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the early years 1977-1978 : information

  • Simon Cornwell: "When you've been interviewed in the past, you've always said "I look forward to the future, I always look towards the songs I'm going to write." Now with this anniversary of twenty years of Simple Minds, are you going to look back and say "Yeah. We've done a lot of good stuff. Maybe we'll release some of the old stuff." Or are you going to continue looking towards the future?"

  • Jim Kerr: "Both. I think we're a lot more both relaxed and protective of the past now. We were a lot more dismissive of it before. A lot more protective of it because we realise: not only do we see it differently but we realise someone's going to make a mess of it if we don't get involved in all that stuff."

  • Jim Kerr: "Of course, we don't own this stuff. This is the thing. But it's lying there and we have to get an overwrite. ... We really want to start with the Abusers' demos and put them out. I think they're of interest even if it's only the genetics and the genesis of the band. And we're trying to scrape everything available together and do it in as credible way as possible, not tawdry. But we have to get permission from Milarky and Alan McNeil and all these people. They seem to think 'This is worth millions!'"

  • My conversation with Jim took place after the VH1 gig in February 1998. Little did I know that I'd have the Abusers' demos in my hands a month after our conversation.

  • The Johnny And The Self Abusers and early Simple Minds demos had become legendary. Bad quality cassette copies were being regularly swapped, but hardcore fans hankered after the real-deal.

  • After several false rumours, the first recordings by the seminal Simple Minds were finally released in this package.

  • Two sets of demos were collected for this retrospective: the final Johnny And The Self Abusers demos (recorded as Simple Minds) and the first Simple Minds demos.

  • None of these demos had been officially released previously in full (although parts of Subway Sex, Cocteau Twins and Pleasantly Disturbed had appeared as part of The Street Fighting Years documentary).

  • The album was put together by Voiceprint, a label experienced with reissues and archival releases. Voiceprint also offered fan club services, which were also taken up by Simple Minds and lead to three issues of the fanzine Travelling Man.

  • Whilst Voiceprint handled all the CD manufacturing, marketing and distribution, the recordings were owned by Mindmood, the Minds' first step in releasing their own archival material through their own label.

  • The artwork was purposely 'trashy' and included many previously unseen pictures of the band. The booklet included sleeve notes written by Billy Sloan (which were reproduced in the first issue of Travelling Man.)

  • Copies appeared the same week as Neapolis. Then, as suddenly as it appeared, it was withdrawn. Those fans who ordered copies from mail-order companies received their orders, but the album wasn't readvertised, and the album disappeared from all mail-order listings after a month.

  • It later became apparent the CD was withdrawn.

  • No official reason for the CD's disappearance was ever given. It would seem that ownership of the first recorded demos was part of the problem: no-one could remember, or agree, who financed the first demos, and so their ownership was called into question. Until that's resolved, this release will remain unavailable.

  • Hardcore collectors would be interested in the two, slightly different CDs currently circulating. One features the Mindmood logo whilst the other doesn't.

the early years... : quick reference
CD    The Early Years 1977-1978 Mindmood SMVP-101-CD
1. 18-18[Demo](2:06)
2. Tonight[Demo](2:32)
3. Little Bitch[Demo](2:51)
4. Pablo Picasso[Demo](3:32)
5. Subway Sex[Demo](3:41)
6. Lies[Demo](1:44)
7. Wasteland[Demo](3:28)
8. Act Of Love[Demo](4:15)
9. European Son[Demo](4:06)
10. Cocteau Twins[Demo](3:52)
11. Chelsea Girl[Demo](6:15)
12. Did You Ever?[Demo](2:36)
13. Pleasantly Disturbed[Demo](8:10)

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