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The new Simple Minds album Cry will be released by Eagle Records on the 1st April. Two formats have been listed (EAGLE EAGCD 196 and EAGLE EAGLT 196).

The album will be preceeded by a single. The title track will be released on the 18th March as a two CD set (EAGLE EAGXS218 and EAGLE EAGXA218).

Extra date added to the tour: Muziekcentrum, Vredenburg, Holland on the 20th May.

The full tour listing is here.

"Hi. Just to let you know that Mel Gaynor has a new website to be found at It is not fully up and running yet but there are some pictures and some text.There will also be some interesting features such as a message board and a chance to download some of Mel's new material."

At the moment, the site appears to just be a selection of templates. But keep an eye on it as content is uploaded.

Rehab are planning an album and will be negotiating a record deal around April next year. The single, Everybody Want's To Be Here, appearing as a demo on Mick's site, was remixed by Mel Gaynor for the white label release.

Although currently writing as a trio, the three members of Rehab (Mick MacNeil, Derek Forbes and Mel Gaynor) would really love to see the 'original gang' get back together again.

Negotiations continue and the line-up for the Simple Minds 2002 tour still isn't finalised.

Homosapien is released today. Full format information can be found here

Back on the 14th April (see the archives), I mentioned a white label 12" of Belfast Child which was doing the rounds. Called Belfast Trance the 12" featured a dance remix either called the Nebula or Trance mix.

Thought at the time to be a bootleg, it turns out that this isn't the case.

On the 11th August, DJ John "OO" Flemming was interviewed as part of the Ministry @ Knebworth '01 event.

Q: "Tell us about your new single, 'Belfast Trance'?
A: "I did it as a bit of fun. I've always loved Simple Minds' Belfast Child, and I put it into a breakdown of a progressive trance tune. I played it for a bit of fun and then it started turning serious when my management loved it to pieces and Mark Goodyear (management) took it to Virgin and they loved it. Simple Minds are signed to them, so they gave the thumps up and so it's out in September."

With Neon Lights and The Best Of being released around the same time, plans for a single were obviously shelved.

Until now. A new remix of Belfast Trance has appeared on Nebula, now attributed to John "OO" Flemming vs. Simple Minds With the song updated and remixed, it appears that it might get a single release after all.

Simply Minds Nebula BEL 001
A1. Belfast Trance [10.02] [Nebula/Trance Mix]
With information sheet citing band as Simply Minds. White label one-sided 12"

John "OO" Flemming vs. Simple Minds Nebula BELF 001
A1. Belfast Trance [11.04] [New Vocal Mix]
B1. Belfast Trance [10.02] [Original Vocal Mix]
12" with blue Nebula labels. Original Vocal Mix is the Nebula/Trance mix of previous white label.

No new news about New Gold Dream by Gold Dreamer, but I recently received a copy of one of the mixes. This one is definitely worth waiting for. New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) updated and with new vocals by Jim. It's closer to the original New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) than most of the modern remixes which have appeared.

And if that's no enough, a new remix of Changeling was heard on Pete Tong's drivetime show last Friday on Radio One. The artist will be posted here, once they're identified.

Thank you for your email regarding the Simple Minds album "Our Secrets are the Same".

Firstly, can I stress that EMI Records is not in the business of preventing music from being released.

Conversations are ongoing between us and Simple Minds on a number of issues including unreleased music. I very much hope that this will reach a resolution shortly.

Kind regards,
President & CEO EMI Records UK & Ireland

"Apparently it's Simple Minds... Alledgedly mixed by Malcolm Duffy - top mix!" (Pete Tong "Essential Selection", Radio One, September 2001)

"What happens when one of the biggest rock bands of the 80's and 90's covers a classic track which is then remixed by one of the most highly respected underground DJs?

The band I'm referring to is Simple Minds, the track 'Homosapien', the DJ Malcolm Duffy and the result is a stunning remix that has already been played by Pete Tong and is being hammered by a handful of DJ's off acetate.

What was at first presumed to be a bootleg, now appears to be a genuine remix commissioned by the band's management, and will be released in December by London label, Remote Recordings.

For much of London's gay/mixed clubbers, Malcolm Duffy is a major part of their weekend soundtrack as his weekly gigs in London alone comprise of arguable 3 of the most influential clubs on the scene, taking in Fiction at The Cross on Fridays, Trade at Turnmills on Saturdays and DTPM at Fabric on Sundays.

Although he has many productions under his belt, this is possibly his finest to date combining the tough, funky uncompromising sound of his DJ sets with the unique quality vocals of Simple Minds This, coupled with the current fascination and popularity with the 80's sound should this track gain wide appeal."

Remote Recordings
Press Release

Homosapien will be released on the 3rd December on 12" and CD.

12" REMOTE016
A: Malcolm Duffy Mix / AA: Malcolm Duffy Dub

1: Malcolm Duffy Edit / 2: Malcolm Duffy Mix / 3: Malcolm Duffy Dub Mix

It will be reviewed in December's edition of Muzik Magazine (as a Vital Release). Other reviews will be in DJ, Mixmag, 7, M8, Wax and Upfront. An advert will appear in DJ Magazine.

A taster of the remix can be found on here. You can also pre-order the CD and 12" there - and receive them a week before the official release date.

Information about Homosapien will be uploaded to its own page here over the next month. Press releases are already uploaded.

Additions to the discography include full information about the Neon Lights Sampler (including the expanded sleeve notes), corrections to the track listing of the US version of Neon Lights, addition of the US promo version of Dancing Barefoot EP, further information about the Neon Lights US promo, Billy Sloan's sleeve notes for The Best Of (with corrections), The Best Of formats (the Super Audio version seems to have disappeared), The Best Of album sampler and The Best Of press release.

Rumours of a Homosapien single have taken a surprising turn.

Remote Recordings will be releasing a 12" single of Homosapien on the 3rd December. This will feature two remixes by Malcolm Duffy. (The original mix on the A side, with a dub mix on the flip.)

But what of the Vince Clarke remix which was released in the clubs?

News from a difference source states that's that one of Clarke's remixes (produced in collaboration with will Mick Martin) will appear on a CD single to be released on the 3rd December. Another source suggest that the catalogue number is Remote 016CD, released on Windsong, apparently a US company.

So, it looks like the Neon Lights story isn't over yet.

The discography entry for The Best Of is now online. It will be expanded to include press releases, sleeve notes and promo releases over the next week.

Unfortunately the artwork is cheap-and-nasty, and Billy Sloan's sleeve notes are brief and inaccurate. With one exception, he gets every single date wrong.

But, it's recommeneded. The remastering is mostly excellent - with the exception of Real Life where the female backing vocals have been lost. And, for completists, new edits of Hypnotised and War Babies have appeared, whilst Let There Be Love appears in a previously unreleased extended form. (It's assumed that this the extended album version, promised on the obi-strip of the Let There Be Love box set, but never delivered).

Further additions to the tour dates:
17/04/02 Glasgow UK Glasgow Clyde Auditorium
18/04/02 Glasgow UK Glasgow Clyde Auditorium
20/04/02 Newcastle UK Newcastle City Hall
21/04/02 Birmingham UK Birmingham NEC
22/04/02 Cardiff UK Cardiff International Arena
24/04/02 Manchester UK Manchester Apollo
25/04/02 Manchester UK Manchester Apollo
26/04/02 Nottingham UK Nottingham Royal Centre
28/04/02 Plymouth UK Plymouth Pavilion
29/04/02 Brighton UK Brighton Centre
02/05/02 London UK Royal Albert Hall
03/05/02 London UK Royal Albert Hall
05/05/02 Utrecht Netherlands Muziekcentrum
06/05/02 Brussels Belgium Cirque Royale
08/05/02 Bielefeld Germany Stadthalle Bielefeld
09/05/02 Frankfurt Germany Jahrhunderthalle Hoechst
10/05/02 Berlin Germany Tempordrom
12/05/02 Munich Germany Cirkus Krone Bau
13/05/02 Cologne Germany E-Werk
14/05/02 Hamburg Germany Stadtpark
The Best Of is released today in two formats. The first is a standard CD (Virgin CDVD 2953), featuring a haphazard selection of songs whilst the more expensive limited edition (Virgin SACDVD 2953) is a 'Super Audio' CD. These CDs only offer better sound quality if played in machines equipped with Sony's Super Audio system.

For more information try here.

It isn't known if Super Audio CDs will play in normal CD players - so avoid it if you're unsure.

In the meantime, the collector will be busy; so far there's a 14 track UK sampler, a 4 track Spanish sampler and CD acetates of the album doing the rounds.

