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"No sooner had Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill checked in at their new recording home, Chrysalis Records, than they were off on an odyssey involving thousands of miles, every kind of live engagement, audiences totalling over a million, and the creation of a brand new record in their towering body of work."

"Neapolis is that album, described by Kerr as a "road record," a series of wide-exposure musical snapshots of this breathless and exhilarating new phase in the band's history. It's a return to the spirit and substance of Empires And Dance and Sons And Fascination, the mighty turn-of-the-80s albums that put Simple Minds slap bang in the engine room of cutting-edge British music."

Neapolis Press Release
March 1998

  • "We felt really happy with Good News From The Next World, but it was a rock record made in America, you could hear that. We felt it was very complete, we couldn't go further down that road. It wouldn't have entertained us, never mind anyone else. So there was a touch of 'back to the drawing board' to come up with a fresher us." - Jim

  • The last commissioned remix from the Good News From The Next World era sowed the seeds for the band's new direction. Tim Simenon's (Bomb The Bass) radical Malfunction Mix of Hypnotised was a stripped down minimalistic retelling of the song, but as it faded out, familiar swoops and synth trills elbowed in to fill the space. From these elements, the first version of War Babies started to germinate. "Key songs are always a matter of opinion. However in terms of the song that defined the style and therefore really got the album project underway, it is safe to focus on the track War Babies." - Jim, Travelling Man #1, 1998

  • From the beginning, many of the sketches and outlines included dark ambient synths, multi-textured rhythms and Indian-sounding sitars. These early demos were much darker than previous Simple Minds material, much more experimental, and featured the dense, electronic effects and elaborate rhythms which would later characterise the album itself. "One of our biggest influences in the earlier days was the whole Krautrock thing. Charlie was hearing it that way, the long grooves and scenic vistas, thinking, 'This has a relationship to our past and where we'd like to be just now.'" - Jim

  • "From day one, we avoided bombastic drums and stuff like that, the obvious rocky elements. Neapolis has much more to do with hypnotic, rhythmic sequences, bass riffs and sequenced patterns, married to the band's natural potency. It's a much more interesting backdrop. A lot more abstract. I think we wanted to veer away from the rock element. That was something we were bored with and a bit tired. And also, there was a sort of return to many years ago when we were more sequence based. A bit more experimental. A bit more European, dare I say it." - Charlie

  • Sessions began at Loch Earn in January 1996 with a reunited Simple Minds in the form of Jim, Charlie, Derek Forbes and Brian McGee. Old school jamming sessions began with a cover of Waiting For The Man and a new song called Lightning. According to Brian, Jim wanted to reunite the old band."Derek and I agreed to go up to his studio in Lochearnhead and I stayed for four weeks. Jim wanted to get the original line-up back together and see if we could get back that old magic again."

  • Jim's recollections about the temporary reunion were slightly different. "We wanted to get some people on the stuff early. And we'd been in touch with Derek and Brian. Derek had always kept in touch so he was always in the frame. And Brian had come to the last Glasgow gigs and was around for it bit. It wasn't a thing to try and reform - without being unkind to Brian, it was a bit like 'We need drums now' and Brian will play. ... He was great on those Simple Minds records. But he hasn't been playing for ten or fifteen years on a regular basis. He's more a producer and into computer rhythms and so it was never going to go past that." - Jim, WDTDN #5, 1998

  • By the end of January, they had assembled a collection of over eleven new ideas, including an almost finished demo of Lightning, a recognisable precursor of Killing Andy Warhol and songs which contained the initial ideas and riffs of Glitterball and Androgeny.

  • But Brian McGee only lasted that one month. "I went up open minded but too much time had passed and they weren't the same. It was all about big business and we were treated like session musicians and not band members. I didn't like the way Jim treated me, I was in the exact same position I was in when I'd left the first time so I just never showed up for work one day."

