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thirty frames a second

Composers: Kerr / Burchill / MacNeil / Forbes / McGee
Authors: Kerr
(Earlier sleeves simply state:- Lyrics: Kerr: Music: Simple Minds)

Written by: Burchill / Forbes / Kerr / MacNeil / McGee (Post 2012 credit)

© EMI Music Publishing.
© Bucks Music/Hornall Brothers/EMI Music Publishing Ltd. (Post 2012 credit)

The lyrics of the demo version were much more personal, relating how the man's father, wife and children could no longer recognise him. By the time of recording, this had just been trimmed down to the verse about his father.

"It used to be a lot heavier than that when I first wrote it. It was about a man, who becomes a father, but he no longer recognises his children, because they don't take up his mastakes, so they turn around and say 'I'm sorry Dad. I don't recognise you anymore.' They reject his food and everything. But it turns out to be the song of a man looking back, trying to grasp what purpose there is in existing, what is required, what you are meant to do. You too often get to the state of looking back, saying 'I should have done this and I should have done that..." - Jim.

The feedback, effects and percussion at the end of the song lead to the development of Kant-Kino.

This relentless, driving song quickly became one of the staple tracks of their live set and appeared as a B-side for the second I Travel single.

"One of my absolute favourite Simple Minds songs, musically and lyrically. This, for me was where we came into our own. Atmospheric, menacing, rhythmic to the point of Voodoo... and downright Weird."

"I remember when we wrote 30 Frames and playing it over and over at the Old Mill House at Rockfield Studios in South Wales. Charlie asked me how I came up with the bass line, and I told him that I was writing letters on the fret board while I played. This song was a 'Y' - or so the muse in my head told me. Later, in the song Twist/Run/Repulsion I played a series of the letter 'X'."

"I must see a psychiatrist... I must see a psychiatrist..."

Derek Forbes
June 2016

Today I saw a film going backwards,
Thirty frames a second,
Was a man I recognised,
Say who you are.
I lost my job,
Self confidence,
Bank account,

The league of youth,
Coming backward at me,
Thirty frames a second,
Say who you are.

Go back to father,
Father where's my food?
You food is on the table,
That can't be food,
It's dirt.

Say who you are.

Look at my skin,
Look at my face,
Look at my arms,
Getting younger,
Going backwards,
Thirty frames a second.
Say who you are.

I crash my car,
Collapse in town,
Young immigrants,
And legionaires,
Fighting back, back, backwards,
Thirty frames a second,
Say who you are.

Some friends of mine,
I thought were dead,
Are coming back,
"What are you doing coming back Jack?"

Say who you are,
Feel I'm going backwards,
Thirty frames a second.

Album Version (5:14)
Producer: Leckie
Engineer: Jones

Empires And Dance LP Empires And Dance MC Themes For Great Cities Promo LP Themes For Great Cities LP Themes For Great Cities MC Celebration Promo LP Celebration LP Celebration MC Empires And Dance CD Empires And Dance LP (Virgin Reissue) Empires And Dance MC (Virgin Reissue) Celebration LP (Virgin Reissue) Celebration MC (Virgin Reissue) Celebration CD Empires And Dance CD Empires And Dance LP (Virgin Budget Reissue) Empires And Dance MC (Virgin Budget Reissue) Celebration LP (Virgin Budget Reissue) Celebration MC (Virgin Budget Reissue) Celebration CD (Virgin Budget Reissue) Compact Collection Celebration Disky CD Empires And Dance Remaster Promo CD Empires And Dance Remaster Limited Edition CD Empires And Dance Cacophony Remaster CD Early Gold Promo CD Early Gold CD Early Gold US Promo CD Early Gold US Promo CD X5 Empires And Dance Promo X5 The Vinyl Collection (79,84)

Live Version (25th September 1981) (5:06)
Recorded: Hammersmith Odeon, London, UK

I Travel 7" single I Travel 12" single

Demo (5:30)
Producer: Leckie
Mastered by: Simon Heyworth
Silver Box Promo CDR #1 Silver Box

Live Version (23rd February 2012) (4:25)
Recorded: Cirque Royal, Brussels, Belgium
Recorded by: Olivier Gerard
Mixed by: Olivier Gerard
Engineered by: Rudy Coclet
ISRC: GB01A1201407

5X5 Live Promo CD #1-1 5X5 Live Promo CD #2-1 5X5 Live 5X5 Live Irish Promo CD 5X5 Live LP 5X5 Live Export LP

Live Version (30th November 2012) (4:26)
Recorded: Palais Theatre, Melbourne, Australia
Produced by: Zach Bair
Recorded and Mixed by: Matt Dever

Live 2012: Melbourne

demo discography
Demo Version (5:30)
Producer: John Leckie

live history
Real To Real Cacophony Tour: 1979-1980
Empires And Dance Tour: 1980
Empires And Dance Tour: 1981
Sons And Fascination Tour: 1981
Sons And Fascination Tour: 1982
New Gold Tour: 1982-1983
Festival Tour: 1997
Neapolis Tour: 1998
Alive And Kicking Tour: 2003
5X5 Tour: 2012
Festival Tour: 2012
Australia: 2012