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big music

  • "We really are flowing with ideas at the moment and as I already mentioned a few weeks ago I do feel that we are possibly writing two albums simultaneously at present. With every passing day I genuinely feel that is becoming a real possibility. That would indeed be a fine occurrence - here in our thirtieth year - just to know that far from feeling jaded through time etc, that the very opposite seems to be occurring and that creatively speaking it may be that 'we have more gas in the tank' currently than we did as obsessive teenagers desperate to make a name for ourselves!" - Jim during the recording of Graffiti Soul

  • Several tracks were omitted from Graffiti Soul so the album had more focus. Possible candidates include: Six Degrees Of Separation, Lotus Effect and Shaman.

  • "The afternoon as glorious as it was outside was spent working on two new songs that I am delighted with. They are coming on really well and I can say seriously that I donít recall previous times like this when it all felt so prolific. How different from ten years ago when nothing was easy, and ideas were not only elusive but more like getting blood from a stone. No one back then could surely have guessed ten years in future we would be in such form as currently. Or maybe they could, even if we ourselves could not!" - Jim 4th May

  • "Four days after I finished in Rockfield, I demoed some vocals on four new tracks; weíve finished them off in demo form. Iíll tell you why; the world just feels like a better place when youíve got a few new songs up your sleeve." - Jim talking to Todd Richards

  • "Just last week we were in London doing a video shoot and some photographs, but in the morning Charlie dropped me off a two minute piece of music that I wrote on and weíve got a new song called Concrete And Cherry Blossom and it's just fantastic. Itís really, really something. And it just goes on." - Jim talking to Todd Richards

  • "Working on a new song titled Photograph, the seventh new song I have demoed since the tour finished last week! It's been a prolific time!" - Jim, Facebook

  • "Andy Gillespie worked like a Trojan last week. He spent eleven hours daily in a windowless room. Writing and programming, he was also playing drums, keys and guitars, on four new songs that we created and demoed. His effort is always impressive, but I found him to be on a whole other level, one previously unknown by me. As we wrapped up at the end of it all, I was pretty ecstatic with some of the potential of what was already created but also by the realisation that much more was possible in future." - Jim.

  • "Met up with Charlie last week to demo some of his new tunes. Seemed to be on a roll as we worked on three new songs that had us feeling very good. Working titles are Stagefright, Ulysses and Fire Fighter. Already Stagefright had both agreeing that it would make a great show opener!" - Jim.

  • By February 2010, eight new songs were demoed, along with so many good ideas that there was talk of a double album. "Although it was a busy year with so much touring commitments, Charlie and I managed to do some writing over the last months. However it was only when we had the chance to demo the newer ideas in London last week that we really got a chance to realise the potential. Having done that we are very pleased with the results. In particular I would say that Stagefright and another tune called Concrete And Cherry Blossom are two songs that have immediate impact. Another song called Human Trafficking that we wrote in Hamburg last summer is causing some excitement among those who have heard it so far. In terms of direction I would have been happy to work more within the direction of Graffiti Soul but it seems that Simple Minds is like a train that only knows how to move forward, being so I have to say that none of these new songs sound like anything we have done previously. It is all new territory and although that can be a gamble, it also gives great confidence that we are still capable of reinventing ourselves with each and every release" - Jim, simpleminds.com journal, 8th February 2010.

  • Stagefright opened the show at Le Bataclan, Paris on the 18th June 2010 with Fire Fighter. It was planned to play Concrete And Cherry Blossom as part of the encore, but time constraints meant it was dropped.

  • "This evening we saw four proud musicians in a dimly lit studio. All of them transfixed with their task as they routined the song time and time again. Each one a masters at what they do. In the adjoining control room another group gathered. About twelve in total made up from producers, technicians, friends, girlfriends etc. All entirely mesmerised by what was coming out the speakers. It's really that good!" - Jim, September 6th



  • In September 2010, a new line-up of Simple Minds (with bassist Ged Grimes) used a gap in the touring schedule to record several new tracks for an extensive new compilation album, and the forthcoming new Simple Minds album, at the Sphere Recording Studios in London.

