Want List: Simple Minds 5×5 Live

Virgin | UK | 2xCD | 2012 | SMBOX3

Simple Minds: 5×5 Live 2xCD UK [2012]


  1. Intro
  2. I Travel
  3. Thirty Frames A Second
  4. Today I Died Again
  5. Celebrate
  6. Life In A Day
  7. Calling Your Name
  8. Scar
  9. King Is White And In The Crowd
  10. Hunter And The Hunted
  11. Wasteland
  12. Love Song
  13. This Fear Of Gods
  14. Pleasantly Disturbed
  15. Room


  1. The American
  2. 70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall
  3. In Trance As Mission
  4. Sons And Fascination
  5. Sweat In Bullet
  6. Changeling
  7. Factory
  8. Big Sleep
  9. Premonition
  10. Promised You A Miracle
  11. Someone Somewhere In Summertime
  12. Theme For Great Cities
  13. Glittering Prize
  14. Someone
  15. Chelsea Girl
  16. New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)

Well look at that. Simple Minds are preparing to release a CD of their acclaimed “5×5” tour from earlier this year. This will go far in making up for the turgid and overblown previous live album [“Live In The City of Light”] they released all of a quarter century ago! The former was a CD of the tooth-grindingly poor “Once Upon A Time” tour that I had the misfortune to catch back in 1986. The latter is from the dream tour that n’er touched American soil from earlier this year. This will go far in salving my [still tender] wounds from that little affront!

This edition reaches the public on November 19th and EMI [via Virgin] are releasing this as one of their very fine “clamshell” boxed sets with a 25″ x 25″ tour poster [albeit folded]  in addition to a substantial 24 page booklet and both discs replete with all of the songs you ever wanted to hear Simple Minds perform live, but feared they would never touch. This makes my life quite easy in that the last Simple Minds “Graffiti Soul” tour was recorded for downloads so that fans could buy any of the tour dates. I always meant to go the the retailer’s website and plow through all of the set lists [tedious] and grab the show that had the best slice of vintage material amid creakers like “Belfast Child” or “Alive + Kicking.” This disc makes my life so much easier! All wheat! No chaff!!

This disc set is compiled from the entire set list the band rehearsed so that every possible song is represented, not just the 25 songs you might have heard at any given show. The only way Simple Minds could ever top this as a live album release is if by some even greater miracle, they began to release vintage live sets from back when Derek Forbes was still in the band! I’d pay good coin for a high quality run through 1980-1984. Boots I have from this period are the most thrilling live recordings by any band I’ve ever loved I’ve ever heard. I’ll be ordering this once the budget clears up and should have a copy to review before 2013, I’m hoping. The only thing I can say is wrong with this disc is that there is no DVD to accompany it. The heinous “Live In Verona” concert still is the only Simple Minds live DVD, much to my chagrin.  Alas, that remains a missed opportunity. But readers should keep an eagle eye out for this since there will never be a better collection of Simple Minds material on live disc.

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About postpunkmonk

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8 Responses to Want List: Simple Minds 5×5 Live

  1. zoo says:

    monk wrote: “Boots I have from this period are the most thrilling live recordings by any band I’ve ever loved I’ve ever heard.”

    I don’t know if I could say the same, but I know this band was VERY good during the early ’80s. You can find some YouTube clips from the New Gold Dream Tour that are absolutely amazing. There’s one of “Hunter and the Hunted” that I’ve watched many times. The live versions of “King is White and In the Crowd” from that time are equally amazing. The loss of Forbes and McNeil are what truly sunk the band, and I believe they’ve never recovered, though they seem to have improved somewhat lately.

    I thought I read that not all of the tunes on this CD are from the current tour, but some vintage material as well. I could be wrong, though. I’ve seen some current renditions of a few of the old tunes, and I wasn’t terribly impressed. Burchill is as solid as ever, but songs like “30 Frames a Second” just aren’t sung the same. The choppy vocal style has been replaced with “Thirrrrrty Frames a secawwwwwwnd.” Anyway, maybe for the 5×5 tour they tried to stick closer to the original style…we’ll see.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      zoo – I have a boot of a particular performance of “King Is White + In The Crowd” that has what I can only call the “bass of god” on it. Forbes has completely transformed the arrangement around a massive flanged bass riff that absolutely slays, while Burchill adds delicate guitar filigree over the top. It bears almost no resemblance to the original recording at this point. Simple Minds were a band that didn’t sit still for the recorded arrangements in their material and were always experimenting with the material in a live setting.

      I’m not sure if I can ascribe as much significance to Mike McNeil since the drop in quality following Forbes’ sacking to my ears was profound. McNeil was still on board for the tepid to dire material that followed, including Simple Minds nadir, “Street Fighting Years!” I consider the band as starting to improve only after he bowed out. At least “Real Life” would have made a decent EP. I can’t say that there was a single’s worth of digestible material on SFY!


  2. Echorich says:

    I am, by nature, not a purchaser of live albums. Maybe it’s snobbish, but never get the same thing from hearing a band caught live that I get from catching a band live. Case in point, the Talking Heads Fear of Music tour, where the band expanded to some 30 people on stage. Live I was in primal mode with my skin at full attention goose bumps from start to finish. The live album that followed fell way short in translating the spectacle of the live experience and often sounded dull to these ears.
    As for the 5×5 release, I would love to hear a sample from this collection to see if I would want to hear more.
    By the way, any opinion of Derek Forbes signing on as the replacement for Tony Butler in Big Country? I’m not sure I see it working, but I figure best of luck to all involved.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Echorich – Your antipathy towards live recordings is well documented, but to me it’s a new way to hear familiar material. AT least you saw Talking Heads when it mattered! I never had the pleasure. As for Forbes in Big Country, as much as I worship his playing in Simple Minds to no end, nothing he’s done afterward has meant anything to me. I was really disappointed in the Propaganda album, to put it mildly, and Spear Of Destiny is not a band for me, even though I have several Theatre of Hate records! Quite frankly, I don’t expect anything these days out of Mr. Forbes; sad to say.


  3. zoo says:

    OK…I have to admit, this is pretty darn good:

    This Fear of Gods: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JfwEnf_TF0&feature=relmfu


    • zoo says:

      Replying to myself…here’s more: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qytQ_inOaI&feature=related

      An entire audio concert w/ video dubbed together. Audio sounds great. These songs really surpass what I expected from them at this point in their careers. Seems like they really tried to make these 5×5 shows special.


      • postpunkmonk says:

        zoo – As much as I was never really a Jim Kerr fan, I give him credit for coming ’round in the last few years as to what made SM such a great band in their early period and give him credit for wising up and reaching back for something that could help this band move forward via their past. Still, I never in a million years would have predicted anything as perfect as the 5×5 tour! It makes up for a lot of “let me see your hands!” And he’s said that he’s had to unlearn that little move to do that tour!


    • postpunkmonk says:

      zoo – Wow. That is nice! Great quality video too! I wonder why SM didn’t include a DVD in the set as it seems like a natural.


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