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album #19

"So what do you do after months of pouring heart and soul into the recording of your latest album - now that the work is complete?

"The answer is - you get up early the following day and begin plotting and planning the next album.

"Or at least that is that the answer if you are Simple Minds, particularly so at this moment in time. Some will no doubt shrug and be thinking "Of course. With much of the world, and almost of Europe, still dealing with lockdown restrictions etc. What else can you do - but stay indoors and continue being creative? That is what artists mostly do after all?"

"All of which is true.

"There are others though, given their own experience, who will think. "Not at all! You should always take a break between different works. Give some space to mentally and emotionally clear out the work you have spent months on. Best to stand still. Stay dormant - wait for newer inspiration to hopefully visit during the weeks, months, entire year ahead. Relish the pause instead, read, enjoy some films! Learn how to make a really great minestrone maybe? Wallpaper the hall even? And what about the idea of converting the attic?"

"(A disclaimer: It is Charlie, not I, who fancies himself more as a 'handyman type.')

"Options? In past times I would always have chosen the latter. But these are no longer past times - and I'm not even considering COVID while saying that. No. I'm thinking about time itself. And how, now that we have entered what is our 44th year as Simple Minds. (Occasionally it feels more like 444th!) Quite obviously, we no longer have the time ahead of us that we once had.

"But that is not the only reason I'm keen on pushing ahead.

"Reality is that after you finish months of work writing and recording, the creative muscles. e.g. the ability to concentrate, improvise, think through problems etc., articulate clearly to the others involved - is so much stronger at the end - than at the beginning of the recording. Stands to reason, when you have been doing all of the aforementioned repeatedly day after day.

"In other words. Far from exhausted, you can feel more in form at the end of an album recording, therefore more fit mentally, for the next task whatever it should be. Even more beneficial. If you feel good about the work you have just completed? (I'm buzzing!)

"The result of that means that your confidence is strong.

"And who wouldn't want to jump into the 'next thing' while feeling like that?

16th November 2020

"In 1990, along with Stephen Lipson on bass and drum programming, Charlie and I rented a small basement room in Hilversum, Netherlands. Suddenly writing as a duo once again, much like we did when we wrote the songs that first established Simple Minds. Our task was to "not blink and keep rolling the ball uphill" by working on the follow up album to Street Fighting Years."

"Quite a challenge!"

"As I knew it would. The initial song worked on, (with its wondrous intro) became the album title - and that album was released thirty years ago this week."

"Today we find ourselves in another small room. Not a basement this time, it's a room with a view. We're still rolling that ball. And the new songs keep coming!"

2nd April 2021

"Meanwhile we continue writing and recording more Minds music - it is a 'well that seems to never run dry' and while the creativity keeps flowing the effect of that keeps our individual spirits buoyant."

"As do the colours of spring in this part of the world."

"Referring to the carpet of wildflowers - familiar to those who have ever visited the island as this time of year - locals say 'Aprili fa li ciuri e le biddizzi, l'onuri l'havi lu misi di maju' — April makes the flowers and the beauty, but May gets all the credit."

15th April 2021

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