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celebrate: information

  • Simple Minds left Arista in January 1981, but had to leave behind all their previous recordings to offset their accumulated debts. So Arista was now free to exploit the back catalogue.

  • As Empires And Dance was still current, then Arista decided to issue a second single to support the album and back catalogue

  • They compiled a strong selection of tracks, ideally suited to promote both Real To Real Cacophony and Empires And Dance. The two songs selected were Celebrate (the obvious choice for second single from Empires And Dance) and Changeling (given a second chance to showcase Real To Real Cacophony).

  • The record company worked quickly. John Leckie was booked into Abbey Road Studios on the 6th January 1981 to create the edits and extended mixes for the new single. He created two edits and a lengthy, dense extended version of the title track; and a new mix of Changeling and I Travel where the two songs flowed seemlessly into each other.

  • The production masters for the 7" and 12" were created a week later on the 14th January at The Townhouse and the single was released a month later in February 1981.

  • Arista's new found interest in releasing a 12" and also asking Leckie to create a B-side 'megamix' was due to the popularity of the I Travel single, particularly in America where it would eventually chart in the Billboard Disco Chart at 80. So several thousand copies of Celebrate were exported to America to try to replicate this success.

  • It was a fortuitous choice as it coincided with Simple Minds' own 20 date mini-tour of the USA and Canada.

  • The picture of the two wine glasses was taken by Brian Griffin, who had already amassed an impressive portfolio of pop portraits. "This was for Celebrate - their album cover had a soldier theme so I took that aspect and put little toy soldiers in Martini glasses. Celebration, see?" Arista probably added the cherries to give it more colour. The image was also published in his anthology Pop which was published in 2017.

  • The 12" was issued in a generic die-cut black company sleeve. Some came with additional title stickers. For many years, rumours circulated of a 'red-vinyl' version. But, it turned out that the second Townhouse pressing, used a different mix for the vinyl, which was bright red if held up to the light.

  • The edited version of Celebrate didn't make the transition to CD until the Celebrate: Greatest Hits + compilation of 2013. The extended version escaped being included on the original Themes Volumes but was included on the X5 box set in 2012. The 'megamix' of Changeling and I Travel has yet to be reissued.

celebrate: quick reference
7"   Celebrate Zoom Arista ARIST 394
A1. Celebrate[Edit](2:53)
B1. Changeling(4:11)

12"   Celebrate Zoom Arista ARIST 12394
A1. Celebrate[Extended](6:48)
B1. Changeling(4:11)
B2. I Travel(3:47)

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