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Rock - Released January 1, 2003 | Parlophone Catalogue

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One of Scotland's finest exports, Simple Minds deliver a strong synth-reared release on New Gold Dream. This album harks the darker side of the band's musicianship, and such material alludes to their forthcoming pop-stadium sound which hurled them into rock mainstream during the latter part of the '80s. They were still honing their artistic rowdiness, and Kerr's pursuing vocals were still hiding. But Simple Minds' skill of tapping into internal emotion is profound on songs such as "Someone, Somewhere in Summertime" and the album's title track. But the dance-oriented tracks like "Promised You a Miracle" and "Glittering Prize" are lushly layered in deep electronic beats -- it was only a matter of time for Simple Minds to expound upon such musical creativity which made them a household favorite through the 1980s. ~ MacKenzie Wilson
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Rock - Released October 4, 2019 | BMG Rights Management (UK) Limited

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Rock - Released November 11, 2016 | Caroline International

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An unplugged retelling of many of the band's best-known songs, Simple Minds' Acoustic is an enjoyable if not particularly organic set. Employing the criteria used during the heyday of MTV Unplugged, the veteran Scots do indeed reimagine their catalog using acoustic instruments, though the amount of manipulation via effects and creative mixing makes for something a bit different. The resulting album is a sort of hybrid of stripped-down arrangements with just enough rock sweetening to reach the back seats. In the case of monster hits like "Alive and Kicking" and "Don't You (Forget About Me)," this approach feels a bit underwhelming and bland. While these renditions aren't necessarily bad, it does seem like Simple Minds missed out on an opportunity to dramatically shake up their repertoire in any number of possible directions, but instead settled for simply swapping out the electric guitars and synths with acoustic guitar and piano. The whole point of doing acoustic versions is usually to lay bare the material, deconstructing it down to its roots, but for the most part, Acoustic feels a bit too polished and adjusted. ~ Timothy Monger

Pop - Released March 25, 2013 | Virgin Catalogue

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Rock - Released February 2, 2018 | BMG Rights Management (UK) Limited

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A few notes are enough to recognize Simple Minds, and thus rediscover their brand. The echo, the lyricism, the mystic rhythmic, the muddled guitars, the choruses calibrated for the stadiums and above all Jim Kerr’s possessed voice: nothing is lacking on this 18th studio album. Forty years after starting their formation which peaked at the top of the charts during the 80s, the Scots don’t try to reinvent themselves here, but rather to rekindle a flame that shone during the last century and that they adapt quite well to 2018. With the help of a sober production, Simple Minds manages to reflect the times without sounding off track. It’s worth noting that this Walk Between Worlds is also the first album of the band since 2002 without drummer Mel Gaynor and keyboardist Andy Gillespie. © CM/Qobuz
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Rock - Released January 1, 2003 | Virgin Records

Their first proper new release since the commercial breakthrough of Once Upon a Time (a live album intervened) and Simple Minds makes a decidedly, noncommercial follow-up. Street Fighting Years is a moody, dark affair. The music is yearning and most of the songs are politically charged lyrically. It was a move that could (and did) bring commercial failure. However, Street Fighting Years is an artistic and elegant album that might lack immediate choruses but draws in the listener. The title track takes some dramatic turns that give the gentle melody added thrust. "Take a Step Back" pulsates and "Wall of Love" rocks with conviction. Slower tracks like the brooding "Let It All Come Down" and a spirited run through the traditional "Belfast Child" are well done. Other noteworthy tracks include a version of the Peter Gabriel classic "Biko" and the soaring "Mandela Day." It might not have satisfied the band's newly won fans, but Street Fighting Years is an interesting, enjoyable album with some truly lovely moments. ~ Tom Demalon
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Rock - Released January 1, 2003 | Virgin Records

