Minds Music Monday – Past Present – Magic

Thinking about choosing a track for this week’s MMM, it’s really easy to trawl through their extensive back catalogue to the long past. But as the proposed songs to highlight fluttered through my mind…invariably harking back to the long past, I tutted at myself. “Hey, what about the recent past? What about Walk Between Worlds?”

And with a new album ready to appear on the horizon, I was thinking about the crazy, exciting anticipation I was filled with when we first heard little snippets of WBW and were told of its release date. We are just coming to three years since that flush of info.

On September 29th, 2017, Jim posted about being “busy in rehearsals” and there was news of things to come that he was excited about sharing with us. I usually take those kinds of things with a pinch of salt because…well, promises can be broken, or things…circumstances can change so…

I allowed myself a small flutter of excitement, but that was that.

As November started, he started writing posts about certain songs from the Simple Minds back catalogue and how they came to be. It was all slowly ramping up. And then mid November, the major clues of a release of the new album being imminent started to come through. And then, a week before Charlie’s birthday – BAM! Details of Walk Between Worlds was revealed. But even more exciting was the way the tour was revealed. It was a real tease and got the fans in an absolute FRENZY. It was a masterstroke how it was done.

I remember hearing Magic for the first time and I loved it from the get go. It was so uplifting and such a wonderful piece on how the amazing concoction of self-belief, ambition, determination…and with a little dash of luck – amazing things can happen. That it can, indeed, produce MAGIC.

It was panned by many a fan. Some very noticeably. I will say nothing more than that – because that is all the air certain “oxygen suckers” will get from me! But the lyrics are lovely! They DO tell a story. Okay, nobody loves the old Jim Kerr writing style more than me. The “fragments and ambiguities” that he said he liked to deal in, in an interview for Belgian TV in 1983. But I love Jim the storyteller too. And there is a wonderful story to Magic. That young, disillusioned man, kicking about the big city, wondering what his life was going to amount to. And then, with all those ingredients mentioned earlier all coming into play and alignment…adding some hard work as the final ingredient and…there’s your Simple Minds story right there!

I love Magic. I have done from the first listen and I still do. I see that poor disillusioned young man walking down the street on his tod, looking downcast… “As I walk through the city with my wounded pride and everybody is too busy and you’re wondering why, there’s a hole inside. I need a pill not an alibi.” But it all comes good in the end, young Jim! Keep the faith, beautiful man.

The song just has an indelible spirit and heart. And it lifts me every time I hear it. I will never understand why it has its detractors. But, hey. To each their own. If they don’t hear and feel the magic in it then…

Perhaps it *is* the weakest song on WBW? Well, if it is, then it is testament to what a wonderful album Walk Between Worlds is!

I also thought the video was braw.

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.

The Dutch Stuff

I remember this article from around the Walk Between Worlds tour. The photographer – as far as I was concerned – took some really unflattering photos of Jim, but in amongst the more questionable ones was this one. The best of the bunch. I had several goes of tidying it up but I probably didn’t really improve things much. Scanning from newspapers always results in a lot of “artefact”.

Memorable Tours?

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An interesting post on SMOG from a long-time fan, reminiscing about the Floating World tour of 2002.

It gives a little pang of envy. I know this person has been relatively close to the band in the past. They have stories to tell. Lovely memories. You know…it sounds like more than just “band and fan”. A thing that I had always dreamed of. A thing that I sometimes kidded myself I had, you know. Not overtly so! It’s just that yearning of reciprocation. You love the band, so you hope the band loves you too. “She is your friend, until the bitter end.” But it can only go so far. And I just want more than I can have. It’s that simple. But even that little bit I *did* feel I had is all but gone.

I’ll shut up about it!

Anyway, said fan asked what our favourite tour was. He had talked about this tour like the “gig hop” tours I’ve been on. Following the band around, seeing them all over the place. But again, his experiences were back in “halcyon days”. Soundchecks you didn’t have to pay for to experience. Time just hanging out with the band after shows and stuff. Like, not just a quick signing and a photo op, but a chat at a bar or restaurant. Talk that went into the wee hours. A number of fans have these stories.

Anyway, I think his gigging goes back to 1986? Or maybe ‘89. A long way back anyway. But the Floating World tour was his favourite, he said. Others chimed in with 5×5 Live…just to make me spit even MORE chips!

I gave it a second’s thought. Of my EXTENSIVE range of tours, Big Music (technically one gig, though I saw them twice in 2015, the second was a festival slot, so not strictly a Big Music tour gig, I guess), Acoustic and Walk Between Worlds…I dunno. I have to discount Big Music, it was just two gigs – but that first ever Simple Minds gig at Cambridge will always hold a special place. And of the other two, Acoustic and Walk Between Worlds – both were amazing for differing reasons. But I guess Acoustic just pips it because…just…meeting Jim and hearing him say my name at Bristol and…yeah. All that silly “falling in love” business. Lol. But for WBW there was the album signing, Barras and the meet and greet at Colchester.

