family tree
press releases
mailing list
site map

simple minds: 6 tracks
1. Act Of Love [Demo](4:18)
2. European Son [Demo](4:06)
3. Cocteau Twins [Demo](3:51)
4. Chelsea Girl [Demo](6:17)
5. Did You Ever? [Demo](2:33)
6. Pleasantly Disturbed [Demo](8:14)

recording date
11th-12th May 1978

Simple Minds #5

Lex McEwan and Simple Minds #5


additional information
JK: Well, a lot of the things you say summon up the excitement of that. Here you are in these hallowed places: In a recording studio. Again, we'd never met anyone who'd been in a recording studio. And there we were, not only with the clock ticking, I think we had two hours, maybe three hours. I mean, most of us were on the dole so I think my Dad gave us some money, Brian McGee's Dad put up money - so all of that's great, but on the other hand you think 'This is it.' So it's your O-levels, it's your Highers, it's your driving test. It's everything at the one time. Because coming out of there - in your hand with a cassette that's... Again with David Henderson, we hitch hiked to London, and went round dropping the cassettes off. And everything that's happened in our life is a result of what happened in that day, in that moment, in the track you just played there.
JK: But for me, listening to it there, I think they already sound great. They sound great. McGee sounds great. Duncan Barnwell ... Maybe it's just me, maybe it's because I'm a big fan of Simple Minds - I dunno - they just sound great. And that's a demo.

Billy Sloan Show
BBC Radio Scotland
22nd January 2022

When people talk about the Life In A Day demos, or the first Simple Minds demo tape, then this is normally the tape they're referring to.

This demo tape was part of the legendary backlash against Life In A Day - many felt the album lost the edge of these raw recordings.

These demos were recorded to get press and record company interest, with cassette copies being widely circulated. Jim hitched down to London with 12 copies to distribute to various record companies. Despite that, they weren't bootlegged. One copy landed on Bruce Findlay's desk, but he had fulfilled Zoom's plans for that year and didn't see any reason for taking the band on.

Tony Donald had just departed, so Derek Forbes temporarily filled the role of bass - he wanted to return to lead guitar after playing bass in The Subhumans. However, his guitar was stolen whilst recording these demos, so Derek Forbes asked to stay on as the band's bass player.

It cost 226 to record.

Lex McEwan was Brian Young's engineer. Lex left the studio a year later to become a surfer in Cornwall.

Some biographers mention a song called Doo Be Doo - this was the original title of Did You Ever?.

On some later cassette copies, the band replaced European Son with the earlier demo of Wasteland.

Jim took a pack of twelve cassette copies and hitched to London where he distributed them to the A&R departments of various record companies.

These demos were eventually released on The Early Years 1977-1978 CD compilation.

The image of the demo tape box was taken from The Early Years 1977-1978, on which the graphics designers have superimposed a graphic of Jim.

[Act Of Love] was the first song on our demo cassettes that I - about a month later we went into a little studio, CaVa, there was only one in Glasgow and - it was usually accordion bands and stuff that were there - but we went in and recorded six songs. And I hitch-hiked to London with the cassettes. A guy in the record shop said 'You just go down and ask for the A&R guy - I'll give you the address of the record companies and I'll even find you their names.' I said 'That'll be great.' So with these cassettes, Act Of Love was the first song on the cassette.
JK: So I hitch-hiked down to London. I've got the address, I've got the guy's name. It'll be easy! Of course, couldn't get through the door. But somehow I managed to drop the cassettes off. Then I went to see my pals who were living in a squat in Kilburn - by the time I got back, about two weeks later, I was still living at home, I was a kid, Mum said 'These record companies have been phoning.' I said 'What? Which ones?' She said 'Oh, son I don't know.' I said 'What do you mean?' She never took a note or anything. She said 'Would it be BYG?' I said 'EMI'. 'Oh, maybe EMI son.' 'Or was it CBS?' 'Or DKB? 'Oh Mum!' But she said 'If they really want you, they'll phone you back.' And they did.

Jim Kerr and Mark Millar
XS Noize Podcast Episode #63
30th January 2022

previous demo next demo