It was common knowledge that when Simple Minds were playing their dazzling new hometown venue the Glasgow Hydro on November 27th, that the show that night was to be recorded for a DVD/BluRay home video. That much we’ve knows since September 10th. What dropped on the Simple Minds website today are the details of the limited edition deluxe live DVD set and they are as impressive as the Hydro itself.
- DVD of full concert
- DVD with interview footage/photo gallery
- 2xCDs with full concert
- hard cover book with 3D lenticular cover and liner notes/photos
- autographed photo of the band
This is the limited package available only by pre-order from the Simple Minds web store and it is currently available for pre-order there as of today. The package will ship in May of 2104. It looks like a must for anyone who wants to have the best record of their current “Celebrate – Greatest Hits Tour” that is moving to the UK next week from Europe to wrap up 2013 before heading back to Europe for a second leg in early 2014. Looks like a must-have for a dyed-in-the-wool Simple Minds fan like yours truly. But wait, there’s more!
Order before midnight, December 31st and you will get this free, numbered four track live EP with the new song “Big Music” being premiered on disc here first. The CD is packaged in a gatefold sleeve and ships out to buyers in January of 2014 as a taster of the discs to come in May. Now, how much would you pay? Well, the asking price is £50.00. A tad pricey [$80.00 in today’s dollars], but they have gone out of their way to take the high road. The 3D lenticular cover of the book that houses the discs can’t be too cheap to produce and the production values here look strictly top line.
I particularly like that a full recording of the concert is also provided on CD. The live DVD/CD combo package is something that I’ve enjoyed in the last few years [Ultravox, Claudia Brücken, John Foxx]. While a live DVD will be watched, the live CD will probably get far more listening than the DVD gets viewing. Hot on the heels of the amazing “5×5 Live” album, this may be gilding the lily, but there’s no doubt that the band aren’t white hot right now, so count me in.
The DVD is said to be “worldwide format DVD” but your guess is as good as mine as to the details of that blurb. I’m guessing that they mean “region-free” and only time will tell if the DVD is PAL or NTSC. It’s a coin-toss these days as to whether the package will come in which TV standard. I got the Ultravox in 2010 [UK import] and it was NTSC but the Brücken/Foxx packages more recently were PAL, and thus had to perform a standards conversion before I could watch them on my primitive standard definition CRT television.
It also remains to be seen whether the concert video will be mixed in 5.1 surround sound but given that their “Verona” concert video included in 2006’s “Seen The Lights” 2xDVD set was, I would expect no less this time. One more thing is that when word of this recording first surfaced in September, BluRay format was specifically mentioned. Perhaps the limited edition book package currently being pre-sold will be followed by a general release DVD/BluRay at a later date. So if you are into high-def, you may wish to adopt a wait-and-see posture. My hunch is that any subsequent releases of this concert on DVD or BluRay probably won’t have the CD soundtrack, which is worth the higher cost of buy-in with this package for me. So I’ll be pre-ordering as soon as you readers buy some of my music for sale on the right hand sidebar links.
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OK PPM, here is a question. You seem to be a zealous about Simple Minds as I am about many of my faves. As with most great bands, notoriety tends to fade over time along with creativity, vitality and overall impact. I have to admit, I put SM in the “washed up/ nostalgia” category a while ago. After reading your recent posts, I feel I may be missing out here. Using a more discretionary critical eye, what are the 5 SM songs released over the past 10-20 years that make the casual listener think, “This is just as good as their early stuff”?
orange county dj – That is a fantastic question! Personally, I felt that Simple Minds were [artistically] washed up with their best-selling “Once Upon A Time” album. It went down with me like a lead balloon compared to the developmental arc that “Real To real Cacophony” trough “Sparkle In The Rain” evidenced. I still bought “Once Upon A Time” and its singles because I was programmed to at that point. I hated “Alive + Kicking” and “Jungleland” and sort of liked the title cut and “All The Things She Said.”
I bought their next double live “Live In The City of Light” album used a few years after it was released as I was in no hurry to hear it. Then their next album came in 1989! “Street Fighting Years” was a flat out disaster of an album as far as I was concerned. Usually, albums that bad sever my fandom for good. I felt it was the most bloated, pious and overweening exercise imaginable. I bought some of the singles to see if the remixes helped. they didn’t.
The single that came out in advance of “Real Life” was much better than anything on “Street Fighting Years.” “Let There Be Love” was no great shakes weighed against Simple Minds classic ’79-’83 catalog. Truth be told, it was only as good as the passable material on “Once Upon A Time.” I waited to buy the “Real Life” album until I chanced to see the Australian 2xCD version as an import. I’m a sucker for a unique format. The album has several good tunes. “See The Lights” is the one song from the ten year “stadium period” of Simple Minds that I actually love.
When I chanced to hear “She’s A River” in 1995 it blew me away in that it actually sounded great. Commercial, but great. I bought the “Good News From The Next World” album and from that point on, I was ready to see Simple Minds in concert again after the disgrace of the “Once Upon A Time” tour that I hated in 1986. The music they have released since than has been much better than their stadium fodder years. I get excited when they are trying to make exciting music again. Is any of it as good as material from “Empires + Dance” or “New Gold Dream?” Not really. Some of it comes within spitting distance, and that’s not bad. But darn near all of it runs rings around their ’85-’91 period, in my opinion. Here are the five cuts that get my nod for investigation.
One Step Closer
The Floating World
I also love the Kim Kerr solo album, which came on the heels of “Graffiti Soul.” It’s like a continuation of the freshness of “Cry” with Kerr actively exploring the sounds of his youth again decades later. Are any of these songs likely to make me forget “I Travel?” Not on your life. Do I think they represent a band trying to find their way artistically after playing the stadium card? Absolutely. SM are trying and succeeding by degrees and that fact engages me after the stadium period, which is more and more marginalized with time as we move forward.
Tempting Monk…would like to know if I’m getting a viewable DVD of course, but it looks like a beautiful package. Great rundown of the post Stadium Era highlights. I’m a huge fan of Black + White 050505 – Jeweler To The Stars being a highlight. Lightning/Androgyny from Neopolis and Needle And The Damage Done are career highlights. In fact I think SM’s version of the Neil Young classic is the definitive cover version.
Echorich – I’m with you there on the Neil Young! But I went back and re-read ocdj’s question and saw that limited me to five cuts, so I edited my response from the 15 or so that did include “Needle” as well as “Lightning” and “Androgyny” down to the five that made the cut. As for the DVD, you might wait for the non limited package [if you are capable] and see how it plays out in the market before buying. If my budget doesn’t allow for a 2013 pre-order, I should be able to pre-order in early 2014 before release to get the DLX package. No BluRay for me. I’m SD analog all the way!
Can’t disagree with your selection, but mine would be Androgyny, Jeweller, And The Band Played On, Rockets and Broken Glass Park…the latter feels more and more like New Gold Dream era SM everytime I listen to it…
Echorich – I have only heard “Broken Glass Park” once, in concert thus far! “Celebrate” is still pencilled in on the “to buy” list.