Pink Military.


Empires and Dance

Simple Minds released their third album, Empires and Dance, on September 12, 1980, on Arista. It features ten group-composed numbers; nine with lyrics by Jim Kerr. Side One explores visceral jams and dance rhythms while Side Two refines the avant-garde experiments of Real to Real Cacophony.

Dance beats propel “I Travel” (a hypnotic groove with a plunging chorus) and “Celebrate” (a lurching clap-strut with an angular refrain). “This Fear of Gods” and “Capital City” (both ostinato-driven jams with minimal key changes) build momentum with swelling textures and remote, echoing sounds.

“Constantinople Line” and “Thirty Frames a Second” anticipate future experiments with searing layers and abrupt rhythmic patterns. “Twist/Run/Repulsion” is a spoken-word call-and-response with random sounds set to a galloping compound rhythm. “Kant-Kino” is a hissing drone that foreshadows “Room,” the lucid, minimal closing track.

Empires and Dance is the third of three Simple Minds albums with producer John Leckie.

1. “I Travel” (4:00) concerns Jim’s impressions of Europe and the contrast between the Eastern and Western blocs.
2. “Today I Died Again” (4:36)
3. “Celebrate” (5:03)
4. “This Fear of Gods” (7:03) Jim based the lyrics on a short story in Labyrinths, a 1962 collection of works by Argentine author Jorge Luis Borge.

5. “Capital City” (6:15)
6. “Constantinople Line” (4:43)
7. “Twist/Run/Repulsion” (4:31) features a spoken-work part by Simple Minds entourage member Chantalle Jeunet, who reads “La Perspective Nevski,” a French translation of the 1831 short story “Nevsky Prospekt” by Russian novelist Nikolai Gogol.
8. “Thirty Frames a Second” (5:02)
9. “Kant-Kino” (1:52)
10. “Room” (2:28)

Simple Minds recorded the album between May and July 1980 at Rockfield Studios and did additional work inside the Rolling Stones Mobile. This marked the end of their collaborations with Leckie, who subsequently produced two albums by Norwegian post-punks De Press and the 1981 Virgin release Work Our Way to Heaven, the singular album by The Cuban Heels. Veteran soundman Hugh Jones engineered Empires and Dance in succession with 1980 albums by Adam & The Ants (Kings of the Wild Frontier), Dalek I (Compass Kum’pas), The Damned (The Black Album), Echo & The Bunnymen, and The Teardrop Explodes.

Artifex Studio designed the Empires and Dance cover, which shows a statue of WWII German field marshal Erwin Rommel by photographer Michael Ruetz. Leckie’s friend Richard Coward photographed Simple Minds on a TV screen for the back cover (group) and inner-sleeve (Kerr), which also features monochrome profile pics (lyrics side) shot at New Crane Wharf.

On October 17, “I Travel” became the first single, backed with the non-album “New Warm Skin.”

B. “New Warm Skin” (4:35)

Zoom issued a 12″ version with an extended “I Travel” (6:13) and with two different b-sides: “Kaleidoscope” and the Real to Real track “Film One.”

B1. “Kaleidoscope” (4:15) is an outtake from the Real to Real Cacophony sessions.

In late February 1981, Arista lifted “Celebrate” as the second single, backed with the Real to Real  track “Changeling.”

Empires and Dance peaked just outside the UK Top 40, in part because Arista printed the album in small quantities. In New Zealand, the album peaked within the Top 50.

The album dropped two weeks into a 32-date European tour with Peter Gabriel. For these shows, Simple Minds performed as a sextet with Glaswegian saxophonist Paul Wishart of the yet-unsigned Endgames.

On October 14, Simple Minds embarked on a fourteen-date UK Headlining tour at Town Hall, Kidderminster, supported by Leeds group Music for Pleasure. Scottish new wavers Positive Noise joined on the final eight dates of the tour, which wrapped on November 5 at Glasgow’s City Hall.


1981

Simple Minds left Arista and signed with Virgin Records, a label more adept at marketing the new music (The Human League, Magazine, The Members, The Skids, XTC). They embarked on a six-date US–Canadian tour that included a March 18 show at the Edge Club in Toronto, one of the first North American cities where Simple Minds gained traction thanks to support by the local station CFNY. On March 27, Simple Minds performed their final show with drummer Brian McGee at the Ritz in New York City.


Sons and Fascination / Sister Feelings Call

Simple Minds released their fourth album, Sons and Fascination / Sister Feelings Call, as a two-record set on September 4, 1981, on Virgin. The first 10,000 copies of the two records appeared in separate sleeves that were joint-shrink-wrapped and sold for the price of a single album. Virgin later issued the two records as individual titles. Combined, the paired records approach eighty minutes (78:59 = 43:50 + 35:09).

