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neon lights: album sampler track introductions

  • The following is a transcription of Jim's introductions for each track on the Neon Lights Album Sampler:

  • Gloria
    "Gloria, which is of course almost a standard of any rock band, it's one of the first songs that a band learns to play. In fact you can go to a wedding, or anything - a Bar Mitzvah, or you go to see a band in a stadium now, Gloria is one of these rock-and-roll classics."

    "Written by the Belfast child himself, Van Morrison. Gloria, we as a band played live many, many times, always was a particular favourite we would play. Gloria; sometimes it would start the set, sometimes it would end the set, sometime's we'd play in the middle."

  • The Man Who Sold The World
    "It's a fact that even the name of our group, Simple Minds, comes from a Davie Bowie song, albeit a different song, The Jean Genie. But David Bowie, I think, casts a long, long shadow over many bands, particularly over our era. And when my partner, Charlie Burchill, and myself, I think the first time we came across Bowie was probably 1972 when he played the Glasgow Apollo."

    "And it's safe to say that the impression still lies with us. It was though people like David Bowie - his charisma, the songs, the atmosphere, that propelled us to even dare write songs of our own."

    "The Man Who Sold The World is a classic, being covered by various artists, and I think on this take we'vet tried to stay pretty close to the original."

  • Homosapien
    "As well as covering artists who initiated Simple Minds, we felt it was important on the album, to cast a glance to some of our contemporaries. And we'vet chosen a couple of tracks coming from the period of the eighties which was, of course, you could say, the peak for Simple Minds."

    "Quite an obscure choice with Homosapien, which is a song written by Pete Shelley, of The Buzzcocks. I guess it's one of these classic songs that we felt was... People who knew it would often quote it as being in their top five ever songs, but of course, it was an obscure record at the time."

    "Pete Shelley and The Buzzcocks. Great band, great great pop writers."

  • Dancing Barefoot
    "Another huge influence of Simple Minds were the bands coming out of New York in the late, late seventies. Talking about Television, Ramones, New York Dolls, Talking Heads... but more than all, talking about Patti Smith."

    "Patti Smith: fantastic live. Act really was... I mean Patti was one of the original princess poets. This song, Dancing Barefoot, originally produced by Todd Rundgren, another influence of ours. Dancing Barefoot, again, a song we would play live, a song that would... anytime anyone heard these initial chords, used to get a great, great reaction."

    "And I feel on this one, we've almost taken a pop, electronic route with the song. But Dancing Barefoot is a classic from the late, late seventies, probably seventy-nine. I hope we've done it justice."

  • Neon Lights
    "Whilst Simple Minds were known probably primarily for playing live and the whole big stadium sound, the truth of the matter is that Simple Minds came out of a real electronic basis and our first one or two records were pretty much machine records."

    "It goes without saying then, that Kraftwerk would be a huge influence on our band and on our sound. And we've chosen to cover one on Kraftwerk's more, let's say human songs. The song is called Neon Lights and we've used it as the album title as well."

  • Hello, I Love You
    "There's no doubt when it comes to talking about the styles of Simple Minds, particularly my own style of singing, there's no way I could discount the influence of The Doors, particularly Jim Morrison. Hardly a week goes by, even now, where I don't listen to The Doors or find a obscure Doors track."

    "The track we have chosen here is not one of the obscure tracks, but one of the more well known. This is our version of The Doors' Hello, I Love You."

  • Bring On The Dancing Horses
    "We felt it was really important to look at some of our completitors... or whatever you want to call it... contemporaries. And when I think of the eighties, I think of the key bands. Certainly bands that we would being playing on tour with or at the festivals."

    "Bands such as, of course, U2, The Cure, Depeche Mode spring to mind. But very much also a band called Echo And The Bunnymen. Liverpool band; many great bands came from this city."

    "We've chosen a song of theirs which was, I think, one of their biggest hits."

  • The Needle And The Damage Done
    "This song is called The Needle And The Damage Done. And we've chosen to expand on the song. Initally the original version of this, it's quite a small ballad. We've given it, I think, much more drama. And I think we've tried to highlight the lyrical content of the song."

    "This is Simple Minds, on Neon Lights, with our version of Needle And The Damage Done."

  • For Your Pleasure
    "As I look back, and as I look on the major influences of our band, I note that not only were the acts, or the artists involved, make great, great records but usually they were great live bands. Again, as we speak, there is a great live band playing called Roxy Music."

    "Roxy Music were probably the predominant influence on Simple Minds in terms of the sound of the guitars and the synthesisers, melodies etc."

    "We've chosen, I think, a more obscure Roxy song, albeit was the title of one of their albums. This song is called For Your Pleasure and, indeed, we had great pleasure in recording this song. We hope we do it justice."

  • All Tomorrow's Parties
    "The Velvet Underground probably invented the easiest form of rock and roll, three chords, and fantastic street lyrics by Lou Reed and, of course, John Cale bring the arty side of it. We haven't chosen the main song here, we've chosen a song that true Velvet Underground fans will recognise as being one of the dark horses of their incredible catalogue."

    "The song itself, I think, is about the end of an era. We've chosen to close the album with this song. It's not the end of an era for us, but it's certainly a stop-gap."