Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Big music non-stop

I've never had a real adoration for Simple Minds. They did however manage to find a place in my record collection during their heyday, jostling for a place among The Human League, OMITD, Gary Numan et al.
I caught onto them quite late in 1981 with their Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call albums (of which I had the combined version on cassette), moving backwards, but only as far as Empires and Dance (1980), then forward to Sparkle in the Rain (1984) which many hailed as a poor follow up to 1982's classic New Gold Dream, undoubtedly their most accomplished album. Much like OMD they sold out a bit with the Don't You Forget About Me contribution to the Pretty in Pink soundtrack, and after that it was all rubbish as far as I'm concerned.
Except up to now: their new album Big Music is certainly a return to form with some excellent songs and some beefy modern production to back them up. Blindfolded is a blinding (geddit?opener, followed up by Midnight Walking, Honest Town and the title track all just as good. The ensuing Human is perhaps the weakest track but the rest is all up to scratch in LiM's book. Our only qualm would be Broken Glass Park tagged on almost at the end, although that's already been a Radio2 'hit' so has already done its job rather nicely thankyou.
There's also a deluxe version with more tracks and remixes on the bonus disc, although one wonders why they've gone back to cover versions: the rather pointless Riders on the Storm and Dancing Barefoot again.
However, all that's just unnecessary fan-fodder so just stick to the main album and you'll be OK.

Here's my Simple Minds Top 10 playlist, starting with a couple of tracks from Big Music:

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