The joint release is the first of six Simple Minds studio-album projects on Virgin. Sons and Fascination and Sister Feelings Call are the productions of guitarist–soundman and Gong alumnus Steve Hillage (a Virgin roster vet), whose space-rock sensibilities mesh with the band’s ethereal-jam style across the two records.

Sons and Fascination features percussive experiments in compound time (“In Trance as Mission”), poly-rhythmic textures (“Boys from Brazil”), and syncopation (“Sons and Fascination”). Sonic tremors enmesh the echoing sounds on “Sweat in Bullet” and the engine-horn traffic noise on “70 Cities as Love Brings the Fall.”

Side Two opens with “Love Song,” a precision-fueled mix of psychedelic guitar and percussion rattle over a snapping bass ostinato. Lucid textures coarse through the pinging, distant “This Earth That You Walk Upon” and the swelling, ethereal “Seeing Out the Angel,” the album’s epic closing track.

1. “In Trance as Mission” (6:50)
2. “Sweat in Bullet” (4:30)
3. “70 Cities as Love Brings the Fall” (4:48)
4. “Boys from Brazil” (5:30) takes its title from the 1976 thriller novel by Rosemary’s Baby author Ira Levin (1929–2007).

5. “Love Song” (5:03)
6. “This Earth That You Walk Upon” (5:26)
7. “Sons and Fascination” (5:23)
8. “Seeing Out the Angel” (6:11)

Sister Feelings Call opens and closes with instrumentals: “Theme for Great Cities” (a melange of urban industrial simulation) and “Sound in 70 Cities” (a dub mix of Sons‘ “70 Cities as Love Brings the Fall”).

Textures swell with minimal key-changes on “Wonderful in Young Life” (a pounding uptempo jam) and “Careful in Career” (a searing stretch with ghostly vocals).

Rhythmic precision guides “The American” (an echo-laden lyrical cut), “20th Century Promised Land” (a bass-driven dance track), and “League of Nations” (a dark, eerie, jittering number).

1. “Theme for Great Cities” (5:50)
2. “The American” (3:49)
3. “20th Century Promised Land” (4:53)

4. “Wonderful in Young Life” (5:20)
5. “League of Nations” (4:55)
6. “Careful in Career” (5:08)
7. “Sound in 70 Cities” (5:01)

Sessions took place at Farmyard Studios with Empires and Dance engineer Hugh Jones, who worked on the paired records in succession with 1981 post-punk titles by Echo & The Bunnymen (Heaven Up Here) and The Sound (From the Lions Mouth). Additional sessions occurred at London’s Regent Park Studios with engineer Alan Jakoby, a soundman on the debut album by Classix Nouveaux.

Steve Hillage produced Sons and Fascination and Sister Feelings Call in sequence with The Impossible, the singular solo album by ex-Cowboys International frontman Ken Lockie, who sings backing vocals on unspecified Sons tracks. Kerr, in turn, sings on The Impossible opener “Dance House,” which features violin by prior Hillage client Nash the Slash, who also appears on the 1981 Beggars Banquet release Dance by recent Simple Minds roadmate Gary Numan. Sons also credits one Jacqui (possibly Siam frontwoman Jacqui Brookes) with backing vocals.

In May 1981, Virgin paired two Sister cuts, “The American” and “League of Nations,” as an advance single.

The SonsSister sessions were the last with Brian McGee, who left Simple Minds upon the project’s completion. He joined Endgames for their 1983 album Building Beauty and subsequently played for the UK–German synth–vocal combo Propaganda. Zones drummer Kenny Hyslop (onetime Slik) joined for the ensuing tour and appears in the videos of “Sweat in Bullet” and “Love Song.”

The graphics firm Assorted iMaGes (999, Buzzcocks, Magazine, Yachts) designed the SonsSister covers with art direction by Malcolm Garrett. The respective covers feature outdoor motion photography in color (Sons) and grayscale (Sister) by Sheila Rock.

In early August, the Sons track “Love Song” appeared as a second advance single with an early instrumental version of “This Earth That You Walk Upon.” 

In the “Love Song” video, Jim changes from work to club clothes in an elevator before a bemused onlooker. Simple Minds hit a nightspot, where two women (crimped long blond hair) dance together as Jim takes the DJ booth. Kenny dances up against the women while Derek joins a seated couple with eyes on the female. In the adjacent booth, Michael food-pelts his target’s sugar daddy, who grabs him by the collar. As Michael fights back, Derek slips a sedative on his target’s boyfriend, which prompts a backlash from the couple’s third wheel. Both booths break into mayhem as a man from the opposing entourage assails Kenny on the floor. Jim mimes in a manic state as people clear the club.

“Love Song” became the first Simple Minds Top 20 hit in select markets, including Sweden (No. 16) and Australia (No. 17).

