Why I Love…Capital City

  
Another killer Dan bassline. It’s a simple bassline but carries the song. The beginning of it and further along in the song when the bass is up front…there’s almost the sound of Aboriginal clap sticks. Don’t know if it’s my imagination…or there’s some other percussive instrument Brian’s using?
I read on Dream Giver Redux that the Gabriel tour party gave Capital City a bit of stick. Well, they can f*** off! Bunch of snobs! Yes, OK…it *is* slightly “plinky plonky” but not in a way that detracts from the song’s gravitas and depth, as far as I’m concerned. Seriously, the snobby Gabriel set of 1980 can go SWIVEL! I would describe it more as “staccato”. Mick’s synths are slightly jarring, but that’s what helps give the song it’s atmosphere. It has a rhythm, at times, like when you see a jogger slowing down from a race. A stagger…and another stagger. It’s meandering. 
I’ve never really heard it before or since on any Minds song but Charlie’s guitar on this sounds SSOO much like The Edge. But I bet my life on it that should read the the other way round, seeing as Empires And Dance was released as U2 went into the recording studio to make Boy. 
Jim’s lyrics are sparse. Wonderfully sparse. Atmospherically sparse!
Wonderfully, there is a demo version for comparison. And it is probably one of the most “complete” demos there is. But the honing and refining that had been done really polished it up. Jim subtly changes and switches around lyrics. He drops the lines from the demo, “This ocean’s blue / it calls to you”, and inserts the “I walk on by / Animals cry” lines instead. And where those lines were in the demo, he replaces them with, “Dance the dance of violence”. Good work, my glorious bhoy! The demo also has him saying the “city that *I* live on” (rather than “they”).
Charlie’s guitar is much more up in the mix on the album version, as it should be. Screeching at times but simplistic. He makes the understated magical. He blends so well with Mick on this.
I find this one just SSOO atmospheric. Another snapshot of a slightly dilapidated, post-war, European Capital City. Except, there are not really ANY dilapidated European cities with a coastline. Plenty with a river running through. But that’s by the by. It’s the imagery that’s conjured up in my head anyway. This dilapidated, post-war European city with a coastline…
It just has that darkness again.
There’s good darkness to me. Darkness that makes you think and ponder and question and seek things out and want to get knowledge and that’s the kind of darkness that Simple Minds exude when they “do” dark. It’s not a hopeless dark. It’s hopeful dark. 
And that is why I love Capital City.
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This video is appalling quality but just AWESOME as a live performance. Jim is just…OUT THERE! Man alive I adore him! 

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