Virgin have knocked up a small website to promote the album. You can view a selection of the band's videos plus enter a competition to win The Best Of and the back catalogue. This can be found here

Updated tour dates, including the German dates:
17/04/02 Glasgow UK Glasgow Clyde Auditorium
18/04/02 Glasgow UK Glasgow Clyde Auditorium
20/04/02 Newcastle UK Newcastle City Hall
21/04/02 Birmingham UK Birmingham NEC
22/04/02 Cardiff UK Cardiff International Arena
24/04/02 Manchester UK Manchester Apollo
25/04/02 Manchester UK Manchester Apollo
26/04/02 Nottingham UK Nottingham Royal Centre
28/04/02 Plymouth UK Plymouth Pavilion
29/04/02 Brighton UK Brighton Centre
02/05/02 London UK Royal Albert Hall
03/05/02 London UK Royal Albert Hall
08/05/02 Bielefeld Germany
09/05/02 Frankfurt Germany
10/05/02 Berlin Germany
12/05/02 Munich Germany
13/05/02 Cologne Germany
14/05/02 Hamburg Germany

The great thing about early Simple Minds is that they were never afraid to pay respects to their influences. So as well as the requisite Pistols, Neu!, Bowie and the 'Werk that were printed as a matter of course on every post-punk band's CV, Jim Kerr and co. also doffed their caps to Genesis (at a time when Foxtrot was the equivalent of a dose of syphilis), Floyd (sic) and Crimson (sic).

It was the Minds' prog-punk-electronic influences that so defined their first five albums, the final three of which (Empires And Dance, Sons And Fascination and New Gold Dream ) were a near-perfect trilogy, encompassing all their influences in an unparalleled scale of warm grandeur. New Gold Dream is a pinnacle in literate pop with the lightest of touches.

And then U2, who had, at that point, trailed the Minds in popularity, hit big. The mullet-race was on. Jim brought out Sparkle In The Rain in 1983 (sic), possibly the most complacent album in the world; U2 bought out The Unforgettable Fire; Jim hit pay day with the Bryan Ferry cast-off Don't You (Forget About Me); then U2 issued The Joshua Tree. The race was over. U2 had won.

When they tried to belatedly regain their credibility in 1998 with Glitterball it was all too late. The early material - The American, Sweat In Bullet (indecipherable lyrics and all), I Travel, Theme From Great Cities(sic), and Love Song - quite simply remain some ofthe greatest moments in 20th century pop.

Now contenting themselves to make covers albums, The Best Of is an opportunity to hear how good Simple Minds once were; just get that program button working.

Daryl Easlea
Record Collector
November 01

Full information about the Our Secrets Are The Same bootleg can be found here

Two more additions to the marketplace including some vinyl bootlegs.

The trailers for the Swedish TV show Känsligt Läge use Saints And Sinners as backing music.

Simple Minds will be appearing on Top Of The Pops 2 this Wednesday (18:00, BBC 2). What's the bets that they'll dig out that Promised You A Miracle appearance again.

The Canadian version of Neon Lights has been added to the discography.

The vinyl bootleg discography looked like being complete, but a rare double version of the Ghostdancing album has just turned up. This features the first two discs of the triple - pressed up on a different label.

The first tour dates for the forthcoming world tour have been announced. Tickets are not for sale yet. This is just the start.
22/04/02 Cardiff UK Cardiff International Arena
24/04/02 Manchester UK Manchester Apollo
29/04/02 Brighton UK Brighton Centre

As the tour dates get announced, speculation runs high as to who will be on stage with Jim and Charlie. Hopes are high for the classic line-up: Jim, Charlie, Mick MacNeil, Derek Forbes and Mel Gaynor.

And in a candid interview, Mick reveals that he would consider going on tour with the Minds. "Jim had asked before if I'd be interested in going on tour with Simple Minds again, and I've always said no. But sitting there watching U2 I got such a thrill. It made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end and all I could think of was 'why isn't that us? I want to be where they are. We could whip their ass!'"

"I could see it in Jim's face too. I know he wanted to be up there. Maybe the time is right, the past is in the past and we should live for today."

Derek is also up-beat. "But Simple Minds' problem has always been not being able to talk to each other. For me, getting back together would feel like putting on an old pair of slippers, just completely natural."

Comments from Mick and Derek effectively open the door - they want to tour again. And as Derek says: "It's up to Jim and Charlie but at least we're all talking again and the doors are open."

But, no-one could've predicted that the trio would form their own band: Rehab.

Plus a Rehab single is in preparation. Everybody Wants 2 Be Here has already gone down a storm in the London clubs.

The Rehab interview can be found here.

Neither the Dancing Barefoot EP or Neon Lights charted in the UK. The single wasn't legible for chart entry (featuring four tracks instead of the maximum three) but the lack of Neon Lights in the chart listings prompted some debate on the mailing list.

Is this an issue for Simple Minds or Eagle Records? No. Low key release, low key introduction of Simple Minds. It's Eagle #2 that will get the big push. Plus there's the Best Of compilation next month. And the tour.

"Reverting to marketing-speak he describes the release of Neon Lights as a 'soft relaunch': "Although we never quit, it is a comeback in a public sense." But wary of the make-or-break pressure of a big comeback concert Simple Minds decided to simply go to work, putting out albums in quick succession. "If things work out the way we hope and think they might then after a year or so it'll be like: 'Of course, Simple Minds are about and make music and play.' There will be no doubts or questions where there obviously have been - and rightfully so - over the last few years."

Anyway, more collectables and releases have appeared over the last couple of weeks. It's time to update the discography...

Promotional copies of Dancing Barefoot EP have surfaced. Like all the other Eagle promos (with the exception of the Neon Lights Sampler), these green CDRs have silver non-playing surfaces with black type and Eagle Logo. They're housed in plastic wallets with title inserts.

Information about the one-track Dancing Barefoot promos can be found here.

Similar advance promos of the Neon Lights album have also appeared.

Those who purchased the album in Virgin Megastores also received a bonus CD - the Neon Lights Sampler with Jim's introductions before each track.

And Eagle are also looking into the possiblity of including a copy of the album with each new Smartcar.

Whilst the US version of the album has yet to get its commercial release, the Candian version has appeared - and features two hidden bonus tracks. The two exclusive EP tracks can be found at the end of All Tomorrow's Parties.

One interesting 'oddity' to turn up is A Generic Interview With Jim Kerr. Heavy culled from a longer interview, this CD concentates on the history of Simple Minds, briefly mentions Neon Lights and then Jim talks about the forthcoming album and tour.

The full transcript can be found here.

I've been told by Eagle Records that there will be no more singles released from Neon Lights... but things aren't as they seem.

Firstly there is no limited edition release of Neon Lights featuring a remix of Homosapien (as listed on However, Vince Clark has remixed Homosapien, and this has been made available to the clubs. So I guess there's some white labels knocking around. Furthermore, a new single has been listed: Honosapien CD and 12" for the 3rd December. I'll check this out.

Vince Clarke may be remixing tracks for Eagle 2 but he is not the producer.

As far as Eagle and Simple Minds are concerned, the Neon Lights phase is over - it's full steam on Eagle 2. First activity for this album will start in November, really ramping up in the new year.

(Neon Lights is the first part of a five year plan for Simple Minds. Just to put it in context.)

Eagle have four rough mixes from Eagle 2 - one track in particular sounds amazing. It isn't dance orientated but more band orientated. Expect lots of remixes.

They are using a new publicity firm for Eagle 2. Big industry heavyweights. Neon Lights was just a small scale release, something the band wanted to do, not much promotion (as has been seen). Now everything is gearing up for a much larger scale release for Eagle 2.

The band are not doing any more promotion for Neon Lights. The press won't do a big interview/piece a couple of months after a previous one - hence the lack of large scale interviews for Neon Lights.

Whilst working on Who's Doing The Dreaming Now #10 and the history of Our Secrets Are The Same, I was able to compile the definite line-up of the album. This has been corrected on the album's page in the discography.

The bootleg discography has been slighty re-arranged to include the Our Secrets Are The Same bootleg. It's been paired up with A Real Long Time Ago which was another bootleg of an album (albeit a very bad recording of Life In A Day).

The page for the Secrets bootleg will be fleshed out once my copy turns up.

A while back (23rd September), Jim was interviewed for the Scottish Sunday Times. The transcription of that interview can be found here. It veers away from Neon Lights prefering to concentrate on Jim's family life. However, another interview with Scotland On Sunday a week later concentrates on the music more. Of particular interest:

"Now, in their studio in Sicily, he and Burchill are working - with Italian musicians and songwriters - on the album of new material to be released next year, followed by a worldwide concert tour. "It sounds like Simple Minds of old but revitalised," says Kerr. "It's rhythmic, electronic, with enigmatic lyrics and a strong European identity." The younger of his two brothers, 31-year-old Mark, a musician based in France, has contributed a couple of songs.."

Experience The Best Of The Simple Minds
Release of the most comprehensive collection of their singles ever.

"Since their 1978 inception, Glasgows finest band, Simple Minds, fronted by charismatic lead singer Jim Kerr, have grown from a post-punk art rock band into a stadium-filling epic pop-rock act. From 1979's album Life In A Day to 1998's Néapolis, the band have notched up hit after hit and now Virgin are celebrating those twenty years of recording with a double CD, "The Best Of Simple Minds", a comprehensive collection of their most influential work.

It's released on 5th November.

Every track has been digitally remastered and the collection features no less than 16 Top 40 and seven Top Ten singles together with the Number One The Ballad Of The Streets EP and a bonus track, The Real Life (by Raven Maize).

