Minds Music Monday – Careful In Career

This week I will be somewhat cheating, as I did a lengthy post about this song for MMM barely six months ago. I wanted to post about it last week, as the song was my earworm over the previous weekend and I was just feeling a lot of love for it. But Empires That Dance had just brought out their version of Someone Somewhere In Summertime and what with it being Valentine’s Day and all….

So here I am this week, still thinking about and loving Careful In Career.

One thing I will say is that during my choosing of the six tracks that I chose for the Son/Sister anniversary celebration on Pulse 98.4 with Ronnie McGhie, Careful In Career only just missed the cut.

Also, the piece of “fan art” I did for the song is still one of my most favourite pieces.

Sorry it’s so short and sweet this week. Uni study and the excitement of the tour recommencing and the imminent trip to Paris are all dominating my thoughts at the moment. I hope to do a more substantial post next week – no promises though!

Happy MMM!

Minds Music Monday – Careful In Career, Live – Tiffany’s, 1981

A bridge version split somewhere between the demo that can be sampled on Silver Box and what gets recorded for the Sister Feelings Call album…this is the only known live recording of SM performing Careful In Career.

A song that I feel is vastly underrated within the SM canon.

A pity it is so under-appreciated and mostly forgotten. Never even warranted a live airing during the 5×5 Tour. Why is it my most hallowed Minds tracks are tracks that have very rarely or NEVER been performed live?

Careful In Career has an expression and intensity to it on a par with things like Premonition, Factory, This Fear Of Gods, Today I Died Again, Thirty Frames A Second…and yet it is left to languish.

To quote the lyric “it’s a shame”.

Why I Love…Careful In Career

Jim’s voice, and his lyrics. They are deep (both voice AND lyrics), as per usual in these early years. His lyrics have a depth beyond his tender years at this point in the Simple Minds story. He so very quickly becomes such a stark, bold lyricist. The imagery he conveys is startling. God, can you tell I’m in love with him(!) as a songwriter? Lol.

Another Simple Minds song in which there is a demo version to compare and contrast. The demo is pretty much fully formed, musically. The drumming is softer…and Charlie’s guitar is WILD. It really screams! Mick’s synths are disturbing and sit up front. And even though at this point in the song’s life, Jim’s lyrics are sparse and still taking shape, his vocal performance is still mesmerising. “How can this be?”, I hear you ask. Just listen to the demo!

When we get to the album recording…we have positively STONKING lyrics. It’s almost like Jim’s version of Rock N Roll Suicide. More than likely still only just 21 when he wrote it. Still younger than Bowie was when he writes Rock N Roll Suicide.

Disturbing lines…

“It’s a shame
To go away
It’s a shame
To die already”

Musically it becomes softer and tighter. I’m not sure that makes sense. Perhaps softer and more succinct is what I mean. Charlie’s guitar becomes softer and sweeter, but still has those soaring highs. Mick’s synth is refined, toned down. The chords aren’t as disjointed and off-key as they were on the demo. And the beginning of the song has much more impact. The way the drum comes in. Serwwweeet!

But it really is all down to The Boy on this one. Those grand, dark, disturbing lyrics. Images of despair, emptiness…like, you’re wondering what it’s all worth and whether you should even bother any more. Wanting to live – “I’ve come so far already”…but wondering whether you should – “It’s a shame”.

And the way he delivers them too. The looooong, drawn out, deliberately protracted pronunciations of words I think are fantastic. One of his best vocal performances on record. (And I’m trying REALLY hard to be unbiased here)

And that is why I love Careful In Career.