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spirited away

Written by: Parker / Kerr / Burchill

℗ Copyright Control / JKMC-Bucks Music Group Ltd / Hornall Brothers Music Ltd (2014 - 2017)
℗ Copyright Control / BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd (2018 - )

This track was one of several new songs which was prepared for the UK leg of the Lostboy! ElectroSet Tour 2010.

It was again mentioned by Jim on the 17th February 2014. "New tunes - best live songs? Light Travels was played for the second time in the last three days. With this new arrangement it could perhaps become one of our best live songs. Similarly, Big Music and brand new tunes Human, Midnight Walking, Sprited Away, are all due to start featuring in the live set. We need to start airing them now in order to have them sounding great for the planned summer shows."

MH: This is Martin Hanlin, KX 93.5FM, Laguna Beach, California talking to Mr. James Kerr who's back in Glasgow and we're working through the tracks of Big Music and we're looking at the vinyl this is what I've got in my hand and it's a beautiful piece of work and the last track on here is another track who'd co-written with Owen Parker and it's called Spirited Away, a beautiful, really beautiful track that just takes your imagination and film theme music.
JK: I was in London and Owen sent me it on a Tuesday evening and I called him back later on that evening and I'd written it and I said "Meet me tomorrow somewhere and we'll stick a vocal on this and see what you think" so I remember in the room was me, him and a little guy called Jim who works for Paolo Nutini -
MH: Jim Duguid I think it is -
JK: There you go. Jim Duguid. We just knew it was rather special. What was special about it was I don't think I'd ever done something so conversationally. I'm really talking my way through most of the track. But this is where we've been really lucky because we've worked with some of the greatest producers ever and even our secondary producers, the non-legendary ones in terms of reputation, are still great we've worked with some of the best guys. Andy Wright who worked with us, had lots of talents, what he did quite a few times with me was say "I'll see your second verse now" and I'm a well seasoned song writer having written hundreds of songs he'd go "I'll see your second verse now" and he'll go "It's your first verse." And I'll go "No, no, no" and he'll go "No, it is" and he'll go "If you open with "I'm not a complicated guy. I like things simple as can be" we're there, we're just there, you set the scene." And I was kind of resistant just because the way I heard it out of habit, it was working everyone liked it, why would I change it? And he went "No, no, no. This is it."
JK: He also did it with Midnight Walking. At the end we had this bit "All these people, all these lonely people" and he brought that into the first verse as well and it was a great insight. But I think on Spirited Away it sounds like ships in the night where ships are passing and we know there's something special between us but we know it's never going to get to come to fruition. But it's a beautiful little fairy tale song.
JK: The great thing about it is Owen wrote it and I did the words but in the end it was Charlie Burchill's little guitar flourishes that just kind of sealed the deal. However, trying to get Charlie on it was impossible I don't know why he was resisting, we had a million things to do and he was like "Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever. Soon. Whatever." But the door was closing, the studio clock was moving, and I thought "We're never going to get this done" and I had to tell him a white lie to get him on it, and as soon as he got on it, it was done. A lot of people know it is Charlie's favourite song on the album even though he wouldn't go on it to begin with!
JK: And the other day we were doing the set-list for the album for the tour rather and by mistake I had omitted because it sounds amazing live, there's not a dry eye, we've got these hardened roadies standing behind us and they're all kind of sniffling when the song ends and I forgot to put it in and Charlie was like "Where's Spirited Away?" I thought there was going to be a fight or something and I was like "We're gonna do it. Calm down!" And he said "How can you forget about it? It's the best song on the album!" And I was like "Yeah, and you wouldn't even play on it mate!" [Laughs] But that's the way it goes sometimes.
MH: Yeah, there's Jim Kerr time and there's Charlie Burchill time and I must give you a lot of credit because Jim Kerr time moves very fast and is very creative and Charlie's just like "Hmmmmm, let me think about it" and both of us were sat and thought "How do we get Charlie involved" and then one day he just gets involved and he puts this thing on it and it just makes it Simple Minds and it just captures the moment.
JK: Yeah, he did. As much as you and I were talking about Honest Town, it was right there and all that and as a song it was from the very first time we did it in Iain's basement but when you listen to the record and Charlie comes in with that riff it's like, it is another thing. And it really just seals the deal. I don't mean it minorly seals the deal, it just not only puts the ball in the net, it bursts the net.
MH: So thanks to Charlie Burchill for making it happen. This is Spirited Away, track number twelve, a beautiful version from the vinyl version of Simple Minds' Big Music. Written by Owen Parker, Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill. It's Spirited Away.

Martin Hanlin
The Real McCoy
KX 93.5

The live version of the song was a much slower arrangement. It wasn't included on Big Music Live 2015 as the band felt it needed more work.

I'm not a complicated guy,
I like things simple as can be.
But there is so much I don't understand,
So much I fail to see.

Album Version (4:08)
Produced by Andy Wright, Gavin Goldberg and Simple Minds
Mixed by Gavin Goldberg
Assisted by Lewis Chapman
Original Production Of Spirited Away by Owen Parker
Additional Programming, Guitars And Backing Vocals by Owen Parker
Backing Vocals by Clinton Outten AKA Roachie

Big Music Promo CD Big Music Promo CD Big Music French Promo CD Big Music French Promo CDs Big Music Hungrian Promo CD Big Music German Promo CD Big Music CD Big Music Limited Edition Deluxe CD Big Music Limited Edition LP Rejuvenaton 2001-2014 LP Box Big Music Promo CD Big Music Promo CD Rejuvenaton 2001-2014 CD/DVD Box Big Music Limited Edition LP Big Music Deluxe CD

Live Version (7th April 2015) (5:28)
Recorded: Usher Hall, Edinburgh, UK

Midnight Walking YouTube

live history
Big Music European Tour: 2015