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banging on the door

Written by: Kerr / Burchill

© 1991 Virgin Music (Publishers) Ltd

MM: I want to know about Banging On The Door from the Real Life album. It's a beautiful song and one of my favourites. What can you tell me about writing that song?
JK: It's an absolutely beautiful song and the album it comes from Real Life. The pressure was on because that was the first album we worked on essentially - by that time Michael MacNeil had decided he no longer wanted to play and be a part. Mick had brought so much to us - he was the keyboard player and stuff. But the last couple of years when Mick was around - the technology was changing a lot. And everyone - Charlie had his own little home studio, Charlie was interested in playing the piano much more and writing with the piano. He wasn't looking to play keyboards live or in the studio, but he was using that as his writing tools and a lot more songs that Charlie was coming up with - prior he'd come up with a guitar riff or something - but now he was coming in with, everyone had their own little Portastudio and when we got together the guys would have a cassette or ideas, and just as Mick was making bit a bit obvious that he wouldn't be around much more, Charlie was coming up with this stuff that had not just guitar; but guitar and keyboards.
JK: But I was still thinking 'How are we going to do this if Mick goes?' Who are we going to get to play?' It was so hard to fill those shoes. And it turns out, the first session we did without Mick, Charlie had songs like Let There Be Love, Banging On The Door, Real Life itself, See The Lights - all the keyboards. And all beautiful keyboards and beautiful guitars - he'd kept it quiet, the progress he was making as a keyboard player. As well as being a brilliant guitar player.
JK: And so Banging On The Door - to answer your question - is a Charlie Burchill composition from top to end and in my opinion - I'm glad you pick it up - it's one that we play live, a beautiful, beautiful song.
MM: I love it. It's one of the lesser known Simple Minds songs but it's a great tune.
JK: I like the intro as well, the beautiful intro. It sounds like a cloudscape and out of that comes this whole world of music from Charlie. That's the way I see it.

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

The song was formally demoed during the second Real Life writing sessions at Wisseloord in March 1990.

Six takes of a new live arrangement was recorded at Loch Earn/Bonny Wee Studios on the 1st May; and this formed the basis of the various mixes and session recordings which took place at the studio during the following months.

The opening intro, indexed separately on most CDs, was taken straight from a demo called Dark Isle. The voice in the background was Jim, directing changes within the song. (During the early stages of songs when the arrangement wasn't finalised, he'd direct the course of the song, often suggesting "Charlie. Go to the chorus" or "Repeat the verse.")

The intro was one of the last things to be added to the album. A cassette from Olympic Studios (dated 16/1/91) has a different track order, but the songs are all in their final form, with the exception of Banging On The Door, which had yet to gain this magical opener.

The song was many of the highlights of the album and was played during the Real Life and Good News From The Next World Tours. After other performances during the catalogue-spanning Alive And Kicking Tour, it enjoyed a comeback in the mid 2010s, becoming a staple of the various tours at the end of the decade.

see also:
Banging On The Door (Demo)
Dark Isle (Demo)

You know that it hurts,
These things that you say.
But I'll be alright,
Don't lose your faith,
Just swallow your pride tonight.
God only knows this place is strange.

Banging on the door again,
Banging on the door that's locked forever.
Losing on a lover's game,
Winning on the one side and losing forever.

The air that we breather hangs heavy tonight,
Still I look for your face.
I'm home all alone again,
Some dreams grow old and then they just die.

I'm banging on the door again,
Still banging on the door that's locked forever.
Losing on a lover's game,
Winning on the one track and hurting forever.

Oh your love is a symphony,
All this love over all of me.
Oh your love is a symphony,
Oh sweet love I can feel it.

Still banging on the door again,
I'm banging on the door that's sealed forever.
Losing on a lover's game,
Winning on the one track hurting forever.

Album Version (1:16)/(4:24)
Producer: Stephen Lipson
Engineer and MIDI Manager: Heff Moraes
Mixing Assistant: Giles Cowley

Real Life Blue Sleeve LP Real Life Blue Sleeve MC Real Life Blue Sleeve CD Real Life Blue Sleeve DAT Real Life LP Real Life MC Real Life CD Real Life US Promo MC Real Life Australian Limited Edition MC Real Life Australian Limited Edition CD Real Life Reissue CD Real Life Disky Reissue CD Original Gold compilation CD Real Life Remaster Promo CD Real Life Remaster Limited Edition CD Real Life Remaster CD Real Life Remaster Dutch Promo CD Classic Album Selection

Live Version (13th August 1991) (5:38)
Recorded: Barrowlands, Glasgow, UK
Mastered by: Simon Heyworth
Live At Glasgow Barrowland Promo CD Stand By Love Limited Edition MC Real Life Australian Limited Edition MC Real Life Australian Limited Edition CD Silver Box Promo CDR #4 Silver Box

Live Version (24th October 2018) (6:30)
Recorded: Orpheum Theatre, Los Angeles, California, USA
Recorded by: Olivier Gerard
Produced by: Andy Wright
Mixed by: Gavin Goldberg
Assisted by: Lewis Chapman

Live In The City Of Angels 4xCD Promo Live In The City Of Angels 2xCD Promo Live In The City Of Angels 4xLP Limited Edition Live In The City Of Angels 2xCD Live In The City Of Angels 4xCD Limited Edition

live history
Real Life Tour: 1991
Good News From The Next World Tour: 1995
Alive And Kicking Tour: 2003
Big Music Winter Tour: 2015
Big Music Western Asia: 2016
Walk Between Worlds Summer Tour: 2018
40 Years Of Hits Tour: 2020