Here's what the impressive track-listing looks like:

Disc 1
1. Don't You (Forget About Me)
2. Promised You A Miracle
3. Waterfront
4. Alive And Kicking
5. Glittering Prize
6. All The Things She Said
7. Sanctify Yourself
8. Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)
9. Ghostdancing
10. Up On The Catwalk
11. Speed Your Love To Me
12. Theme For Great Cities
13. Love Song
14. The American
15. Sweat In Bullet
16. Life In A Day
17. I Travel

Disc 2
1. Let There Be Love
2. This Is Your Land
3. Kick It In
4. Let It All Come Down
5. See The Lights
6. Stand By Love
7. Real Life
8. She's A River
9. Hypnotised
10. Glitterball
11. War Babies
12. Mandela Day
13. Biko
14. Belfast Child
15. The Real Life [Raven Maize]

It's not as bad as it could have been. At least Glitterball and War Babies made an appearance, whilst Life In A Day and I Travel cover the Arista albums.

A pity that room couldn't be found for Changeling, Celebrate or (the most damning given remixer's interest) New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84).

Neon Lights will be released in the USA by Red Ink Records on the 23rd October (Red Ink Records WK55944). This will be the first US release since Good News From The Next World in 1995.

The album features two bonus tracks which are taken from the EP. The whole track listing can be found here. Promo discs (WK55944 ADV) are also circulating and details will be added here when more details are known.

Jim will be appearing in November's issue of FHM, dressed up and modeling Kraftwerk robots/dummies. There will also be a lengthy interview:

"The charismatic Simple Minds front man on drinking with Liam Gallagher, Live Aid fashion blunders and finding wives in lifts."

The first promos for the forthcoming double Best Of album have appeared.

The artwork looks uninspired - simply a modification of the Claddagh design which graced the Live In The City Of Lights sleeve.

The listing of this single sampler CD is also disappointing, indicting that the forthcoming double album may just be concentrating on the band's popular years, and excluding pre-Sons And Fascination material, and stopping at Good News From The Next World.

Best Of Simple Minds
Virgin CDVDJ 2953
1. Don't You (Forget About Me)
2. Promised You A Miracle
3. Waterfront
4. Glittering Prize
5. Alive And Kicking
6. All The Things She Said
7. Sanctify Yourself
8. Love Song
9. Let There Be Love
10. This Is Your Land
11. Kick It In
12. See The Lights
13. She's A River
14. Belfast Child
Sampler CD in card sleeve.

Best Of (Virgin CDVD 2953) will be released on November 5th in the UK.

Around the same time as Virgin's new release, Eagle will be announcing the first world tour dates. The tour, expected to kick off in Japan, will include Australia, New Zealand, North America, South America and Europe.

In the wake of Raven Maize's Top 20 success with Theme For Great Cities, Italian outfit Gold Dreamer has reworked the other remixer's favourite, New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) (as covered by U.S.U.R.A, Utah Saints and Kawala) with new vocals by Jim. Currently a white label doing the rounds in Italy - but an official release is expected soon.

I have collected four promotional shots from Neon Lights so far. These can all be found in the Promo Gallery for the album. The shots look like they were taken at the Glasgow Science Museum (by the Clyde and opposite the SECC).

The release dates for the single and the album are different across Europe. The album has already been released in Belgium, with the single following in October. In Germany, a limited edition package of both single and album has just been released.

However, the dates on this site are for the UK, with the single released this Monday and the album following on the 8th October.

Full details of the Dancing Barefoot EP, which includes the exclusive tracks, Being Boiled and Love Will Tear Us Apart can be found here.

Full details of Neon Lights can be found here.

Full details of Simple Minds Limited Edition (a German coupling of the single and album) can be found here.

All the lyrics for Neon Lights have been added to the lyrics section.

"As no radio station here in Germany (no, it's not the German Democratic Republic[1]) is playing anything from "Neon Lights" so far,I decided to do some promotion myself: I'm organizing a party once a month in a popular nightclub LIVE STATION (inside the train station) in Dortmund.

It's called FIRESTARTER for dancers, rockers, lovers and sinners and I'm also DJing on the night. I will be doing a radio interview next week in order to promote the event and the guy from the radio station I spoke to said that I could choose two songs during the show that I want to be played. I'll take a CD of "Neon Lights" with me and make them play "Dancing Barefoot" and "Bring On The Dancing Horses."

During the party I'll play at least three songs from the album, therefore at least a couple of hundred people have to listen to it! Maybe I'll ruin the night, but at least a start, isn't it? Last month I couldn't resist and played "Swimming Towards The Sun" (from the unreleased "Our Secrets Are The Same") and the people were still dancing."

Chris Stemann

Live Station
Dortmund Hbf
Friday, Sept 21st 11pm - 6am
"Let's set this place on fire."

Other dates:
19th October
16th November
21st December

[1] The official site thinks that East Germany still exists. Their world map is from 1989.
The release of the single has been put back to 24th September.
The transcript of the interview can be found here.

Audio recordings (as Real Audio and other formats) are now appearing online. Refer to the Simple Minds Yahoo! Groups mailing list (joining instructions are on the contents page) for more information.

Jim was interviewed by Mark Goodier last night on BBC Radio Two. The interview lasted around fifteen minutes and included the first airings of Neon Lights and The Man Who Sold The World. (And Glittering Prize was played earlier in the show).

Jim confirmed that the album's release date is now the 8th October, but the single will still be released on the 10th September.

The new studio album is currently being finished although there was no mention of the Virgin compilation nor Our Secrets Are The Same.

Jim revealed that dates would be announced soon with the tour kicking off in the spring. They will be visiting Europe, North America, South America and others.

Goodier repeatly mentioned that they'd been flooded with e-mails from around the world.

A full transcript will be posted here soon.

Blame the Daily Mail TV and Radio guide listing with the suppliment - it got the date wrong. Jim's interview on BBC Radio 2 is tonight.

Our Secrets Are The Same

Bootleg copies of the radio MP3 files have now been bootlegged and are being offered for sale. Some have artwork, and are being touted as fan club/promotional material. Whilst you will get the full album, it's doesn't feature the true artwork and the quality isn't perfect (it's muffled MP3 quality.)

The only 'real' version of the album was the original leaked EMI CD-acetate.

No promos nor fanclub material of this album were ever made. Don't spend a fortune on these items.

Tuesday night's U2 concert at the SECC featured a surprise snippet of Up On The Catwalk during Elevation.

Jim will be chatting to Mark Goodier this Wednesday night on BBC Radio Two (from 22:30 to 24:00 GMT). Streaming audio of the radio station is available via their website.

Useful links:
Radio Two
Radio Two programme listings
"Having gone missing in action somewhere in the nineties, Jim Kerr became better known for his extra curricular life, his ex-spouses Chrissie Hynde and Patsy Kensit, and his bid for Celtic F.C., rather than for his group Simple Minds. Unable to catch the ever changing moods in the way pomp rock soundalikes U2 did, Kerr and his best pal, Charlie Burchill, have floundered on the margins, unknown to a younger generation. Having survived on respectable sales abroad, they're due back with a new album soon. To plug it and reminisce, Kerr has a chat with Mark Goodier."

Jim's introductions to each of the tracks on Neon Lights has now been transcribed and can be found here
"Simple Minds Alive & Kicking"
Band take on Bowie, Patti for "Neon Lights"
August 9, 2001

Simple Minds, best known for Eighties hits Don't You Forget About Me and Alive and Kicking, will release Neon Lights, an album of cover songs, on September 24th. The group's first recording for Eagle Records -- also home to former major-label rock stars like Robert Palmer and John Mayall -- will consist of interpretations of classics by Van Morrison, Patti Smith, The Doors and The Velvet Underground, among others.

"We have tried to stay faithful to the sentiment of the original songs," says frontman Jim Kerr of the set, the Glaswegian band's first studio effort since 1998's Néapolis. "Real fans of Simple Minds want to discover the genesis of our sound, want to hear what we were listening to as fans. There have been so many great songs, so many different sounds, so many artists and acts that have influenced our band. We have tried to hone it down to the key acts involved."

Having taken their moniker from David Bowie's The Jean Genie, Simple Minds pay tribute to the Thin White Duke in their version of The Man Who Sold the World. The band also turns in covers of tunes by contemporaries, taking on Echo And The Bunnymen's Bring on the Dancing Horses and Pete Shelley's Homosapien. Of the latter, Kerr comments, "People who know the track would often quote it as being in their top five songs, but it was an obscure record at the time. It's a bit of a cult classic -- not one of the obvious choices."

Simple Minds are currently working on an album of new material that they hope to release early next year, with a worldwide tour to follow. The band's last studio album, Our Secrets Are the Same, remains unreleased. Completed in 1999, the recording is at the center of a legal battle with EMI, the band's former record company.