  • The collection of new songs included a couple of earlier ideas. Tears Of A Guy, originally recorded at Wisseloord back in 1989 as a Real Life demo, and reshaped and restyled during the Good News From The Next World sessions, was now given extra instrumentation and ideas. Song To The Siren, recorded as a possible B-side during the Live In The City Of Light sessions, was also resurrected, but appeared in a new mysterious and delicate form, almost unrecognisable from the earlier version.

  • Another song worked on during the album sessions, and not taken forward, was Island Life. Jim and Charlie simply couldn't make it work and so it was shelved.

  • The band continued working on these ideas during the early months of 1996, only being briefly interrupted by Alan Stivell. Stivell is a Breton and Celtic musician, known primarily for his harp playing, and he'd featured with Simple Minds the previous year on the French TV show Taratata where he'd joined the band, with harp, for a unique performance of She Moved Through The Fair. Now the subject of a Music Planet documentary for the French channel ARTE, he was asked for input and ideas, and suggested it would be great to do something in Scotland with Simple Minds. In the finished documentary, he was shown in the gardens of Loch Earn talking to Jim and Charlie about celtic music, before they moved indoors to jam on Song To The Siren and a unique combination of She Moved Through The Fair and Belfast Child.

  • New record company Chrysalis checked in with the duo that June with a camera team in tow to begin work on an EPK. They interviewed Jim and Charlie about the new record, and took establishing shots of the exteriors of the studios. None of the footage was released but it revealed the band's ideas about the direction of the record and their future touring plans.

    Int: What are you up to at the moment?
    JK: We're in Perthshire which is just at the foot of the highlands in Scotland. We're in our studio where we're writing songs for our new album. Our first album for Chrysalis. An album you'll be hearing at the end of this year. Actually you'll be hearing it sooner than that if JF [Jean-Francois Cecillon] has his way.
    JK: But this stage is really exciting for us because when you're at the seeds of the ideas you look at all the potential. We'll come up with about 20-25 pieces of music and then look and see what kind of direction it's going. And hone in on the 10 or 12, and see what kind of record we're going to have.

    Int: Have you started recording?
    JK: Well, because computers are involved and such, we're always recording but Charlie is down the mine, throwing up all the ideas. And then I take them away, see what images are, what the words will be, and then once we get it into shape, we'll bring in the band. Although we sit here looking extremely lonely, Simple Minds are a band. When you say Simple Minds you usually think of the whole live thing and the group; but that's the next stage from where we are just now. It's starting to get exciting.

    Int: So you've got a band who you're working with? You're putting a band together? What's the rest of them?
    CB: I think this time around we'll work with different people again. It's great in this set-up, because we get to work with so many people. I think we'll pick a band and try and record an entire album with them. We don't really know who yet. But it's great to work with different people. There are a few people already who've started doing little things with us. Hopefully we can keep that continuity and work right through the recording.
    JK: It's almost like the music dictates the style of the band. Maybe we'll need this kind of bass player, or that kind of drummer. If it's something loud and noisy, it takes you one place - if it's something more subtle... it's the music that dictates the next stage.

    Int: Have you got the feel for the music. Are we going to have something wildly new or is it going to be something...
    JK: The task is always to write better songs first and foremost. This will be our eleventh album - we didn't know this thing would last more than eleven days. But you don't want to repeat. It is attempting to find a new attitude although I think the spirit of the music is alway maintained.
    JK: But when we look back on the past you can see different phases of the band. The initial thing was more of an electro thing, then there was the rock thing, and so on and so forth. It's amazing how the music takes us on a journey and then we step back and find out where's its gone. We're not the type to sit back and come up with a concept and then build the music around it. That's what makes it interesting because where is this going? It could go here. It's taking us there. That makes it more mysterious than it is. It is a spontaneous thing. We're working on this album for three or four months - and you could say what's this record like - and this week it's gone this direction. And the next week it takes a U-turn or such. But at some point you have to have to get cohesive and say 'You don't really want a piece of this and a piece of that.' We're going to go down this road. But the thing we're most excited about is the melodies. And that's the hard stuff really.

