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reviews | nme (february 6th, 1982)

Celebration album
Letters Of Lust And Lather

Dear Jim,

Hey, Jimmy, what you're doing, what the hell for, how deep is the mud, are you really half happy, can it really be all these merry months since we last met? The last time we met I remember we were talking about whether your life was proper in any sense of form, but I've since realised that what you're going through is a very streamy, also steamy, completley fragmented love life - your songs have only ever been desperate confessions snatched from the bedroom, thieved from the dustiest corners of books and pamphlets, spewed upduring the dreadful dawn hours, swaeted over in the midst of the worst long journeys. Your songs are the work of a boy who lives life in a strange kind of reverse, who skips over the slime of morality and mortality with a genuine gay adandon, who lusts after the protective sheen of art, as if it were some grand substitute for religion. Hey, Jimmy, you're a cheeky little brat!

I've decided that I'm going to publish some of my letters, under the title Loose And Fancy Letters To Celebriteis And Nonentities: It's A Cunning Old Solar System. I feel it's something that has to be done. After all, I have the keenest insight into the lives of gorgeous sub-stars like yourself, as well as the odd miserable failure. That early letter I wrote to you about Simple Minds being always htere to remind you, always there to surround us, now has a special relevance in these aching, faking, skulking '82 times. I'll be including twelve letter that I wrote to you in the book - including that one about the relationship between lust and lather, which seemed to sum up Simple Minds music more accurately than any of those crappy reviews you get in the undersirable and unhappy pop papers.

Talking about the dreadful world I appear to walk within, have you noticed that the appalling nonentities who ninety five per cent of the time end up writing for the music papers have begun to describe Simple Minds - in little scratchy reviews dripped in the middle of nowhere - as the SDP of rock, or the Barclay James Harvest of the new age? I bet you're had as good a giggle as I have at their rickety stupidity. Still, who pays any attention, who gives a swimming toss?

Finally, Jimmy, have you seen that Arista have put out that compilation of your earlier stuff, that pathetically obvious 'best of'? I supposed we must hope that a few people purchase the product just to put a few pounds into your pocket, but it's a pretty desperate looking slice of shit if you ask me, put together with only a very tiny fraction of thought. I bet it's given you a couple of embarrassing moments. Still, the second side helps go some way to underlining why Simple Minds have made such an impression on my life. And where there's a 'still' there's a way. I wonder how differnet everything would've been if Chelsea Girl had been a hit?

Still mixing the babycham with the brandy? Let's meet soon and plan some more of the downfall of mediocrity.

Love Paul (Morley)
NME, February 6th 1982