Empires And Dance Appreciation – Constantinople Line

I originally wrote the following in January, 2016 as a “Why I Love…” piece for the blog. Little has changed in my feeling for this song. It’s bloody fab! I share the demo version of the song because it is the one stuck in my head today more than the album version. Enjoy!

***** It’s the rhythm of it to begin with. Very reminiscent of David Bowie’s Station To Station. It reminds me of it, but is far enough removed not to sound a pastiche.
A great bassline once again from “Big Dan”. And Charlie uses the guitar effects for a nice screeching sound. Maybe it’s just reverb. I can’t claim to understand what I hear, but I know I like it!

Absolutely one of the best set of lyrics Jim has ever written. They are very image laced. I see the pictures in my head when he sings them “I see a land, as we crawl by night /I see a face on the window in front” – I love those lines so much! And possibly my favourite lines from ANY SM song…ever “these stations are useful / these stations we love them” when it wasn’t very “de rigueur” to claim to “love” things like that. I’m assuming because of such, Jim is very much saying it tongue-in-cheek, which I love. (No pun intended!)

The demo version has different lyrics. He sounds like he’s ad libbing a bit. The song’s musical structure is there…and some of the final lyrics are there (including the “these stations” ones) but there are some lines that don’t gel. He did a wonderful job refining and trimming. The demos can make you appreciate the final cut so much more…
And, of course, the song ends with the sound of a train.

It just does a great job of letting you feel that train journey experience. Foreign lands…people behaving shifty…cloak and dagger…it’s like Strangers On A Train. Simple Minds do Hitchcock and borrow a *tiny* bit from Bowie and do a stellar job.
This song…I love it! 😜😊 *****

P.S. The artwork is a really early days one. An oldie but a goodie. Jim liked it. Halcyon days 😌

Say Who You Are!

The album that did it for me. The one that, during my exploration of the Simple Minds back catalogue, “sealed the deal”. Empires And Dance put me into a state of…I dunno…suspended animation. I quite literally could not believe what I was hearing…that the band responsible for Don’t You (Forget About Me ) – subsequently I learned how much involvement there was in that, obv. – Alive And Kicking, Sanctify Yourself, etc, had also made stuff LIKE THIS?! It just blew my tiny frigging mind. I’m not holding up the songs mentioned to belittle them or say they’re inferior in ANY WAY….it is just a fact that Simple Minds within a 5 year period became a very different band musically and that I had NO KNOWLEDGE of how they sounded in 1980.

So, again for me personally, in 2014 listening to Empires And Dance for the first time was like discovering an entirely new band. And with the anniversary of its release this week, I just wanted to talk about it a bit, share some of my art inspired from the tracks and just give it and its content some praise.

I wouldn’t be the mega diehard (but has she earned her stripes yet?) SM fan I am now without this album existing, I don’t think.

Today I share what is at this point possibly my very favourite live version of Thirty Frames A Second. Jim stalking around that stage like a freshly uncaged animal. Leaping about like a jack rabbit…never faulting vocally…but being raw and emotive and just….GGRRRRRRRR!!! I love it!

The Return Of SSIS Video From Belgian TV

This clip was around on YouTube last year and then shortly after disappeared. I was GUTTED when it disappeared. I only got a few screengrabs from it and although I made a bit of art from it as a result, I missed being able to watch the clip. I just love it…and I adore Jim in it.

So this time, I made sure it will NEVER, EVER disappear from me EVER again! Hopefully the Belgian station will always allow the clip to be viewable on their site..but if it ever disappears, I have my own copy of it saved now.

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You can watch the whole clip by CLICKING HERE and going to the Sonuma website to view.

Enjoy!

Huge thanks to mega SM fan, Carlos, for making us fans aware of it being available to watch on the Sonuma website.

Don’t You (Forget About Me) – Live In The City Of Angels

I think I may actually like this more than the Love Song offering. What’s going on, guv? Lol

I’m still not sure about how much overdubbing has been done…dunno.
Jim’s voice seems more natural and recorded “on the night” than it does on Love Song.

I’m feeling a little more optimistic after this.

The other thing I would say is…it lacks a little bit of … guts … musically….acoustically. I mean, it’s a sonic assault to the ears, being at a Simple Minds concert, and this sounds like someone’s turned all the amps down. Dunno…

Maybe it was the way I listened to it? Through my in-ear phones on Spotify? It just …doesn’t fill the space I was expecting it to sonically. I’m not wording it right, but I know what I feel it’s lacking. I’m just not articulating it very well.

I’ll have to listen to Love Song again and see if it suffers the same thing.

I’m assuming like other recent releases, we’ll get a new song to listen to each week or so until release day.