A Compilation Commemorating 40 Years Of Simple Minds Compilations

Yet another Simple Minds compilation…

A few weeks back, I received an email from Simple Minds mailing list. It seemed like the band suddenly realized that they were active for 40 years and realized that they needed to be doing something spectacular to tie into that fact. So thus it came to pass that there was another compilation coming our way on November 1st.  It’s called “40: THE BEST OF – 1979-2019” and comes on the heels of 2013’s pretty definitive “Celebrate: The Greatest Hits +.” We’ve dug deep into this turf before. What’s the pull on the new one?

Well, we’ve got the usual mix of formats. CD. 2xCD, and 2xLP. Here’s the track breakdown.


This is the one that actually has 40 tracks on it. So in answer to your question, yes! We’ve now reached the point in time where Simple Minds are copping moves from The Rolling Stones, who issued their 40th anniversary “Forty Licks” with 40 songs from their then-mind staggering 40 years as a rock band [yet still alive]. This happened in 2002, but time has caught up with the former young turks. I’m distressed to see that they consider their acoustic album canonical enough to have included three cuts from it – even though the same three songs also figured in the playlist earlier!

Disc 1

  1. Waterfront
  2. Love Song
  3. I Travel
  4. Glittering Prize
  5. Sense of Discovery
  6. The American
  7. Up on The Catwalk
  8. She’s A River
  9. Someone Somewhere in Summertime
  10. See the Lights
  11. Jeweller to the Stars
  12. War Babies
  13. Belfast Child

Disc 2

  1. Home
  2. Magic
  3. Promised You A Miracle
  4. This Is Your Land
  5. Honest Town
  6. Glittering Prize (Acoustic)
  7. Waterfront (Acoustic)
  8. See the Lights (Acoustic)
  9. Let There Be Love
  10. New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
  11. All the Things She Said
  12. Once Upon A Time
  13. Don’t You (Forget About Me)

Disc 3

  1. Chelsea Girl
  2. Cry
  3. Hypnotised
  4. Stars Will Lead the Way
  5. For One Night Only
  6. Theme for Great Cities
  7. Life in A Day
  8. Changeling
  9. Celebrate
  10. Blindfolded
  11. Sanctify Yourself
  12. Mandela Day
  13. Speed Your Love to Me
  14. Alive and Kicking

There’s one new song added to the sampling of material. A head scratching cover version of King Creosote’s “For One Night Only.” I’ve heard the name King Creosote, who I swear, has taken his name from a National Lampoon Radio Hour “Megaphone Newsreel” skit of the same name. I can imagine no other scenario where those two words were adjacent to one another. Having sampled the Minds’ version, I was horribly non-plussed. While it was not entirely what I do not want to hear the band doing with their spare time, it was a far cry from their core strengths. Let me state the obvious: Simple Minds were not put on this earth to perform cover versions. The whole thing sounded like it might have been recorded during the tepid “Searching For The Lost Boys” sessions from ten years ago, but edited out of the final product. Except that the song from King Creosote only dated from 2014.

Single CD

The single CD format takes the chainsaw out for some brutal editing of the playlist. With only 18 songs, it sort of misses the point of the title. I pity the person who had to try to carve out a Simple Minds career arc with under 20 slots to fill. Whole albums were passed up. Albums that should have been passed up weren’t.

  1. Waterfront
  2. Love Song
  3. I Travel
  4. Glittering Prize
  5. Sense of Discovery
  6. Someone Somewhere in Summertime
  7. See the Lights
  8. Belfast Child
  9. Promised You A Miracle
  10. Honest Town
  11. Don’t You (Forget About Me)
  12. Chelsea Girl
  13. Hypnotised
  14. Stars Will Lead the Way
  15. For One Night Only
  16. Sanctify Yourself
  17. Mandela Day
  18. Alive and Kicking


The double album version seems to have the exact tracks as the single CD but the timeline of release has been followed there so instead of the jarring juxtapositions of the single disc, it follows their history for a more coherent flow. Of course, this one probably costs the most. It’s hard to see exactly what these will cost since the purchase links from Simple Minds website are mostly geared towards streaming in these, the end times.