In late October, Virgin issued as remixed version of “Sweat in Bullet” as a second Sons a-side, backed with the Sister cut “20th Century Promised Land.” Utopia Studios soundman Peter Walsh remixed “Sweat in Bullet” amid work on 1981 titles by Central Line, Heaven 17 (Penthouse and Pavement), Landscape (From the Tea-Rooms of Mars …. To the Hell-Holes of Uranus), and the Light of the World-related Beggar & Co.

“Sweat in Bullet” reached No. 17 in Sweden and became their first Top 50 hit in New Zealand.

In the “Sweat in Bullet” video, Simple Minds perform amid ivy and palm trees at Kensington Roof Gardens. Jim dons baggy gray sharkskin pants and gesticulates as Charlie (leather jacket), Derek (white tux), and Michael (gray trousers) sway with intense focus on their instruments. Kenny (trench coat and tie) hits a cowbell clipped to a planter.

Sons and Fascination / Sister Feelings Call reached No. 4 in Sweden and No. 7 in New Zealand. The joint albums broke Simple Minds into the UK Top 20 (No. 11) and the Australian Top 40 (No. 31).

On August 28, 1981, Simple Minds launched a nine-date UK tour at Edinburgh’s Odeon Theatre with Australian new wavers Icehouse, who re-released their debut album after a re-brand from their initial name, Flowers.

On the first weekend of September, Simple Minds and Icehouse played the Futurama 3 Festival, a post-punk event at Stafford’s Bingley Hall with sets by A Flock of Seagulls, Bauhaus, Gang of Four, The Lines, The Passions, and The Sound. Simple Minds headlined Day 2 (Sunday Sept. 6), which also featured B-Movie, Bow Wow Wow, Diagram Brothers, Eyeless in Gaza, Ludus, Modern Eon, Section 25, The Higsons, and UK Decay. The tour with Icehouse wrapped on September 25 at London’s Hammersmith Odeon.

Simple Minds embarked on an October tour of Canada, followed by three nights in California, including a November 7 show at San Francisco’s Cinema Club with New Order. They flew to Australia for eighteen dates, including eight with Icehouse and newcomes The Divinyls. Simple Minds closed out 1981 with shows in Spain and Scotland.


1982

Simple Minds started work on their next studio album in February 1982 at the London’s Townhouse. On Feb. 11, they did a session for BBC Radio 1’s Kid Jenson (aired 2/23), which featured “In Trance as Mission” and two new songs: “Promised You a Miracle” and “King is White and in the Crowd.” After this set, Hyslop formed the electro-funk band Set the Tone, which released the 1983 album Shiftin’ Air Affair on Island Records. Simple Minds hired former Cafe Jacques drummer Mike Ogletree and embarked on a Feb–March European tour.


New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)

Simple Minds released their fifth album, New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84), on September 17, 1982, on Virgin. It features eight songs with lyrics by Jim Kerr, who co-wrote the music with guitarist Charlie Burchill, bassist Derek Forbes, and keyboardist Michael MacNeil.

New Gold Dream spawned three general-release singles: “Someone Somewhere in Summertime” and the breakthrough hits “Glittering Prize” and “Promised You a Miracle,” the one cut with Zones drummer Kenny Hyslop, who anchored the preceding tour.

Deep cuts include the hypno-funk “Big Sleep” and the ethereal jams “Colours Fly and Catherine Wheel” and “Somebody Up There Likes You,” an ambient instrumental that closes Side One. Both jams (plus the title track) feature ex-Cafe Jaques drummer Mike Ogletree. Drummer Mel Gaynor joined late in the New Gold Dream sessions and plays on the remaining tracks. American jazz-funk legend Herbie Hancock plays keyboards on “Hunter and the Hunted.”

1. “Someone Somewhere in Summertime” (4:36)
2. “Colours Fly and Catherine Wheel” (3:49)
3. “Promised You a Miracle” (4:28) Kerr wrote the lyrics in response to the band’s unexpected breakout success in Australia and New Zealand.
4. “Big Sleep” (5:00)
5. “Somebody Up There Likes You” (5:02)

6. “New Gold Dream (81–82–83–84)” (5:39)
7. “Glittering Prize” (4:33)
8. “Hunter and the Hunted” (5:55)
9. “King is White and in the Crowd” (7:00)

Sessions took place between February and August 1982 at the Townhouse, London, and The Manor, a mansion facility in Shipton-on-Cherwell, Oxfordshire, owned by Virgin co-founder Richard Branson. Simple Minds recorded the album with Peter Walsh, who Burchill requested on the strength of the “Sweat in Bullet” remix. Walsh produced New Gold Dream amid work on 1982 Virgin debuts by China Crisis and The Pale Fountains.

As sessions progressed, Walsh took issued with Ogletree’s light percussive style (a feature of the 1977–78 Cafe Jacques albums Round the Back and International). Walsh recommended drummer Mel Gaynor, a solid-beat player who recently filled the slot in Samson after the loss of their leather-faced mascot Thunderstick. Upon the completion of New Gold Dream, Gaynor joined Simple Minds on a permanent basis. Ogletree surfaced in the Scottish synthpop band Fiction Factory.