    Int: And are you planning to go out live at some point soon?
    CB: Probably next year. Around Easter or something like that. ... It's something we really enjoy even though it's a great creative thing. Certainly it's a great feeling to get some sort of feedback. And you can learn a lot about the songs when you play live.
    JK: I think the last tour we did was a test for us because it had been four or five years since we played and we found there was quite a new generation coming to see us play. And we could feel their excitment. And it didn't feel like 'Oh. This again.' It should never feel like that. But when we go out, we do tend to go on these mammouth type slogs. When we go out, we think 'Let's play everywhere.' It feels great but after a few months there's not a lot you can do creatively inside a show because the songs - people want to hear that song or those songs - so I don't think you learn alot after a few months. But I'd find it really difficult to imagine a day when we'd put out an album and not tour. It goes hand in hand. And it's probably the touring that's been a life blood throughout the years.

    Untitled EPK
    June 1996

  • Work continued throughout the year at B>Loch Earn in Scotland and Home Studios in Dublin (actually Jim's home recording studio) where sketches and ideas continued to evolve. "There was a year of sketching and doodling and setting up, and coming up with a premise for the record." said Jim.

  • The album's working title was Album 97.

  • Like the initial sessions of Good News From The Next World, Jim and Charlie didn't have a producer in mind when they started the project. "We were almost six months into the writing. And normally there's a record you love, or there's a couple of records, and someone has done them and it's an Iovine or Clearmountain or Lipson. But gradually we were running out of producers as such. But we certainly didn't want to do it ourselves because ... you need that outside perspective. Peter had got in touch and it was a kind of thing of 'Actually what are you doing in a couple of weeks?' because it wasn't that we were going to start the album, but it was like we were going to do some preparation. And one thing led to another. And it was more the very nature of Pete. He obviously knows the band, knows the spirit of the band, and at the same time is very youthful." - Jim, WDTDN #5, 1998

  • Pete Walsh started working on the album in September 1996: "We had always remained in contact. If they were present locally, I'd go and see them in concert and have a chat with Jim and Charlie backstage. But for this new album they wanted to change style completely, change direction. They were finished with the pure rock-and-roll big stages, the spectaculars, the huge drums. The group wanted to return to the charm of their beginnings with their new record company Chrysalis. It was rather natural that they considered me. As often with them, recordings and mixing were spread out over more than one year. We recorded a little everywhere, primarily in Bonnie Wee Studios, their home studio in Scotland, equipped with a DDA mixing desk and Pro Tools. Some additional songs were recorded at Olympic, plus Mel Gayor's drums in particular and a little in Dublin at Jim's house. For mixing, we went to Olympic, Plus XXX and Capri."

  • Album sessions began at Loch Earn, Jim's Dublin studio and Olympic in late 1996. With the backing tracks and vocals now recorded, the trio returned to Olympic in March 1997 to begin mixing. The first songs mixed were If I Had Wings, Glitterball, Tears Of A Guy and War Babies (which was already appearing in alternative and edited mixes in preparation for a single). If I Had Wings and Glitterball were largely finished whilst the chorus and coda of War Babies still needed work and Tears Of A Guy was still finding its way having lost its melodic structure and arrangement.

  • All the songs were considerably overlaid with ideas and effects, weighed down by extra instrumentation and ideas. Some other tracks, in particular War Babies were still unfinished, the chorus and the coda still underdeveloped and bare. It was this version they played during the Festival Tour where the differences, especially in the sparce chorus, can be heard. (Jim once joked that the final album sounded like two records played at the same time; the Olympic sessions sounded like three).

  • Other songs were worked on but the tape trail is sparse and sporadic. A lone cassette from May includes a Work-in-progress mix of Killing Andy Warhol, the song instantly recognisable, but too streched and requiring numerous nips-and-tucks.

