That bass! Wow! Seriously…say anything else you like about Derek Forbes, but he has to be one of THE BEST bass players in the world. WHAT A GROOVE! The song has FUNK! That really is one funky bass groove.
And then, more stellar, shining keyboard work from Michael MacNeil, along with understated guitar from Charlie. Just quietly playing away.
Then in comes Jim with one of the best opening lines to a song, in my humble opinion, “Shooting from the hip about our faith and love”. A man of 23, delivering lines from what would be of someone TWICE his age, at least. So much experience expressed just in that line alone.
“See me as I figure in your late night plan.” Always sounds like a seductress plotting her way to getting him into bed.
Does she succeed?
“With me first times can never lie.” Perhaps. Lucky her!
But of course, there are always “side effects of living in temptation”.
There’a a very lonely point in the song. And for me it’s not, “see me as I’m cocooned up in badlands”, it’s “when only one star’s waiting up on all of us”. Even though the line says “all of us” – I see people, but alone, with their thoughts…a lone star above them. One person. One star. And that *ting* just before Jim sings the line. That little percussive bell gives me chills!
Jim Kerr is SSOOOO great at placing that kind of imagery in my head. I know I am infatuated with the man…but, seriously, if I wasn’t I would still be endlessly singing his praises as a songwriter. Though, to be honest, it’s partly where the infatuation comes from. It’s a brain thing. Looks are one thing…but, you gotta have the brains to match! I am REALLY not into “himbos”. If there isn’t something beyond there being just something pretty to look at, I ain’t interested. The looks MAY initially pique my interest…but it’ll be the brain that snags me to the line and reels me in!
But, I digress WILDLY!
The song itself is a temptation. Softly funky. Sensual. Lyrics that hint at sex and dangerous liaisons. All subtly played out. And just to lure you in that bit more, Sir Herbie of Hancock on a keyboard solo, adding another layer of soft funk, dispersed with Jim’s breathless little backing vocals and that bass of basses!
Towards the end we hear, “when you hear me screaming, I’ll be seeing through the eyes of love”. Has love won out? And why screams? Because love has won out, and desire has gone? Is temptation no more? Is it regret? Maybe it’s a kind of Stockholm Syndrome? All that time “cocooned up in badlands” taking its toll? Has he fallen for his captor?
Oh, yes. I do try to get to the heart of a song. Find its real meaning. Sometimes it can’t be found and stays wonderfully, mystically, perplexingly ambiguous. That is why I am such a big fan of David Bowie. Bowie was a master manipulator of ambiguity. Jim Kerr very much his progeny AND protege. (If you don’t mind my being so bold as to suggest that, Mr. Kerr?)
In summary. A bass groove like no other, lyrics that just ooze sensuality. Subtle tones. Musical delicacies. Like butterfly wings on your ear drums. A maturity it exudes beyond the years of its writers. Beautiful, lush, enveloping. All-consuming! Much like the passion and temptation that the song is about. One of Simple Minds’ very finest songs. One that should be heard by all and sundry, at least once.
And that is why I love Hunter And The Hunted.