The female voice on “Colours Fly and Catherine Wheel” and “Glittering Prize” is session singer Sharon Campbell, a backing vocalist on 1981–82 albums by The Breakfast Band, Neil Innes, and the debut title by Scottish sensation Sheena Easton.

New Gold Dream credits three tape ops, including Life in a Day participant and Townhouse soundman George Chambers (an engineer on the 1982 Kate Bush release The Dreaming) and Keith ‘Richard’ Nixon, also credited on 1982 albums by Gil Scott-Heron, Johnny Warman, and the UK Players.

New Gold Dream is the second of three Simple Minds albums with graphics by Malcolm Garrett’s Assorted iMaGes design firm, which devised a gold–maroon scheme on wool with serif fonts beside a flaming-heart Celtic cross. The back cover features a slick-haired group headshot (two Jim’s) by photographer Jamie Morgan, also credited on 1981–82 sleeves by BIM, Delegation, Heaven 17, Leisure Process, and the Oceanic acts Australian Crawl, Mi-Sex, and The Reels.

“Promised You a Miracle” first appeared on April 2, 1982, as a standalone a-side, backed with the Sister track “Theme for Great Cities.”

In the “Promised You a Miracle” video, Simple Minds (grayscale) perform against green screens while Jim (color) dramatizes the words: loosely embodied by a blond female (from the “Love Song” clip) clad in neo-thirties man-chic (flatcap, tie, pleated slacks) who passes through a luggage inspection amid infrared flashes and black-sky beach scenes, where Jim (saturated) does a faux tribal dance. Charlie (guitar, sax), Derek (bass, percussion), and Michael (marimba) flash by recurrently with no account for the transitory drum slot.

“Promised You a Miracle” reached No. 9 in New Zealand and No. 10 in Australia. It peaked at No. 17 in Sweden and No. 13 on the UK Singles Chart.

Simple Minds mimed “Promised You a Miracle” on the April 15 broadcast of the BBC music program Top of the Pops, which thrice aired the clip amid spring hits by Altered Images (“See Those Eyes”), The Associates (“Club Country”), Blondie (“Island of Lost Souls”), Duran Duran (“Hungry Like the Wolf”), Fun Boy Three (“The Telephone Always Rings”), Monsoon (“Ever So Lonely”), Roxy Music (“More Than This”), Spandau Ballet (“Instinction”), Yazoo (“Only You”), and Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder (“Ebony and Ivory”). In the Simple Minds segment, Jim Kerr dons a white double-breasted leather jacket and white pants tucked into black knee boots.

“Glittering Prize” preceded the album by three weeks as an a-side, backed with “Glittering Prize Theme.”

Filmmaker Matthew Stonehouse directed the “Glittering Prize” video, in which Jim, Charlie, and Michael perform inside a chamber lined with gold lame. The blond (in her third Simple Minds video appearance) portrays a golden lady who visits the tomb of Tutankhamun and brings the pharaoh to life. She then passes the statue of a gold Adonis (MacNeil), who comes to life in her wake.

“Glittering Prize” reached No. 4 in New Zealand, No. 8 in Norway, and No. 9 in Australia. It peaked at No. 11 in Ireland and Sweden and No. 16 on the UK Singles Chart.

Simple Minds mimed “Glittering Prize” on the September 9, 1982, broadcast of TotP, which thrice aired the song amid late-summer hits by ABC (“All of My Heart”), Adam Ant (“Friend or Foe”), Bauhaus (“Ziggy Stardust”), Carly Simon (“Why”), Chicago (“Hard to Say I’m Sorry”), Culture Club (“Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?”), Depeche Mode (“Leave In Silence”), Fat Larry’s Band (“Zoom”), Haircut One Hundred (“Nobody’s Fool”), The Jam (“The Bitterest Pill”), Musical Youth (“Pass the Dutchie”), Survivor (“Eye of the Tiger”), Talk Talk (“Today”), and UB40 (“So Here I Am”). Ogletree appears at a profile view (opposite MacNeil) in the Simple Minds segment, where the band mime on a fag-laden stage amid cages, tube lights, and green rays.

In November, Virgin lifted “Someone Somewhere in Summertime” as the third single, backed with the album-closer “King is White and in the Crowd.” Simple Minds performed “Someone Somewhere” and “Hunter and the Hunted” on the Sept. 12 broadcast of The Old Grey Whistle Test.

New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84), reached No. 2 in New Zealand and No. 3 on the UK Albums Chart. It also went Top 10 in Australia (No. 8) and Sweden (No. 9) and peaked at No. 17 in Norway. Simple Minds also gained stateside traction with New Gold Dream, which climbed to No. 69 on the Billboard 200.

