news
discography
songs
tours
videos
people
family tree
timeline
press releases
reviews
faq
mailing list
fanzines
site map
links
about
contact

life in a day


composers
Kerr / Burchill


publisher
© EMI Music Publishing Limited: (1979 - 2007)
© JKMC-Bucks Music Group Ltd / Hornall Music: (2008 - 2014)
© BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd: (2015 -)


background
The bootleg recording of Grangemouth Town Hall from December 1978 revealed a version of Murder Story which was struggling to contain a seminal Life In A Day: Mick MacNeil's plodding backing chords were there; as was the characteristic musical game of tag chasing up and down the scales with Charlie.

After a break over Christmas, the band moved to The Barn, near Edinburgh, where they worked on the songs and arrangements as prep work for the recording of Life In A Day. It was here that the emerging ideas in Murder Story were deconstructed and allowed to flourish the standalone Life In A Day. (Other songs were also reworked at The Barn with Cocteau Twins becoming No Cure and Sweet Things being trimmed down to form Destiny).

It was the first song recorded during the album sessions at Farmyard Studios in late January 1979.

An rough mix was prepared by John Leckie between the 19th and 23rd February 1979. It was almost the same as the album version except for a delayed echo which was gradually added to the vocals during the final third of the song; and the ending guitar chord which had no substain. (The live 1979 version, as heard on the Fforde Green Hotel recording, also featured the additional echo on the main vocals towards the end.)

The song was quickly finished by the end of February as the tapes were required for the band's debut single, Life In A Day, which was released the next month. However, the single failed to make great progress into the chart, and stalled at 62.

Oddly, John Leckie remixed the song on the 4th April 1979. Named the "New Mix", it had the same arrangement as the original, but the keyboards sounded brighter, and the track ended on a lengthy substained reverb of the final chord. It isn't known why the song was remixed, and this version hasn't been released, but given the timing, it may have been lined up as a potential B-side for the forthcoming Chelsea Girl single.

Was the first "live" performance of the song for The Old Grey Whistle Test?. Recorded on the 27th March 1979, a day before the band jetted back to Scotland for a handful of warm-up gigs, it was clear they were nervious with the new material and the studio setting. Charlie and Derek were emotionless and rooted to their spots. The only smile was from an embarrassed Mick who fudged the final chords of the song, an act barely noted by Jim walking away impassively in the back of shot. This historically important performance was included on the Seen The Lights DVD compilation of 2003.

Despite its popularity with fans, and its selection as the band's first single, Life In A Day initially suffered the same fate as other Life In A Day tracks live: it hung on for the accompanying tour, and the following Real To Real Cacophony and Empires And Dance tours, but was not strong enough to hold its own against newer material. It disappeared from the set-lists by 1981. A rare early live performance of the song was captured at the end of the Life In A Day tour at the Paris Theatre, London; it was broadcast by BBC Radio One as part of their In Concert series in 1979 and formally released on the Silver Box compilation in 2004.

Thanks to newcomers Eddie Duffy and Andy Gillespie, both fans of the band, the song was reappraised and resurrected and appeared live during The Floating World tour of 2002. A slightly more mellow version of the song, with reduced tempo, also appeared in 2009 as part of the Graffiti Soul Tour.

Given its history, it was an absolute shoo-in for the 5X5 Tour and associated Festival Tour, where it appeared in its standard album form.

It was also an obvious choice for the band's 40 Years Of Hits Tour where it appeared in the first part of the main set. Unlike all the previous versions, the song's arrangement was slightly changed, as it was now given a new extended middle-8, an instrumental pause where Jim introduced Ged.




lyrics
Life in a day,
The price that you pay,
For time that you spent,
It's such a fatal event.
Take a look at your watch,
There is no time to wait,
Take a look deep inside,
There's no escape from this day.
Life in a day,
Life in a day.
Take a look around you,
Is it true what they say?
Life in a day,
Life in a day.

Is there no place to hide?
Could there be some other way?
Can you see how they run?
Do you believe what they say?
They'll soon be looking for you,
For sure they'll get you away.
The premonition came true,
Look all around and you'll see,
Some say it takes two to know,
Or could it all just be me?