  • The top brass as Chrysalis were not impressed and expressed concern. Jim and Charlie hunkered down, and decided to road-test some of their new work during the Festival Tour where crowd reaction would become the ultimate arbitrator. The largely completed Glitterball and the fledgling War Babies were added to the set, a surprise for concert goers who expected a continuation of the Good News From The Next World Tour. "A defining thing was when we took time out to play those European concerts last summer," said Jim. "Not only did we get a perspective, but encouragement as well. We came back to the record and said 'We have the cornerstones, let's go ahead and fill in what's what.'"

  • That 'filling in' took place during gaps in the tour schedule. At the end of June and in mid July, Jim, Charlie and Pete Walsh continued work at Plus XXX in Paris. Pete Walsh wanted to work at William Tell but the studio was too small, too expensive and he wasn't familiar with its new mixing desk. He then discovered Plus XXX where extra overdubs and mixing took place.

  • Surviving tapes from the June sessions revealed almost completed versions of Androgeny, Superman v Supersoul, Killing Andy Warhol and Lightning.

  • Further recording sessions took place at Jim's home studio in Dublin and Metropolis in London where more drums were recorded. That September at Metropolis, Mel Gaynor returned to Simple Minds for overdubbing on War Babies. (This was very similar to his role on New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) where he was called in to help with the backing tracks.) Further work was also done on Glitterball, Tears Of A Guy and Song For The Tribes.

  • The return of Derek and Mel suggested a concious return to past glories. Jim was careful to explain that this was not the case. "I can definitely feel some musical flashbacks and in terms of the personel, the fact that Derek Forbes is playing with us again and Mel is playing again. It does seem to have come some sort of a circle. But I think to go back and try and create the past - not only do I not really think it's possible, but it wouldn't have interested us. I mean. whatever we did is there - it's still there - you can still get the records or the CDs or whatever and so much has changed - we've changed - every cell in your body has changed since, say, we made New Gold Dream. Technology's changed - everything - but I suppose if you have a long history there are certain themes that are always there, the genetics, and at different times, they for whatever reason make sense again. Maybe it's just the fact that they become fresh because you haven't been in that kind of territory for along time."

  • "...Anyone could be forgiven in mistakenly assuming that the recording was also an attempt at aristically turning back the clock. However we believe it is impossible to turn back as of course we are no longer the same people as the ones who made those records, and at any rate so much water has already gone under the bridge that it is the future that interests us." - Jim, Travelling Man #1, 1998

  • Song For The Tribes was a late addition to the recording roster. It had originally been recorded during the Street Fighting Years sessions as Power In The Darkness but was abandoned and left in the library. For the Neapolis sessions, the song was completely stripped down and reformed, barely recognisable in a new acoustic guise with its new lyrics. Clues to its provenance could be found in fragments of the original lyrics i.e. "Feel real power in the darkness", and the band tenaciously holding onto its original title where it appeared as Power (Acoustic) on recording lists.

  • Some other songs never shook off their demo titles. These appeared on the various session tapes, even gracing the album master tape. Joining Power (Acoustic) was Morrison's Grave (the original title of Superman v Supersoul) and War Baby.

  • "After Paris, we went back to Dublin, then to Metropolis to record some more drums. The project finished in Capri, in the studio which was the most pleasant for me to travel to. In October 1997, more than one year after having touched the 'Record' button for the first time, we were finished." - Pete Walsh

  • In the final weeks of October, Jim, Charlie and Pete were at Capri Digital in Naples, Italy, where the nine tracks of the album were finally mixed. The DAT masters were delivered to Chrysalis along with an 11-track CD; this included the full album plus proposed single edits of Glitterball and War Babies.

  • The album was still called Album 97.

  • Production masters were cut at Metropolis on the 17th Novemer 1997.

  • The first photo session took place in Naples, at the culmination of the final mixing session, with photographer Andy Earl who'd previously worked with the band during Street Fighting Years. The four-piece group were pictured on the streets and in the railways station. The brief was simple: it was to get away from their "mean, moody, wild Scotsmen on a hillside image."

