One year! One WHOLE year today since I have been to a Minds gig. Well, it would be more accurate to say since I have seen them live seeing as the gig in question was at a festival. But a whole year nonetheless. I am suffering SUCH withdrawals! I am going to as many gigs as is humanly possible next year! I really don’t want to miss out from now on.
Aaawww!!! He’s sssoooo gorgeous :-)))
I love him!
Wow! What a redition! My God! Only saw this the first time a few days ago…and MY DAYS!!!
That bass! Wow! Seriously…say anything else you like about Derek Forbes, but he has to be one of THE BEST bass players in the world. WHAT A GROOVE! The song has FUNK! That really is one funky bass groove.
And then, more stellar, shining keyboard work from Michael MacNeil, along with understated guitar from Charlie. Just quietly playing away.
Then in comes Jim with one of the best opening lines to a song, in my humble opinion, “Shooting from the hip about our faith and love”. A man of 23, delivering lines from what would be of someone TWICE his age, at least. So much experience expressed just in that line alone.
“See me as I figure in your late night plan.” Always sounds like a seductress plotting her way to getting him into bed.
Does she succeed?
“With me first times can never lie.” Perhaps. Lucky her!
But of course, there are always “side effects of living in temptation”.
There’a a very lonely point in the song. And for me it’s not, “see me as I’m cocooned up in badlands”, it’s “when only one star’s waiting up on all of us”. Even though the line says “all of us” – I see people, but alone, with their thoughts…a lone star above them. One person. One star. And that *ting* just before Jim sings the line. That little percussive bell gives me chills!
Jim Kerr is SSOOOO great at placing that kind of imagery in my head. I know I am infatuated with the man…but, seriously, if I wasn’t I would still be endlessly singing his praises as a songwriter. Though, to be honest, it’s partly where the infatuation comes from. It’s a brain thing. Looks are one thing…but, you gotta have the brains to match! I am REALLY not into “himbos”. If there isn’t something beyond there being just something pretty to look at, I ain’t interested. The looks MAY initially pique my interest…but it’ll be the brain that snags me to the line and reels me in!
But, I digress WILDLY!
The song itself is a temptation. Softly funky. Sensual. Lyrics that hint at sex and dangerous liaisons. All subtly played out. And just to lure you in that bit more, Sir Herbie of Hancock on a keyboard solo, adding another layer of soft funk, dispersed with Jim’s breathless little backing vocals and that bass of basses!
Towards the end we hear, “when you hear me screaming, I’ll be seeing through the eyes of love”. Has love won out? And why screams? Because love has won out, and desire has gone? Is temptation no more? Is it regret? Maybe it’s a kind of Stockholm Syndrome? All that time “cocooned up in badlands” taking its toll? Has he fallen for his captor?
Oh, yes. I do try to get to the heart of a song. Find its real meaning. Sometimes it can’t be found and stays wonderfully, mystically, perplexingly ambiguous. That is why I am such a big fan of David Bowie. Bowie was a master manipulator of ambiguity. Jim Kerr very much his progeny AND protege. (If you don’t mind my being so bold as to suggest that, Mr. Kerr?)
In summary. A bass groove like no other, lyrics that just ooze sensuality. Subtle tones. Musical delicacies. Like butterfly wings on your ear drums. A maturity it exudes beyond the years of its writers. Beautiful, lush, enveloping. All-consuming! Much like the passion and temptation that the song is about. One of Simple Minds’ very finest songs. One that should be heard by all and sundry, at least once.
And that is why I love Hunter And The Hunted.
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.
“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.
Itty bitty mention of Simple Minds from a Countdown episode from March 6th, 1983. (Just quickly recorded from iPad…will try and share a proper version off USB stick at a later time)
REALLY hope there will be something more substantial in the final Rage retro week next week.
Fingers crossed xx