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, August 23, 2014

Simple Minds - Real Life (1991)


Note: the CD I listened to was not the 2002/2003 reissue.

I pretty much gave up on Simple Minds after the disappointing (to me) Street Fighting Years album in 1989. But I saw this in a used bin a few years ago and figured why not?  While it's not on par with their early/mid '80s oeuvre, there's still plenty to like about this one. Sure, the band places more emphasis on atmosphere than melody, but that's what drew me to them in the first place.  Simply put, if I had known this was an attempt at a return to form for the band, I probably wouldn't have let them slip away like I did.  This thing is hit-or-miss, but I really like the tracks that hit.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #74

Tracks:  My favorite track is the uplifting Stand By Love.  I can only describe it as "bombastic Celtic gospel R&B" and as strange as that sounds, it works perfectly for me.  I like the released singles (Real Life, See the Lights, Let There Be Love, and Stand By Love) and those 4 songs are included in the first 5 tracks of the album.  Later, the band seems to steal from its earlier material, cheating listeners in the process.  Let the Children Speak rips off, errrr, I mean pays homage to Theme For Great Cities while Traveling Man seems to share backing tracks with Waterfront.  Don't get me wrong, I like those songs, but come on.  In other words, the first half of the album is much stronger than the last half.  I usually skip African Skies, Banging On The Door, and Rivers Of Ice.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD:  None


Previously revisited for the blog:
Glittering Prize (1992)
Once Upon a Time (1985)
New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84) (1982)
Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call (1981)

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