  • The shoot wasn't without incidents: Earl hadn't realised photography in the railway station required special permission as it was controlled by the military. He had his equipment confiscated by irate officials until a phone call to the Mayor, who was a huge Simple Minds fan, resulted in immediate permission, the return of his cameras, and Earl being given the freedom of the city for his stay. At another location, whilst taking pictures by the port, an Italian businessman barged into shot claiming his usual seat.

  • Several of the pictures were taken in the Poggioreale district of the city where the modern elevated roadway crossed over several older buildings. This was a short walk from the Napoli Centrale railway station where the front cover of the album was shot.

    Google Maps

    "This record was pretty much recorded on the move, I mean, the whole thing about our band is that every time you put out an album you are tempted to say that was a phase or this was a phase. That was another phase... but with Charlie and I things are much more seamless than that and we sort of began this band 20 years ago really. We were on a hitchhiking trip when the idea, or you could say, the determination to see it through began and in some ways that trip is still going on. I mean, we're known probably first and foremost as a live band and even in the making of this record we chose to be on the move and primarily most of it out of Britain. Our sense of timing again, when everyone's listening to Brit Rock and 'Brit' this and 'Brit' that and London's the place, we go to the South of Italy or Amsterdam or Paris or Dublin or something. These places, they don't have to be hip. they're always... there's always stuff going on, but it's hard to say it influenced us because of this or that but I'm sure the backdrop to wherever you are... if you feel good in a place then it is bound to come out in the music or is bound to be reflected in the music so it's not really a specific thing, it's more the thing that this is our way of life and therefore the music is obviously such a part of that."

    Interview Transcription

  • The art director for the project was Stuart Mackenzie, who'd previously worked with Simple Minds as part of Stylorogue for Real Life, Glittering Prize 81/92 and Good News From The Next World. He was now working as a freelancer under the name Toorkwaz (a play on Turquoise).

  • Jim felt the title would come from the artwork and they should've added the time and date as well. "Well, you know. Naples was where that particular journey ended. The album was taken out of our hands then, it was time to hand it over and I suppose for us it was almost like saying 'This is a postcard from where we are - here and now,' and with some albums a phrase appears that seems to tie it all up. You know, like the Street Fighting Years with songs like Belfast and Mandala and such, that was one example of a concept but it wasn't quite the case with this record. So, as I say, it was more a fullstop on the journey that we ended in Naples ... and why not?" - Jim.

  • Rather than simply call the album Naples or Napoli, Jim used its Greek derivation: "Nea" (New) and "Polis" (City), which was the original name given by the founding Greeks. This had more to do with the photographs on the album sleeve than any direct link to the songs.

  • (They returned to the idea of adding an album's completion date to the title with Black And White 050505 which was finshed on the 5th May 2005).

  • "WHENEVER I HEAR A NEW SONG IT'S USUALLY NOT WHAT THE SONG IS SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT THAT IS OF IMMEDIATE INTEREST TO ME; no - by far it's whatever emotion conveyed that seems to be of more consequence. This, then, is the thing that grabs me - this is the thing that strikes a chord - and when this happens, any other meaning is surplus to demand - in other words, I don't need it."

    "Presently two pieces of music I choose for continual listening are Tangled Up In Blue by Bob Dylan and Night by Fateh Ali Khan. Now the fact that I find the lyrics of hte former both stunning and puzzling is proof that I need no more meaningful explanation, even if I'm not sure what this classic is actually about, even if I find it all bamboozling - the melodic effect is enough to create this overwhelming sensation that leaves me falling in love with this song, time AND TIME AGAIN. It's just genius at work, simple as that. Moving onto the latter, the fact that this songbird sings in a language both ancient and wholly alien to me, only serves to enhance the living spirit of such incredibly powerful music, a music wholly capable of joyfully reducing me to tears - a music of real wonder."

