[color=blue]Sons And Fascination/Sister Feelings Call[/color]
[color=blue]New gold dream (81-84)[/color]
[color=blue]Sparkle in the rain[/color]
[color=blue]Once upon a time[/color]
[color=blue]Street fighting years[/color]
[color=blue]Good news from next world[/color]
[color=blue]Our secrets are the same[/color]
Live in the City of Light
The best of
Live at Barrowland
Summertime in Glasgow
Il gruppo fu fondato a Glasgow nel 1977, su iniziativa di Jim Kerr (cantante e frontman del gruppo) e Charlie Burchill (chitarrista), che in precedenza avevano per breve tempo costituito un gruppo post punk, Johnhy and the Self Abusers. A loro si uniscono Derek Forbes al basso, Mick MacNeil alle tastiere e Brian McGee alla batteria. La scelta del nome fu inteso come omaggio al brano Jean Genie di David Bowie.
L'album d'esordio dei Simple Minds, Life in a Day (1979), si inseriva nel filone della musica elettronica post-punk, e risentiva in modo evidente dell'influenza di David Bowie e Kraftwerk. L'album ebbe un buon successo; la fama del gruppo continuò a crescere con i successivi Real to Real Cacophony (1979), Empires and Dance (1980) e Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call (1981). Il carisma di Kerr e le atmosfere dark delle esibizioni dal vivo contribuirono in modo sostanziale alla popolarità del gruppo.
A metà degli anni '80, in gran parte per iniziativa di Kerr, i Simple Minds iniziarono a impegnarsi pubblicamente in politica, sostenendo Amnesty International, e organizzando nel Regno Unito e negli Stati Uniti d'America grandi concerti contro il regime dell'apartheid sudafricano. Di questo periodo è il brano Mandela Day, in onore del leader anti-segregazionista Nelson Mandela.
L'album del 1989, Street Fighting Years, fu il primo dei Simple Minds a essere accolto tiepidamente dal pubblico. Il singolo Belfast Child (tratto dalla canzone tradizionale celtica She Moved Through the Fair) riuscì appena a entrare nelle classifiche. Negli anni successivi il gruppo pubblicò nuovi album regolarmente ogni 2-3 anni (Real Life, Good News from the Next World, Neapolis, Our Secrets Are the Same, Neon Lights e Cry), nessuno dei quali ebbe un rilevante successo di pubblico. L'ultima pubblicazione, Black & White 050505 (2005) ha segnato un momento di ripresa, con un buon successo di vendite del singolo Home.
Ulteriori info: Simpleminds @ ondarock.it
Simple Minds is a rock band from Scotland, which had its greatest worldwide popularity from the mid-1980s to the early-1990s. The band, from the south side of Glasgow, produced a handful of critically acclaimed albums in the early 1980s, and later went on to produce some politically inspired and critically praised work.
Simple Minds have secured a string of successful hit singles, the best known being its number one worldwide hit single "Don't You (Forget About Me)", from the soundtrack of the John Hughes movie The Breakfast Club.
Founding members Jim Kerr (vocals) and Charlie Burchill (guitar), along with drummer Mel Gaynor, are the core of the band, which currently features Mark Taylor on keyboards and Eddie Duffy on bass guitar.
Life in a Day
Charlie Burchill and Jim Kerr formed a punk band in 1977 . They were heavily influenced by Lou Reed, and after one unsuccessful single as Johnny & the Self Abusers, they shuffled the line-up to include former Abusers Brian McGee on drums and Tony Donald on bass guitar, the latter of whom was quickly replaced by Derek Forbes. In addition, keyboard and synthesizer player Mick MacNeil was also recruited. The band's name was changed to Simple Minds, which was taken from a line in the David Bowie song "Jean Genie": "...so simple-minded, he can't drive his module."
Simple Minds commercial first album, Life in a Day, took a cue from fellow Post-punk forebears Magazine, and was somewhat self-consciously derivative of the late-70s punk boom, with AOR crossover potential not unlike that of The Cars. Life in a Day was exactly the kind of music the band's label, Arista, wanted to promote.
New Wave experimentation
While still categorisable as 'rock', Simple Minds' second release, Real to Real Cacophony, had a darker edge, and announced some of the New Wave experimentation that would become the band’s trademark sound over the next two albums. These innovations included the occasional use of unconventional time signatures, and minimal structures based around the rhythm section of Forbes and McGee.
The next album, Empires and Dance, was a far more radical departure, and signalled the influence of Kraftwerk, Neu! and similar European artists. Indeed, during this period Simple Minds promoted themselves as a European band, not a Scottish or UK band. Many of the tracks on Empires and Dance are extremely minimal, and feature sequenced keyboards. McNeil's keyboards and Forbes' bass became the main melodic elements, and Burchill's guitar was heavily processed. With this album, Kerr began to experiment with non-narrative lyrics. While not consciously so, Empires and Dance was essentially Industrial in its aesthetic, and preceded by a couple of years the industrial-pop crossover of Cabaret Voltaire's album The Crackdown. The band's label, however, demonstrated little enthusiasm for such experimentation, and in 1981 Simple Minds switched from Arista to Virgin.