Side 1

  1. Chelsea Girl
  2. I Travel
  3. Love Song
  4. Promised You A Miracle
  5. Glittering Prize

Side 2

  1. Someone Somewhere in Summertime
  2. Waterfront
  3. Don’t You (Forget About Me)
  4. Alive and Kicking
  5. Sanctify Yourself

Side 3

  1. Belfast Child
  2. Mandela Day
  3. See the Lights
  4. Hypnotised

Side 4

  1. Stars Will Lead the Way
  2. Honest Town
  3. Sense of Discovery
  4. For One Night Only

Ouch. Only side 1 is unimpeachable. Sides two and three are compromised, though not fatally. Side four was second best but ended on a flat note with the perfunctory new offering. And this whole program is so perfunctory, that I will be passing it up entirely. My money, such as it is, is still destined for the 3xCD of “Celebration” that came out six years ago and actually was a more well-considered product that included enough rare mixes to have gotten a nod from my direction. Though not a strong one, since I still don’t have one. It’s hard finding a copy under $20 so I have never bitten.

Can we agree to stop with all of the 40th anniversaries of everything already? I’m getting fatigued.

– 30 –

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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22 Responses to A Compilation Commemorating 40 Years Of Simple Minds Compilations

  1. jsd says:

    Not sure if it’s the band or the label that is behind it, but yeah, it’s just too much. Does anybody really need anything beyond X5? No, not really.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      jsd – I thought that disc 3 of “Celebrate [The Greatest Hits +]” was a great summary of their modern period. Disc one was bulletproof, but you had to slog through disc two to get to the light at the end of the tunnel on disc three. I’d like to see a single disc greatest hits taken just from the period covered in the “Rejuvenation” box. Now that would have a purpose! Echorich? Do you copy?


      • While I would agree that this is overkill and that X5 is the most essential collection to own, I would also highly endorse the Sparkle In The Rain box – it removed any asterisk for me about whether the album was canonical or not.


    • negative1ne says:

      To me, as a collector, i’m going to get all of these anyways.

      Used, and cheap of course. But yes, it has that one song on
      there previously unreleased. So there’s that.

      I’ve bought multiple duplicates of lesser releases.

      But that’s the price of being a collector.



  2. negative1ne says:

    Mr Monk,
    on a totally different note. Since you don’t have too many depeche mode posts.
    there is also a pretty lackluster 18cd boxset from them that was announced also.
    4 discs are b-sides, but only 3 new unreleased tracks.


  3. Rob C says:

    It’s a bit if a shame they decided to release this now and restrict it to 40 songs. Would have been much better to add a 4th disc to the 3cd Celebrate collection to bring the story up to date.

    While I still love the budget collection The Early Years from some years ago if you want the most succinct single disc collection around yiu need to track down the Canadian version of Celebrate. They pretty much got it right here.



  4. Andy B says:

    I can understand Simple Minds wanting to celebrate 40 years of releases but bringing out another compilation not too many years after Celebrate seems lazy. The new single is nothing special. I agree Monk that the band should avoid doing cover versions.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Andy B – The only Simple Minds covers I rate are the “Big Music” version of “Let The Day Begin” and “Christine.” The latter in particular, I thought was actually excellent. An improvement on the fine original.


    • negative1ne says:

      For a budget release, its not bad. Sure more boxsets would be nice.
      I would love a Street fighting years one, but most people don’t even remember that album.

      I’m not a fan of the early albums, so there would be limited appeal for
      those also.

      They are working on new material, but that’s not exactly celebrating
      an anniversay.

      Besides that, the holdiays are coming up. I would say its pretty good timing.



      • postpunkmonk says:

        negative1ne – I have tried to see how much this costs but can only find the 2xLP on the UMG webstore for $39. Hardly cheap.


        • negative1ne says:

          Mr. Monk,
          Yes, of course, the vinyl is always expensive. And very few people will buy it.
          However, the cd versions are relatively cheap. I should have clarified that.
          It’s more like a budget release, and not a deluxe edition, or limited in anyway.

          Thats why I have no problem with it.



  5. This one is definitely a hard pass from me. I’ll “make do” with a digital copy of the new song once I’ve sampled it (as with you others, I take mostly dim views to most of their covers, though I did enjoy their take on “Neon Lights” and of course “Christine.”

    So far I concur with Mr Shatan’s and the Monk’s suggestions: X5 (if you can afford it now …) or the 3CD Celebration as your “Greatest Hits/Career Overview” box of choice, and any superdeluxe issues of particular albums you loved (like Sparkle).


    • Ade.W says:

      Monk, No, No more greatest hits for me, I have just got the 4 disc “city of angels”, so with “x5 live “and “Celebrate” live and 2 disc “celebrate and “early Gold”, oh and “Big Music Live 2015 LP , enough enough!
      I just looked back on your young persons guide to Simple Minds comps and spotted the track “Stagefright”, so will download that. I wonder if I’ve missed anything else,? must check.


