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take a step back


composer
Words and music: Simple Minds


publisher
© 1989 Virgin Music (Publishers) Ltd


background
The song emerged from the coda of another song, Sometimes When It Rains, which I believe was one of the twenty ideas developed at the initial Loch Earn sessions.

"This expanded from a coda we used to try and find ideas from and play around with, extracting whatever everyone would do on it to put somewhere else. We do that quite a lot."" - Mick, Street Fighting Years songbook

"The main part of the song was a coda for Sometimes When It Rains, a songt that never made it on the album. We had three versions, each one with a different verse. It was structured like Wall Of Love: verse, chorus, verse, chorus, middle eight - and it would change atmosphere in the coda, more abstract, darker, more like old Simple Minds" - Charlie, Street Fighting Years songbook

The separation of the coda from the orginal song took place at Glentriven. It took on the working title of The Vamp and kept that title throughout May 1988 when they worked on the track at Sarm. It got its final title that August after the band returned to Loch Earn.

"They wrote it while we were at Glenstriven. Trevor and I had to go back to London for a weekend and we left the second engineer, Robin Hancock, up there with them. That we they wrote this oen and did a version of Belfast Child" - Steve Lipson, Street Fighting Years songbook

"Jim, Mick and I recorded it when Trevor and Steve were away for the weekend and kept it like that, improvisations and all, for the album version." - Charlie, Street Fighting Years songbook

"When I heard it for the first time on radio, it soudned a lot better than anyone of us thought. It's a circle of chords, very much like we used to do in the old days actually. It was teh coda to a song and I was trying to write words to the song. Every time I got to the coda I was getting high. I asked "Why?" Why do we have to wait for four minutes to get high? Why don't we just come in with the screeching guitar line?"" - Jim, Street Fighting Years songbook

"This song is probably more about us and the rollercoaster of success, about some of the hyprocrisies involved 'cos obviously there are some, and again our kind of chaos. It's a bit of a whirlwind kind of song. I'm particularly proud of the first verse and how it runs." - Jim, Street Fighting Years songbook

"We worked harder on Take A Step Back than any other song on the album, but we never quite got it. There's a lot of interesting stuff in that track and it's a shame - in a different time or place, with different people, maybe somebody somehow could have unearthed what's in the middle of that song. It happens." - Charlie, Classic Pop Magazine, March 2020

It was played live during the first few concerts of Street Fighting Years Tour in 1989 but was dropped from the set. It has not been played live since.


lyrics
Go tell it on the mountain,
Like it burst forth like a fountain.
Try to shake the deep foundations of this land.
High up on lover's land,
They got hotel rooms so grand,
And no one here knows what goes behind closed doors.

Take a step back to the middle of the track.
Don't you know it's rumoured all around.
Says you know it's come to town.
Come on and take a step back to the middle of the track,
'Cos the rumours are around said you're coming back to town.

And with every little lie,
You come and never blink an eye.
You know you've got yourself all tied up,
When you're around.
I've got the modern world behind me,
Like a needle in a haystack find me,
They build you up and then they're going to burn you down.

So take a step back to the middle of the track,
The rumours all around.
Said you're coming back to me.
Come on and take a step back to the middle of the track.
Says you know it's going upside, you know what's going down.

I'm haunted by the wanderer deep inside.
Wanted by,
Haunted by,
I'm haunted by the wanderer that's deep in my soul.

Gonna look back to the middle of the track,
And you know it's going upside.
Le, le, da, le,
Telling me.
Ah ha, uh hu.

Ooh look back to the middle of the track,
And you know it's going upside,
Telling me...

Don't tell me it's a bad dream,
Don't tell me it's not what it seems,
Don't tell me pretty soon you know.

Gotta stop the roller coaster,
Gotta make the most of it,
Gonna pull you down.

Gotta make the most of it,
Better cool it down.



discography
Album Version (4:23)
Produced by: Stephen Lipson and Trevor Horn
Engineers: Heff Moraes, Robin Hancock
Assistant Engineers: Danton Supple, Martin Plant

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live history
Street Fighting Years Tour: 1989