Simple Minds first release on Virgin was actually comprised of two albums--the Steve Hillage-produced Sons and Fascination and Sister Feelings Call. The latter album was initially included as a bonus disc with the first 10,000 vinyl copies of Sons And Fascination, but it was later re-issued as an album in its own right. (For the CD release, it was paired on a single disc with Sons and Fascination--at first with two tracks deleted, but on later issues, in full.) Sons and Fascination perfected the formula that began with Empires and Dance, and showcases the band’s musicianship during their most prolific period. Indeed, the band’s musical virtuosity set their orientation somewhat toward the realm of progressive rock, and distanced them from the flippancy of many other New Wave musicians. The album impressed Peter Gabriel enough that he selected Simple Minds as the opening act on several European dates, which increased the band's visibility. "Love Song" was an international hit (reaching the Top 20 in Canada and Australia) and the instrumental "Theme For Great Cities" proved so enduring a composition that it was later re-recorded in 1991 as a B-side to the single "See the Lights". These minimalist, dance-oriented compositions, like those of Neu! before them were examples of man-made trance well before trance itself.
The "New Romantics"
Simple Minds' sixth studio album, New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84), released in 1982, was a significant turning point for the band. With a slick, sophisticated sound thanks to producer Peter Walsh, Simple Minds were soon categorised as part of the New Romantic outgrowth of New Wave (along with Duran Duran and others), and the record generated a handful of charting singles including "Promised You a Miracle" and "Glittering Prize", which both hit the UK Top 20 and Australian Top 10, continuing the band's early success in that region. In addition, jazz keyboardist Herbie Hancock performed a synth solo on the track "Hunter and the Hunted."
Despite the success of the album, some early Simple Minds fans criticized the band's more commercial orientation. While some tracks ("Promised You a Miracle", "Colours Fly and Catherine Wheel") continued the formula perfected on Sons and Fascination, other tracks ("Someone Somewhere in Summertime", "Glittering Prize") were undisguised pop. The album's direction no doubt was influenced by the departure of drummer Brian McGee, who had tired of touring. The album features three different drummers, Kenny Hyslop, Mike Ogletree, and Mel Gaynor, who would thereafter become the permanent drummer.
The formula that had defined Simple Minds' New Wave period had run its course, and the next record, Sparkle in the Rain, was a complete departure.
Produced by Steve Lillywhite, who also produced U2's first three records, Sparkle in the Rain is an aggressive, rock-oriented album in much the same vein as U2's War. U2 frontman Bono was quoted in the official Simple Minds biography The Race is the Prize as saying the "glorious noise" sound and feeling achieved on the Simple Minds album was one to which his band aspired. The eventual result of this shift in musical direction gave rise to hugely successful singles like "Waterfront", which hit number one in a few European countries and remains one of the band's signature songs to this day, as well as "Speed Your Love to Me" and "Up on the Catwalk."
In 1984, Jim Kerr married Chrissie Hynde from the Pretenders (who temporarily renamed herself Christine Kerr), and the band did an American tour in support of the Pretenders. Doubtless, many in the stadium crowds had no idea who Simple Minds were.
1985-1986: The Breakfast Club and worldwide success
Despite the band's new-found popularity in the UK and Europe, Simple Minds remained essentially unknown in the U.S. The movie The Breakfast Club changed all that. Released in early 1985, this Brat Pack drama from writer/director John Hughes was a box-office smash and made household names of many of its young stars, including Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, Anthony Michael Hall, Ally Sheedy and Emilio Estevez. It also broke Simple Minds into the US market almost overnight, when the band achieved their only number-one U.S. pop hit with the film's opening track, "Don't You (Forget About Me)". Ironically, the song wasn't even written by the band, but by Keith Forsey, who offered the song to Billy Idol and Bryan Ferry before Simple Minds agreed to record it. The song soon became a chart-topper in many other countries around the world.
Taking advantage of their new-found popularity, Simple Minds released their most unashamedly commercial album, Once Upon a Time, which was tailored specifically to appeal to the stadium-rock sensibilities of American audiences. Reviled by some long-time fans yet embraced by millions of new listeners and critically well-received, the record reached number one in the UK and number ten in the US, even though "Don't You (Forget About Me)" was not included. The band made it clear in interviews prior to the album's release that they would not include the song, believing that it would devalue the rest of the album, which they felt could stand on its own merits.
Once Upon a Time would go on to generate four worldwide hit singles: "Alive & Kicking", "Sanctify Yourself", "Ghostdancing" and "All The Things She Said", the latter of which featured a cutting-edge music video directed by Zbigniew Rybczy?ski that used techniques later employed in music videos for Pet Shop Boys and Art of Noise. Because of Simple Minds powerful stage presence and lyrics that trafficked in Christian symbolism, the band was criticized by some in the music press as a lesser version of U2, despite the fact that both bands were now heading in different musical directions. However, the two groups were well-acquainted with one another, and Bono joined Simple Minds onstage at the Barrowlands in Glasgow in 1985 for a live version of "New Gold Dream." For Once Upon A Time and its subsequent world tour, the band also featured Robin Clark as an additional lead singer, and she was heavily featured in Simple Minds music videos at this time.
