- "On 1st November Simple Minds will release 40: The Best Of: 1979-2019, a new compilation album that covers
all 40 years of the bands recording career. Was it tough choosing the songs from such a rich catalogue?"
- "I think its the same when it comes to playing live - it is tough, but it's a great problem to have because as
you refer to it yourself, there is that much stuff. You are trying to show the path that the band has been on through the years.
You obviously are going to put in all the big songs - you're trying to have an element of surprise, and even at the
last minute we managed to put something brand new in which I think is always good as well."
- "One of the reasons these greatest hits albums come out every five or six years is because there is a younger
audience who comes to the shows every time we tour. And it's also a way of keeping the catalogue in good nick
with good artwork and good packaging - but it's all about the music involved. I don't get that involved in the actual tracklisting,
but the people that do seem to be getting it right." - Jim, XNoise Interview with Mark Millar, October 2019
- "Including all the classic singles - from 1979's Life In A Day to the brand new
For One Night Only - '40: The Best Of 1979 - 2019' is the most definitive
Simple Minds collection yet from one of the most exhilarating bands of their generation.
- "From Don't You (Forget About Me) to
I Travel, from
Belfast Child to
Promised You A Miracle, to
Alive And Kicking and many, many more it's a
testament to the band's enduring popularity.
- "Available as a 3CD Deluxe Edition, 1CD, 2LP and as a very special, very limited gatefold LP on coloured vinyl." - Press Release
- 40: The Best Of: 1979-2019 was announced in October 2019 along with the
40: Best Of tour.
- The compilation brought the band's story up-to-date, building on Celebrate: The Greatest Hits,
with material from Big Music, Acoustic and
Walk Between Worlds and new song For One
- The idea of putting together a compilation album for the band's 40th anniversary was first raised in June 2019. At that point,
Street Fighting Years Super Deluxe was planned for September 2019, with
Live In The City Of Angels appearing in early 2020 (which was the only
time the pressing plants could fulfil the order).
- However, an availability at one pressing plant meant that Live In The City Of Angels
was pulled forward to October 2019, the new Best Of was scheduled for November,
and Street Fighting Years Super Deluxe was pushed into March 2020.
- Edits and single versions were used to make for a punchier, quicker listening experience. This
also had the pragmatic side-effect of being able to fit more on the physical formats.
- More of the band's edits were included on this set than before. Several were remastered for
the New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) Super Deluxe and the forthcoming
Street Fighting Years Super Deluxe box sets. Also, edits
were sourced from the promo releases from the Big Music and
Walk Between Worlds albums, which would've been the first time
they'd been heard by many fans.
- New song, For One Night Only, was included on all formats.
This had been demoed for Walk Between World and was completed in
July 2019 for this set.
- For One Night Only was also released
as a single-track digital single
before the album was released.
- The running order of the 3CD set was organised like a live concert. Recent set-lists from the
Walk Between Worlds tour were used as
rough guides. The tempo lessens for the acoustic tracks mid-set and then picks up again (much like
Gaelic Melody divided the Street Fighting Years shows).
Tracks were also positioned to bookend each individual CD.
- The track order was left chronological on the LPs for a different listening experience.
- The memorabilia montage was photographed on the 9th July, which by coincidence,
was Jim's birthday.
- The badges on the front cover were initially based on the ones in my collection. Designer Stuart Crouch
then made more designs from the band's classic single and album artwork.
- The five Once Upon A Time badges were based on designs
I mocked up for the Once Upon A Time Super Deluxe box
set. They offered alternative views of the album's cover.
- The album was released on four different formats: standard double 180g vinyl, limited edition "silver" double 180g vinyl, single CD
and deluxe 3CD set. The deluxe 3CD set included 40 tracks - a nod to the band's anniversary. (Likewise the
largest format of Live In The City Of Angels also featured
- The "silver" vinyl had a marbled grey finish.
- Several promo CD sets were distributed. A single promo CD replicated the its commercial counterpart and
featured a unique version of the badge design on its cover and label. And two 3CD sets carried all forty tracks
from the deluxe edition: one as a 3CD set with single fold-over sleeve; and the other as three separate CDs.
JE: Look at that [Indicates cover]. First of all, what a great cover.
JK: Isn't it great? Nothing to do with us but it is great.
JE: Back in '79, did you ever, for a second think, forty years later you would be here celebrating it?
JK: The first time we got in the rehearsal rooms as Simple Minds was in November 1977 - so we're
actually forty-two years old James. Our parents weren't even forty then. We had no concept of what forty...
JE: Forty is ancient. When you're not forty, forty's ancient.
JK: And in the terms of rock and roll, even the old guys weren't anything like that. In fact, the only
old guys then would've been the old blues guys that were 'old guys'.
JK: People say to us 'Great being forty. But why do you still do it?' There are a million reasons why.
But I think - I like to think (and let us off the hook here if we're in high definition) it was
written in those old guy's faces why they still do it. It's who they are. It's what they do.
And I think after forty years I'll have wrestled and conceded that this is what we do and how fortunate,
how grateful we are having had this life in music, encapsulated in this compressed compilation, curated
by none-other than Charlie Burchill.
JE: How do you even begin to do that. Because, surely, you've got to please so many different sides.
Obviously, you've got to get the hits on there. You've got to get the deep cuts on there. It must be quite a
CB: The truth is.... We didn't do it.
JK: CAREFUL CHARLIE! We presided over it.
JE: You should! Like grand masters.
JK: There's a million combinations here.
CB: Well it is difficult. There are obvious tracks. But when you go to the less obvious tracks then
that's a bit tricky. We've got a huge fan base - they always go on about the first five albums - none of
them bought them, you know! 'They were the best albums!' Nobody bought them. But you've got to try and cover
all that stuff.
JE: But when you're showing the history of the band, you've got to include everything.
Interview with Jamie East
17th November 2019