  • The new songs were produced by Andy Wright and engineered and mixed by Gavin Goldberg.

  • Four songs were recorded and mixed including an eight minute long version of In Every Heaven (originally recorded and shelved for New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)), Broken Glass Park (originally a Lostboy! AKA song), Stagefright and On The Rooftop.

  • It's expected that In Every Heaven and Broken Glass Park will appear on the compilation which will be released in 2011.

  • "The recordings went extremely well, super actually! Confidence had been high especially since the band had sounded so good live throughout the summer shows, with that in mind we decided somewhat spontaneously to go into the studio and throw somethings down. It's different from our usual method but I would guess that next year we will do a few more of theses short sharp bursts of recording - it's a sort of wham, bam, thank you ma'am, approach that surprisingly seems to suit very well!" - Jim

  • "Human Trafficking: Enjoying listening to this new Simple Minds tune, it might not be finished quite yet but it has me pretty excited tonight!" - Jim, 25th November 2010

  • "Tsunami....spent this evening working on this new tune. It reminds me much of the early Simple Minds sounds - Sons And Fascination album in particular. Dark and powerful... trance-like... sweeping you away till you forget all... leaving you somehow in a better place!" - Jim, 1st December 2010

  • Charlie had demoed a song called Blindfolded by March 2011 and a song called Liaison in late April 2011.

  • "Planet Zero is the title of the new song that we will record next week in London studio. Planet Zero has been so much fun to work on to date, a thundering "space - rock" track with music written by Charlie Burchill and featuring arguably one of his best ever guitar melodies. Our tour finishes this weekend in Zurich - but we never stop!" - Jim, 23rd August 2011

  • "The Duo: Charlie Burchill and myself have been in a songwriting partnership for 36 years. We continue that next week when we return to the studio to work on new songs. We will stretch ourselves once again as writers to try and come up with something that we feel is good enough to be added to the catalogue of music that we have already created. We will support each other, encourage and inspire. Will we challenge, dispute, piss each other off to the point of near screaming matches? Yes! Most probably we will!" - Jim, 24th August 2011

  • "Zurich... I hung on for a bit while everyone else left for home this morning. Went for a walk around the lake, it is a great city in all weather but particularly when it is nice like today. Heading for London now or should that be Planet Zero since we start recording that song this week? Summer is over... thanks to everyone who came to see us over these months - you really made us feel good!" - Jim, 29th August 2011

  • Both Planet Zero and Liaison were recorded in London in September 2011 with Steve Hillage producing. Hillage was also back in the producer's seat when more ideas were recorded just prior to their 600 Sounds Concert in Australia.

  • More songs were recorded late in March 2012 at Peter Gabriel's Real World Stuios, this time with Steve Osborne in the producer's chair. "Nevertheless, earlier this week we finally arrived at the studious with the full intention of recording a few new songs with producer Steve Osborne, and within minutes of arrival knew that we had made the right decision on both accounts. Steve Osborne will surely do great things with Simple Minds and rest assured that the homely feeling of this destination will bring out the best in us." - Jim, 22nd March 2012



  • "In the studio this afternoon - working with Simon Hayward - looking forward to it. Chrome Heart is a lyric I wrote for a Simon tune. Harmonize is based on an idea that came out of recordings made in Sicily over a decade ago and was only recently rediscovered. Let's see how it all turns out!" - Jim, 6th April 2012

  • "Time for a break before a schedule that takes us through to the end of the year. A few days hillwalking in Sicily and already rejuvented, plenty of new ideas for songs also. Particularly liking Love's Bonfire. Taormina is a hot spot for me - a place that brings great rest and plenty of inspiration - always." - Jim 29th April 2012

  • "Back in Real World Studios. Working on Blood Diamonds, Concrete And Cherry Blossom, Honest Town and an updated Planet Zero. It's all good, very good!" - Jim, 31st May 2012

  • A new song called Utopia was mentioned in June with Jim suggesting it could open Danube Island Festival, Vienna, Austria. Strangely the comment later disappeared into the ether.

