[…continued from last post]
So far, disc 2 had two of the three tracks to be found on the UK 12″ single of “Promised You A Miracle.” Next followed the US remixes of the track. This was the first Simple Minds 12″ single that I had gotten since it was easy to source in The States at the time. I had only recently gotten the “Sweat In Bullet” UK 2×7″ a few months prior so it was the dawn of my Simple Minds fandom. I did not know when I bought it that the mixes were vastly different from the tepid UK 12″ single which I would not get for a year or so later. Steve Thompson was employed by U.S. A+M to goose the masters with the sort of remix that hailed from the time when the U.S. team definitely held the remix advantage.
The rhythm track was isolated and used for an extensive intro buildup before the guitars and synths got the chance to chime in. The track rounded out to a six minute mix that had even more “pop” than the already dynamic original mix. The dub mix on the flip worked with just the drum and percussion track for almost a minute before the guitar was reintroduced right up front. Kerr was dubbed out and only made spectral appearances in the breakdown. I always loved these mixes and the dub version made its CD debut in this box. I had previously digitized it for my own Simple Minds BSOG back in 2002.
Next came the first revelation of this disc: the “US Special Extended Remix” of “Promised You A Miracle.” The stinging irony of this record was that I have seen it in the used bins from day one… and I never thought twice about it because I assumed that it was just a WLP [white label promo] of the commercial 12″ as seen above in the previous paragraph. The timing seemed to be similar to what I remembered on the commercial single. But I could not have been more wrong. The EQ of the track was immediately different with a finely etched treble colored sound that was arranged very differently to the commercial issue. The commercial mix had its middle eight at the 3:00 minute mark as the flanged guitar and drum track took the spotlight for a few bars. Instead, this mix delayed the bridge until 4:07 and even then the guitar had a different EQ and Jim Kerr was vamping in the mix without the four bar breather in the commercial mix. The song played out with Kerr ad libbing over the longer fadeout. Fascinating, Captain. How I wish that I had not waited 37 years before hearing this alternative remix. The
The 12″ A/B sides of the “Glittering Prize” UK 12″ [there was no American release this time] were another tepid UK “extended version” that basically was padded with 30 seconds of instrumental vamping in the middle eight. The “Theme” was simply the instrumental version of this same A-side. The third single, “Someone, Somewhere [In Summertime],” was more interesting than any of the other UK 12″ mixes. The song began with an elegant echoplexed guitar riff courtesy of Charlie Burchill that could have been the seeds of a whole new song if he ad wanted to take it that far. From that cold intro, the song progressed until it reached the point on the album where it faded and instead the 12″ version played out the longer take of the song for another minute and a half.
The glorious so-called “German” 12″ mix of “New Gold Dream [81, 82, 83, 84]” was actually a single only in… Italy. I’m just glad that at least one nation acknowledged the awe inspiring beauty and power of this most amazing Simple Minds song in the cold, cruel singles market. I had first heard this on the initial CD of the album since Italian vinyl of this track is very scarce. It’s still the go-to version of the track; allowed to play out into its nearly seven minute splendor. There have been murmurings of a ten minute take that Peter Walsh recorded studio take of this song, but the rumors proved to be just that as a careful poring over of the archives by Simon Cornwell did not reveal this semi-legendary take. Virgin wanted the album recorded live to capture the band’s energy on disc so producer Walsh recorded full takes of every song with the full band playing. With minimal overdubbing, including Kerr’s vocals, getting put down later.
This box contained what was called the “German 12″ Remix With Drums” and the timing on it was 6:56 as opposed to the 6:53 for the usual German 12″ remix. The rhythm box faded up for a split second, instead of being a cold intro, but I can’t discern a difference. Nevertheless, it is here for our edification. This was that kind of BSOG.
We’ll move along to confer buried treasure status to the next track, a long 8:46 full-length take of “King Is White And In The Crowd” released in 1982 for the cassette “magazine” “Touch” as released by Jon Wozencroft, who has worked extensively with Neville Brody; the third iconic graphic designer of the Holy Post-Punk Triumvirate® of Graphic Design. [see also: Malcolm Garrett, Peter Saville]. Better, on the 1982 cassette the darkly intense instrumental was besmirched by an interview with Jim Kerr. Sorry Jim, but the only reason why this had holy grail status for so long [and I sure didn’t have a copy] was because of the alternate take underneath his voice! This has now been rectified. It’s enough to make one pine for straight instrumental copies of albums two through six from this band. Has there ever been a more capable band of players?
Finally, the last treat here was known previously to those who bought the 2005 DVD-A of the album while it was briefly available. One of the things that Charlie Burchill and 5.1 mixer Ronald Prent dug up at the time was “In Every Heaven” a sprightly song built upon a dynamic drum pattern that leapt like a gazelle from the vivid sticks of drummer Mike Ogletree. It only reached our ears before 2005 as the B-side of “Someone, Somewhere [In Summertime]” in instrumental form [very logically] as “Soundtrack To Every Heaven.” While Kerr’s lyric and vocal sounded a bit tentative, the music bed was more than worthy of airing at the time. It’s good to have this lost piece of the “New Gold Dream” puzzle more widely available, though it’s not really an extended version, per se.
Next: …Perfunctory – And Not So Perfunctory