Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Simple Minds - Once Upon a Time (1985)

Oh gosh. Simple Minds seventh album is a brash, yuppie album with a massive sound produced by the 1980s most used and now much maligned star producers Jimmy Iovine and Bob Clearmountain. The list of albums they produced back in the 1980s are very long. I blame them for the plastic fantastic sound from that decade. A sound I am no fan off.

Simple Minds was a Scottish band who was born only a few miles away from where I write these lines. Most of the members still live in my local area, I have been told. Which off course has nothing to do with this review. I discovered them through their live rendition of Don't You Forget About Me on Live Aid in 1984. A # 1 US hit single, their only # 1 US hit single which strangely enough is not included on this album. Something I to my dismay discovered when purchasing a cassette version of this album. Something which still angers me a bit, more than 25 years later.

Disappointment over, I soon discovered an album with a very big sound. A sound based on those days keyboards and synths. The guitars was mostly absent here. The bass and drums sounds plastic like. Jim Kerr's vocals sounds real though and is the human touch on this album. This album has a very Let's-Break-USA sound and this ex new-wave and art rock band duly broke USA with this album which spawned some MTV videos and hit singles. Just to fill up the bank account and drive home the sale, they released a double live album

When it comes to surviving the test of time, the title track is still a great track. Alive & Kicking, much used by BBC even today, has also survived the test of time. Wish You Were Here, Jungleland and Sanctify Yourself sounds a bit lame today. The sound is also great. This is one of the few  Jimmy Iovine and Bob Clearmountain albums which has survived the test of time.

I still like this album a lot and think it is a very good album. But I am still mad at the non inclusion of  Don't You Forget About Me though.

3.5 points  

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