Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Simple Minds - New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84) (1982)

NUMBERS WEEK (MARCH 14-20, 2011)

Note: this release was originally purchased as a LP (gold vinyl with purple swirls!), later replaced by a CD.

Even though they wouldn't hit it big for a few more years, Simple Minds put out some of their best work in this 1982 release. This album was my first exposure to the band. Before they became an all-out pop/rock band, they were a moody British synth group, producing lush, layered songs and dance tracks (think of a more popish Roxy Music). This may border on blasphemy, but I think U2 totally ripped off this album when they recorded The Unforgettable Fire.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #69
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #86

Tracks: I was first grabbed my the album's single, Promised You A Miracle, but my favorite cut on the album quickly became the instrumental Someone Up There Likes You. I recently heard the fantastic title track used at the beginning of the horrible 2009 movie, The Informers. While the movie was bad, the opening montage and the use of New Gold Dream was perfect. Don't waste your time on the movie, but I'm sure you can find the opening credits on YouTube. Other good songs are Colours Fly And Catherine Wheel, Someone Somewhere In Summertime, and Hunter And The Hunted, which has an amazing solo from Herbie Hancock (how he got on this album is anyone's guess, but his work totally fits). I don't care much for Big Sleep or King Is White And In The Crowd.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: I'm pretty sure I bought my LP copy at a Sound Warehouse record store in Austin during a trip there in March of 1983. My friends Jim and Scott went to see Simple Minds in concert in Houston around this time and brought me a concert shirt (sleeveless, of course). I wish I had kept that shirt. Not that it would still fit me, but just for sentimental reasons.

1 comment:

  1. Stay, I'm burning slow
    With me in the rain, walking in the soft rain
    Calling out my name
    See me burning slow
    Brilliant days, wake up on brilliant days
    Shadows of brilliant ways will change all the time
    Memories, burning gold memories
    Gold of day memories change me in these times

    Somewhere there is some place, that one million eyes can't see
    And somewhere there is someone, who can see what I can see

    Just listened to this song out in the rain and came here to see review.

    If Kerr & Co. ever produced a song as great as "Someone Somewhere In Summertime", I've yet to hear it. It is soft, shimmering, hazy and moody. The lyrics are inscrutable for the most part but I hear faith, hope and emotion. Just thinking about it makes me want to hear it again. I'll be back.

    So, so good. Pulled up the Extended Verison this time around. It's one of those rare songs that doesn't trigger a memory but rather just washes over me as if I had been touched by an angel or the Big Guy himself. "Someone Somewhere In Summertime" is my gospel, my hymn, a song that speaks to my soul.

    Makes sense that is from the Class of 1982, the single greatest year in pop music history. And your assertion about U2 cribbing the sound of this album for An Unforgettable Fire appears to be right on the money:

    "U2 has been listening to New Gold Dream by Simple Minds as a point of reference, a record they liked. The panorama of the ambiance appealed to them." - Daniel Lanois