The complete track listing for Neon Lights:
"Gloria" (Van Morrison)
"The Man Who Sold the World" (David Bowie)
"Homosapien" (Pete Shelley)
"Dancing Barefoot" (Patti Smith)
"Neon Lights" (Kraftwerk)
"Hello, I Love You" (The Doors)
"Bring on the Dancing Horses" (Echo and the Bunnymen)
"The Needle and the Damage Done" (Neil Young)
"For Your Pleasure" (Roxy Music)
"All Tomorrow's Parties (The Velvet Underground)

John D. Luerssen
(August 9, 2001)
Rolling Stone Magazine

It's that time of year again! The Dotmusic Awards, which honours musical websites, is now taking votes. Two years ago, Dream Giver was ranked at #114, jumping to #67 last year, when 2221 sites were registered and 75,000 votes were cast.

Hopefully, and with your support, Dream Giver will climb further this year. Many thanks in advance.

It's been rumoured that the two extra tracks on the Dancing Barefoot EP are Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division and Being Boiled by The Human League.

Virgin have been rumoured to be interested about a Simple Minds retrospective for a couple of years. First a 25th anniversary box set was mentioned. Then, that seemed to evolve into a successor to Glittering Prize 81/92.

A decision has finally been made and the set-list agreed. Virgin will be releasing a 2xCD "Best Of". This will probably document the bands career from Life In A Day onwards, although it's not sure what the end material will be. For instance, it isn't known if the set will include tracks from the unreleased Our Secrets Are The Same.

The release date in the UK is the 5th November, 2001.

Bruce and Jamie "havering" about the Edinburgh Festival can be found at

The website also includes biographical information about Bruce and Jamie, information about their current projects, and a selection of old Zoom Records stock for sale. (Unfortunately the Simple Minds stock is sold out!)

The first part of my mammoth interview with Bruce should be included in Who's Doing The Dreaming Now? #10. This has become a massive 'catch-up' issue dealing with the events of the last eighteen months. With the addition of the history of the Our Secrets Are The Same album, the regular features, and the new album, I may not have room for the start of Bruce's interview.

Issue #11 will follow #10 very quickly: I have lots of material prepared.

As Our Secrets Are The Same has been totally overtaken by recent events, I've created a page outlining the history of the great lost Simple Minds album. It is now part of the discography and can be found here

And Neon Lights has also been given a page in the discography. Over time, this will be updated to include all the information about the album, associated single and video information, promos, press releases and so on. has finally reappeared. At the moment they are simply collecting e-mail addresses.

There is no indication of a launch date or any preview material.

Some behind-the-scenes pictures from the band's Antwerp gig (as the warm-up show for the Grand Prix Night Of The Promos) have appeared on the Toorkwaz web site.

I assume they were taken by Stuart Mackenzie, who designed the band's sleeves for the nineties (with the exception of The Early Years 1977-78).

Promo copies of Neon Lights continue to appear on eBay. The current price is around £60, but that will drop once the album has been released.

Raven Maize's The Real Life reached #12 in the UK singles chart this week.

"Neon Lights is an album of cover versions, the first time Simple Minds have put together a collection of non-original material. We thought it was appropiate at a period of looking back that we go to the very foundations of Simple Minds, which of course is the music and the bands who influenced us"

Jim Kerr
Neon Lights Promo Introduction

The first copy of Neon Lights appeared for sale on eBay on Monday. This promo features the cover artwork for the album: a homemade compilation cassette on the dashboard of a car. The songs and artists featured on the album can be read directly from the front cover.

Bidding barely got underway before one punter paid $100 to purchase it directly (via eBay's 'BuyItNow' system).

This promo is unlike other Simple Minds releases from the past. Firstly it features introductions from Jim before each track. (These formed the basis of the press release published on the 26th July.) Secondly, each song appears in a edited form, being dramatically faded. And thirdly, to prevent piracy, each song is missing two second gaps every minute or so.

These promos give a great taste of the album, and with Jim's introductions are destined to become hot collector's items. However, they are also very frustrating with the fast fades and the annoying gaps. I have no doubt that more will be offered on eBay and other auction houses - but you're not being offered the full album.

Simple Minds: Neon Lights Promo CD
Eagle Records EAGCD 194P
1.  Gloria Van Morrison Intro (1:22)
Song (1:23-2:01/2:03-3:00/3:02-3:51)
2. The Man Who Sold The World David Bowie Intro (0:49)
Song (0:50-2:00/2:02-3:00/3:02-3:32)
3. Homosapien Pete Shelly Intro (0:53)
Song (0:54-2:00/2:02-3:01/3:03-3:25)
4. Dancing Barefoot Patti Smith Intro (1:08)
Song (1:09-2:00/2:02-3:00/3:02-3:43)
5. Neon Lights Kraftwerk Intro (0:35)
Song (0:36-2:00/2:02-2:58/3:00-3:04)
6. Hello, I Love You The Doors Intro (0:31)
Song (0:32-2:00/2:02-2:58/3:00-3:07)
7. Bring On The Dancing Horses Echo And The Bunnymen Intro (0:40)
Song (0:41-2:00/2:02-2:59/3:01-3:21)
8. The Needle And The Damage Done Neil Young Intro (0:29)
Song (0:30-2:00/2:02-2:42/2:44-2:53)
9. For Your Pleasure Roxy Music Intro (0:48)
Song (0:49-2:00/2:02-3:00/3:02-3:38)
10. All Tomorrow's Parties The Velvet Underground Intro (0:43)
Song (0:44-1:59/2:01-2:52/2:54-3:06)

After being ready since January, and subject to lengthy record company legal wranglings, and then having the release date changed several times, The Real Life was finally released on Monday.

The Real Life: Rulin Records RULIN18MCS
1. The Real Life [Radio Edit]
2. The Real Life [Original Mix]
3. Look 2 The Future
Cassette in colour picture slipcase.

The Real Life: Rulin Records RULIN18T
A. The Real Life [Original Mix]
B. The Real Life [Fatboy Slim Remix]
12" in colour picture sleeve.

The Real Life: Rulin Records RULIN18CDS
1. The Real Life [Radio Edit]
2. The Real Life [Fatboy Slim Remix]
3. Look 2 The Future
5" CD in slimline jewelcase with picture sleeve.

(The Original Mix is the same as the Club Mix which has appeared on various compilations over the last couple of months).

Dave Lee was interviewed on this morning's Big Breakfast. The programme wasn't coy about the track's samples with Simple Minds and Queen being called '80s legends', and Lee talking about the song's source.

A clip of a live performance of Alive And Kicking was aired, and Lee mentioned that Jim liked the remix.

Unfortunately the Fatboy Slim remix is a big disappointment. That said, The Real Life remains an updated version of Theme For Great Cities and is highly recommended.

CD promos of the album are now starting to circulate. Expected to become an instant colletable, these feature approximately 2 minutes of each song with spoken introductions by Jim. To further prevent piracy, each minute of the song features a two second gap.

Raven Maize are now set to release The Real Life on the 13th August. The release will also feature a remix by Fat Boy Slim.

Hard to believe really:
Theme For Great Cities is a club favourite and excepted to go Top Five...
Mixed with a Queen sample...
and features a remix by a former member of The Housemartins

More info:

Simple Minds
Neon Lights

"It certainly wasn't easy when we looked at the prospect of doing a cover version album. There have been so many great songs, so many different sounds, so many artists and acts that have influenced our band. We tried to hone it down to the key acts involved, and you could say that Simple Minds came out on a basis of listening to David Bowie, Roxy Music, Peter Gabriel and of course, Lou Reed. On top of that there was always Patti Smith, The Doors and Neil Young as well.

In this collection we have tried to stay faithful to the sentiment of the original songs, but of course we have tried to bring our own heart to the songs. It is never easy to do cover versions. In some ways you are on to a hiding to nothing because the very fact that you're choosing these songs means that you believe that the originals are great in themselves. However, real fans of Simple Minds who want to discover the genesis of our sound, want to hear what we were listening to as fans and understand the excitement that propelled us to make our sound and write our own songs, can trace it all on this album."

Jim Kerr, 2001

Track by Track Synopsis

The album kicks off with the track Gloria, written, of course, by Van Morrison (the Belfast Child himself). It's an absolute classic that has been covered by many rock bands around the world. Simple Minds have played this song live on many occasions sending the crowd wild.[1] The Neon Lights version is an almost futuristic interpretation.

David Bowie's influences cast a long shadow over many bands. It so happens that even the name Simple Minds comes from a Bowie song (Jean Genie). Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill first came across Bowie around 1972. His charisma, his songs and the atmosphere of the show were what inspired Simple Minds to write songs of their own, so it goes without saying that the bands version of The Man Who Sold The World stays pretty close to the original.

Homosapien, written by Pete Shelly of The Buzzcocks, is one of the more obscure songs to appear on Neon Lights, but Jim Kerr always loved this song. "People who knew (the track) would often quote it as being in their Top 5 ever songs, but it was an obscure record at the time. I don't know if there was a chart position but it's a bit of a cult classic, not one of the obvious choices."

