Heart Of The Crowd – Limited Edition Boxed Presentation

So initially I held off getting the Heart Of The Crowd book on pre-order. I just wasn’t sure I wanted to expose myself to all those stories. I was slowly coming round to it and was starting to think that maybe it would be good. And the £45 didn’t seem too bad. A little more expensive than I had liked (as I said before, the 16 Years book is of a similar volume but was just that more modestly priced at £35) but, you know…I’m sure it would be worth it.

I am glad I had held off because one of the fans on one of the SM groups alerted us to THIS!

The blurb about it reads:

With foreword from Jim Kerr. The Special Box edition is limited to 1,000 copies only and are all individually numbered.

The Special Box edition comes compete with bonus items including: Certificate of Authenticity numbered 1-1000, two rare early black and white photos signed by Jim and Charlie, a plectrum made for Charlie for the 2020 tour, Simple Minds 40 Hits tour VIP pass with lanyard, Simple Minds 2020 fridge magnet, sticker sheet with 24 badges, replica Saturday Night Live ticket from 1985, replica BBC In Corcert ticket from 1979, replica Mars Bar Club flyer from 1977 (I think they mean 1978, I hope they do!), all presented in a box with artwork.

Well…I couldn’t actually resist THIS version and have gone ahead and pre-ordered it. When you make it ultra collectable, of course then you pull me in! I already have the photo of Jim. I got some prints from Laurie Evans just a short while ago and it included that particular photo of Jim. I don’t have any of Charlie (of Laurie’s in print form), so there’s a bonus already.

I won’t lie – I took a steep intake of breath when I saw the cost but it wasn’t like I wasn’t prepared. And I do think given the collectable nature of it and all the bonus content, it is actually a more reasonable price than the standard copy of the book. All of that other stuff for £40 more quid? Sounds bloody decent to me!

So, yes. This special box limited edition is priced at £85 but, in my eyes, better value for money than the standard edition.

I just pray now that my little contribution features in it…but I highly doubt it. There is nothing grandiose in my fan story I have to offer. certainly not what I had submitted anyway.

Yep. I was keeping quiet about it. About the fact I actually DID submit something. But I sat on my hands for months because I felt I had nothing to offer the book as Miss Johnny-Come-Lately “not a real fan – earn your stripes, girly” fan – so…yeah.

I’ll be no doubt desperately disheartened if my little bit doesn’t make it in…but I have had more than my share in recent times. And I’ll love Jim all the rest of my days for being so kind and lovely to me when he did. (Oh, how I miss it! STOP CRYING!!! 😭😭😭)

Nothing could ever mean more to me than that.

So…if you have £85 to burn, have contributed to the book and know you’re appearing in it (some fans already seem to know they are in it) then you MAY just want to splash out. At only 1,000 limited copies, I wouldn’t dilly dally though!

Details on purchasing the book can be viewed HERE

Back To The Loch

Went back to Balloch and Loch Lomond today. I made a playlist containing all the little short videos I recorded there today, and there’s a vid of me waxing lyrical about my continuing love affair with Scotland. May it last the rest of my days.

Photos too! And because I am Queen of the selfie fail, I thought I’d share the fails too. Geez I am SSSOOO photogenic! Not.

Old Gold Dream?

I felt rather disheartened by yesterday’s 6 Music “Album Club”. The remit for BBC Radio 6 Music when it started was to be “indie” and “alternative”. It seems to have edged away from that over the years. I mean…it was fabulous that they gave exposure to Walk Between Worlds in 2018. No one was more surprised than me. I really thought it would be Radio 2 that would give it the exposure.

The fact that Simple Minds can straddle getting airplay from both stations is testament to the lasting legacy and style of the music they have produced. GOOD ON THE MINDS!

But the disappointing things about yesterday were – the repetition of the interview. At least 6 Music alluded (or even ELUDED) to it being a repeat…but with a modicum of uncertainty I tuned in anyways but once it got under way, the interview was sounding pretty familiar.

The other was the fact that they – 6 Music – ONCE AGAIN chose to concentrate on New Gold Dream.

