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.
Firstly – coming up this evening, Catherine Anne Davies and Bernard Butler are talking to Janice Long on BBC Radio Wales about their collaboration producing the album set for release next month, In Memory Of My Feelings. The album was originally due for release last Friday but some vinyl pressing issues meant that the release was delayed by four weeks.
Click on the photo of Janice to be taken to the relevant page. You can listen in live tonight from 7pm on Radio Wales via the BBC Sounds app.
In connecting Welsh relations – James Dean Bradfield of Manic Street Preachers joined Gary Davies (sitting in for Ken Bruce) for his “Tracks Of My Years” playlist. Included in his choices was Speed Your Love To Me. Someone kindly extracted the relevant part of the program on Radio 2 and posted it to YouTube.
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.
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.
Recorded by SM’s sound tech (of then), Frank Gallagher, in San Francisco. The boys sound really on the mark here. I love this song. It’s probably my fave album title track of theirs along with New Gold Dream and Walk Between Worlds (honourable mention to Graffiti Soul as well).
Anyway, I love that ad lib stuff. I was wondering why Jim had changed the line to “when boys of San Francisco call” – but then Billy Sloan goes on to explain why.
I have just started Lanark. Only just. I’m not the fastest reader and I started much later than I wanted to, which meant my eyelids already were starting to get heavy barely one chapter in. I managed two. Lol. And am already attributing the identity of Sludden to a certain someone. Lol. And I would be any of those hangers on – apart from Gay – I should be so lucky! Or Rima (she has standards – it seems so far anyways). So I guess it only leaves me to be Frankie – most likely – or the other one whose name escapes me (irony!).
Anyway! Early days.
But I am already wanting to explore the world of Alasdair Gray so much more already as a consequence of those couple of chapters of Lanark.
So very later last night, after listening to a new episode of The Archers (now caught up with the real world – Ambridge is now in lockdown too) – and a very emotional yet beautiful Desert Island Discs with Charles Hazlewood as the castaway – highly recommended listening by me, not always easy, granted! (I still keep wondering when the frig they are going to get Jim on there!). I then put in Gray’s name in the search wondering if the BBC had done any adaptations to his books, etc, so thought I’d see what a search of him would bring up.
Well, it brought up this in the search results. A wonderful interview with BBC Radio Scotland’s Janice Forsyth. I didn’t know what to expect from it when I started listening. I had assumed Gray would sound very dour and “Weegie” for one – but I found his voice mesmerising and beautiful. He has such music in his voice. A beautiful burr and lilt that I just was not expecting – almost as if he sang as he spoke. As a consequence, as enthralled in the interview as I was, I found myself drifting off to sleep halfway through, to awake again for the final few minutes and the talk of the hardships of making a career from art – making a sustained paid professional income from artistic pursuit.
His final goodbye was pure music, and rather poignant for this must have been one of his final interviews. He passed away at the end of December last year.
I fell in love with him. He sounded like a magical being. Like a pixie or elf or something. Little did I know my flippant little line to Jim the other day about “starting a book at chapter three – seems like my kinda guy” would ring so true.
You can listen to the interview via BBC Sounds HERE
I just want to be able to talk to him! I know a ton of other fans do too. But A lot of them have had that opportunity. And…YES…it makes me absolutely fucking EVERGREEN with envy. It really does.
He just sounds so convivial and chatty and just…you know.
Above ALL the other stuff! All the rest of it…adoring him, fancying the pants off him, being in awe of him…there is the overriding thing of…he’s just genial. Warm and humorous … and… a bit of an embellisher – but, he’s great at it.
Yes…I had heard the stories before. Us diehards all have. But…what a story it is…and he tells it so good.
To my dying day I will wish to talk to him for more than a few minutes. Also will dream I mean something more to him than “just another fan” and also pray to whatever god will listen that he actually at least tolerates me and sees something amiable in me and doesn’t see me as a pest and a bore and just…a stupid woman. (That final look in Copenhagen.)
And now I will go and cry in a corner.
And maybe alter this post later.
And then get the audio posted here as soon as I have copied it off and downloaded it.