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themes - volume one: march 79 - april 82: information

Theme 1: I Travel

[released by Arista September 80; reissued by Virgin January 82 as VS57812]

The first three albums appeared on Arista Records, but were aquired and reissued by Virgin following the success of Sons And Fascination and New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84). Life In A Day [Virgin CD - VMCD 6] first appeared in March 79, reaching 30 in the UK album chart. The title track and first single is featured on Theme 3. Real To Real Cacophony [Virgin CD - CDV 2246] was released in November 79, with Empires And Dance [Virgin CD - CDV 2247] appearing in September 80 reaching 41. Both I Travel and Celebrate originate from the third album, Celebrate appearing as a single in its own right in April 81. Film Theme dates back to Real To Real Cacophony in its original form.

Theme 2: The American

[released May 81 as VS41012]

The American was the first single recorded especially for Virgin and reached 59 in the charts. This is an extended version of the track which would appear on their next album release later that year. Produced by Steve Hillage, the studio album released in August 81, was initially offered as a double pack, later being issued as two separate LPs. Sons And Fascination / Sisters Feelings Call [Virgin CD - CDV 2207], released September 81 was a major breakthrough in erms of UK chart success, peaking at 11 in the album charts. The other two tracks on theme 2, League Of Nations and Sound In 70 Cities also appeared on the Sisters Feelings Call half of the set and on the combined cassette release, but were edited out due to a shortage of space on the eventual CD release. So this is a 'CD first' for these tracks.

Theme 3: Love Song

[released August 81 as VS43412]

Love Song reached 47 and paired a typically driving track in extended form, with a more ethereal selection from the album set; This Earth That You Walk Upon. This disc also includes a bonus track - the band's first single Life In A Day [released March 79] which reached 62.

Theme 4: Sweat In Bullet

[released November 81 as VS45112]

The third single released from the Sons / Sisters package reached 52. In terms of bonus tracks, this Simple Minds 12" release set a pattern for many of the 12"ers, which made them well worth watching out for. As well as an extended mix of the main track and 20th Century Promised Land, on the 12", the 7" double pack offered two live tracks from the current album-tour; League Of Nations and In Trance As Mission - both recorded live at the Hammersmith Odeon 25/9/81.

Theme 5: Promised You A Miracle

[released April 82 as VS48812]

Promised You A Miracle was the first real UK singles chart breakthrough peaking at 13 and represents a milestone in the band's history in terms of crossover from 'cult' to 'mass' recognition. It would appear on the next album release New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) which is covered in the next volume of themes. Brian McGee departed shortly after the recording of the Sons / Sisters album (he has recently re-emerged with Derek Forbes in Propaganda. The band had toured the album with Kenny Hyslop who also played on this single, but never became a full time member of the the band. This theme also includes the ultimate epic instrumental Theme For Great Cities (watch out for news of a reworking of this track!), which still features on the opening tapes to Simple Minds live set - it echoes over the intro to the recent live video Verona. This and the closing track, an instrumental mix of Seeing Out The Angel serves to roll the titles on the Sons / Sisters era - this discography moves on to New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) and accompanying 12" mixes in the next volume of themes, which will appear in the shops within the next two weeks...

Jim Kerr - vocals / Charlie Burchill - guitars / Mick MacNeil - keyboards / Derek Forbes - bass / Brian McGee - drums (Kenny Hyslop plays drums on Promised You A Miracle)

Virgin SMTCD 1

Limited edition digipak box set containing five picture CDs with sleeve notes.

release date
September 1990.

additional information
Themes Volume One was the first time many of Simple Minds rarer mixes and live tracks were made available for the first time on CD.

Unfortunately the artwork of the box is easily scuffed and marked and mint copies may now be difficult to find. However, the Themes Volumes remain extremely popular and often reach high prices when offered for sale.

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