Now….DON’T GET ME WRONG! New Gold Dream is EVERYTHING that the lasting reverence and esteem it is held in by all and sundry is worthy of. It is as near to perfection as Simple Minds ever got, aurally. And you all know well enough how I feel about Jim in 1982. The album and him…both near perfection in 1982. He is as aesthetically beautiful as the album work itself. The album is art and Jim right at that point is Michelangelo’s David for me.

Back to that 6 Music remit. “Indie and alternative”. It makes me wonder then WHY…why not highlight EMPIRES AND DANCE? It was its 40th anniversary, FFS! Or…Sons And Fascination/Sister Feelings Call – which is absolutely CRYING OUT for a box set reissue, but looks as if it will never get it – to my (and quite a number of others fans) eternal consternation.

It just had me perplexed. New Gold Dream is constantly lauded. Constantly gets the praise. It’s almost as if, sometimes in the eyes of many, that Simple Minds made only one great album and it’s that one thing. For me, it almost falls into the danger zone of Don’t You (Forget About Me). Except it is far more superior to that (sorry for the Don’t You lovers – I once was a lover of it too, many moons ago…and then I became a Simple Minds fan). Simple Minds only known for ONE SONG and ONE ALBUM. It just sucks arse!

And I am ssooo disappointed that there wasn’t more to celebrate and applaud Empires And Dance. On this milestone anniversary year, it REALLY deserved it. I hate how both EAD and Sons/Sister are just deemed creative precursors to NGD. Never really seen as the amazing sonic innovations they both were.

At times I can be left with a kind of desensitised feeling after having listened to NGD – like it just washes over me because it’s kind of “too good”. I can’t explain it right. But…I NEVER have that feeling with Sons And Fascination/Sister Feelings Call. It ALWAYS leave me floored, in awe, astounded and like I have been on the most amazing sonic journey. And Empires And Dance just floors me thinking about their age and ambition and how they pulled off such a sound. Drawing on so many influences, but finding their own musical identity.

Anyway, that’s just how I felt about yesterday’s Album Club. Once I heard that the interview was indeed a repeat, I switched the radio off.

Yesterday I wasn’t much in the mood to hear more praise heaped upon NGD.

Another Chance? Steve Lamacq’s Album Club

I’m not sure if this is going to be a brand new thing? I did seek clarity on this but no reply (so far) has been forthcoming, so I have no idea. The blurb would seem to imply it might be…but it just maybe worded that way in readiness for it being on BBC Sounds for playback. I dunno.

They did do this four years ago when the New Gold Dream box set came out. I have a sneaky feeling it MIGHT be a repeat of that…but we’ll see.

Either way, it’s an opportunity to grab it and put it on the blog to be available permanently. In the meantime, click on the image to be taken to the BBC page. Listen in “live” at 6pm this evening – or on playback.

Things I Still Miss

All the time. Being able to ask Jim a random question. It might not always have been answered, but sometimes it would be.

Now I don’t feel as though I can ask…or it would be a waste of energy even asking as he’d either not see it or really wouldn’t be bothered to reply.

Over the past week or so I have been wondering if he was a fan of Slade. I don’t know why I am particularly curious. I suppose because they just seemed so “mega” for a time in the early 70s – and they had the glam thing too – but kind of heavier sound, much more rock based and Noddy’s voice is so distinctive. And their look and how they slightly altered from a real skinhead kind of vibe to uber glam – but still rock. And…Dave Hill – enough said. Lol

They are a band I feel I should give more time to. When I think about the musical output I’ve heard from them, I think it’s definitely a precursor to punk. Aspects of their sound and look had a punk ethos before “punk” was really a thing. Then I suppose other bands like Iggy and the Stooges and the New York Dolls had that too. Especially in the case of New York Dolls, like Slade – almost that crossover point of straddling both aspects of glam and punk.

I can’t recall Jim ever mentioning Slade or talking about them. I guess he never has because they just weren’t part of the Kerr taste? I dunno.

I wish I felt able to ask, but I don’t much see the point. I guess that answer lies in his lack of ever talking about them. Then again, no one was more surprised than me when he brought up the subject of Hawkwind the other week. Though he obviously put in the “conditional clause” of the liking of seeing them live was more the female flesh on display as much as (or if not actually MORE than) the music itself.

Rampant hormonal teenage boy! Well I guess he knew what to do with those “hard ons” after a few Hawkwind gigs. Lol