The plethora of bands that emerged from New York in the late 70's also had a huge influence. Television, The Ramones, The New York Dolls and Talking Heads all made a big impact, but Patti Smith stood head and shoulders above them all. The song, Dancing Barefoot, was originally produced by Todd Rundgren (another influence on the Simple Minds sound), and has been incorporated into the bands live set on many occasions, receiving a fantastic audience reaction as soon as the initial chords were played.[2]

Those who have followed Simple Minds from the very beginning know that the band initially had a much more electronic foundation and the bands earliest influences were from the German "Kraut Rock" music scene. Although described by many as being 'cold' music, Jim Kerr always felt that Kraftwerk's music had a warm human side and great emotional content, particularly the song Neon Lights, which appears as the title track on this album.

When discussing Simple Minds musical style, in particularly Jim Kerr's own style of singing, you can never ignore the influence of Jim Morrison and The Doors. As one of Jim Kerr's favourite bands, there is rarely a week that goes by when he doesn't listen to The Doors. As one of The Doors better known songs, Hello I Love You is included as the bands tribute to them.

With an album of this sort, Simple Minds felt it was extremely important to acknowledge a few of their 80's and 90's contemporaries. U2,The Cure and Depeche Mode naturally spring to mind, but another band that fell very much into this category was Echo And The Bunnymen. The song Simple Minds eventually chose was one of their biggest hits, Bring On The Dancing Horses.

The original version of Neil Young's classic Needle And The Damage Done was quite a short ballad and so has been reworked, adding an extra element of drama to the song by highlighting the songs powerful lyrical content.

Possibly the most predominant influence on Simple Minds (in terms of the sound of the guitars, the synthesisers and melodies) were Roxy Music. The band chose to cover one of their darker, more ambient tracks. For Your Pleasure turned out to be one of the most challenging, yet most enjoyable tracks to record during the Neon Lights sessions.

Three chords and fantastic street lyrics by Lou Reed and John Cale: All Tomorrows Parties is a song that true The Velvet Underground fans will recognise as being one of the dark horses of their incredible catalogue. The song itself is about the end of an era, and for this reason alone the band have chosen it to bring Neon Lights to a conclusion.

Quite Great Publicity.

[1] Simple Minds performed Gloria as part of an extended Ghostdancing during the Street Fighting Years tour. It was also performed as a one-off during an Italian TV appearance during the Néapolis tour.

[2] To my knowledge, Simple Minds have never performed Dancing Barefoot live.

Dancing Barefoot EP Eagle EAGEP 198
Neon Lights Eagle EAGCD 194

Apparently Fat Boy Slim has remixed Theme For Great Cities whilst a new version of New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) is doing the rounds at the clubs. (This could be the version by Girls Under Glass which can be found on AudioGalaxy.)

Raven Maize's The Real Life should be in record stores on Monday.

The forthcoming covers album Neon Lights will be preceeded by an EP. The CD digiapk Dancing Barefoot EP will feature two tracks from the album and two exclusive tracks which won't be available elsewhere.

Simple Minds: Dancing Barefoot EP
Eagle Records
1.  Dancing Barefoot Patti Smith
2. Gloria Van Morrison

It will be issued as a very limited edition. You will have to pre-order it from your local record store.

This is the tracklisting of the forthcoming Simple Minds album which will be released on September 24th.

Simple Minds: Neon Lights
Eagle Records
1.  Gloria Van Morrison (3:44)
2. The Man Who Sold The World David Bowie (4:06)
3. Homosapien Pete Shelly (4:19)
4. Dancing Barefoot Patti Smith (3:48)
5. Neon Lights Kraftwerk (4:16)
6. Hello, I Love You The Doors (3:31)
7. Bring On The Dancing Horses Echo And The Bunnymen (5:51)
8. The Needle And The Damage Done Neil Young (4:13)
9. For Your Pleasure Roxy Music (4:19)
10. All Tomorrow's Parties The Velvet Underground (3:32)

Simple Minds are currently in the studio, already working on the follow-up album to Neon Lights. It is hoped that it will be finished by December, and released early in 2002. Then a worldwide tour will follow.

Our Secrets Are The Same, the album recorded and finished in 1999, and the centre of a legal dispute between Simple Minds and EMI, looks destined to remain in the can for the foreseeable future. With two new albums in the pipeline with Eagle, and Virgin still undecided about a compilation/best-of package, there doesn't seem to be any opportunities for its release at the moment.
Last month Simple Minds signed a two album deal with Eagle Records.

Simple Minds will be joining label mates James Brown, Robert Palmer, Status Quo, Yes, Alice Cooper, John Mayall and Nik Kersaw.

"Eagle Records is a natural home for established artists who no longer feel comfortable within the confines of a major label."

Their first Eagle album has already been recorded and is set for release in September.

Simple Minds new studio album, a collection of covers, is set for release by Eagle Records on September 24th. Recorded by Jim and Charlie earlier this year at Ca Va Studios in Glasgow, it features artists that inspired the band.

They've covered Kraftwerk, Patti Smith, Van Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie and others.

The exclusive appeared in The Daily Record yesterday.

Meeting Of Minds

Kerr's cover version opens new Doors

Simple Minds rocker Jim Kerr is to pay homage to Lizard King Jim Morrison on his band's comeback album.

The Scots rocker and bandmate Charlie Burchill have a collection of cover versions lined up under their new two-album deal with Eagle Records.

And one of the highlight tracks is a reworking of the Doors' classic Hello, I Love You.

Jim, 42, said: "We are excited about the new phase and we're looking forward to working with Eagle. Our new release is an album of songs that inspired Simple Minds to make music in the first place."

As well as the Doors' classic, the album, called Neon Lights, will include Simple Minds' versions of David Bowie's The Man Who Sold The World, Van Morrison's Gloria and Patti Smith's Dancing Barefoot..

Due out in September, it's the first new release from the band since 1998's album Neapolis and single Glitterball.

And to back up the CD, a world-wide headline tour is also planned within the next 18 months.

The group's newfound popularity is all thanks to dance act Raven Maize's track The Real Life, which sampled Simple Minds' Theme From Great Cities and woke up the club scene to the Eighties group.

Now it looks as if there are even bigger things on the horizon for Jim, who is already worth pounds 40million.

Simple Minds were formed in Glasgow in 1978. Throughout the Eighties, the band's only real rivals were U2 and they racked up a string of hits including Don't You (Forget About Me), Alive And Kicking and Waterfront.

Jim added: "More than two decades later, to us, creating music is still connected to that initial sense of spirit, passion and play. "We are flattered by an increasing emergence of a generation of artists and producers seemingly keen on sampling and covering our style of music, so it seemed timely for us to once again spend some time experiencing life as a covers band. We're loving it."

Rick Fulton
Off The Record
Daily Record
July 13th, 2001

Glasgow based 2fluid creative will be producing the new official Simple Minds website. This new company, headed by successful Internet pioneer Jacqueline Doherty, and with financial backing from Jim, will be putting together the new site which will feature details of the 25th anniversary tour next year.

Good luck.

The new version of this site will launch a week after the new official site.

Jacqueline Doherty, water cooler, Jim Kerr

Kerr-Ful Investor

Singer backs new web firm

Simple Minds frontman Jim Kerr has backed a new venture by millionaire Scots Internet queen Jacqueline Doherty.

The pop star has put some of his £40 million fortune into a new company called 2fluid creative - a web design business which will help other firms boost on-line business.

At just 29, Doherty is already seen as an Internet veteran having been the technical driving force behind fellow tycoon Chris Gorman's Reality business.

It quickly became Scotland's most successful Internet start-up. From it's launch in 1998 with just three staff, Doherty helped grow the company into a multi-million pound business employing 70.

Last year, Gorman sold out to Great Universal Stores. Dohery received £3 million from the £35 million sale.

Launching the new business yesterday, Doherty said: "2fluid is a partnership of some of the most forward-thinking minds in Scotland's new media and design community".

She freely admits that e-commerce has had a "bad press" over the last year. But she added "I believe there is demand for a company that combines contemporary design with the ability to deliver quality work on time and within budget."

Kerr refused to reveal how much cash he was putting into 2fluid but described it as "a significant investment."

He decided to back 2fluid because he has "great confidence in Doherty's talents".

Colin Calder
Publication unknown
Early July, 2001

I've updated the discography with details of their first Good News From The Next World bootleg: 95 Sunset Strip. This CD is vital for the bootleg collector as it features exclusive acoustic versions of See The Lights and White Light/White Heat.

Simple Minds are this months Barrowlands Greats. You can find their page at, which includes an updated version of the biography from this site.

A couple of new items have been added to Christian Sinn's auction. A copy of Good News From The Next World signed by the 1995 line-up (60,00 DM) and a signed copy of the excellent Selfluninous bootleg (Offers!). Contact e-mail and other items for sale can be found on his auction page.
After the chance discovery of Lexos' The Key on the Ministry Of Sound's most recent compilation, it turns out that this reworking of Theme For Great Cities had already been released as a single back in May.

Lexos: The Key
1. Radio Edit (2.37)
2. Adam Dived Vox Remix (8.22)
3. Original Mix (8.22)
Incentive CENT27CDS

All three tracks feature Theme For Great Cities as the main melody.