Simple Minds toured New Gold Dream with October–November swings through Australia, New Zealand, and Canada; supported in the latter by Seattle new wavers The Visible Targets. On November 18, they commenced a 27-date UK tour with Virgin labelmates China Crisis.

In March 1983, Virgin Italy issued “New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)” as the album’s fourth and final a-side, backed with “Somebody Up There Likes You.”


1983–1984

On March 1, 1983, Simple Minds launched a 23-date European tour at the Koninklijk La Carre in Amsterdam. They encountered their most impassioned audience during a three-date stop in Italy, where they filled Bologna’s Palasport Arena on March 14. The band’s experience before stadium-sized audiences influenced their subsequent approach to music. The Euro leg wrapped on March 29 at the Konserthuset in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Simple Minds launched a North American tour on August 8 in Seattle at the Eagles Hippodrome. The tour included two nights at San Francisco’s Kabuki Theatre and swings through the South, Midwest, and Canada. It wrapped on May 15 at The Ritz in New York City, where the jealous boyfriend of a female fan assaulted Jim Kerr outside the club.

On May 23, Simple Minds played the penultimate set at the Pinkpop Festival in Geleen, Netherlands, which also featured sets by T.C. Matic, Fun Boy Three, Nena, Men at Work, Gary Moore, and Doe Maar. After a month off the road to write new material, they did a twelve-date European tour that opened on June 24 at the Amsterdam Paradiso and wrapped with a set at the July 16 Elixir Festival in Guehenno, France, which also featured Aswad, Belle Stars, Joe Cocker, Mama’s Boys, and The Stranglers.

On August 14, Simple Minds supported U2 at Pheonix Park in Dublin along with fellow openers Steel Pulse and the Eurythmics. Simple Minds bonded off-stage with U2, who recently conquered the American market with their third album War. The Irish band’s anthemic delivery influenced the subsequent songwriting and stage mannerisms of Simple Minds, which commenced work on their upcoming album with War producer Steve Lillywhite.

After sessions wrapped on their sixth studio album, Simple Minds rounded out 1983 with seasonal three-nighters in London (December 17–19: Strand Lyceum Theatre) and Glasgow (Dec. 21–23: Barrowland Ballroom).

A fortnight before their new album hit shelves, Simple Minds played its contents in full to 45,000 fans in Sommersby, Australia, on the opening day (Friday, January 27, 1984) of the Narara Festival, a four-day event with sets by Def Leppard, Eurogliders, INXS, Kids in the Kitchen, The Models, Mondo Rock, Real Life, The Pretenders, and Talking Heads. Simple Minds’ Oceanic leg covered two-nighters in Melbourne and Sydney and two shows in New Zealand, including a February 5 appearance in Ngaruawahia for the Sweetwaters Festival, which featured most of the Narara acts. Backstage, Kerr met Pretenders frontwoman Chrissie Hynde, who recently split from Kinks frontman Ray Davies.


Sparkle in the Rain

Simple Minds released their sixth album, Sparkle in the Rain, on February 6, 1984, on Virgin (UK) and A&M (US). It features nine originals group-credited to the current lineup of singer Jim Kerr, guitarist Charlie Burchill, bassist Derek Forbes, keyboardist Michael MacNeil, and new drummer Mel Gaynor.

Kerr penned the lyrics to the eight vocal originals, including the advance singles “Waterfront” and “Speed Your Love to Me” and the followup “Up on the Catwalk.” Side Two opens with a cover of the Lou Reed chestnut “Street Hassle” and closes with the instrumental “Shake Off the Ghosts.”

Sparkle in the Rain is the only Simple Minds studio album produced by U2 soundman Steve Lillywhite, who renders the band with a lavish sound geared for their new scale as a stadium act. Lillywhite’s wife, singer Kirsty MacColl, adds vocals to “Speed Your Love to Me” and “Street Hassle.”

1. “Up on the Catwalk” (4:45)
2. “Book of Brilliant Things” (4:21)
3. “Speed Your Love to Me” (4:24)
4. “Waterfront” (4:49)
5. “East at Easter” (3:32)

6. “Street Hassle” (5:14)
7. “White Hot Day” (4:32) The chorus line (“On a quiet night of a white hot day”) is the source of the album’s initial working title: Quiet Night of the White Hot Day.
8. “‘C’ Moon Cry Like a Baby” (4:19)
9. “The Kick Inside of Me” (4:48)
10. “Shake Off the Ghosts” (3:57)

Sessions took place in September–October 1983 at Monnow Valley Studios, the converted rehearsal space of nearby Rockfield Studios, the Real to Real Cacophony recording site in Monmouth, Wales. Additional sessions occurred at London’s Townhouse with Steve Lillywhite, who produced Sparkle in the Rain in succession with War and The Crossing, the 1983 debut album by Skids-spinoff Big Country.