    "The point being that with music - you either get it! Or you don't! And in my opinion, if you need to ask for an explanation as to what a song is about - well I'm afraid the signs are not so good. The secret is to listen carefully and both your imagination and emotions will tell you what's going on. They're never wrong. For those who could do with some help, here are some of our impressions behind the music of the latest new album. [Click on each song title for those]."

    "Firstly, I'm not so sure that there is an overall lyrical theme to this set of recordings. Sometimes during the creation of an album a concept that seems to focus all the songs under one theme turns up and presents itself; almost as some natural conclusion. Often this concluding theme goes on to be the eventual album title as in both New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) and Street Fighting Years although at no time did we sit down and try to come up with concepts and albums titled thus; in these cases it's just something that we arrived at. On other records there is no binding theme lyrically, the songs are connected only in some sonic sense and I feel pretty confident that this is the case with the current situation. I could be wrong though, maybe there is some theme that I'm too close to recognise. I wouldn't be surprised were that the case."

    "Therefore if this is to be an album without any obvious overall theme, as in other albums like Once Upon A Time, Sparkle In The Rain, Real Life etc, let's try to discover some "impressions" from the songs individually, and who knows we may even find some theme after all. For anyone interested, this is the first time I will have tried to articulate the songs to any extent since their creation, the reason being that we feel you can "talk away a song" at a too early stage and it's so much more interesting to work away at the ideas, following them through and letting the art determine whatever falls rightfully into place. The best ideas both lyrically and muscially seem to happen at random, the skill is how to then elaborate these ideas; but even more crucially perhaps is possessing the ability to be able to spot them when they initially occur."

    "At the risk of making the whole process sound overtly mystical it still has to be said for me at least that the level of concentration involved does indeed border on some kind of meditation; and it's at this point - when you feel so engaged with the music that "it" seems to be "speaking" to you - almost telling you where to go with the musical flow. Poor as it therefore is, this is only a skeletal description of the "improvisation" involved in the early states of our writing - I am always able to tell how things "strike" me but please don't be so mundane as to ask what it's all about because it's then that I become truly lost for words"

    11th March 1998

  • "Everybody talks about the sounds and such on this album. But I think on this album we've - imagewise and wordwise - I think either we found our voice, our own language back or else we're inventing again. Whereas maybe on the last album the lyrics were a bit more generic." - Jim, WDTDN #5, 1998

  • "The ideal with any record is always first and foremost to come up with great songs that entertain and intrigue us primarily, and then on completion achieve the same result with whoever else may be listening. That is a fixed goal each time we record, however it is always the emphasis on sound that is the ever changing criteria with each new album, and on this album we really were trying to depart from the American trademarks of Good News From The Next World. We were hoping to acheive small emotional music that was big on atmospheric style and low on dramatic bombast, and the key to the background atmospheres became the computerised technology that is playing an increasing role in our sound." - Jim, Travelling Man #1, 1998

  • Chrysalis immediately started a promotional campaign that December, planning a March release for the album, and pencilled in three potential singles: Glitterball, War Babies and Tears Of A Guy.

  • Only nine tracks were recorded and delivered to Chrysalis. The record company knew there would be a lack of B-sides, so recorded Base Du Malsucy, Belfort, France (6th July 1997) to amass potential live material.

  • In the end, they elected to ask contemporary artists to remix classic Simple Minds songs instead. These artists were supposed to be influenced or fans of the band, but only Utah Saints and Johnson Somerset had expressed any affinity with them beforehand. Was it a coincidence that all the other remixers were signed to Chrysalis and its subsidiaries? To prompt their memories, Chrysalis commissioned Virgin to put together a six or eight track CD (sources differ) of their most famous songs.

  • When asked, Fila Brazillia stated they chose Theme For Great Cities as it was the only instrumental on the sampler CD Chrysalis sent to them - not the response expected with a group presumably familar with Simple Minds' back catalogue: "The Simple Minds work was simply a commissioned work. The reason we chose that particular track from the six they sent was the fact that it was an instrumental."