But who knows what this year will hold? I am on a MASSIVE 12 show hop-a-long, seeing them in six different countries (seven, if you separate England and Scotland). Let’s see where the wind takes us…

Minds Music Monday – Silent Kiss

Yesterday saw the second anniversary of the release of Walk Between Worlds.

Of course it was the day that Jim and Charlie appeared at the HMV in Argyle Street for an album signing. I was so, sooo nervous! Lol. Silly, really, as I had met them both before already, but the more it goes on – my involvement in the fanbase, how much more in love with the band (Jim!) and the music I become, the less and less confident I am.

It all means too much, and I feel my eyes already beginning to sting with tears just thinking about what it all means to me.

But, hey. Never mind. All good things must come to an end.

I cringe at the memory of placing that bag of sherbet straws in front of Jim. Just me and my silliness. Just trying to deflect what was really going on inside my head which was me standing there gawping at this beautiful man and being struck dumb.

Anyway…as yesterday was the second anniversary of the album’s release, for MMM, I am sharing my favourite track on the deluxe version of the album. I still think it is a crime this song was not included on the standard version of the album.

It is beautiful…

SM News And Gig Review

Last night I was in Oxford seeing Kelly Jones on the final night of his “Don’t Let The Devil Take Another Day” solo tour of the UK. I will review the gig in a dedicated post shortly.

But while I was at the gig last night, news of this broke out within the fandom…

Now I had known something was coming out in November as Virginia had told me she had one of her photos being used for a release coming up. I didn’t quiz her any further on it as I knew it would all be announced by the band in due course.

There’s an extra buzz within the fanbase as this new compilation seems to include a completely new song called For One Night Only. I first read about this track a very short time ago on the Dream Giver Redux site. It was sited as a Walk Between Worlds track that didn’t make the final cut and lyrics were listed for the song.

The link to the info on Dream Giver Redux can be viewed by CLICKING HERE

So now it would appear that FONO will get an airing…albeit as a carrot on the stick of yet ANOTHER compilation album. And a rather strange and curious tracklisting this new “best of” has too. Before it disappeared off Amazon it said the album’s tracklisting had been put together in conjunction with “the band” (aka Jim and Charlie, I’m guessing). It’s a bit non-linear to say the least. And this same treatment that the Bowie “best of” Nothing Has Changed got has been deployed with “edits” of songs all over the place. I don’t get it. WHY have an edit of a song on one disc to have the full version on the next? I mean…what the fuck IS that about? I do not understand what goes on in the minds of record company execs any more. I’m not even sure THEY know how to sell product any more.

So, curious, perplexing and something to push onto us leading up to Christmas with the tasty little morsel of ONE SOLITARY NEW SONG. Okay…keep them keen, I guess.

More on this to come in the ensuing weeks, methinks.

In Here The Sun Shines So Bright – From The “Burning Gold” Memories.

Looking in from the outer, I see some tentative improvement on “The Group”. At least a few more memories are filtering through and the admins at SMOG (well, more accurately, the admins at SMO via SMOG…same admins? Dunno) at least asked for some participation and contributions from fans yesterday.

It may have legs yet. I still need convincing.

In the meantime, the memories shared by the North American fans and by those who travelled to the USA and Canada to see a gig or gigs have been great to see. Some wonderful phots and videos shared.

In amongst the ones I saw yesterday was this amazing snap of Jim by Cody Fulfer. Wonderful stuff.

Five Years A (Mega) Fan

While it is that beautiful man’s birthday – it is also my fan anniversary. This year it is FIVE YEARS since I became a Simple Minds uber fan.

I clean near forgot as I have had something else rather dominating my thoughts today – and it wasn’t that it’s Jim’s 60th, no.

I’ve been hard at work on something today and there’s a few other bits and pieces going on…all enough to distract me from remembering my fan anniversary for several hours today.

But here we are. FIVE YEARS! Of following the most amazing band in the world, EVER. From the very earliest days right up til the present moment…Simple Minds have been my entire universe these past five years.

I can’t imagine my life without this band in it now.
Thank you ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ – a heart for each of the current members of the band.

Minds In America Live Album?

I’m sure it doesn’t seem the case to those who THINK they know me…I’m sure I seem the biggest blabber mouth on the face of the earth, but I CAN keep a bloody secret!

One that I was (somewhat accidentally, admittedly) entrusted with was the info there was going to be a live release from Simple Minds’ most recent tour of the U.S.

Today I received the latest issue of Classic Pop in the post and there’s a big old write up and interview with SM producer, Andy Wright. In amongst it, he talked about his working relationship with SM and within it was also the reveal of there being a live release of SM recorded during the resent U.S. tour. He says it’s going to be a 40 track thing…but that seems quite a lot. I’m not even sure 40 individual tracks made it on the setlist in America, did they? Perhaps some things played during soundcheck are being included? Who knows? We’ll see around Christmas time, I guess.

Exciting news nonetheless.

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