Life in a day,
Life in a day.
I love to see how they run,
They came a running this way.
Life in a day,
Life in a day.
No sence in looking for you,
They're going to get you one day.



discography
Album Version (4:00)
Producer: John Leckie
Engineer: John Leckie
Arrangement: Simple Minds/John Leckie
Life In A Day 7" single Life In A Day German 7" single Life In A Day Promo LP Life In A Day LP Life In A Day MC Celebration Promo LP Celebration LP Celebration MC Life In A Day LP (Virgin Mid-Price Reissue) Life In A Day MC (Virgin Mid-Price Reissue) Celebration LP (Virgin Reissue) Celebration MC (Virgin Reissue) Life In A Day LP (Virgin Budget Reissue) Life In A Day MC (Virgin Budget Reissue) Celebration CD Life In A Day CD Celebration LP (Virgin Budget Reissue) Celebration MC (Virgin Budget Reissue) Celebration CD (Virgin Budget Reissue) Street Fighting Years Limited Edition MC Box Set Street Fighting Years Limited Edition CD Box Set Themes Volume One Compact Collection Theme Three: Love Song CD Theme Three: Love Song MC Life In A Day Reissue CD Celebration Disky CD Life In A Day Disky CD The Best Of Simple Minds CD1 Promo The Best Of US Promo The Best Of The Best Of SACD Life In A Day Remaster Promo CD Life In A Day Remaster Limited Edition CD The Best Of Night Of The Proms Special Remastered Edition Life In A Day Remaster CD Early Gold Promo CD Early Gold CD The Platinum Collection CD Early Gold US Promo CD Early Gold US Promo CD Gift Pack Limited Edition Themes 1-4 Promo CDR Themes Volume One - Five X5 Box Set Sampler X5 Life In A Day Promo CD X5 The Best Of Donna Moderna cover CD Celebrate: The Greatest Hits + Promo CD Celebrate: The Greatest Hits + Promo CD Celebrate: The Greatest Hits + 2CD Celebrate: The Greatest Hits + 3CD Celebrate: The Greatest Hits + Australian Promo 2CD The Vinyl Collection (79,84) The Music Of Simple Minds 40: Best Of: 1979 - 2019: Promo 3CD 40: Best Of: 1979 - 2019: Promo CD 40: Best Of: 1979 - 2019: Deluxe CD

Live Version (27th March 1979) (3:37)
Recorded: Old Grey Whistle Test

Seen The Lights - DVD 1 Bonus Tracks In-House CD

Live Version (8th September 1979) (3:31)
Recorded: Paris Theatre, London, UK
Mastered by: Simon Heyworth

Silver Box Promo CDR #1 Silver Box

Live Version (10th December 2009) (4:11)
Recorded: Odyssey, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Mixed By Concert Online

Boxed USB Stick Boxed MP3 Player Limited Edition Boxed Gold USB Stick

Live Version (11th December 2009) (4:03)
Recorded: SECC, Glasgow, UK
Mixed By Concert Online

Boxed USB Stick Boxed MP3 Player Limited Edition Boxed Gold USB Stick

Live Version (12th December 2009) (4:03)
Recorded: AEC, Aberdeen, UK
Mixed By Concert Online

Boxed USB Stick Boxed MP3 Player Limited Edition Boxed Gold USB Stick

Live Version (17th December 2009) (4:00)
Recorded: Popcentrum, Tilburg, Netherlands
Mixed By Concert Online

Boxed USB Stick Boxed MP3 Player

Live Version (23rd February 2012) (3:47)
Recorded: Cirque Royal, Brussels, Belgium
Recorded by: Olivier Gerard
Mixed by: Olivier Gerard
Engineered by: Rudy Coclet
ISRC: GB01A1201411

5X5 Live Sampler Promo CD 5X5 Live Promo CD #1-1 5X5 Live Promo CD #2-1 5X5 Live 5X5 Live Irish Promo CD




videography
Live Version (27th Mar 1979) (3:37)
Recorded: Old Grey Whistle Test

Seen The Lights - A Visual History Promo DVD Seen The Lights - A Visual History DVD



sessions
Kid Jensen, Radio One: 10th April 1979



downloads
Live Version (10th December 2009) (4:11)
Recorded: Odyssey, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Mixed By Concert Online

Concert Online Download

Live Version (11th December 2009) (4:03)
Recorded: SECC, Glasgow, UK
Mixed By Concert Online

Concert Online Download

Live Version (12th December 2009) (4:03)
Recorded: AEC, Aberdeen, UK
Mixed By Concert Online

Concert Online Download

Live Version (17th December 2009) (4:00)
Recorded: Popcentrum, Tilburg, Netherlands
Mixed By Concert Online

Concert Online Download




live history
Life In A Day Tour: 1979
Real To Real Cacophony Tour: 1979-1980
Empires And Dance Tour: 1980
Empires And Dance Tour: 1981
The Floating World Tour: 2002
Graffiti Soul Tour: 2009
5X5 Tour: 2012
Festival Tour: 2012
40 Years Of Hits Tour: 2020