Minds Music Monday – In Every Heaven (Early Version)

I fell in love with this version IMMEDIATELY on first play when I got the New Gold Dream box set in the summer of 2016.

I find it wonderful when we are allowed to hear demos and early versions of songs. I love being exposed to that “work-in-progress’ – even if it takes many years to do so.

It always feels just ever so slightly darker and maudlin the early version. I guess because it is a slower pace. It’s more sparse as well. The synth is just beautiful though. So melodic. And even if Jim is just searching for lyrics and a tune with his vocal, it’s haunting and beautiful.

In its early life, In Every Heaven feels much more akin to Seeing Out The Angel in its structure, but it eventually gets its guitar parts, becomes more up tempo and says such beautiful sentiment to its lyrics.

I’ll never QUITE understand what “kissing yourself goodbye” is meant to imply but I guess it doesn’t really matter. Not everything in life makes sense.

My favourite lines?
“Radio plays
Static of love
Stand over by my side
Heaven it bumps
Heaven it grinds
Get over by my side”

He writes such romantic words.

Anyway, they are not on this version. And despite its more…deeper feel, it’s still heavenly.

The photo was taken from my bedroom window a few days ago. It just looked splendid.

“It’s The Greatest Gift Of All”…

Let’s hope for the near future that “the band play(ed)s on”.

Today I received a belated birthday present from my friend, Yvonne. A beautiful, unique thing it is too! It’s a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle of my Hunter And The Hunter digital art piece.

How wonderful is that?! Absolutely beautiful!

Thank you, Birdy! I love it ❤️😊

It’s Too Easy, Billy!

So, for this week’s topic for his show, Billy Sloan is asking which song that mentions metal or kinds of metal in its title or lyrics is your favourite, and why?

Normally I’ll reply with something, but I never go into the “why” that often. Sometimes I try to elaborate. And sometimes there is just no rhyme or reason for what you like about a particular song.

But in this incidence…it was REALLY easy to – not only choose a song IMMEDIATELY but give the most comprehensive reason why!

I said “New Gold Dream – absolutely ALL THE WAY. Not only because it is one of the best songs EVER written, but also because of this exchange I had about it with Jim.”

And well, I could have gone on and said, “which in turn inspired me to make art about it…but not only of Jim’s reply to me but also the lyrics themselves. And, well…also about how the song came to be written as well….in an irreverent and cheeky way.”

And it is my “constant” as a Simple Minds song right now. It’s hope and enlightenment and…gold…gold for the soul. It’s beautiful!

BBC Radio 2 – Best Albums Of The 1980s – National Album Day

Tomorrow is National Album Day and it has a theme this year – the 1980s. Celebrations abound over the next 48 hours or so. Special limited edition albums and singles are to be released today, available in record stores across the country.

Tim Burgess is holding a day of themed listening parties via his “Tim’s Listening Party” Twitter account tomorrow – mostly involving the albums that have been released to celebrate the day.

BBC Radio 2 have joined in the celebration by asking fans and collating the results with a panel of judges (involved in the music business) for the Top 40 Best Albums of the 1980s. The Top 10 list was revealed in the early hours of the morning on the BBC News site in the Entertainment and Arts section. I won’t link to the Top 10 here just yet. I feel a bit peeved it got revealed before the broadcast of this (information below), in actual fact.

Gary Davies hosts the Sounds of the 80s on Radio 2 and tonight at 8pm BST, he’ll be doing a countdown of the Top 40 Best Albums of the 1980s.

Will New Gold Dream feature in THIS list? It bloody better! Well, at least ONE Simple Minds album should! I’d even be happy if it was LITCOL to be honest.

Anyway, I’ll be tuning in to see how the list pans out and what gets where.

Click on the image to go to the page that will get you tuned into Radio 2’s Sounds of the 80s.

Rolling Stone Magazine’s Glaring Omission!

In the latest edition of Rolling Stone magazine, they have gone over the 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time. There is now a new, revised list from the magazine. The first list was published in 2003. In 2012, they revised this list. We’ve now had this second revision.

I went through the whole list, praying I would see New Gold Dream (if nothing else in the Simple Minds canon) on it. Nope! Not a sausage.

I then went and looked at the original 2003 thinking they may have been on that – but no. Okay, then perhaps they made the 2012 revision. Nada!

There are albums I love on there. Several Bowie albums (though I don’t agree with their placements in the lists), my favourite Bjork albums, albums by The Police, Tracy Chapman’s debut…and many others that were worthy of their placement.

And then there are weird omissions from the revisions, strange additions and list placement reshuffles that leave me perplexed.

An example: Hole’s Live Through This from 1994. It is an album I loved at the time, and when the original “500 Greatest Albums” list was compiled in 2003, I might have agreed with its placing of number 466. But now, not really. And I am certainly perplexed by not only it still being on the list in 2020 – but its high repositioning at number 106! What the fook?!

Okay…so New Gold Dream has never been on the list. I genuinely think it’s a crime.

There were a few personal Top 10s from renowned musicians. One of them being U2’s The Edge. I gave his list a keek and … nothing! I thought, “Come on! It’s the inspiration for The Unforgettable Fire! You guys wax lyrical about it! You still play it before gigs! Why is it not in your top 10?” I am miffed!

I know music is subjective and lists mean nothing in the grand scheme of things. But I was genuinely disheartened not to see New Gold Dream even at number 500.

There’s no accounting for taste.

Recent Radio Offerings – New Gold Dream Album Club and Ged On Radio Scotland Arts Show

Firstly, Steve Lamacq played the entire New Gold Dream album as part of Radio 6 Music’s album club. It also includes an interview with Jim and Charlie recorded and aired in July, 2016, as part of the box set release of NGD at the time.

On Wednesday (Sept. 30th), Ged was on BBC Radio Scotland’s Afternoon Show with Grant Stott, discussing the new orchestral versions of songs from The Bard’s Tale, plus about Simple Minds and the state of the live music industry during the Covid pandemic.

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.