      • postpunkmonk says:

        Ade.W – Yeah, all of these bands are doing at least a live album per tour. Those instant live CD-Rs insure that I will never have a complete collection of my fave artists. OMD are putting another live one out and I’ll give that a pass. I have all the others but as you say, enough is enough. Having seen the last SM tour, and in view of the price I will get “Live In The City Of Angels” 4xCD. When I have the money, that is! Other stuff is in the foreground.


  6. For what it’s worth, my fave cover of theirs is Neon Lights. But yeah overkill on the comps, the live album would have sufficed.


  7. negative1ne says:

    Hi Mr. Monk,
    Not sure if I mentioned it, or it’s been brought up before.

    The Street Fighting Years boxset will be out this years.
    No useless 5.1 mix on it, but most of Verona will be there.

    Tracklisting from FNAC:

    CD 1
    01Street Fighting Years
    02Soul Crying Out
    03Wall of Love
    04This Is Your Land
    05Take A Step Back
    06Kick It In
    07Let It All Come Down
    08Mandela Day
    09Belfast Child
    11When Spirits Rise

    CD 2
    01Belfast Child – Edit
    02Mandela Day- Edit
    03This Is Your Land – Edit
    04Saturday Girl – B-Side
    05Year of The Dragon – B-Side
    06This Is Your Land – DJ Version
    07Kick It In – Edit
    08Waterfront – ’89 Remix
    09Big Sleep – Live
    10Kick It In – Unauthorized Mix
    11Sign O ‘The Times – Edit
    12Let It All Come Down – Edit
    13Sign O ‘The Times – B-Side
    14Jerusalem B-Side
    15Sign O ‘The Times – CJ Mackintosh Remix

    CD 3
    01Theme for Great Cities ’90
    02When Spirits Rise
    03Street Fighting Years
    04Mandela Day
    05This Is Your Land
    06Soul Crying Out
    08Ghost Dancing
    09Book of Brilliant Things
    10Don’t You (Forget About Me)

    CD 4
    01Gaelic Melody
    02Kick It In
    03Let It All Come Down
    04Belfast Child
    05Sun City
    07Sanctify Yourself
    08East at Easter
    09Alive and Kicking



    • postpunkmonk says:

      negative1ne – How thoughtful of Simple Minds to save me $50-80 by releasing a SDLX box of my least favorite album of theirs. I know you are all in, but if I could press a button and eliminate all copies of “Street Fighting Years” from existence, I would do it without hesitation.


      • negative1ne says:

        Hi Mr Monk,

        Yes, I get it. You made 2 comments stating that, so you
        must mean it.

        Everybody has their least favorite albums. I would nuke
        ‘Once Upon a Time’ if I could wipe it out of existence too,
        along with everything before New Gold Dream.

        I saw from your GPA, your lowest:
        Once Upon a Time – 1.5
        Street Fighting Years – 0.0
        Live in the City of Light – 1.0
        Real Life – 1.0
        Good News from the Next World – 2.5
        Our Secrets are the Same – 0.5

        My scale is out of 5 though (Yeah, sue me for the extra point)
        Life in a Day – 0.5 [potentially 0, but they tried]
        Real to Real Cacophony – 0.5 [actually should be 0, but again]
        Sons and Fascination – 1.0
        Sisters Feeling Call – 1.0
        New Gold Dream – 5
        Sparkle in the Rain – 4.5
        Once upon a time – 2.0
        Live in the city of lights – 3.0
        Street Fighting Years – 4.0
        Real Life – 3.0
        Good News from the Next World – 2.0
        Neaoplis – 3.0
        Our secrets are the same – 2.5
        Neon Lights – 1.0
        Cry – 3.0
        Black and White 050505 – 2.0
        Graffiti Soul – 3.0
        Big Music – 3.0
        Acoustic – 1.5
        Walk between worlds – 2.5
        So, overall, my average is : 2.4
        Which would be equivalent to your scale : 1.92

        Which is surprising, since its one of my top 10 favorite bands.
        I think I like their singles better, and a few albums which are
        my all time peaks – The three around 4.0



        • postpunkmonk says:

          negative1ne – Whooops! Posted a response twice because I was looking for my 1st and missed it in the dashboard. I thought I had closed the window before posting it. I find it fascinating that we are both Simple Minds fans from almost opposite ends of the spectrum.


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