Lillywhite’s list of production credits included late-seventies classics by Ultravox (Ultravox!, Ha! Ha! Ha!), Eddie & The Hot Rods (Life on the Line), Siouxsie & The Banshees (The Scream), and XTC (Drums and Wires). He ushered Peter Gabriel into the post-punk realm on the ex-Genesis singer’s 1980 third solo album (colloquially known as Melt) and produced early eighties titles by Joan Armatrading, The Psychedelic Furs, Sector 27, Thompson Twins, Urban Verbs, and chief client U2, who Lillywhite produced for a limit-defying three albums. His sequential work with U2, Big Country, and Simple Minds — three bands grouped by Celt-rock associations — made him an architect of a rock sound later dubbed ‘Big Music.’

Lillywhite refined each Sparkle in the Rain song through multiple takes. He encouraged spontaneity to capture ideas in the formative stage. As new songs took shape, he urged Kerr to write lyrics attuned to the melodies. Townhouse soundman Howard Gray engineered Sparkle in sequence with 1983–84 titles by Europeans, Frida, UB40, Waitresses, and The Armoury Show (another Skids spinoff). Assistant engineer Gavin McKillop has credits on concurrent albums by General Public, The Human League, Public Image Ltd., The Room, and Scott Walker.

Sparkle in the Rain is housed in a gold-lined cover with a coat of arms designed by Assorted Images. The inner-sleeve has a fullscale checker–stripe optical illusion (recreated on the LP label). Original UK copies appeared on white vinyl. In Canada, Virgin pressed Sparkle on transparent vinyl.

“Waterfront” first appeared in November 1983 as an advance single, backed with a live version of the New Gold number “Hunter and the Hunted,” recorded at the City Hall, Newcastle (11/20/82).

The “Waterfront” video consists of footage from a free show before invited fans on November 20, 1983, at the Glasgow’s Barrowland Ballroom. Kerr sports a baggy blue suit with white socks and shirt.

“Waterfront” reached No. 1 in New Zealand, No. 5 in Ireland, and No. 13 on the UK Singles Chart. It also went Top 20 in Sweden (No. 16) and Australia (No. 19). Simple Minds mimed it before flashing ring diamonds on the November 11, 1983 broadcast of TotP, which also featured autumn hits by Billy Joel (“Uptown Girl”), Paul Young (“Love of the Common People”), The Smiths (“This Charming Man”), The Style Council (“A Solid Bond In Your Heart”), Thompson Twins (“Hold Me Now”), and Tina Turner (“Let’s Stay Together”).

In January 1984, “Speed Your Love to Me” appeared as the second advance a-side, backed with “Bass Line,” an instrumental version of “White Hot Day.”

In the “Speed Your Love” video, Simple Minds perform in a black-walled, gold-columned studio where Jim sports a brown double-breated leather jacket with gray slacks. The camera zooms on Kerr as the background cuts to high-speed green-screen footage of driver views and aerial footage of the Scottish highlands.

“Speed Your Love to Me” reached No. 9 in Ireland, No. 18 in Sweden, and No. 20 in the UK.

Virgin lifted “Up on the Catwalk” in March as the third Sparkle single, backed with the non-album “A Brass Band In Africa.” The single also appeared on 12″ with an extended mix (7:34).

In the song’s video, Simple Minds perform on a catwalk in a white-draped room flanked with pastel lights, fire columns, and side levels with strutting masked females. Kerr sports a red leather bolero jacket with black pleat–peg slacks.

B. “A Brass Band In Africa” (5:10) The 12″ contains an extended mix titled “A Brass Band in African Chimes” (9:22).

Sparkle In the Rain reached No. 1 in New Zealand and peaked at No. 2 in Sweden and the Netherlands. In the UK, Sparkle In the Rain became their first of three consecutive No. 1 studio albums. The album went Top 20 in Australia (No. 15), Switzerland (No. 19), and Germany and Norway (both No. 14). In North America, Sparkle In the Rain reached No. 14 in Canada and No. 64 on the US Billboard 200.

Simple Minds promoted Sparkle In the Rain with a five-date swing through Ireland, including a February 22 show at Belfast’s Ulster Hall with Silent Running, where high demand prompted a late-evening second set. In March, Simple Minds played eight shows in Scotland and seventeen in England, culminating with six straight nights at London’s Hammersmith Odeon (two added due to high demand).

On March 24, Simple Minds played Stockholm’s Johanneshov Isstadion: the launch of the 31-date European leg, which wrapped on April 27 at Le Zenith in Paris. They launched a second (mini) UK tour on May 7 that culminated with eight nights (May 12–19) at Hammersmith.


1985–1986

Simple Minds opened 1985 with a three-night engagement (January 3–5) at Glasgow’s Barrowland Ballroom. They scored their first US hit single, which marked the end of bassist Derek Forbes’ tenure (barring a 1998 return). Simple Minds hired bassist John Giblin, a veteran sessionist (Metro, Duncan Browne, Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush, Phil Collins, Chris De Burgh) who played in the 1979–80 Brand X lineup.


