When Simple Minds started out they could do no wrong. From their debut album Life in a Day to New Gold Dream, 81, 82, 83, 84—they were the sound of the future. Their antecedents were Bowie, Bolan, Roxy Music and Kraftwerk.
Their early records ranged from the synthpop of Empires and Dance to the non-commercial experimentation of Real to Real Cacophony. They were post-punk, New Wave and greatly liked by the New Romantics.
However, by the release of Sparkle in the Rain in 1984, Simple Minds had evolved into stadium band—vying with U2 for world domination.
It’s almost forty years since Jim Kerr and co. started off as punk band Johnny and the Self Abusers. There’s been plenty of highlights since then but for me, I still get a kick off those early records that sounded like music that’s been transported from the future—“I Travel,” “Chelsea Girl” and “Theme For Great Cities.” Euphoric music to be played loud, shared and enjoyed.
To get a taste of what I mean—here’s Simple Minds at Hurrah’s in New York City performing “Premonition,” “Changeling” and “Factory” in October 1979. It was filmed (I believe) for BBC’s Old Grey Whistle Test, and includes an interview with the show’s host “Whispering” Bob Harris.
Listening to Simple Minds perform back then—you could almost believe these songs were written today.
More from the Minds, after the jump…