Recorded primarily at Le Zenith in Paris on the last date of a world tour in August 1986 and released as a stopgap to satiate fans while the group spent another two years crafting its studio follow-up to Once Upon a Time, Simple Minds' double-album Live in the City of Light was a good summation of the band's rise to worldwide fame between 1982-1985. Except for the 1981 "Love Song" (paired in a medley with covers of Artists United Against Apartheid's "Sun City" and Sly & the Family Stone's "Dance to the Music") and the inevitable movie song hit "Don't You Forget About Me," all the selections came from New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84), Sparkle in the Rain, and Once Upon a Time, and they were played in a heavily echoed, big-production style in keeping with Simple Minds' status as stadium-fillers. There weren't many subtleties, and Jim Kerr and company didn't make much effort to reach out to the crowd, assuming their adoration and simply basking in it. Kerr did encourage the audience to sing along on the "Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!" hook of "Don't You Forget About Me," but for the most part this was an album for the faithful who would respond to its familiar sounds without prompting. And in much of the world, they did. In the U.K., the album entered the charts at number one. In America, it was a different story. There, the recently established group could have used a new studio album and a hit single to consolidate the success of "Don't You Forget About Me" and Once Upon a Time rather than a pricey stock-taking effort like this, and the release broke their commercial momentum, especially because the next studio album, Street Fighting Years, didn't turn up until 1989. ~ William Ruhlmann
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Rock - Released October 21, 1985 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Pop - Released March 25, 2013 | Virgin Catalogue

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A 36-track anthology, Celebrate: Greatest Hits covers Simple Minds from the band's 1978 debut through 2009's Graffiti Soul. There's also a pair of decent exclusive tracks, "Blood Diamonds" and "Broken Glass Park," recorded specifically for the set. Fanatics could pick apart the track selections, but this provides a high-quality overview of the band's output. Their rapid development from 1978 through 1982 -- a period represented with the likes of "Chelsea Girl," "I Travel," "Love Song," "Promised You a Miracle," and "Speed Your Love to Me" -- was unlike that of any of their peers. The assortment of material taken from the band's later albums is evenhanded, including "Alive and Kicking," "All the Things She Said," "Belfast Child," "Let There Be Love," and "She's a River," all of which reached the Top Ten in the U.K. ~ Andy Kellman
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Rock - Released October 21, 1985 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

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Pop - Released September 22, 2014 | Edsel

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Rock - Released July 15, 2016 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

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Rock - Released January 1, 2002 | Virgin Records

Simple Minds' astonishingly rapid ascent from humble and derivative post-punk to platinum and transcendent art pop is just as remarkable as the descent that followed it. More remarkable is the fact that a fair portion of the band's fans have such a strict discographical line in the sand drawn -- right at the chart-crashing masterpiece that is New Gold Dream -- where both sides overlap but don't dare cross. While fans of the band's earlier work essentially drop off with that record (and choose to live in blissful denial that the band existed after that), those on the other end are more or less oblivious to what's on the other side. So what's on that other, earlier side? Five studio albums released within the span of three years. Five studio albums that range from safe to bold, from impenetrable to accessible, from strange to puzzling, and from good to pee-your-pants phenomenal. Life in a Day, the first of the five records released during this fascinating pre-fame period of Simple Minds' career, is easily the least of the first five. On their debut, they seem to run with a template based on the jittery bounce of Roxy Music's "Virginia Plain" and the keyboard-accentuated lunatic punch of Magazine, a band that had released their own debut a year prior to Life in a Day. (Simple Minds would later release an album with the same title, Real Life. Coincidence?) Despite the growing pains, this is a skilled and assured assemblage of guitar-heavy post-punk, with Jim Kerr's over-caffeinated yelp taking the lead role. The arrangements are full, direct, and sharply executed. The high points: the teeter-tottering title track and the J. Geils Band-like swagger (honestly!) of "Someone." The low point: "Pleasantly Disturbed," an epic Velvet Underground-inspired limp that lasts eight very long minutes. ~ Andy Kellman
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Rock - Released January 1, 1981 | Virgin Records

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Rock - Released January 1, 2008 | Virgin Catalogue

One prize Simple Minds will never win is for being the most consistent band in the world. Some of their albums have been strong (New Gold Dream, Sparkle in the Rain, and Once Upon a Time, to name a few), while others have been weak and disappointing. Real Life isn't terrible, but play it next to any of those aforementioned albums, and you're reminded how much less inspired their writing had become by the early '90s. Though some of the songs are decent (including the catchy "Stand By Love" and the haunting "Woman"), the majority of them aren't very memorable. Only the most devoted Simple Minds fans will want this generally uneventful CD; more casual listeners would be much better off sticking to the band's mid-'80s work. ~ Alex Henderson
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Rock - Released January 1, 2002 | Virgin Records

