Yesterday the unexpected news of a release date for the new Simple Minds album dropped. We will have our copies of “Direction of the Heart” on October 21st, 2022. Jim Kerr had been talking about this album that he and Mr. Bruchill had been crafting in the Covid-19 fueled downtime when they were not touring the world on their largely postponed 40th anniversary tour. Truth be told, he’s said that there was enough material written for two albums, so the unused portion probably went into the Simple Minds equivalent of Prince’s Vault, for re-examination at a later time. As history has shown us, they don’t like to waste ideas not of immediate use.
The album was recorded in Germany with Ged Grimes [bass], Sarah Brown [vocals], and Cherisse Osei [drums] adding their parts in separate UK sessions. I’d expect that most of this is the handiwork of Burchill, who programs and plays almost everything these days, but we do get some interesting news in that two songs [“First You Jump,” “Solstice Kiss”] were co-written with bassist Grimes! Kerr had teased co-writes with him some years ago for their previous album, and I’m guessing they went back into cold storage to be freshly attacked this time around. Unless they are new ones that clicked early out.
The most fascinating thing that’s been said about this album is that there are guest appearances by two of my favorite musicians! Russell Mael of Sparks appears as does Gary Clark, of Danny Wilson; the excellent Scot combo that Ged Grimes hailed from! Presumably these two will feature in a vocal capacity. The last time that Simple Minds had a high profile guest star was Lou Reed’s appearance on “This Is Your Land” on the indigestible “Street Fighting Years” 33 years ago! I can’t wait to hear how Mael and Clark fit into the new album.
Simple Minds: Direction of The Heart – UK – DLX CD 
- Vision Thing
- First You Jump
- Human Traffic
- Who Killed Truth?
- Solstice Kiss
- Act of Love
- Planet Zero
- The Walls Came Down
- Direction of the Heart (Taormina 2022)
The LP/Cassette/CD all have nine tracks, with the bonus two shown above only on the deluxe casebook CD and the DL, of course. So you know which one I’ll be pre-ordering. “Act of Love,” the DL from early this year, we know, of course. I was thinking at the time that it was a one-off single, but they’ve conscripted it into the album. As they also have with the title track, ironically only available on the deluxe edition.
Hardcore fans have heard it back in 2018 when the DLX bundle of “Walk Between Worlds” came with a 7″ of “Magic” with this as the non-LP B-side. It was a good number, but it’s definitely been re-recorded as it now sports a “Taormina 2022” parenthetical addition. The album was produced by Simple Minds with Andy Wright and Gavin Goldberg pitching in. Basically, the same team that brought you the last two Simple Minds albums.
Some of the song titles are interesting. “Who Killed Truth?” sure speaks to the now! “Planet Zero” we’ve been teased for at least for a decade with Jim Kerr’s blog postings on simpleminds.com. Now we get to actually hear it. “Human Traffic” sounds like a pretty hard hitting title… but so did “Blood Diamonds” which was far from a political song. Track number nine give me cold chills. I sure hope it isn’t a cover of the song by The Call! Haven’t this band covered The Call enough by now? And let me state that cover versions are nowhere near their strengths as a band. The second advance single is “Vision Thing.” Not to be confused with the Sisters Of Mercy classic! A listen to 90 seconds on iTunes [the only platform I can hear it on] was inconclusive. A mid-tempo track that sounded like the production style of the last album …minus any thrills. Well, 90 seconds isn’t much to go by.
We have six formats to choose from. Four analog and two digital. I’m for the last one. But it bears mentioning that for the last album in 2018, I pre-ordered a £30 bundle that included, LP/CD + bonus tracks/7″ single [red]. This time just the CD + bonus tracks is $27.98. And judging from the pack shot, the cassette simply comes in an O-card… shocking!
Heavyweight Black LP
Indie Store Orange LP
All of these except the orange vinyl LP are available from the band’s official store. The last album was a top five item on the UK album charts in 2018, but it was also their best album since 1984. Can the band maintain their artistic momentum? The new single was not conclusive. “Act of Love” was good, but I didn’t expect it to be on this album. We’ve got plenty of time until October, so I’ll probably pre-order the DLX CD before then. The buttons below are a good staring point.
Official Band Store
Orange Indie LP – Rough Trade UK
hi mr. monk,
thanks for highlighting the release. i never pre-order.
so i will wait for all the different formats to settle down,
and end up buying some or all of them.
that reminds me. i still have to buy several of
the walk between worlds format someday.
yes, i will probably even get the cassette version too,
since i have been collecting most of the others one also.
looking forward to this album, and glad they’re still
continuing to release music.
PPM – while I may not buy any of this, I must say I LOVE the cover art of both images you have posted – some great graphics work there – heck I might buy it just for the art! It might be ‘double good’ if the music was good ;-) Did they work with Saville?
Break – Update – I am going on a German OMD groupie concert trip in August – I will see OMD at all of their German gigs outside of Dresden. Tix are bought, hotels booked, mileages calculated and fellow groupie to accompany me are secured. Looking forward to this for sure. Have never done anything like this before – and may never afterwards…hehe. I will send pics and reviews if you want….the Royal Albert Hall gig was phenomenal…may be hard to top.
Deserat – No, I don’t think that Saville would never design such a cover. Too twee for him. I’m betting Stuart Crouch Creative once again did a cover in 3D. It’s not a bad concept, but the reliance on a 3D render is so dated. I miss real photography. And Trevor Key (r.I.p.)
So you’re doing a full OMD tour?! That’s crazy work. I know a few people who did that, and Lori Tarchala is an American lady legendary for her OMD tour diaries both here and abroad. Maybe you’ll meet her? Have fun and stay safe!
Deserat – I was deep diving in Discogs this evening and saw this 2012 cover by erstwhile Simple Minds touring member Catherine Anne Davies and it looked “familiar.”
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Hi Mr Monk,
Listened to the album a few times yesterday and today to let it sink in.
Its a good album, maybe on the level of the last 2. But not really outstanding.
I like a few tracks, so thats good. I wish there were some real singles, digital or otherwise with some remixes, or extra tracks.
I’m sure you will check it out at some point.
negative1ne – It arrived on Monday. I’ve heard it about 3-4 times now. A decent album. Not as good as the previous few. Inspiration is lacking with Charlie making 80% of the music. I think he’s stretched very thin but they obviously prefer this. Expect some Johnson Somerset remixes eventually. I like his work. The B-sides are on the digibook CD as bonus tracks. That’s how I think of it since the band are allergic to singles now. “Wondertimes” was pretty good. “Direction Of The Heart ” was a plane crash of a new version. What were they thinking? I think there were a few plug-ins that Charlie forgot use on that one. Also, using the same song as bonus track on two consecutive albums seemed a little desperate. The version on the “Magic” 7″ was decent. This new one was most definitely not. And tell them to please stop covering The Call!!!
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I was ready to bin the album until side 2 kicked in. “Planet Zero” has a great hook, at least to my ears. And even if I am in a segment of 1, I like their version of “Walls” because that song has much sentimental value to me. So, I will probably keep this in moderate rotation in only for the quality songs the 2nd side only.
Finetime – I’ve been listening to the four that came before it to quantify my first impression, which was “perfunctory.” Big review coming on Monday…
I look forward to your review.