  • "It's a bit par for the course marketing wise now. The thing with the band is, in general, people in record companies are a lot younger than us and they're coming from a generation where remixes are the norm. You don't have to do it - you don't have to do anything. But I should say we'd be cutting off our nose to spite our face if we didn't." - Jim, WDTDN #5, 1998

  • Promo pictures started circulating in December 1997 as information about the forthcoming album started to emerge. This included Mike Pattenden's trial-blazing Dotmusic Review which was the first real information to emerge about the project. It was also fan's first view of the Naples photoshoot which would come to dominate the album's campaign.

  • Chrysalis really pulled out all the stops for the album, undertaking one of the largest promotional campaigns seen for a Simple Minds release. Not only was there a plethora of press releases and presenters, posters, adverts and three different promotional versions of the album (including the round-tin box-set which has since become one of Simple Minds' most sought-after items) but also an extensive radio and TV campaign. The band played on the National Lottery, Top Of The Pops and TFI Friday. The latter was particularly notable as Chris Evans was in an especially manic mood, playing up superstitutions on this Friday 13th show, and smashed several glitterballs before the band closed the show. Luckily they'd decided to play War Babies instead of Glitterball, paving the way for the second single.

  • The album was issued on cassette, CD and as a special limited edition CD in a square tin case which included the Glitterball video and the Glitterball EPK.

  • For the first time, a Simple Minds album was not available on vinyl. (The previous album, Good News From The Next World was only pressed on vinyl in very limited numbers). However, rumours in collector circles spoke of a tiny number of vinyl test pressings. But no vinyl production masters were ever produced, so there are no test pressings of the 1998 album.

  • Some copies of the standard CD were sent out as promos. These have promo stickers on the back:

  • The album was considered a flop. Some fans didn't like its direction, the mix came in for some criticism, and it only reached #19 in the UK chart. The album's poor performance directly led to EMI/Capitol vetoing its option to release it across the North American territories. Jim reached out directly to fans, communicating through the official site and Dream Giver, suggesting they fight for its release:

    This is a letter especially to our fans in AMERICA who are destined to be frustrated by the decision of E.M.I./CAPITOL in their "rejection" of our new album NEAPOLIS. Obviously we are bewildered (and insulted) by such negativity. Especially as we feel that with this record our band is truly back on both artistic and commercial form, and therefore without doubt worthy of the opportunity to re-launch Simple Minds in a country where we still thankfully have such a loyal and wildly enthusiastic fan base!

    Quite frankly I don't think it's too much in saying that we all deserve a lot more respect than is being currently offered by E.M.I./CAPITOL.

    Let me further explain by saying that to date we have had no official written explanation as why our record has been "cold shouldered", but until this happens (due soon!) we do not feel it appropriate to comment further. Other than to say that quite obviously "SOMEBODY UP THERE (AT EMI/CAPITOL) DOES NOT LIKE US" - or at least the music we are currently making, and therefore does not seem to think that there is a place in your record shops, or on your radio stations, for SIMPLE MINDS.

    Surprising then to say the least!!! For if it were true that there is no interest in AMERICA for SIMPLE MINDS then who are you many thousand Americans out there that are visiting our website by the minute!!!!! And could it really be that you have nothing better do do!! Pardon me for thinking it unlikely indeed!

    As to where we go from here then, in terms of getting a release elsewhere etc. Well at this point who knows! As soon as we do though, you will also, that is for sure! In the meantime maybe you would like to find out more about this situation for yourself by calling Gary Gersh directly at EMI/CAPITOL Los Angeles and perhaps letting him know how you feel about this particular situation. Ask him why his company will not be releasing our album and e-mail us with whatever reply you get from him or any of his cohorts! Let him know about both your and our obvious disappointment.

    Also on our behalf it would also be great if you called the radio stations and harangued them into giving the new album a chance, because have no doubt - we want to come to AMERICA and play shows for you. But we will "die", at least in your country, without the necessary promotional support. Do it for us and we will always do it for you! KEEP THE FAITH!!!!!!!!!