The late 1980s: political activism
To document their successful worldwide Once Upon a Time Tour, Simple Minds released the double-live set Live In The City of Light in 1987, which was recorded primarily over two nights in Paris in 1986. A double vinyl album with the Band's Logo in gold lettering over black sleeve makes this LP remarkable among the band's catalogue, along a 12" x 12" attached giant-sized booklet with state of the art photography of the band's performance and outdoor session pictures. This art couldn't be reproduced faithfully on later cd releases (a original 1st pressing on double-fat jewel case and the USA version packed in long box in two separate discs), but the tracklisting was a dissapointment for some old fans due the lack of early and classic material selections and the fact that the Once Upon A Time album was featured in the final release of this Live Album. Usually named as the turning point in the band's career, Live in the City of Light could be put in the files of Simple Mind as a short effort to show the New American database of fans what they were capable to do on stage at that period 1986-1987. Following the lead of other socially conscious bands, the Simple Minds tour promoted the work of Amnesty International.
Inspired by Peter Gabriel, with whom they toured in the early 1980s, Simple Minds headlined a series of concerts throughout the US and Europe in 1988 with numerous other politically minded artists (including Gabriel) known as Freedomfest, designed to highlight the evils of apartheid in South Africa. The band wrote the song, "Mandela Day" (referring to Nelson Mandela), specifically for this series of concerts, and the song would appear on their next album.
After this lengthy period of touring, Simple Minds went back into the studio and recorded the politically charged album Street Fighting Years, which was released in 1989. The first single from the album, the six-minute opus "Belfast Child" based on the traditional Celtic folk song, "She Moved Through the Fair" was the band's first and only number-one hit single in the UK (The single was also an expression by Simple Minds of their support for the campaign for the release of Beirut hostage, Brian Keenan.).  The album shot straight to number one and received glowing praise, including a rare five-star review from Q Magazine. However, in the US, it was another story entirely. Street Fighting Years received a scathing review in Rolling Stone, which blasted the band for the positive lyrical refrain in "Mandela Day", which proclaimed "Mandela's free, Mandela's free," even while Nelson Mandela was still in prison in South Africa. (Within a year Mandela was released from prison and apartheid was dismantled soon afterwards). "This is Your Land" was chosen as the lead single for the U.S., and even with guest vocals from the band's idol Lou Reed, the single failed to make a mark on the pop charts. Then, after a concert in Brisbane, Australia in late 1989, keyboardist Mick MacNeil quit the band, citing health concerns. That year also marked the first and only time the group headlined Wembley Stadium  where they were supported by fellow Scottish bands The Silencers, Texas and Gun.
The 1990s: decline and reinvention
In 1991, Simple Minds returned with a much more radio-friendly collection of their political concerns, Real Life. The highly-polished pop/rock of Simple Minds was now considered passé by most of the record-buying public. "See the Lights" was the band's last Top 40 pop single in the US.
As the 1990s progressed, Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill became the only active members of Simple Minds. The band hired Keith Forsey, the force behind "Don't You (Forget About Me)", to produce their next record, which returned to the uplifting arena rock of their Once Upon a Time days. Kerr grew his hair long once again, and the band released Good News from the Next World in 1995 to good reviews but weak sales, at least in the U.S. In the UK and Europe, however, the response was much more positive, with the album producing the two pop hits "She's a River" and "Hypnotised."
Three years later, after being released from their contract with Virgin Records, Simple Minds decided to musically reinvent themselves once again, this time reaching back to their Kraftwerk-inspired, early electronic pop days. Derek Forbes returned after a 16-year absence along with drummer Mel Gaynor, who became a full-time member from this point forward, and the resulting album, Neapolis charted poorly and received mixed reviews. However, it is notable for being the only Simple Minds album released by Chrysalis Records, who refused to release the album in the U.S., citing lack of interest. As a further nod to Simple Minds' European musical heritage, the music video for "Glitterball," the album's leadoff single, was the first production of any kind to film at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.
After the disappointing reaction to Neapolis, things became even more challenging for the band. In 2000, Simple Minds next studio effort, Our Secrets Are The Same, originally slated for release in late 1999, became mired in lawsuits when EMI declined to release it, and became further compromised after it was leaked onto the internet. Simple Minds released the cover album Neon Lights in 2001, featuring the band's reinvention of songs from artists as varied as Patti Smith, Roxy Music and Kraftwerk. A 2-CD compilation "The Best Of Simple Minds" was released soon after.
The 2000s: creative rebirth
Simple Minds forcefully countered that concern in 2002 with Cry. Although the album did not sell in great numbers in the U.S., Simple Minds felt confident enough to mount a North American leg of their Floating World Tour (named after the instrumental track which closes Cry), their first in seven years. Although the venues were small compared to the larger venues they consistently sold out in Europe, the concerts were well-attended by passionate, long-time Simple Minds fans, many of whom brought their teenage children along with them. In a nod to the recent influence of trance and techno music, the band used those stylings to update their very early tracks, including "New Gold Dream," "The American," and "I Travel," the latter of which had not been performed live for several years.