Originally released in 1982 by Arista in the U.K. and reissued on CD by the Dutch Disky imprint in 2001, Celebration serviceably culls some of the better moments from Simple Minds' first three albums: 1979's Life in a Day and Reel to Real Cacophony and 1980's Empires and Dance. Given the sadly neglected status of the band's early catalog – meaning anything that was released prior to 1982's breakthrough New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84) – through the early 2000s, it is doubly unfortunate that a compilation like this remained out of print for an extended period of time.
Simple Minds signed to Chrysalis for Néapolis and saw the return of Derek Forbes on bass. Néapolis signals a return to form while remaining on the cutting edge. Unlike U2, the band they have been most often compared to, Simple Minds have not lost themselves in techno beats and processed samples. Longtime fans will embrace this album; from the opening track, "Song for the Tribes," through the two singles, "Glitterball" and "War Babies," one immediately recognizes that classic sound. Other standout tracks include "Tears of a Guy," "Superman V Supersoul," and a potential third single, "Killing Andy Warhol." The biggest surprise on the album is "Androgyny," a welcomed instrumental in the tradition of their earlier works (see Empires and Dance, Sister Feelings Call, and Sons and Fascination). It's nice to know that in the 1990s, one classic new wave band hasn't forgotten what it is all about. Unfortunately, Chrysalis felt there was not enough of a following outside of Europe to justify the worldwide release of the album.
After languishing for ten years in the rock wilderness, the Scottish stadium-shakers are back with Black And White 050505, which has been trumpeted by manyas a mighty return to form. And yes, Jim Kerr's vocals are still tremulously emotive, Charlie Burchill is as stirring as ever on his jangling, soaring guitar and the songwriting errs, as always, on the side of supersize anthem. But this spanking new effort, while powerful, boasts a distinctly ethereal quality, softening the stomping stridency of the Simple Minds we knew in the 1980s. Opening track "Home" flirts with an intriguing new sound, haunting yet uplifting with Kerr at his dramatic best, while "Sparkle In The Rain" shimmers with chiming glory. Packed with potential crowd-pleasers, Simple Minds may have stuck wisely with their winning New Gold Dream formula, but they've brought it rocketing up to date. Fans will be gleefully punching the air within minutes. Dissenters, well, they might just be converted.
Neon Lights is Simple Minds' covers album. Frankly, these projects often serve little purpose beyond announcing that the artists concerned have run out of original ideas. With the Simple Minds' new album of freshly composed material, Our Secrets Are the Same, now shelved due to legal complications, the Minds have opted to doff their caps in the direction of the heroes of their youth, such as David Bowie, Lou Reed, and the Doors. This is the material the band performed when they were scrawny Glaswegian punks called Johnny & the Self-Abusers. The arrangements here are slightly dated techno-rock efforts, albeit without the expansive pomp and bluster of their stadium-straddling 1980s heyday. Even so, Neon Lights is probably too respectful. Many of these numbers–Echo & the Bunnymen's "Bring on the Dancing Horses," Bowie's "The Man Who Sold the World"–are identikit presentations, while electro-rock assaults on Them's "Gloria" and the Doors "Hello I Love You" are monotonous and misguided. A very interesting revision of Pete Shelley's "Homosapien" and a faithful, powerful reading of the Velvet Underground's "All Tomorrow's Parties" are much better.
Originally released in October 1985, and coming hot on the heels of the global smash single ‘(Don’t You) Forget About Me’ , ‘Once Upon A Time’ was to prove the album that propelled Simple Minds to stratospheric heights of artistic and commercial success. Containing the classic hit singles ‘Alive And Kicking’, ‘All The Things She Said’, ‘Sanctify Yourself’, and ‘Ghostdancing’ the original era-defining Number 1 album now comes as part of this incredible 5CD / 1DVD box set…
That the opening bars to Cry finds Jim Kerr opining "It's difficult to love you when you do the things you do time and time again" almost implies that the hideously unfashionable Simple Minds are once again anticipating getting stabbed in the buttocks by poison pens and have decided to save their critics the bother by writing the reviews for them. Well, if that's the case, they've done themselves a little bit of an injustice. The good news–and from this world, not the next–is that Jim Kerr has not reneged on his commitment to making an indecently modest pop record, one where any delusional notions of stadium rock empires are held in check and where melody is a stronger currency than reverb and hot air. Although the cleaner-than-a-kitchen-showroom production is out of step with the contemporary, scuffed-up sounds of "now"–Simple Minds remain hamstrung by their own outmoded brand of professionalism–Cry has more than enough decent tunes to entice persons beyond the well-creased folds of their fan base.
In 1990, as Simple Minds continued to rampage full-steam into a downward slide of overwrought albums and evaporating relevance, Virgin U.K. began repackaging the group's singles as CD5s through the Themes series…