family tree
press releases
mailing list
site map

i travel: information

  • Arista never issued a single to promote the forthcoming Empires And Dance. Instead they elected to hold on, and released I Travel to promote the UK leg of the Empires And Dance tour instead. It was issued on October 16th, the same day as their planned concert in Bradford.

  • Preparation work began at the start of September with John Leckie booking a studio at Abbey Road to create the edits and extended version of the title track.

  • The single's master tape was assembled at Utopia Studios on the 9th September. Alongside the newly created edit of I Travel was added New Warm Skin, the bonus track recorded during the album sessions.

  • Arista packaged the first 7,500 copies as a limited edition. A flexi-disc featuring two unreleased tracks was shrink-wrapped with the standard single. This single-sided flexi featured Kaleidoscope, the bonus song recorded during the Real To Real Cacophony sessions; and Film Theme Dub, a radical double-speed version of Film Theme which had been created by Leckie for a Simple Minds remix album.

  • Some biographers suggested the 12" was pressed in France by Ariola as Arista weren't enthusiastic. Other sources, such as Bruce Findlay, claimed that it was cheaper to press the 12" in France. This is given further credence as Leckie was commissioned to produce a 12" mix, and had done so at the start of September, so Arista were considering a 12" release from the start.

  • It was intented for the 12" to feature Leckie's 12" mix on the A-side with the two previously unreleased songs, Kaleidoscope and Film Theme Dub on the flip. However, the master tape for the flexi-disc disappeared (and is now considered lost) and the compilers of the 12" had to hand-pick the 'missing' songs. In doing so, they made a mistake, and selected Film Theme instead. This has caused confusion with various reissues ever since.

  • Copies of the 12" were imported back into the UK and sold as standard UK pressings. A special sticker "RE-ORDER UNDER ARIST 12372", was stuck over the Ariola catalogue number on the rear of the sleeve - ensuring repeat orders would receive the import at domestic prices.

  • The single's sleeve was based on the 'Air Force officer' photograph by Michael Ruetz which appeared on the front of Empires And Dance. The back was an eerie superimposed picture of Jim, taken by Richard Coward through a TV screen, which was also used for the lyric sheet included with the album.

  • Despite the limited edition gimick, and the appearance of Simple Minds' first 12", the single sold poorly and failed to chart.

  • However, the single did surprisingly well in America. In February 1981, to the pleasure of Virgin Records (who'd signed the band that month), I Travel entered the Billboard Disco Chart at 80, purely on import sales alone.

  • Of all the exclusive tracks on the 7" and flexi-disc, Kaleidoscope initially fared the best, being promoted to album status for the Arista compilation Celebration in 1982. But it took over thirty years before the others appeared on any other releases.

  • The single edit of I Travel remained exclusive to the single until it appeared on Celebrate: The Greatest Hits + in 2013. And the other two songs were included in the X5 Box Set of 2012.

  • (The curse of the missing production master for the flexi-disc did strike again and Film Theme was mistakenly included twice on the X5 Box Set promos. This was corrected for the final release).

  • The extended version of I Travel enjoyed a long and varied reissue history being released twice again on single in the 1980s, before appearing on the Theme Volumes in 1990.

i travel: quick reference
7"   I Travel Zoom Arista ARIST 372
A1. I Travel[Edit](3:06)
B1. New Warm Skin(4:35)

7"   I Travel (Limited Edition Flexi-Disc) Zoom Arista ARIST 372c
A1. Kaleidoscope(4:15)
A2. Film Theme Dub(1:26)

12"   I Travel Zoom Arista ARIST 12372
A1. I Travel[Extended](6:13)
B1. Kaleidoscope(4:15)
B2. Film Theme(2:25)

previous single next single