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 This was a sleek modern revisit to the song that was on their withdrawn “Early Years” compilation in a much stodgier 1978 demo recording.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.
Hi Mr. Monk,
what a great way to start off 2022 with. Glad to see simple minds is still kicking, even though their touring is a little spotty. i had the early version, but haven’t heard it lately or remember it. but this new version has a lot of energy in it, and i like that. it will be interesting to see what else they come up with this year. i think their reissue program is done though.
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negative1ne – Yeah, this was a nice surprise. Just like the recent Midge Ure Electronica single. An enjoyable new single when we least expected it. I’m fine with no more Simple Minds SDLX RMs. I only have the “New Gold Dream” and “Sparkle In The Rain” boxes. The other two I’d never buy again. I can’t really think of any other albums that they would extend the effort for, though I’d be all over my favorite two, “Empires + Dance” and “Sons + Fascination/Sister Feelings Call” but I think they have already wrung the dishrag dry with the demos on “Silver Box.” Though live albums from those tours would make me re-buy in an instant. That said, bootlegs I have of the “Sparkle In The Rain” tour are some of the most exciting live shows I’ve ever heard, [this band were never better than on the Irvington show!] and what they put in the “Sparkle In The Rain” box as the live album was unbelievably tepid!
I did just think of a theoretical SDLX BOX that I’d love to see: A complete box with all of the many dozens of European DJ mixes of the “Cry” album and its singles. I have the UK CD-5s for “Cry” and that was all I ever saw. Most of that stuff was Italian DJ promos and cost a small fortune when it came out and I was unemployed at that time.
Even if you had the money, it was simply difficult to buy European 12″ singles at that time. They were all in the $30-50 price range on ebay, which was the only game in town. I need to make a list of everything it should have and that would take me ages just to compile!
But I really loved the “Cry” album. I felt it was what I needed from the band at the time and I’ve always loved that album period. Thank goodness I saw them on that tour! I went to Washington D.C. with chasinvictoria even though I was unemployed. It was amazing and probably kept me sane at the time, but the 2013 tour was their peak. One of the most exciting shows I’ve ever seen and Echorich and chasinvictoria were there with my wife and I.
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Neat. Thanks for the heads up.
ᚱ ᚮ ᛒ ᚧ ᚾ ᛤ ᛂ ᚣ ᛎ ᛂ ᚱ – Glad to be of service!
Awesome work Mr Monk. I love early SM.
the press music reviews – Well, this track was a paradox. It’s [very] early Simple Minds as well as their latest work. In that way it reminds me of the Lostboy material. And that’s only good!
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Now that is what I call a great SM single! I could even imagine this returning them to the radio airwaves! I don’t think I have ever heard the demo “original,” so this (I hope) will point them in the right direction moving forward.
It was a great show in DC and really re-activated my interest in the band, though a longstanding fandom like yours is a very uneven road to travel — the highs are just great but the lows are very difficult to deal with. They were on top form that night and I was particularly glad to share that with such august company!
Hi mr monk,
speaking of simple minds. new album – direction of the heart announced for this fall,
along with several formats, and versions. the deluxe cd has the title track as a new
version of the song on it.
vision thing is the new single.
great to hear new music from them.
negative1ne – Once more, that Simple Minds mailing list I’m on is not getting its use! Thanks for speaking up. Looks tasty. Excited to see Russell Mael and Gary Clark appearing, as well as some songs co-written by Ged Grimes! I’m all for the collaboration! It strengthens a band. Nice cover, too. Will be getting the DLX CD. Thank goodness there is one.
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