A Young Person’s Guide To: Simple Minds Compilations [part 1]

Simple Minds Ca. 1983 - fighting trim

Simple Minds Ca. 1983 – fighting trim

This Monk has been remiss in not yet blogging about the new Simple Minds compilation that is being prepped for release any day now. But the fact of the matter is, that this band with a 35 year lifespan has seen many, many compilations issued over the years. Each with their own plusses and minuses. Truthfully, it’s a bit difficult to get too amped up over the prospect of yet another. It has now been four years since the last [great] Simple Minds studio album, but for the sake of argument, let’s review them all, shall we?

Stiff America | US | LP | 1981 | TEES 102

Stiff America | US | LP | 1981 | TEES 102

Simple Minds: Themes For Great Cities US LP [1981]

  1. I Travel
  2. Celebrate
  3. In Trance As Mission
  4. 30 Frames A Second
  5. Premonition
  6. Sweat In Bullet [7″ remix]
  7. Love Song [7″ edit]
  8. The American
  9. Theme For Great Cities

This was the first Simple Minds compilation and it was compiled and released because the band had an impending American tour and someone noticed that the group hadn’t had albums number 2-4 released in America beforehand. Oops! As such, it is an unimpeachable selection of the band’s five star early material, salted with a couple of 7″ mixes/edits. Bonus points for having a killer Malcolm Garrett cover and the undeniable hipness of being issued on the Stiff America label! Never issued on CD.

Arista | UK | LP | 1982 | SPART 1183

Arista | UK | LP | 1982 | SPART 1183

Simple Minds: Celebration UK LP [1982]

  1. Life In A Day
  2. Chelsea Girl
  3. Premonition
  4. Factory
  5. Calling Your Name
  6. I Travel
  7. Changeling
  8. Celebrate
  9. Thirty Frames A Second
  10. Kaleidoscope

The very next year, following “Great Cities,” their original UK label Arista, issued this cash-in immediately prior to the group singing with Virgin Records. It replicates much of “Cities” but with tracks from the debut album, “Life In A Day” added” and it features the otherwise unavailable only on a flexidisc track, “Kaleidoscope” on this album only. Arista deleted the album almost immediately and the rights went to Virgin after the group signed with the label. It followed on CD by 1989, when I obtained my copy.

Virgin | UK | CD | 1992 | smtvd 1

Virgin | UK | CD | 1992 | smtvd 1

Simple Minds: Glittering Prize 81/92 UK CD [1992]

  1. Waterfront
  2. Don’t You (Forget About Me)
  3. Alive And Kicking
  4. Sanctify Yourself
  5. Love Song
  6. Someone, Somewhere In Summertime
  7. See The Lights
  8. Belfast Child
  9. The American
  10. All The Things She Said
  11. Promised You A Miracle
  12. Ghostdancing
  13. Speed Your Love To Me
  14. Glittering Prize
  15. Let There Be Love
  16. Mandela Day

A decade later, Virgin decided it was time to milk the Simple Minds cow a bit with a comp that followed on from “Celebration” compiled from the band’s top selling singles from their tenure with Virgin. The first three Virgin albums yielded some ace material, most of which made the cut here, but the ’85-’91 years were harsh in their adoption of stadium aesthetics, and half of this album is tough listening! The one great single they released in the ’85-’91 period is embodied in the subtle pleasures of “See The Lights.” There is nothing new here, either. This is for the general public. Myself? I only bought the Japanese laserdisc of this title! Even that was an iffy proposition with videos cut short and a preponderance of live material from the band’s 1986 tour, which I had the misfortune of seeing in person.

Next: Multiple discs become necessary…

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
This entry was posted in A Young Person's Guide, Core Collection, Scots Rock and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A Young Person’s Guide To: Simple Minds Compilations [part 1]

  1. Echorich says:

    I have to say, collecting Simple Minds has always been about the singles and the albums. I’m sure there are things I don’t have, but greatest hits or not so greatest hits albums offend me by nature. I have a particular dislike of greatest hits albums with 1, 2 or 3 new songs on them to try and convince me to buy them. WEA/Korova even did this with the Bunnymen and the only reason I own Songs To Learn And Sing is because it was gifted to me. More annoying still, is when I try to just buy the new tracks and find that even iTunes has made it so I can’t down load a song without purchasing the entire album…


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