Riding the coattails of the John Hughes flick The Breakfast Club, Simple Minds finally broke into America with their theme song "Don't You Forget About Me," and their 1985 release Once Upon a Time captured the heart-wrenching excitement found in bands such as U2. They were now one of the biggest names in music, and Jim Kerr's thirsting vocals became the band's signature. Once Upon a Time, featuring producer Jimmy Iovine (U2, Stevie Nicks, Bruce Springsteen), showcased more of a guitar-driven sound. The band's heavy synth pop beats had relaxed a bit and Charlie Burchill's charming playing style was most noticeable. Also enlisting the choir-like beauty of Robin Clark, Simple Minds' popularity was expounded on songs such as "Alive & Kicking" and "Sanctify Yourself." This album was one of their best, most likely leading the pack in the band's album roster, because it exuded raw energy and solid composition not entirely captured on previous albums. ~ MacKenzie Wilson
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Rock - Released January 1, 2002 | Virgin Records

Hardly content with fumbling around with the same sound, Simple Minds shifted gears once again for album number three, Empires and Dance. The "dance" aspect of the title needs to be emphasized, but it's apparent that the group's globetrotting and simmering political tensions in Britain affected their material in more ways than one. One gets the idea that Simple Minds did some clubbing and also experienced some disparate views of the world. The opening "I Travel" is the most assaultive song in the band's catalog, sounding like a Giorgio Moroder production for Roxy Music. Think "I Feel Love" crossed with "Editions of You," only faster; gurgling electronics, a hyperkinetic 4/4 beat, and careening guitars zip by as Jim Kerr delivers elliptical lyrics about unstable world affairs with his throaty yelping (this was still before he developed that predilection for foghorn bombast). The remainder of the album repeals the blitzkrieg frenetics of the beginning and hones in on skeletal arrangements that focus on thick basslines and the loping rhythms that they help frame. The hopping/skipping "Celebrate" isn't much more than a series of handclaps, a light drum stomp, some intermittent bass notes, and some non-intrusive synth effects. It goes absolutely nowhere, yet it's more effective and infectious than most verse-chorus-verse pop songs. The seven minutes of "This Fear of Gods," which boast another dense rhythm abetted by trebly atmospheric elements (distant guitars, percolating electronics, sickly wind instruments), come off like an excellent 12" dub, rather than an original mix. Just as bracing, the paranoiac disco of "Thirty Frames a Second" should have been played regularly at every club in 1980 and should live on as a post-punk dance classic. It's a true shock that this record was released with reluctance. The band coerced an unimpressed Arista into pressing a minimal amount of copies for release (fans still had trouble locating copies), but thankfully Virgin reissued it in 1982. ~ Andy Kellman
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Rock - Released January 1, 2003 | Virgin

To the delight of some open-minded post-punk fans -- fans who also had space for the relatively new, untraditional likes of Devo, Kraftwerk, and Eno in their record collections -- the relative simple-mindedness of Life in a Day was blown to bits and left for dead on the pub floor by Real to Real Cacophony, the wide-eyed carnival-like follow-up released only seven months after its predecessor. The artistic leap from Life in a Day to Real to Real has to be one of the most mesmerizing ones imaginable, an improvement that is even more impressive when the short time between release dates is considered. It's where Simple Minds ventured beyond the ability to mimic their influences and began to manipulate them, mercilessly pushing them around and shaping them into funny objects the way a child transforms a chunk of Play-Doh from an indefinable chunk of nothing into a definable chunk of something. Aside from a mercifully brief lapse into aimless murmuring and doodling that occurs during the middle of the record, Real to Real Cacophony is rife with countless bizarre joys. It knocks you on your back with pretentious artsy-fartsiness as instantly as New Gold Dream dazzles with its art pop pleasures, but its challenging melodicism through jerky time signatures and an endless supply of varied sounds and textures keeps you coming back for more. "Real to Real," a sinister rewrite of Kraftwerk's "Radio-Activity," is a good, quick point of reference. Guitars are employed less frequently and are replaced by burbling electronics and further use of keyboard shadings, though the absolute high point of the band's early years, "Changeling," benefits from plangent, angular jabs. The record is certainly as much of an achievement as New Gold Dream -- an achievement that's on a plane with other 1979 post-punk landmarks like Metal Box, 154, Entertainment, and Unknown Pleasures. No kidding. ~ Andy Kellman
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Rock - Released January 1, 2014 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

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Rock - Released January 1, 2014 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)