“Don’t You (Forget About Me)”

In early 1985, Simple Minds released “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” a song by Keith Forsey and Steve Schiff, written as the theme to The Breakfast Club, a teen dramedy by director John Hughes about five divergent high school students in Saturday detention.

Forsey (a Munich disco vet and recent Billy Idol soundman) conceived the song with Schiff (1994, Nina Hagen) as the two worked on score music for the Breakfast Club soundtrack. They pitched the song to several artists (Idol, Bryan Ferry, Fixx frontman Cy Curnin) who turned it down before Simple Minds (with some persuading) accepted. Forsey produced the song, recorded in November 1984 in a single afternoon session.

“Don’t You (Forget About Me)” appeared as a single on February 20, 1985, on A&M in the US. On April 8, the single appeared on UK Virgin. This is the last Simple Minds recording for thirteen years with bassist Derek Forbes, who left after the song’s completion.

The video takes place inside the Knebworth House, a 15th-century Late Gothic manor in Hertfordshire on the grounds of the annual Knebworth Festival. It opens with a pan-down from the foyer chandelier onto Jim Kerr, who reappears in a ring of TV screens tuned to his bandmates. They reappear in a room littered with toys, where Jim pounds a jukebox as strewn screens air scenes from The Breakfast Club. The camera zooms on members and recurrently pans the circumference  of the room, where Jim (loose gray suit) appears perched by the hearth before piles of furnishings.

The “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” video is an early directorial credit by Daniel Kleinman, a onetime member of Bazooka Joe, an unrecorded London seventies act with a revolving-door lineup that included Adam Ant and future Vibrators guitarist John Ellis.

MTV placed the video in high rotation in the US, where “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” marked Simple Minds’ debut on the Billboard Hot 100. On the week of May 18, it displaced “Crazy for You” by Madonna as the No. 1 song in America and bowed the following week to “Everything She Wants” by Wham! “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” also reached No. 1 in Canada and the Netherlands and went Top 5 in Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, and West Germany. It peaked at No. 7 in the UK but remained on the chart for a record-breaking two years.

On Saturday, July 13, 1985, Simple Minds performed “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia as part of the US portion of Live Aid, a bi-national concert event transmitted to 1.9 billion viewers in 150 nations for Ethiopian famine relief. Simple Minds wanted to play the London concert at Wembley Stadium but organizer Bob Geldof insisted they play the stateside concert due to their recent US success. Their fifteen-minute set (14:05 EST) featured three songs, including “Promised You a Miracle” and a new composition, “Ghost Dancing,” written two days before the event. Simple Minds’ slot occurred between afternoon sets by George Thorogood & the Destroyers (with Bo Diddley and Albert Collins) and The Pretenders.


Once Upon a Time

Simple Minds released their seventh album, Once Upon a Time, on October 21, 1985, on Virgin and A&M. It features eight originals joint-composed by guitarist Charlie Burchill, keyboardist Mick MacNeil, and singer–lyricist Jim Kerry. The album consolidated their recent US breakthrough with “Alive and Kicking,” the band’s second Top 3 Billboard hit.

Once Upon a Time is the first of two Simple Minds studio albums with bassist John Giblin. American soul singer Robin Clark sings background vocals on multiple songs and appears in the videos to “Alive and Kicking,” “Sanctify Yourself,” and “All the Things She Said.”

1. “Once Upon a Time” (5:45)
2. “All the Things She Said” (4:15) features guest percussionist Sue Hadjopoulos of Joe Jackson‘s backing band. The lyrics allude to statements made by the wives of Polish political prisoners.
3. “Ghost Dancing” (4:45)
4. “Alive and Kicking” (5:26)

5. “Oh Jungleland” (5:14)
6. “I Wish You Were Here” (4:42)
7. “Sanctify Yourself” (4:57)
8. “Come a Long Way” (5:07)

Sessions rook place at London’s Townhouse Studio with Brooklyn-born producer Jimmy Iovine, the hit-making soundman on recent albums by Dan Hartman, Face to Face, Rod Stewart, and Stevie Nicks. His ‘big’ production style expands on the lavishness of Simple Minds’ prior album Sparkle In the Rain. Iovine’s opportunity to work with Simple Minds came one year after U2 (who employed him for their 1983 live album Under a Blood Red Sky) revoked an invitation to produce their 1984 fourth studio album The Unforgettable Fire, which they recorded instead with Brian Eno. (Iovine would ultimately produce U2’s 1988 live–studio double-album Rattle and Hum).

Bob Clearmountain co-produced Once Upon a Time in sequence with 1984–85 titles by Bryan Adams, ‘Til Tuesday, and Hall & Oates. The album was co-engineered by Mark McKenna and Moira Marquis, a soundwoman whose 1985 credits include Mick Jagger’s solo debut She’s the Boss and Aretha Franklin‘s comback album Who’s Zoomin’ Who?

