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
- "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 teherefore is, this is only a skeletal description of the "improvisation" involved in the early states of our writing -
I am always abel 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" - Jim, e-mail, 11th March 1998
- The working title for the album was Album 97.
- Work continued at Olympic Studios in March 1997. Jim once joked that the
album sounded like two being played at the same time; the Olympic sessions sounded like three albums being played at once, with
the tracks overspilling with ideas and effects.
- Work continued at PlusXXX in Paris in June 1997. The album was completed in Capri in October 1997.
- Some rumours persisted of an LP test pressing. There's nothing in the Universal Tape Archive to indicate that any production masters
were ever mixed for an LP, so no test pressings were produced.
- Some copies of the standard CD were sent out as promos. These have promo stickers on the back:
- Sessions began at Bonny Wee Studios in January 1996 with a reunited Simple Minds in the form of
Derek Forbes and Brian McGee. These early recordings included
a number of instrumentals, some recognisable as featuring fragments of Lightning and
Killing Andy Warhol.
- Tears Of A Guy was also resurrected after being demoed for both
Real Life and
Good News From The Next World. Song For The Tribes
was even older, originally being a Street Fighting Years demo called
Power In The Darkness.
- Some songs retained their demo titles all through the recording process. Song For The Tribes
was listed as Power Acoustic (a nod to the song's roots as Power In The Darkness) and
Superman v Supersoul was called Morrison's Grave.
- An 11-track version of the album was rumoured. This was probably in-house copies of internal reference DATs which included the
full 9-track album and the two single mixes of Glitterball and
- 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 song worked on during the album sessions, and not released, was
called Island Life.
- "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. Thanks for listening tonight - should you do so!" - Jim, 13th February 2016.
- 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 jewelcased version remains on catalogue.