Attention bootleg collectors!
The vinyl bootlegs above are all for sale. Some are very limited and are offered very rarely - such as the limited edition Presence Of Mind of which only 150 were pressed, or the picture disc of Smiling In Tonight. Also offered is Selfluminous, which is often cited as one of their best bootlegs.

The majority of these bootlegs haven't appeared on CD.

Please contact Paul Lees on (07761) 001245 (UK number - after 6PM) if interested.

Christian Sinn has updated his auction list. This can be found here.

Two remixes of Theme For Great Cities appear on The Ministry Of Sound's Clubbers Guide To... Ibiza. Summer 2001 (Ministry Of Sound MOSCD 18). Joining the well documented sampe from Raven Maize is a newly discovered remix called The Key by Lexos.

This compilation is being heavily advertised on TV which opens with the Raven Maize track.

Raven Maize: The Real Life
Club Mix
Produced and arranged by David Lee
Features a sample of Theme For Great Cities performed by Simple Minds

Lexos: The Key
Burchill/Kerr/MacNeil/McGee/Forbes/N Cook
Produced by Lexos
Contains elements of Theme For Great Cities by Simple Minds

24th May 2001AntwerpNight Of The Proms (Private gig) Don't You (Forget About Me)
Belfast Child
Alive and Kicking
26th May 2001NiceGrand Prix Night Of The Proms Don't You (Forget About Me)
Belfast Child
Alive and Kicking

Simple Minds Are Expected To Tour In 2002

If anyone can get audio or video recordings of Simple Minds at the proms gigs then can they get in touch. Thanks.
In addition to their Grand Prix Night Of The Proms appearance, Jim and Charlie will also be playing the previous night in Antwerp. However, this Proms gig is a private performance and tickets are not publically available.

The dates are:

24th May 2001AntwerpNight Of The Proms (Private gig)
26th May 2001NiceGrand Prix Night Of The Proms

Other artists confirmed for the 24th are: John Miles, Michel Fugain, Natalie Choquette and Roger Hodgson.

Associated web sites:
Grand Prix Night Of The Proms web site.
Night Of The Proms web site.

"I'm writting to let you know that it is not likely there will be a Simple Minds Marathon this summer. It was a difficult decision, but with no new material (officially) available, and no tour planned for this year - I felt as if I was begining to repeat myself. After three years in-a-row of "Some Sweet Day" I felt I needed to produce a different program, and recharge my batteries.

Rest assured, I LOVE Simple Minds. I'm still on Ebay everyweek trying to chase down every last b-side and remix. The passion of the fans of the band continues to amaze me. Speaking with Mr. Kerr the past two shows has been a hightight of my radio career. With this in mind I hope it is not long before we are "alive and kicking" again. Perhaps the rumored box set/25th anniversary tour would be a perfect event..... I thank you all who have taken the time to help in my projects in the past, and will feel welcome to do so in the future, should Some Sweet Day come again.

For those of you interested in the rest of the marathon season, I encourage you to stop by the WBWC homepage for a soon-to-be-completed line-up.

Still dreaming in new gold,
Todd Richards.

"I saw an extraordinary show by Jane's Addiction in Los Angeles in 1990. It was really for the sences, a carnival. And I saw The Clash in 1977 at Trinity College, Dublin, and that kinda set the course for me. I saw Bruce Springsteen's show at London Wembly Arena on the River tour which had me in tears - I didn't think that could happen at a rock show. Then there was a mesmerising Simple Minds show around 1984 where, really, everyone was in a trance. It was absolutely, certifiably the beginning of the rave scene - a hypnotic, dance-rock thing. And The Pixies in 1989, that was amazing. Frank Black's combination of inspirations - stamp-collecting, astronomy, The Bible, Dada - were completely thrilling. What an extraordinary spirit he has and they had..."

U2 Elevation Tour Book
Interviewed by Danny Eccleston (editor

Rave reports have returned from Germany with Band For The Tribes. Apparently they've already eclipsed their performance at the 1999 Simple Minds convention.

A gig is muted for the UK in September/October.

This is somewhat silly, but quite clever:

(You'll find Simple Minds listed in the right hand margin.)

Another hit - and Jim doesn't Mind

"Scots supergroup Simple Minds are set to have a surprise hit thanks to the dance act Raven Maize. On their new single, Real Life, the hip DJ collective have reworked the Minds' epic instrumental, Theme For Great Cities. Jim Kerr said "They've put a drum and bass track on our song then added the lyric "Is this the real life?" - which is the first line of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. We don't mind at all that they've nicked our song. It sounds great and looks like being a huge club hit".

Billy Sloan
Scottish Sunday Mail 29/04/01

Joey Negro

Whilst Simple Minds have no problem with the sample, it seems that a certain record company has. Read the full scoop here.

It seems that EMI have taken exception to the use of the Queen sample and have blocked the release. The whole project looks doomed unless Joey Negro (the man behind Raven Maize and Jakatta) can get clearance.

Sadly the single was expected to do very well, possibly doing better than Negro's previous top ten hit with American Dream. (Which itself ran in to trouble. Originally called American Booty, there was a years wait between the white labels and the commercial release.)

You can hear a sample of the track at DotVinyl.. Scroll down to the 3rd March. Napster is also your friend here.

The original white label features a club mix, dub mix, DJ tool mix and "Fazapella" mix.

Glasgow Barrowlands now has its own website. Reopened for the Simple Minds Waterfront video shoot, the Glasgow venue's on-line site can be found at

Keep an eye on the 'Glasgow Greats' in the history section. Simple Minds should be featured soon.

Good luck to Band For The Tribes who are playing a second Hamm gig in Germany tonight.

For up-to-date news and information about the band, check out their new Flash-based website at Regular announcements about the band's activities are also posted on the Simple Minds mailing list.

Franco Battiato has recently released a new album in Italy. This includes the song Running Against The Grain, which has been released as the first single, and also features Jim on vocals.

It's an interesting collaboration, with Franco taking on the verses in Italian and Jim singing the chorus in English.

You can check out a sample of the track on Franco's website at

Several new 12" white label releases have recently turned up on eBay. Supposedly by Simply Minds, these 1-track records feature Belfast Trance 2001. Clocking in at over six minutes, this dance remix features an atmospheric Simple Minds opening, followed by three minutes of dance music, a brief interlude of Jim singing the opening of Belfast Child followed by another three-or-so minutes of dance.

It's not unlike the Chrysalis remixes commissioned for the Néapolis releases. Those expecting an extended or classic-80s remix of the track will be dissapointed. But if you liked Jam And Spoon and Fila Brazillia's interpretation of Simple Minds then you will like this.

A Nebula mix is also doing the rounds on eBay - this is the same as the Trance Mix.

Raven Maize's remix of Corporation Of One's The Real Life will be released in early May in the UK. Corporation Of One first released their remix of Theme For Great Cities in 1988.

The Raven Maize version is strongly influenced by the Simple Minds original and is highly recommended.

Simple Minds Are Too Busy To Tour This Year.

Please read between the lines of the statement above. Despite the lack of the tour, expect a good year. There's good news coming. When I can reveal more, I will. So please keep an eye on this web site.

(I'm sorry for being so cryptic. But things are happening!)

Jim and Charlie have been confirmed for the Grand Prix Night Of The Proms. This will follow the same format as the 1997 shows: Jim and Charlie backed by a whole orchestra, and part of a line-up with a varied range of artists. Check the web site for the full list.

Tickets are available from

They're also considering some other Proms dates. Possibly some dates in Antwerp or a night in Paris; so they may actually play three gigs in total. These extra dates are not confirmed. Keep an eye on the general Night Of The Proms web site for announcements.

A full Simple Minds tour may be on the cards for next year.

No progress has been made between EMI and Simple Minds. Our Secrets Are The Same still remains in limbo.

Virgin are still enthusiastic about the proposed compilation album. Jim will be speaking to them soon but it's expected to feature some of their eighties classics, and then cover their nineties singles - effectively carrying on from Glittering Prize (81/92). If it goes ahead, it will be in the shops for September/October.

Whilst another compilation album doesn't sound very exciting, there may be one or two surprises on this one. Again, I'll let you know the details when I can.

Almost Famous: The Sloan Years

...By 1978, I was the rock columnist for Clyde Guide, launched by Radio Clyde. I covered a seminal punk gig at Satellite City disco, above the legendary Apollo Theatre, the former Green's Playhouse.

Headliners were reggae stars Steel Pulse. The support was superb, too. First on were The Nu Sonics. Their blond vocalist was Edwyn Collins and the band evolved into Orange Juice.

Next up were a rather arty-looking bunch, whose charismatic frontman had a pudding bowl haircut and wore a long priest's frock coat. He performed a song called Pablo Picasso, with lyrics which went: "Pablo Picasso/All the girls think you're an asshole."

There was something about him. He looked like a star. After their set, I knocked on the band's dressing room door to ask his name for my review. He was called Jim Kerr - and his band Simple Minds would go on to become Scotland's most successful rock act.