  • All talk of new material stopped as the band toured in the summer and work commenced on 5X5. However, after the announcement of Celebrate: The Greatest Hits +, Jim mentioned the new song Midnight Walking.

  • Jim was interviewed by Todd Richards for Some Sweet Day 2013 in August 2013 and revealed more about the recording sessions. A total of seventeen new songs had been laid down with recording sessions divided between studios in London (with producer Andy Wright, Jim and Charlie), studios in Bath (with producer Steve Osborne, Jim and Charlie) and studios in Ireland (with the whole band).

  • Both Broken Glass Park and Blood Diamonds were re-recorded with the whole band after the successful Celebrate: The Greatest Hits + tour. These new versions were destined for this new album, with the more "electro" versions (recorded with Steve Osborne) available on Celebrate: The Greatest Hits +.

  • War Babies, Space and Swimming Towards The Sun were also recorded at the Grouse Lodge (Ireland) sessions. The first two songs had come alive during the Celebrate: The Greatest Hits + tour and the band felt they had now got better arrangements of the two tracks.

  • Regular recording sessions were booked between tours in 2014, but the emphasis was now on finishing tracks. The album's title and it's first tenative release date of October 2014 were mentioned by Jim in an interview with STV's Neil Drysdale.

  • "Last day of rehearsals - new songs? Sarah, Charlie, Andy, Mel and Ged getting ready for the gig on Friday in Montereau, France. Not only classics in the set list - two brand new songs, Imagination and Blindfolded, set for live debut. Simple Minds - looking back - but always moving forward." - Jim, 4th June 2014

  • So far, the current known songs prepared for the album were: Blindfolded, Big Music, Broken Glass Park [Band Version], Blood Diamonds [Band Version], Chrome Heart, Fire Fighter, Harmonize, Human, Human Trafficking, Honest Town, Imagination, In Every Heaven [2010 Recording], Kill Or Cure?, Let The Day Begin, Liaison, Love's Bonfire, Machines, Midnight Walking, On The Rooftop (and its demo version Concrete And Cherry Blossom), Photograph, Planet Zero, Space [New Version], Spirited Away, Signal And The Noise, Swimming Towards The Sun [New Version], Tsunami, Ulysses, Utopia and War Babies [New Version].

  • The album was completed, with final recording taking place, on the 27th August 2014.

  • "One of the highlights of the last days of recording was having keyboardist Peter Vettese drop by to play on a final track. Peter last played with Simple Minds over two decades ago, it was fantastic to have his talents back. It felt like we were working on Real Life once again in fact. I cannot tell you how much I admire Vettese's work, especially on that album/track." - Jim, 19th September 2014

  • Big Music was intended to be the first single but the idea was later dropped. The video, if it had been selected, would've been the performance at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, originally shot for the live DVD. Big Music was debuted that night and became part of the live set.

  • Imagination and Blindfolded were also debuted live and were first played at Montereau, France on the 6th June. Both also become familiar inclusions in the set-list.

  • The album's release campaign started in earnest on the 4th September with Blindfolded being issued as a teaser (not a single). Despite just being a teaser to give a flavour of what was to come, the track was given a single's status: an abstract promo video was shot and the song was reviewed on Steve Lamaqc's BBC Six Music Roundtable where it was given favourable nods and scores from the guests.

  • The album's logo was also revealed on the same day.

  • After a lull of a couple of weeks, format information for the album (2XLP, CD and Deluxe CD) and the European tour dates were first published on the 22nd September.

  • The first single, Honest Town, got its first play on the Ken Bruce show on the 24th September. The track was uploaded to SoundCloud at the same time.

