Rock G.P.A.: Simple Minds [part 34]

simple minds 1991

Simple Minds ca. 1991 [L-R]: Charlie, Macolm Foster, Jim, Mel

The release of “Real Life” seemed successful enough on the surface of things, but the album broke the band’s string of number one albums, with it only making inroads to as high as number two, thanks to a certain greatest hits Christmas compilation by Eurythmics. In America, the picture was far different with only “See The Lights” generating any commercial heat, and that single stalled at number 40, being the band’s final excursion onto the American Top 40®. They were still signed to Virgin in the UK and A+M in The States. Their world tour did touch down in the USA, unlike their last one, but nothing came anywhere near the backwaters where I lived. That was fine with me, as I was still not convinced at this stage in the game. I was still smarting from the 1986 tour, and the evidence, based on the subsequent two albums, was not compelling for me! That didn’t stop their pals at Q Magazine from bestowing “Best Live Band” accolades on them in 1991.

simple minds - lovesong92CDAAfter the tour had wrapped up, their new Manager, Clive Banks determined that the band were ragged and spent, so an enforced R+R period followed. About a year later, I saw a “new” single in the import bins, so I bit. It was a “remixed” re-issue of “Love Song” b/w “Alive + Kicking” with a second CD released separately. I managed to get them both and the second disc was all live from the band’s 1991 Barrowlands, Glasgow appearance. The A-side, “Love Song” was allegedly remixed by Greg Jackman for this release. The notion of “Love Song ’92” was somewhat fear inducing, but the end result was so tepidly remixed, that the horror of Simple Minds gone “baggy” or “house” was not ever on the table! While the classic song was certainly not desecrated, it’s a bit disingenuous to call this a “remix!” To this day, I can’t tell the difference!

Virgin | UK | CD | 1992 | smtvd 1A month later in October of 1992, the inevitable [and necessary – according to their manager] greatest hits album appeared on both sides of the Atlantic. This was their last release on A+M Records in The States, and the label took pains to excise much of worth on the album as detailed earlier here. I didn’t bother, but I did buy the Japanese laserdisc of this title in the hopes that it would at least have early Virgin clips. Not really. It was heavily laced with missable live performances instead of videos, though it did have clips that were never seen on US screens, like some from “Street Fighting Years” and “Real Life.” I only found out recently that the clips used here differ greatly from the “official” videos subsequently released on the “Seen the Lights” 2xDVD in 2004, but that’s another post for another time.

The “Glittering Prize” album managed to return the band to the top of the UK charts as well as stave off Madonna from achieving the same with her “Erotica” album, a not ignoble justification for the whole affair. Following that brief flare-up of “activity” for the last few months of 1992, the band disappeared from the face of the earth. For three years. Missing and presumed dead. Thanks to the internet, I can now find out that the band did a 1994 US Christmas tour in December of 1994 [!] with nine gigs featuring Jim and Charlie, but not Mel Gaynor or Malcolm Foster. They had apparently moved to greener pastures which might generate some income during this slack period. This US tour was used as a warm up in the boonies for the band’s return to activity the following year.

Next: …Who could Forsey this happening?

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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3 Responses to Rock G.P.A.: Simple Minds [part 34]

  1. Echorich says:

    It always surprises me that I have this cd in my collection. I don’t think I have ever played it. It just exists…


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