I've had some great times with the Minds over the years. In 1988, I travelled to Brazil with the group to watch them play in Rio and Sao Paulo. We hung out with Ronnie Biggs in his Rio nightclub, and keyboard player Mick MacNeil gifted the Great Train Robber a bottle of HP Sauce. Biggsy hadn't tasted it since he'd escaped from Wandsworth Prison in 1965.

The band's performance in Rio won them thousands of new fans. I don't know why, but for the encore, Jim invited me on stage to sing with them. Some of the crowd are still receiving counselling.

It was impossible not to get swept along by football fever. So a game was arranged with a local Brazilian side. We turned up for what we thought was a casual kick-around, to be met by Brazil's answer to Archie Macpherson. He quizzed the group about their team tactics. We should have realised just how seriously they take their football.

In a stifling 95 degrees, we held the score at 2-2. Then, all hell broke loose. The Brazilians played barefoot, but they knew how to mix it. After a few heavy tackles, guitarist Charlie Burchill let one of their players have it. In seconds, World War III erupted. The referee was forced to abandon the match for fighting.

The incident made the TV news and headlines in the papers. "Our tour is sponsored by Amnesty International and last night we performed in front of their banner of the white dove of peace," sighed Jim Kerr. "What are the punters gonna think about us scrapping over a game of fitba'?"

In Brazil, I rubbed shoulders with Duran Duran, The Pretenders, Simply Red, Supertramp, UB40 and Robert Palmer, who were also on the festival bill. We all got on like a house on fire, except for Mick Hucknall, of Simply Red. He was downright unfriendly and didn't like to mix with any other musicians.

In the hotel at Sao Paulo, we organised a pool tournament. Mick arrived with a leggy blonde model in tow and challenged me to a game. "You'll have to be good," I said jokingly, "I've won five in a row."

The singer fixed me with a steely look and replied: "I'll f****** beat you!"

That was it. All the Duranies, the UB40 lads and Supertramp boys, who'd been sunbathing, crowded around the table. "If you don't whip gingernut's a*** you're on the next flight back to Heathrow," whispered the Minds' manager, Bruce Findlay.

Mick was a bit of a hustler but I beat him. When the final black dropped, you could have heard the cheers back in London. Mick lost face in front of his girlfriend, and was simply red, all right. He was furious. I interviewed him last year in London, before Simply Red played at the SECC and he hadn't changed a bit. He still looked down his nose at me.

Billy Sloan
Daily Record 25/02/01

(Billy Sloan was namechecked on the sleeve of Sons And Fascination and wrote the sleeve notes for The Early Years 1977-78)

"Many thanks for your interest in Jim's jacket which we auctioned at the Arbroath Football Club dinner. We had a few bids in from your members and it came down to three people on the night. One of our Club members is a Simple Minds fanatic and bid £310 for the jacket - which we thought was fantastic for the Club.

Can I ask you to thank those who e-mailed bids to me and so sorry that one of them did not get the jacket.

Once again many thanks,
George Cant

Radio One DJ Seb Fontaine has recently being playing a remix of Theme For Great Cities on his Saturday night show. The song appears to be a reworking of Corporation Of One's The Real Life which appeared in the late 1980s. This version, called The Real Life by Raven Maize is available on white label.

Billy Idol is going to release a new greatest hits compilation. As an exclusive for this package, he'll be recording a new version of Don't You (Forget About Me), written by his producer Keith Forsey (and first released by Simple Minds in 1985.)

It isn't known if Idol will be recording the song as Forsey originally wrote it, or as Simple Minds rearranged and added to it.

Those watching BBC2's nostalgic series I Love The 1980s will have noticed a distinct lack of Simple Minds. This is despite their inclusion on the accompanying CD which includes Don't You (Forget About Me).

I Love 1985 featured some of Alive And Kicking as backing music, but that's been the only exposure so far. They may receive a mention in I Love 1988 for the Mandela show, but it looks unlikely.

"I write to you on behalf of Arbroath Football Club. We are holding our annual sportsman's dinner on Friday 16th February, and I have received from Jim, the leather bomber jacket he wore on the Real Life tour. It is, I believe, one of only two made, and we have decided to auction it to raise funds for the development of the club.

This item is available for bidding now and up to the dinner which is, as I have stated, next Friday 16.2.01.

Bids can be e-mailed to my business address:"

George Cant
Commercial Department
Arbroath Football Club
Gayfield Park

Jim Kerr made an appearance on BBC Scotland's weekly arts TV programme Ex-s last Tuesday evening. This week's programme was a documentary about 70's music legend and complete eccentric Alex Harvey who hailed from Glasgow.

Jim looked every inch the business man, dressed in a smart suit and red tie and seemed very knowledgeable of Harvey's musical output.

Jim relayed a story told to him by Bruce Findlay when Bruce was running his record shop in Glasgow in the 70's... Two guys in balaclavas came into the shop and demanded the takings from the till, as they were leaving the shop, one of them stopped returned to the counter and said 'plus two copies of the new Alex Harvey album'. Bruce Findlay suspected that one of the assailants was Harvey himself!


The negotiations between Simple Minds and EMI are still ongoing. It was hoped that the matter would be resolved by now, but Jim, Charlie and the other parties won't be getting together until later this month. (Looks like everyone took lengthy Christmas holidays: Jim's in Sicilly and Charlie's in India.)

The organsisers of Grand Prix Night Of The Proms have been a little generous with their description of the line-up. Simple Minds have been approached with an offer to do the show, but no decision has been made. A decision is expected when everyone gets together again later this month.

For those who are planning the trip, then be cautious. Simple Minds may not even be playing!

When the band get together later this month, one of the items on the table is a 25th anniversary tour. IF the band decided to do this, the organisation will probably take several months, with the proposed tour starting in September/October. It would then run through to include festival dates in 2002.

This is not, by any means, definite!.

IF the band do tour, then Virgin may release a second 'greatest-hits' compilation to coincide with the dates. This would bring the Simple Minds story up-to-date: from Real Life to Néapolis. Unfortunately, there's no news about the 25th anniversary box set.

(Again this is all dependant on what the band decide!)

A Glasgow based web-design company are currently working on the new Simple Minds official web site. This is expected to go live in May/June but with so much undecided at the moment, a definite launch date is uncertain. It would be expected to launch with an album/compilation/tour announcement or whatever else the band decide.

If anyone from the official web site wants to get in touch then it would be great to hear from you.

There's definitely things happening for Simple Minds at the moment. This update gives an idea of some of the projects the band could consider - not all of them will happen, but it's good to know that Simple Minds are planning for the future.

Due to the success of our last gig in Hamm, Germany; we have been approached to play a festival there on Saturday 14th April 2001. The venue is twice the size we played last time (500cap), and is more or less guaranteed to be sold out. Last year they had a Bon Jovi tribute band.

The festival is spread over several venues in Hamm, and climaxes with a major artist at the Hoppegarden.

As I said we have been approached but no contracts have been signed yet, but if anybody is interested please get in touch and once everything is finalised we can give out ticket info. It will be good to have familiar faces in the crowd.

Dave Kelly
Posted to the Simple Minds mailing list

It seems that 'Simple Minds' will be playing the Grand Prix Night Of The Proms but it'll only be Jim - Charlie will not be there.

Given the Proms format, it's likely that Jim will only be on stage for three songs. It isn't known if he'll be singing any Simple Minds numbers, or perhaps duetting with other artists.

Ticket prices range from 343FF to 293FF (which is roughly £34 or £29 pounds sterling). Tickets will be available on-line at in around two weeks time.

I'm often asked about collecting and the best places to pick up Simple Minds items. The best second-hand mail-order record shop has been Esprit. I've bought uncountable Simple Minds items from them over the years, ranging from deleted old 7" records to obsure test pressings and unique memorabilia.

Click the animated graphic to check out their current Simple Minds stock.

I also recommend eBay. Although some are put off by having to bid in an auction, I've purchased many extremely rare Simple Minds items over the web. (It's also a good place to pick up CD bootlegs! You can always crossreference items to the Bootleg Disocography to get the real low-down and extra information about items advertised.)

The tabs for Alive And Kicking have been updated. Originally based on the original sheet music, Renaud Ziegler has corrected and updated them.
This is the last week of the Simple Minds auction. The final bidding date is Saturday.

See the auction page for the full catalogue and bidding rules.

Lot SMM-24
Rare Italian tour poster from Sparkle In The Rain tour. From Reggio Emilia, 11/4/84 with China Crisis as support. Mounted on thick cardboard. 100x68cm. Mint

An interview with Jim Kerr recently turned up on the BBC web site. This event was almost missed by everyone but can still be viewed at (Realplayer required.)

The interview is concerned with emerging Internet technologies and the future of music. Jim gives his views on Napster and bootlegging whilst recounting some of the earliest experiences with the band.

I believe that the interview is quite old (by at least a year). Jim doesn't mention the distribution of the Secrets album by MP3. More importantly he mentions Tony Wilson and hints at a forum of participants - thus placing the interview as part of a series of talks in Glasgow about music and the Internet.

For those who can't view the realplayer files, a transcript can be found here.