    Simple Minds
    11th March 1998

  • Having read the room, and clutching a two album deal with Chrysalis, Jim and Charlie were quick to start work on the follow-up, with Charlie booked into studios to begin work even before the short Neapolis Tour began.

  • "It's not something I really think about though. I know it is a cliche but commerical success is not the key to happiness. For instance our most successful period was during the Once Upon A Time era, and yet as a result of many personal issues I was deeply discontent. However I always want things to be as successful as they can be on all levels, artistic and commerical. Nevertheless, it is the same as with criticism in that you cannot let so called failure damage you or the condifence that resides in what you do. I am confident that the people who actually bought the music or came to the concerts were entertained and really that is what matters. We make great music! What else can we do? We love what we do and we love doing it! In this we feel very successful!" - Jim, Travelling Man #2, 1999

  • The album was remastered in 2002 as part of an extensive Virgin campaign. It was released as a limited edition vinyl replica CD and standard edition CD. As no vinyl edition was released in 1998, this left the designers some leeway, and they chose to present the limited edition mini vinyl version as a gatefold. The standard jewel-cased version remains on catalogue.

    JK: "I listened to Neapolis when I was in Italy. It sounded like two records being played at the same time. Charlie had all these ideas when Pro Tools came in, but it needed to be co-ordinated. The melodies were strong - if we had the conviction to see it through, it would have been great. But by that time, we thought, no matter what we do, no one wants to know."

    Record Collector Interview
    Record Collector #364
    July 2009

  • The album celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2023 when, finally, a vinyl version was pressed up for Record Store Day. It was decided to use the mini-vinyl 'replica' CD from 2002 as a guide, so the album was packaged as a gatefold. It was pressed up on green vinyl (to match the colour of the original CD), included the lyrics (which were only previously available with the Japanese CD) and included new photos across the gatefold which were found in the Universal archive.

  • "In countless conversations the question comes up "So what was your biggest hit?" A far more interesting question I reckon is "So what was your biggest flop?" Tough question. Had many of them and quite proudly so in the case of our album Neapolis. No-one except both Charlie and I seemingly have any time for that record and as unfortunate as that may be - we just don't care. Continuing down our merry path all these years later - still liking it, despite its terrible mix and absurd modern weirdness. But you can rest easy. I won't be playing anything from Neapolis tonight during the first of the shows that I present for Absolute Radio. But I might listen to it all the same, on the way back from the studio. Because, well, that is just the kind of mood I am in." - Jim, 13th February 2016.

neapolis : quick reference
MC    Neapolis Chrysalis 7243 4 93712 4 8
1-1. Song For The Tribes(5:37)
1-2. Glitterball(4:55)
1-3. War Babies(5:03)
1-4. Tears Of A Guy(4:47)
1-5. Superman v Supersoul(4:47)
2-1. Lightning(5:34)
2-2. If I Had Wings(4:42)
2-3. Killing Andy Warhol(5:15)
2-4. Androgyny(5:08)

CD    Neapolis Chrysalis 7243 4 93712 2 4
1. Song For The Tribes(5:37)
2. Glitterball(4:55)
3. War Babies(5:03)
4. Tears Of A Guy(4:47)
5. Superman v Supersoul(4:47)
6. Lightning(5:34)
7. If I Had Wings(4:42)
8. Killing Andy Warhol(5:15)
9. Androgyny(5:08)

eCD       Neapolis Chrysalis 7243 4 93712 0 0
1. Song For The Tribes(5:37)
2. Glitterball(4:55)
3. War Babies(5:03)
4. Tears Of A Guy(4:47)
5. Superman v Supersoul(4:47)
6. Lightning(5:34)
7. If I Had Wings(4:42)
8. Killing Andy Warhol(5:15)
9. Androgyny(5:08)

-. Glitterball[Video](4:22)
-. Exclusively Filmed Interview(12:26)

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Glitterball War Babies