Black And White album
Black And White 050505
A return to form
UK release date - Monday September 12, 2005
US relesae date - Tuesday September 13, 2005
Vocals: Jim Kerr
Guitar: Charlie Burchill
Drums: Mel Gaynor
Bass: Eddie Duffy
One of Scotland's most successful bands, they defined a generation, have scored over
twenty Top 20 hits in a career spanning nearly three decades. They have sold over
thirty million records, had five number one albums, a no. 1 single in America - plus
three American top ten singles and been Voted Q magazine's world's best live act.
Simple Minds embarked internationally on countless sold out stadium tours
including headlining three times at Wembley stadium. They have influenced bands as diverse
as current favourites Bloc Party, Muse, as well as Moby,
Manic Street Preachers and Stereophonics along the way. Most recently
Yellow Card paid homage to their biggest hit, Don't You (Forget about me)
at the MTV Movie Awards.
Now after a three year hiatus Simple Minds are back with their best CD since
New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84), called Black and White 050505. Released on 12th September by
Sanctuary Records, Black and White 050505 recalls the sweeping, vast sound
that characterised their biggest hit albums, Sparkle in the Rain,
Once upon a Time and Street Fighting Years. Black and White 050505 recorded in
Italy, Holland and then mixed in Los Angeles by the legendary Bob Clearmountain is a
real return to form for this four piece band and should see the emergence of a whole
new generation of fans as well as satisfying their current ones.
This is a CD that captivates on its first listen and then just gets better. What with the
renewed popularity of Duran Duran, New Order and Depeche Mode and
the propensity for pop acts to sample 80's sounds, there is little doubt that Simple Minds'
time has truly come again.
The CD's opening track,
Stay Visible has all the depth, melody and warmth
of a theme tune for the next Bond movie. Lingering in the mind long after the last chord
has played, it evokes images of an expensive open top car zooming along an empty
mountain road or an endless stretch of Arizona desert.
Jim Kerr's distinctive voice comes through strong
in their first single,
Home released on 5th September and together with co-founder
and lead guitarist
Charlie Burchill, they have produced a pop song that should
lay to rest any rumours that this is a band that have had their day.
Home recalls classic
Simple Minds with a driving rhythm and the distinctive
Burchill guitar sound.
Kerr says "There are a number of songs on the album that
will make great singles but I feel that the way
Home kicks in with
Charlie's signature soaring guitar riff, there could
be no better way off announcing to the world that Simple Minds had recaptured the
kind of uplifting musical spirit that defined our best work. Lyrically, Home
is a pop song with a spiritual heart, taking us on a secret journey through the thoughts of someone
who is desperately seeking out their own inner crusade."
Different World give their past hits a run for
their money and reminds us that here is a band that can do "big emotional pop on a grand
scale" as well as anybody and probably better than most.
The Jeweller (Part 2) proves that point equally.
Bursting with melodic energy, here is a multi-layered song harking back to the bands
classic New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) days, when NME and the entire
British music press declared them band of the year.
Never afraid to tackle the bigger issues as demonstrated by their classic international No.1
single Belfast Child, the current CD's title track
Black and White is a somber electro ballad about
the madness and shame displayed by an increasing amount of world wide Holocaust
Dolphins closes the CD on a gentle though cinematic note.
Atmospheric pop at its best
Jim Kerr's voice resonates with brittle emotion, with the
lush backing building slowly until it fills the room. Somehow it seems the perfect ending
to what is definitely their best recording in a very long time.
Jim Kerr says "We wanted to make an album once again
that was full of dramatic and atmospheric pop music. We felt that we needed an album that
proved as much to ourselves as anyone else, that the big beating heart of
Simple Minds was very much alive and driving us on once again. Having delivered Black and White 050505,
an album that we believe is 'classic Simple Minds,' albeit with a whole new energy. We can honestly
say that we are delighted with the results and look forward with a totally revitalised
outlook to this next phase of our on going creativity. We feel with some certainty that
people who grew up with Simple Minds will share our enthusiasm for this new work. While at
the same time, given the chance, we also feel that these new songs are good enough to
interest a whole new contemporary audience. Needless to say, in the tradition of all
great rock bands, we are extremely excited at the prospect of playing this album
live on stage and look forward to doing exactly that in the near future."
For those too young to remember Simple Minds the first time around the group
are perhaps best known for their 1985 number one hit Don't You (Forget About Me) from the film
The Breakfast Club, the classic 'Brat Pack' movie starring a very young
Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson and Ally Sheedy and
Molly Ringwald. Scotland's Simple Minds evolved from a post-punk
art rock band influenced by Roxy Music into a grand, epic-sounding pop band. The band
grew out of a Glasgow punk group called
Johnny and the Self-Abusers, which featured guitarist
Charlie Burchill and lead singer
Jim Kerr. The inaugural 1978 lineup of
Simple Minds featured a rhythm section of
Tony Donald on bass and
Brian McGee on drums, plus keyboardist
Donald was soon replaced by
Their early albums leaped from one style to another, with
Life in a Day consisting mostly of dense, arty pop songs;
critical acclaim followed the darker, more experimental art rock of
Real to Real Cacophony and the Euro-disco of
Empires and Dance. The group began a transition to a more
accessible pop style with the albums Sons and Fascination and Sister Feelings Call,
originally issued together and subsequently split up.
New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) became their first chart album in the U.S., and the tour-shy
McGee quit owing to burgeoning popularity, eventually
being replaced by Mel Gaynor. Following the Steve Lillywhite-produced
Sparkle in the Rain,
Jim Kerr married Pretenders' lead singer
Chrissie Hynde (the two groups had toured together).
After Bryan Ferry rejected the opportunity to sing Don't You (Forget about Me),
Simple Minds almost did so as well;
Kerr was dissatisfied with the song's lyrics, which he regarded as
formulaic. His change of heart gave Simple Minds their only American chart-topper, and
the song later became an international hit as well; however,
Kerr's feelings about the song remained ambivalent, and it
did not appear on the follow-up album, Once Upon a Time. This album went gold and reached
the U.S. Top Ten. The next ten years saw the group release a number of albums, all of which
failed to match the dizzy heights of their earlier successes… until now.
Suzanne Noble or Dan Deacon @ NOBLE PR
1 Mercers Mews
Tel: +44 (0) 207 272 7772
Fax: +44 (0) 207 272 2227
Press release electronically distributed by Noble PR Ltd on the 5th July 2005.
View the original release here.