Want List: Graeme Thomson Gives Simple Minds Their Due with “Themes For Great Cities: A New History Of Simple Minds” Book

Little, Brown/Constable | ISBN-13: 9781472134004 | 360 pp. | 2022

It was almost two years ago I got wind of a new Simple Minds biography from the pen of Graeme Thomson. I had heard from Ross Stapleton, the Virgin A+R genius who got the band signed for their rightful ascent on the charts, that he’d been interviewed for this book. At the time there was another book also in the works that eventually became “The Heart Of The Crowd” and I sat back waiting to see when this other tome would manifest, and in spite of a global pandemic, that time is now.

As we found out, the “Book Of Brilliant Things” changed focus to become “The Heart of The Crowd” and that was ultimately, a bunch of fans weighing in on their Simple Minds experiences. Involvement with the band itself was extremely minimal for that one, and I was hopeful that Mr. Thomson would be giving us the kind of in-depth, penetrating analysis that we crave in respect to this band. Who’ve had an incredible career with the most productive and astonishing artistic arc in their early career of any band I could name. I’d say only Roxy Music’s achievements were greater, given that they appeared fully formed as though from the head of Zeus. Elvis Costello’s came close.

Mr. Thomson has previously written works on artists as varied as John Martyn, Kate Bush, and Phil Lynott, and he writes for The Guardian, Uncut, and Pitchfork. Word has it that he’s most interested in helping the band to reclaim the glorious achievement that constituted their rise to the top of the charts as it remains a body of work that compels me to revisit it frequently. The band have been more cognizant of this different time when their commercial pull was not yet there. For their arena years, they tended to dismiss this period, but recent years, including their amazing “5×5” tour playing only material from their first seven albums, has shown that they are giving that period the respect that it demands.

I am salivating to see that new perspectives and insights that Mr. Thomson can bring to this most riveting story even after I’ve hacked out over 120,000 words on the band’s career myself in a nearly year-long thread on this blog. The pull is such that I cannot get enough of this portion of the band’s story. But the joy is, that apart from a near-decade in the band’s career following the “Sparkle In The Rain” album that I did not care for, they have been gradually and assertively, re-connecting with the artistic mojo that had carried them through their developmental years to great success. In 2022 I’m equally interested in hearing about Simple Minds’ journey that has taken them from stadiums to wilderness and back again even as their continue to move from strength to strength.

Of course, the band’s principals were all interviewed for this tome. Messrs Kerr, Burchill, MacNeil, and Forbes were consulted and we also know that Ross Stapleton [without whom we might not even know about Simple Minds] will also be present in the pages for the band’s re-birth and rise with Virgin Records. The volume is available in e-book and hardcover for its rightful place in my Record Cell’s library. The book is priced to own at a sensible £20.00 [$27.17] and can be pre-ordered at the button below.

post-punk monk buy button

I can’t wait until I have this one in house to review. I suspect that I will burn through those pages in a weekend. Until then…join us with bated breath for the inevitable review.

-30-

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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16 Responses to Want List: Graeme Thomson Gives Simple Minds Their Due with “Themes For Great Cities: A New History Of Simple Minds” Book

  1. negative1ne says:

    Hi Mr. Monk,

    Ordered. Sounds very promising. Looking forward to it, and will be a good addition to the other books. Now all we need is another updated visual discography. I always enjoyed that one too.
    later
    -1

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      negative1ne – I only have the quickie “Glittering Prize” and the “Heart of The Crowd” books. I’m expecting big things from this one.

      Liked by 1 person

      • negative1ne says:

        Hi Mr. Monk,

        I should be getting the book, in a week or so.
        Will be reporting back once its here.

        later
        -1

        Like

        • postpunkmonk says:

          negative1ne – I still need to order one. Budget’s not there right now. I’m expecting great things.

          Liked by 1 person

          • negative1ne says:

            Hi mr monk,

            got the book yesterday, its fantastic. just reading the first 2 chapters.
            there is a lot of good details, depth, and analysis, especially of all
            the early releases.

            there are also several pages of color photographs. this is a must
            read for simple minds fans.

            i got the book for $20 from amazon, and now prices are going up to
            $25-$30. shipping is what you would expect, however, it came in a
            mere 5 days, once they said the order was in.

            will report more once done.

            later
            -1

            Like

  2. schwenko says:

    ordered!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hugh Hall says:

    Hi. Rough Trade UK have copies with a Signed Bookplate.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tim says:

    Thanks for the post, I was not familiar with him or his other books and have snagged the Kate Bush, Elvis Costello and John Martyn ones.

    Like

  5. negative1ne says:

    hi mr monk,

    i am still not finished with the book.

    but check out the podcast with the author :
    https://thehustle.podbean.com/e/book-club-graeme-thomson-author-of-theme-for-great-cities-a-new-history-of-simple-minds/

    later
    -1

    Like

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