Simple Minds: Act Of Love – DL 
- Act of Love 4:01
Friday we got a shock from the Simple Minds camp, who’ve been pretty quiet with the Covid Pandemic torpedoing the band’s formerly ceaseless live romp. Their 40 Years Of Hits tour [of 2020] will end up being something else, once it happens. Simple Minds are a band who are defined by their live touring so the impact on them must be significant. I first saw mention of this new single in the Steve Hoffman Music Forums, so I quickly went to simpleminds.com and when I saw the cover art I knew that we were in good hands. Kudos must immediately go out to designer Stuart Crouch for his absolutely spot on vintage fanzine pastiche cover that put two Laurie Evans photos to expert usage in the revisit of “Act of Love.”
“Act Of Love” was significant to the band because it was the first song they ever played live at their debut concert on January 17th, 1978. It was 44 years ago to the day as they opened in Glasgow for Steel Pulse. With that in mind, Charlie Burchill returned to the song a few years ago while on vacation and had gotten some new inspiration. The song was revisited during their 2020, 2021 sessions for the next Simple Minds album but it was released today to commemorate their 44 year long journey and it will be a one-off single and won’t be on the new album. Well…maybe it might be a bonus track on the DLX ED of the new album. You never know these things. So what is it like?
The intro was all roiling synth loops and Jim Kerr’s haunting BVs until the drumbeats kicked in and got this song cruising on the wide lanes of the current Simple Minds sound. Fans of their sound on “Walk Between Worlds” will be glad that the band haven’t taken things in a dubious new direction. This was a sleek modern revisit to the song that was on their withdrawn “Early Years” compilation in a much stodgier 1978 demo recording. Burchill’s guitars were streamlined and ferocious and had none of the Acid Rock hangover that the teenage Charlie employed 44 years ago.
Similarly, Jim Kerr today had none of the Lou Reed mannerisms that he once was happy to revel in and he’s taken the song on as a mature artist. The structure of the verses and the chorus was familiar but all new verses were written and they added a new middle eight to the song that the original lacked. The chorus was pretty much the same but the dense sleek mix [courtesy of mixmaster Alan Moulder] absolutely spoke to the now of Simple Minds. This new version pulsated with an exciting energy that simply wasn’t there on the original. As Jim Kerr put it on the band’s website:
While I can enjoy the teenage Simple Minds [more accurately, Johnny + The Self Abusers, all the more likely] having a stab at a Glam Rock version of the Velvet Underground [the electric piano really stuck out] I’m with the new version. What else can I say than after its 4:00 minutes were up, I was already pining for more. I can only hope that Mr. Johnson Somerset gets an opportunity to give the new edition one of his widescreen twelve inch [more like eighteen inch remixes, actually] remixes. “Act Of Love” is out today digitally for streaming and download in the usual places. We’re not done yet with Simple Minds. Join us tomorrow for more.