Once Upon a Time was the highest-profile credit in ten years for backing vocalist Robin Clark, who sings on David Bowie’s 1975 album Young Americans. In tandem with her Simple Minds commitments, she recorded her only solo album, Surrender, for the New York HME label with liner notes by Bowie. Her recent session credits include albums by Change, High Fashion, Melissa Manchester, and Bowie’s 1984 album Tonight. She appears on Once Upon a Time with another Bowie backer: guitarist Carlos Alomar, who sings backing vocals along with Call frontman Michael Been and the Simms Brothers.

The Once Upon a Time cover shows overlapped grayscale member pics by Dutch photojournalist Anton Corbijn; arranged with graphic illustrations by Mick Haggerty. Corbijn’s imagery also appears on 1985–86 sleeves for Clannad, Peter Hammill, Propaganda, and Sting.

“Alive and Kicking” appeared in late September as an advance single, backed with an instrumental version of the song. It appeared weeks later on US A&M, backed with a live version of “Up on the Catwalk.”

The video to “Alive and Kicking” opens under a full moon on the Catskill Mountains of New York State, where the camera pans down on Simple Minds, who lie positioned on a grassy plain beside North–South Lake. Jim leans into the lens for the first verse as the band stands before Kaaterskill Falls at the crack of dawn. They perform most of the song on a precipice beside the waterfall, where the camera pans between the band, Kerr, and Robin Clark as day gives way to sunset. The final moments pan outward from an aerial view of an archipelago where Simple Minds perform the closing bars.

Polish filmmaker Zbigniew Rybczyński directed the “Alive and Kicking” video in sequence with clips for Blancmange (“Lose Your Love”), Propaganda (“P-Machinery”), and the Larry Fast-involved dance project Iam Siam (“She Went Pop”).

“Alive and Kicking” reached No. 1 in Italy and No. 2 in Ireland and Benelux. It also went Top 5 in Canada, Norway, and New Zealand and matched the No. 7 peak of its predecessor on the UK Singles Chart. In the US, “Alive and Kicking” reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, which ranks the song No. 17 on the 1986 year-end chart.

In January 1986, Virgin lifted “Sanctify Yourself” as the second Once Upon a Time single, backed with an instrumental version. The single also appeared as a double-pack with live versions of the Sons track “Love Song” and the Sparkle Lou Reed cover “Street Hassle.”

In the video for “Sanctify Yourself,” Simple Minds perform before a live audience on a blinds-decked stage, where Jim dons a belted white batwing top with a black beret and stretch pants. The pink-lit performance footage intercuts with grainy monochrome scenes of the band in Brussels, where Kerr hold a white dove and walks under the Atomium, a stainless steel structure of linked spheres constructed for Expo 58 (the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair).

“Sanctify Yourself” reached No. 3 in the Netherlands, No. 4 in Ireland, and No. 10 on the UK Singles Chart and the US Cashbox Top 100.

In March “All the Things She Said” became the album’s third single, backed with a live version of “Don’t You (Forget About Me).”

In the Rybczyński-directed “All the Things She Said” video, multiple iterations of Kerr, Burchill, and Robin Clark flash by with subtle variations (different jackets, guitar colors) before an outer-space green screen.

“All the Things She Said” reached No. 4 in Ireland, No. 6 in Netherlands, and No. 9 on the UK Singles Chart. The song peaked at No. 5 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music/ Club Play chart and No. 9 on the Top Rock Tracks chart. All three Once Upon a Time videos received high rotation on MTV.

In November 1986, Virgin lifted “Ghostdancing” as the fourth and final Once Upon a Time a-side, backed with an instrumental version of “Jungleland.”

Once Upon a Time reached No. 1 in the Netherlands and became their second straight No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart. It peaked at No. 3 in Canada, Germany, and New Zealand and also went Top 10 in Sweden (No. 4), Norway (No. 6), Australia and Switzerland (both No. 7). In the US, Once Upon a Time reached No. 10 on the Billboard 200.


1987–1989


Street Fighting Years

Simple Minds released their eighth studio album, Street Fighting Years, on May 2, 1989, on Virgin (global) and A&M (US). It features nine group-written originals, including the singles “This Is Your Land,” “Kick It In,” and “Let It All Come Down.” The lead single, “Belfast Child,” is an adaptation of an Irish traditional. Side Two contains “Mandela Day,” an anthemic ballad written for the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute.

Street Fighting Years involved twelve months of sessions with producer and Art of Noise mastermind Trevor Horn. As their first album conceived for the CD format, the ten-track LP version runs nearly one hour (59:10). They close the album with the Peter Gabriel cover “Biko,” a song about martyred South African freedom fighter Steve Biko. The CD version (61:13) contains a bonus eleventh track, “When Spirits Rise.”


Discography:


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