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simple minds #36

The previous reunion at Bruce Findlay's 60th birthday party in 2004.

vocals: Jim Kerr
guitar: Charlie Burchill
bass: Derek Forbes
keyboards: Mick MacNeil
drums: Brian McGee

The reunion was prompted by Virgin who wanted to issue another unimaginative "best of" compilation in 2008 to coincide with the band's 30th anniversary. Feeling such a record would be lacking, Jim suggested the original band members regrouping to record bonus material for this proposed record.

Timing was critical with only a couple of days to record the new material. The initial idea was to record two covers (Let The Day Begin by The Call and A Song From Under The Floorboards by Magazine), but this was put on hold when Charlie developed the riff for This Is It during the last demo writing period for Graffiti Soul. It felt perfect for the old band.

The band (Jim, Charlie, Mick, Derek and Brian) met up in a local restaurant to reminisce, swap stories and plan the recording sessions. After the meal, they all trooped out into the car park to listen to the demo of This Is It on a car stereo. Feelings behind the track were mixed, as Mick in particular felt it still needed work.

It all fell apart the next day. Old tensions surfaced, and no agreement could be made on monetary matters (royalties, fees etc.) The recording session was abandoned in a flurry of press releases from both camps. In retrospect, Jim felt the reunion would’ve worked, if only they had more time.

All three proposed tracks were eventually recorded by the new line-up of Simple Minds for the Graffiti Soul album and companion disc Searching For The Lost Boys. And Virgin’s proposed "Best of", which initiated the whole affair, was quietly abandoned.

Here are the press releases which appeared before and after the reunion: 27/05/08
Simple Minds - Original Line Up Set To Record Once Again

The original members of Simple Minds are due to work together for the first time in 27 years when they enter a recording studio in the middle of June '08. In an event that many never thought would happen again, Brian McGee, Derek Forbes, Mick MacNeil, Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill, have set their aim on producing at least two new tracks that could be released later this year. Regarded by both Jim and Charlie as a 'nice experiment', particularly as it falls within their 30 year anniversary, the week-long reformation is being viewed as one of many 'let's see what happens' ideas that they look forward to working on over the course of the next year.

Jim Kerr said 'Of course I am excited with the prospect of working with the original line - up once more. I had always believed that the day would come when we would get the opportunity to do so. The last time we worked together was on our Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call album, featuring songs like The American, Themes for Great Cities, Love Song etc., and it is still considered by many as among our best ever work. We have a lot to live up to, but we intend to have some fun attempting to do just that.'

Mick MacNeil's blog: 26/06/08
Mick MacNeil, Derek Forbes and Brian McGee, 3 of the original Simple Minds line up, would like to take this opportunity to thank their loyal fans for the overwhelming support shown to them since it was announced that there was to be a reunion of the former band members. Regrettably, the lead singer, Jim Kerr, is unable to participate in the reunion. However, inspired by the encouragement of their fans, Mick, Derek and Brian have written and produced new material reminiscent of Sons And Fascination.

Having thoroughly enjoyed working together again, they hope their fans will be equally delighted with the new tracks.

Thank you for your continued support!
Mick MacNeil

Noble PR Press Release: 27/06/08
Scottish rockers Simple Minds have been busy writing new songs for their next eagerly anticipated new studio album, and have enough material for two new albums. The band released their last studio album Black and White 050505, three years ago but have been so inspired by recent writing sessions in their native Glasgow, they've got more than enough quality material for a double header.

Front man Jim Kerr promises fans to expect another album after their upcoming 2009 release. He says, "The writing sessions have somehow taken over our entire lives, but they have worked out perfectly. I am having difficulty in remembering the last time we had such an abundance of material prior to recording. We may even have enough songs of sufficient quality for two albums."

Kerr says the raft of new work is similar to the stack of tracks on Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call - a double LP set assembled from one session by the band in 1981. However the singer says he's not likely to release a bumper double album. "There is no plan to come out with a double album as such," says Kerr. It is entirely possible that we could release two albums within the space of a year, the first hopefully occurring very early in the New Year. The second release thereafter, who knows?"

Jim said: "I suspect we will embark on a cycle of work that will be non stop at least up until Christmas - with a fairly hectic year to follow. 04/07/08
The Glasgow writing sessions went really well and we thoroughly enjoyed our time spent back working in our hometown. Being as busy as we were the days certainly raced in and it became difficult keeping track of time, in fact I could hardly believe it when the day was upon us and it was time to pack up and head for London to perform at last week's Mandela concert. But I guess that is a good sign as there has been periods in the past were time in the studio has seemingly dragged on and on and on. Not so this time!

While in Glasgow we never managed as planned to track with former Minds, Derek, Brian and Mick. The idea was that we would try and quickly as possible bang out a couple of newly recorded tracks that may or may not have been included in a future to be released EMI compilation. In the end it was not to be - least for the moment - and in any case the very idea of the compilation is also looking somewhat less certain. But then again timing is everything and therefore surely the possibility could arise in the future.

JK: "Bringing the guys together was not for Grafitti Soul. On the eve of recording it, EMI had let it be known that, one the back of the live dates, they were keen on doing another compilation. We said that to make it work we would need to provide something new. I told Charlie we couldn't have a 30th anniversary release withou talking to the guys."

JK: "We got in touch. I thought it would be good to get together for a couple of days and knock out a couple of cover versions. The guys were enthusiastic. We arranged some days in Glasgow while we were writing Grafitti Soul. On one of the last days of writing, we came up with a tune called This Is It. We thought this could be something that Derek Forbes and Mick MacNeil could play. We arranged a dinner. It went great, we mentioned the new tune, and I played them the CD. It all seemed 'on.' The next day, we had a meeting to look at the technicalities of all this. It didn't go well. Charlie and I both became unsure. Given time and with the right attitudes, we could have sorted it all out. With Derek, absolutely. I'm not sure about Mick. You just never know. Bookies are giving offers of a tenner at the moment, though our line-up now is as solid as ever."

Record Collector Interview
Record Collector #364
July 2009


June 2008

live legacy:

I believe they all met up at a local resturant but that was the only time they all got together.

(However, it's worth including in the Family Tree as it was so widely reported at the time.)

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