The Definitive “Celebrate” Search

For me…possibly the SEXIEST Simple Minds song is Celebrate…that low, reverbing bass…high synths and Charlie’s little solo riff…plus some of the sexiest words Jim has ever written (seriously…the way he delivers that opening “Act of love”….just makes me melt…let alone the “she rag doll / keeps him warm” lines (which have now been surrendered to Catherine – I love Catherine…but she doesn’t make my ovaries explode like Jim does).

I’ve been on a slow quest to find the most definitive live version of Celebrate.

For the longest time it has been the French TV performance from 1982. As much for the visuals as anything else. Jim head to toe in black leather, with slicked back hair…belted snake hips. The way he moves, the way he sings it…whatever the hell he is doing with that tambourine…it is pure, unadulterated SEX! It’s hard to beat!


A close contender is the 2012 Werchter one. Again…fast foward 30 years, and minus the leather and the tambourine (and the hips being not quite as “snaked” as they once were)…I am just in a puddle…different gestures, different annunciations to the vocal…but still absolute SEX!

My newest fave has been the Cologne Rockpalast ’82 version. He almost shouts and spits vemon with that version! Grrrrrr. Rraaarrrrr!!!! (Lol. I know…I must be ovulating. Lol)

Tonight, I was enjoying this new find…but it had me begging the question…which it ALWAYS does when I listen to modern versions of it – WHY WAS THE FINAL VERSE DROPPED?! HE’S ABOUT TO SING IT on this version. He actually sings “to a distant land” before he takes in where the arrangement is and quickly chimes in the “we can live”…

I would ask him…but given how he is at the moment, I’d no doubt get my head bitten off. And well, Celebrate is not on the Acoustic set list, so it’s all academic anyway, but I can’t help but be curious. The song retains the same length, essentially, so why the final verse is now no more is an even bigger mystery. If the song was shorter, it would be self-explanatory…but IT’S THE SAME LENGTH!

Anyway…it also highlights to me that I have never really delved into listening to ANY of the 2011 live recordings. This must change.

Enjoy the 2011 – almost full quota of verses – version of Celebrate…

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