The Best Of Simple Minds Articles & Reviews


Life In A Day
Real To Real Cacophony
Empires & Dance
Sons & Fascination
New Gold Dream
Sparkle In The Rain
Once Upon A Time
Live In The City Of Light
Hollywood Rock Festival
Nelson Mandela Concert
Street Fighting Years
Themes (Volumes 1-4)
Verona
Real Life
Glittering Prize 81/92
Good News The Next World
Néapolis
Neon Lights
The Best Of Simple Minds
Cry
Early Gold
Alive & Kicking Tour 2003
Summer Tour 2004
Silver Box
Black & White 050505
46664 Concert
30 Years Live Tour
Graffiti Soul

The Best Of Simple Minds

Keith Hannaleck - allreviews.com

 

I lost track of the Simple Minds after the eighties became nothing more than a memory. After being tuned in and turned on to the magnetic and charismatic lead vocals of Jim Kerr on the heart pumping "Don't You Forget About Me" (The Breakfast Club) and "Alive And Kicking," the chart topping singles, I picked up "Sparkle In The Rain" and then shortly therafter lost interest. I wish now I would have continued to listen. The lineup of Simple Minds featured Kerr on lead vocals, a rhythm section of Tony Donald on bass and Brian McGee on drums, plus keyboardist Mick McNeil; Donald was soon replaced by Derek Forbes. This career retrospective proves to me that there was an awful lot good music left from this group after I stopped listening. This 2 CD set puts together 32 tracks that clearly define the Simple Minds sound and mindset. This is the "Glittering Prize" for faithful fans of the group.

The other songs that I really enjoyed were "She's A River," "Mandela Day," and the rousing instrumental "Theme For Great Cities." These Glasgow rockers had something to say, and they did through there music ala Peter Gabriel. And there is no coincidence they covered his song "Biko." Noteworthy was the authoritative bass playing of Tony Donald, he really was the driving force behind everything else going on in every song. I also noticed how Kerr sounded like Bono of U2 when he got real emotional and pumped up in a song. That similar vocal inflection comes as no surprise as they are both from the same neck of the woods.

As the eighties came to pass the 90's didn't prove to be as kind to the group, their large following would dissipate. Recently they have released new material backed by a tour and this compilation with the hope of gaining back the audience they once had.

"Sanctify Yourself" and get reacquainted with this great rock-pop unit. It was an energizing, inspiring, spiritual awakening for me to listen to this music again.

(4 out of 4)

 

 

The Best Of Simple Minds

Martin Aston - 'Q' Magazine (UK)

 

Bowie-influenced Johnny & The Self Abusers changed their name to Simple Minds for new wave fame (represented by debut album title track Life In A Day) and glimmered through the early '80s by adding Krautrock and Eurodisco (see I Travel and Theme From Great Cities - the latter also here in its current, Queen-spliced hybrid mix by Raven Maize).

They were beautifully burnished and plush on 1984 peak New Gold Dream before, in the wake of U2's War, they surrendered all poise in their aim to be U3. Waterfront and Up On The Catwalk are bearably brash but Sanctify Yourself and everything after were graceless bombast. The three-course Ballad Of The Streets EP (Belfast Child, Mandela Day, Biko) was their sole UK Number 1 but is now indigestible.

(3 out of 5)

 

 

The Best Of Simple Minds

Kevin Maidment - 'Mysic' (US)

 

The title of this compilation tells the truth - almost. Although one is moved to question the validity of including the Raven Maize club hit "Real Life" - selected on account of it sampling the tonal poetry of "Theme From Great Cities"(a prime slice of the early Minds' funked-up Eurosynth futurism) and slapped on the end as if to convince a jaded public that Simple Minds really are "contemporary" and have a profound relevance to today's dance scene - this really contains the best of Simple Minds. Which is a very good thing indeed - but where's "Changeling"? These trifling grievances aside, this compilation does Simple Minds' chart-history justice. Sometimes unduly castigated for blustery over-expression and much ado about nothing, re-familiarisation with much of the post-Sparkle In The Rain material reveals a band at ease with an astute musical economy - the grand gesturing of "Mandela Day", for example, may well sound monumentally sincere and overwrought but it consists of a measly three chords, while the trotting-horse bass-line to "Waterfront" is one note repeated for over four minutes (and that note was "D" if you're interested).

Some great pop singles aside - "She's A River", "Alive And Kicking", "Up On The Catwalk" and "Promised You A Miracle", a song cut from the same tartan cloth as early Spandau Ballet - the most interesting thing about Simple Mind's evolution is how they started to get more successful once they'd stopped impersonating Roxy Music only to hit pay dirt with a song which Bryan Ferry didn't have enough time to record, namely Keith Forsey's "Don't You Forget About Me".

(4 out of 5)

 

 

The Best Of Simple Minds

Heather Phares - 'All Music Guide' (US)

 

Fortunately for Simple Minds fans, the only retrospective currently available is also the best. At two discs and 32 tracks strong, The Best of Simple Minds is a comprehensive look at their work, spanning key album tracks as well as their hit singles, including "Don't You (Forget About Me)," "Alive and Kicking," "Sanctify Yourself," and "Promised You a Miracle." However, the collection's breadth and ... Read More

Fortunately for Simple Minds fans, the only retrospective currently available is also the best. At two discs and 32 tracks strong, The Best of Simple Minds is a comprehensive look at their work, spanning key album tracks as well as their hit singles, including "Don't You (Forget About Me)," "Alive and Kicking," "Sanctify Yourself," and "Promised You a Miracle." However, the collection's breadth and depth, spanning the group's early, arty days, the peak of its chart success, and its more recent work, will be appreciated by both casual and die-hard Simple Minds aficionados.

Other highlights include "She's a River," "I Travel," "Glittering Prize," "Life in a Day," and a cover of Peter Gabriel's "Biko."

 

 

The Best Of Simple Minds

'World-Music' (US)

 

If youre like me youve owned "Glittering Price" (US version) and were deeply dissapointed. I know I was! (The song Glittering Price was not in the US version [DUH] and the imported version missed "Stand By Love" and "Up On The Catwalk" as well!). Well, as most everyone knows, all Glittering Prices songs are here in the "Best Of", plus others that kick rear end. Better yet they are all mostly full versions. I gave my Glittering Price CD away to a friend.

Anyone who knows Simple Minds previous work (prior to Glittering Prize) must have been upset about that compilation. Well "Best Of"; now thats a REAL compilation!! The only flaw (big one) is leaving New Gold Dream 81 82 83 84 behind (not to worry get the NGD CD and youll be even), but that always happens with "greatest hits" CDs. To make a full "Best Of" collection for Simple Minds I think they would have needed 4 CDs (impossible, I know) but this gives people a general idea of what he group is really made of. After buying this collection I was inspired to get 5 more Simple Minds CD, and now I cant wait to finish my collection (I only need about 2 or 3).

Get this collection now, you wont be dissapointed!! My faves: See The Lights, Glittering Prize, Life In A Day, Biko, Sanctify Yourself, Stand By Love, War Babies, Alive And Kicking, GhostDancing, Let There Be Love, I Travel, Belfast Child, Up On The Catwalk and Speed Your Love To Me. I recommend the style of Simple Minds to anyone, its a unique group and nobody has been able to match their special style and uniqueness.

 

 

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