Simple Minds have been listed in the line-up for Grand Prix Night Of The Proms in Nice. This orchestral event will be taking place on the 26th May, 2001.

No other information is available at the moment except for the announcement on the Official Night Of The Proms web site.

The Night Of The Proms mixes classical music with rock and pop. Simple Minds appeared during the 1997 season, performing Alive And Kicking, Don't You (Forget About Me) and Belfast Child with full orchestral backing.

I will be confirming this announcement with the band's management.

Promised You A Miracle
April 1982
Number 55 (The Top 100 Singles That Changed Your Life)

"More poised and tentative than their more blustery contemporaries U2, Simple Minds went through a number of mutations, from post-punk to euro-tinged technodance, before arriving at this career height.

A record that owed as much to the silvery surfaces of Abba's 'Dancing Queen' as it did to Bowie's 'Heroes' or the Pistols, '...Miracle' is an exercise in rock Romanticism, all giddy peaks and doors of perception cleansed. With it's feline rhythms and glittering interplay of keyboards and guitars, it's the moment when Simple Minds ideally should have been frozen - graceful, pregnant with untold promise; 'Everything is possible.'

Unfortunately, the only way from here was down, into crashing stadium rock bores."

Uncut Magazine
The Top 100 Singles That Changed Your Life

Another Simple Minds fanzine has wound up. Le Menti, which launched in 1996, has ceased publication.

It quickly positioned itself as the heavyweight of the fanzine scene, sometimes including more than 100 pages per issue. Largely penned by Cristina Canciani, it was a vital source of information as the Minds concentrated their touring in Italy.

The Italian web-site continues and the Italian fan-club has launched a new venture called SushiBar. They're concidering a fanzine but there are no concrete plans yet.

Native Spanish speakers can now participate in a new Spanish-language mailing list about the band:

"We have created a mailing-list "Simple-Mente" in Spanish, that will serve as complement to this wonderful list created by Simon." - Marc.

For more information, e-mail or check out

There is a tribue to Kirsty MacColl, Saturday, 20th January on BBC Radio Two at 8:00 GMT. The singer, who provided backing vocals for Sparkle In The Rain, was tragically killed late last year.

The Simple Minds auction is currently running and bids are being taken.

An extra lot has been added:

SMM-305 Passport Photos Exactly the same as item SMM-128 except doesn't include Mick MacNeil. Mint. £9

For the full catalogue, and information about how to bid, then check out the auction page

Lot SMM-250
Rare Sparkle In The Rain album cover poster that has been done in a shiny foil. Possibly used as part of a shop display as there are two drawing pin holes in the top left and right hand corners of the poster. Again mounted on thick cardboard. 61x61cm. A couple of spots on poster where a top colour has been removed to reveal silver underneath otherwise mint.

Robert De Niro, one of my Hollywood heroes, is usually a man of very few words. It was he who left me speechless, however, when I was introduced to him.

I was silenced, not because I was overawed or starstruck, but simply because this acting icon started quizzing me on the Jacobite rebellion, and in the greatest detail.

I pondered and spluttered as I battled to pluck historical facts from my recollection of school history lessons, then quickly conceded defeat. Floored by de Niro.

I am never likely to be a Mastermind candidate for Scottish history, but I score highly in my passion and commitment to a nation that is in the dawn of an exciting new era: economically, thanks to the emergence and development of new technology; politically, with the creation of our Scottish parliament.

So when the First Minister, Henry McLeish, asked me to take on the role of ambassador for the confident, competitive and compassionate Scotland he and his team are building, I accepted with enthusiasm.

As a father-of-three, I am also honoured to be given the key task of boosting the confidence of young Scots to take on the world. I am due to meet the First Minister early this year to hammer out the details of just what my role will involve. Until then I can only look back on my own childhood as well as reflecting on how I am raising my own children to see what lessons I can take from those two experiences.

As someone who was brought up in Toryglen, on the south side of Glasgow, and who found success in the music industry with the Simple Minds I believe it is vitally important that Scotland's young people are given the confidence to succeed. Yes, talent is important but I estimate that having that "grit" - a determined confidence to attempt any challenge - is the factor in which talent becomes magnified, multiplied and raised to a level previously unimagined.

There were times growing up in Toryglen that I could have done with an extra dose of confidence myself.

I had a stutter which at times would be manageable and not something I was overly conscious of. At other times it was humiliating and definitely led to mickey-taking, especially when I was required to read out loud. I would die a thousand deaths as the surrounding sniggers inevitably grew to a crescendo, praying that my teachers would excuse me and end my ordeal. They never did.

My parents, however, were very supportive. My dad was a builders' labourer and mum worked part-time as a sewing machinist in an industrial clothing factory workshop in Albion Street. They worked hard, played hard and fought hard to instil positive qualities in their children in the hope that a solid working class psyche was firmly stamped on our characters.

Their only words of wisdom were along the lines of "do your best at all times and you will be sure to succeed" and "treat others as you would like to be treated". I repeat the same mantra to my own children, James, Yasmin and my step-daughter Natalie. I am sure I will have cause to repeat them many times in my ambassador's role.

With our lives woven with the vagaries of showbusiness and, at times, an intense focus on our personal backgrounds, giving my children what I hope is the best start in life is a different and perhaps taller order than my parents faced.

I've never pushed the children in any direction except to encourage them to study and get the best grades possible from their education. They have been brought up surrounded by artists, musicians, actors, fashion designers, journalists, politicians and film and TV personalities.

Not surprisingly, it is these professions which interest them and it is not hard for me to imagine that they could end up in any of these fields. In have told them that being able to work and make a living doing something you are passionate about - in my case music - is a great reward in itself. Likewise, I encourage them to have a dream and to do all they can to make them come true. Hopefully, I will be able to inspire a lot more young people to do the same.

Only last week I was thrilled for Natalie, who first came into my life when she was one. The reason for my delight was she had been signed up by one of the world's major modelling agencies. When quizzed, she was very cool about it, embarrassed when I congratulated her.

I asked her why she had never told me of her ambition. She insisted that it wasn't such a big deal that I shouldn't be so over the top, and that she was wisely intending to continue with her first love - studying photography and films.

She might have been cool but I was excited that with encouragement, she, like most other young people, will quickly develop the right amount of self-esteem to get whatever they want out of life. Which 18-year-old does not need reassurance and confidence in their transformation from child in awe to insecure teenager and then, hopefully, to determined young adult? I am forever grateful to my parents for the support and best start in life they gave me. My stutter would make me sink into my shell sometimes but nothing too drastic. I certainly didn't feel sorry for myself. In fact I was always relatively popular, especially as a teenager, although never quite popular enough with the girls. As though such a thing could ever be possible!

From the earliest days of my music career, my family not only shared my enthusiasm to succeed, but wholeheartedly backed me. Let us endeavour to offer the same support to Scottish youngsters.

When I told them in 1977 I wanted to turn my back on the three years I had already served as an apprentice plumber to join the music industry, they were in turmoil. Especially as only one more year and I would be a full-time served City and Guilds tradesman.

They were worried, as were my grandparents, that I was walking away from the opportunity to call myself a tradesman, to instead join a shadowy world where I would probably be confronted with all the temptations of drugs and decadence. I think they imagined me succumbing to them all and ending up a sad and delirious down and out.

Amazingly though, despite their concerns, they stunned me by stumping up the £150 I had begged for to buy equipment and pay the studio fees to record our first demo tapes. To say this was a generous act is a massive understatement.

Twenty five years ago, £150 was a considerable amount of dough. My dad only made decent money when the weather permitted and mum's job never brought in much.

They were giving me just about every penny they had, forfeiting any extra luxuries that year that they might have been able to afford. However, I feel their generosity worked both ways in that this encouragement spurred me on to greater determination to succeed and gave me a real sense of moral responsibility.

I really wanted to do all I could to repay their faith in me and my musical dreams.

The parents of my ex-classmate and songwriting partner Charlie Burchill also showed great faith as did some parents of the boys in the original Simple Minds line-up.

We must have seemed deluded in telling them that we were aiming not just to get a record deal or a spot on Billy Sloan's midnight Radio Clyde show, but to appear on Top of the Pops, play Wembley Stadium and Madison Square Gardens. We must have been unbearable to our parents, obnoxious maybe. Grinding them down with our enthusiasm, telling them we planned to sell a million records and have umpteen number one albums. But despite the odds being a zillion to one against us, they still backed us wholeheartedly. Thankfully, we pretty much pulled it off, always aware of the support for us at every step.

My music career has taken me all round the world. Put me in a roomful of people when I am on my travels and they will know all about my Scottish roots well before we part company. Thankfully this situation comes about usually in response to anexisting, overwhelming curiosity about the country I call home.

If by chance the global success of Simple Minds, and my flying the flag, can boost Scotland's profile, then no one would be more delighted than me. It is time we Scots got together to proudly and loudly shout about the new developments happening in our country and underline the fact that we are a can-do, confident nation.

Whether it is boasting about our achievements to Robert de Niro, or bolstering the confidence of young people, I am happy to help.

Jim Kerr
Sunday Times 07/01/01 (Scottish section)

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