To the hordes of recent converts Simple Minds are currently regarded as "chart newcomers". To the discerning rock cognoscenti, however,
the Simple Minds story is one of worldwide treks to commercially uncharted territories; of six albums and numerous singles, and of
young Scots becoming veritable veterans.
The roots of Simple Minds go back to 1977 when a group of musically aware young Glaswegians began writing and performing under the
ungainly name of Johnny And The Self Abusers. After one single the
band dissolved. Three elements of that raw young combo were Jim Kerr, Charles Burchill and
Brian McGee. The three had been schooolmates and on the Abusers split they
formed the embryonic Simple Minds. The line-up was finalised by Spring 1978 with the addition of keyboard player
Michael McNeill and bass man Derek Forbes. By December of that
same year Simple Minds had secured a recording deal with Arista. Their debut album Life In A Day
precluded a nationwide tour with Magazine and a healthy critical appreciation that has remained with the band to date.
December '79 saw the release of the Minds' second album Real To Real Cacophony and
a further clutch of rave reviews. Despite the ecstatic critical reception the band were still commercially ignored in the UK. As a result Europe
beckoned and after two tours welcomed the band with open arms.
After their rigorous touring the band once more returned to Rockfield to begin work on what would eventually be Empires And Dance,
the band's final recorded work for Arista. Released in September 1980 the album once more mirrored a change in Minds
material and was voted one of the albums of the year by the nation's music press. A tour of Europe supporting Peter Gabriel was the
next step up the ladder and allowed the Empires And Dance era material to be aired to over 300,000 people.
The band were, however, disillusioned with Arista and this disillusion led to a resolve to leave that label. After beating off heavy
competition Virgin inked a pact with the band in February 1981. The band immediately recorded a new single, The American
which not only continued the strong dance orientated direction of Empires And Dance, but also became
the band's most successful single up to that point in time.
Their debut album for Virgin, the twinned Sons And Fascination and
Sister Feelings Call saw the light of day in August 1981 and once more met with the by now
obligatory mass critical acclaim. Commercial success was also on the build; the pair of albums spawning a further two hits in Love Song
and Sweat In Bullet.
The real success however came after drummers McGee and his temporary replacement
Kenny Hyslop departed to pastures new. Fellow Scot Mike Ogletree,
formally of Cafe Jacques stepped in behind the kit and by this time Promised You A Miracle
was scaling the heights of chartland.
The band are currently between world tours and have just finished work on what will undoubtably be their most successful album. In the meantime
Simple Minds press on to areas anew and success looks set to be built high on such solidly established foundations.
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