  • A preview of the entire album - which included one minute edits of all the song intros on the standard edition - was also uploaded to SoundCloud on the 26th September. Different previews of all the songs on the Deluxe Edition were also made available through iTunes.

  • The album's artwork featured several shots of the band at the Honest Town video shoot and several pictures of Battersea (where the band were rehearsing).

  • Midnight Walking became the third song to be released from Big Music when a full preview appeared on consequenceofsound.net on the 21st October 2014.

  • The whole album was then made available as a stream by The Guardian on the 28th October. The Behind The Scenes video (which could also be considered the album's Electronic Press Kit) was premiered on The Telegraph's website the following day.

  • The album was formally released in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, South Africa and Switzerland on the 31st October. It was released on the 3rd November in other territories.

  • It was released on Caroline Records in the UK and Ireland, the Embassy Of Music in Germany, and by Sony (licensed from Embassy Of Music) in other European territories.

  • The LP included a card with a unique download code allowing the album to be digitally downloaded:

  • The album was dedicated to Jim's mother and Charlie's father. "We dedicated the album to that generation who brought us up, the people who created Simple Minds. Our parents gave us our first couple of hundred pounds to make demos. They were very wary of what we were getting into but encouraged us anyway. Without them, we wouldn't be here today talking about it."

  • The album was promoted by a short promotional tour featuring a stripped-down acoustic line-up of Simple Minds. They played TV shows, radio shows and various one-off intimate gigs.

  • The second single, Let The Day Begin, was issued in January 2015 to promote the album's tour which started in February.



big music: quick reference
CD     Big Music Caroline International SMBM03
1. Blindfolded(5:22)
2. Midnight Walking(3:53)
3. Honest Town(4:44)
4. Big Music(4:12)
5. Human(3:41)
6. Blood Diamonds(4:20)
7. Let The Day Begin(5:08)
8. Concrete And Cherry Blossom(3:31)
9. Imagination(3:41)
10. Kill Or Cure(4:12)
11. Broken Glass Park(4:39)
12. Spirited Away(4:08)


Deluxe CD     Big Music Caroline International SMBM04
1-1. Blindfolded(5:22)
1-2. Midnight Walking(3:53)
1-3. Honest Town(4:44)
1-4. Big Music(4:12)
1-5. Human(3:41)
1-6. Blood Diamonds(4:20)
1-7. Let The Day Begin(5:08)
1-8. Concrete And Cherry Blossom(3:31)
1-9. Imagination(3:41)
1-10. Kill Or Cure(4:12)
1-11. Broken Glass Park(4:39)
1-12. Spirited Away(4:08)

2-1. Swimming Towards The Sun(4:08)
2-2. Bittersweet(3:58)
2-3. Liaison(4:34)
2-4. Riders On The Storm(3:46)
2-5. Dancing Barefoot(4:02)
2-6. Blindfolded[Reprise](4:23)

3-1. Honest Town[Video](4:44)
3-2. Blindfolded[Video](5:23)
3-3. Let The Day Begin[Video Clip](1:33)
3-4. Human[Video Clip](1:47)
3-5. Midnight Walking[Video Clip](1:41)
3-6. Behind The Scenes[Video](13:41)
3-7. Band Interviews[Video](22:33)


2XLP     Big Music Caroline International SMBM05
A1. Blindfolded(5:22)
A2. Midnight Walking(3:53)
A3. Honest Town(4:44)
B1. Big Music(4:12)
B2. Human(3:41)
B3. Blood Diamonds(4:20)
C1. Let The Day Begin(5:08)
C2. Concrete And Cherry Blossom(3:31)
C3. Imagination(3:41)
D1. Kill Or Cure(4:12)
D2. Broken Glass Park(4:39)
D3. Spirited Away(4:08)









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Blindfolded


Honest Town


Let The Day Begin


Midnight Walking


Johnson Somerset Remix EP