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new gold dream (81,82,83,84): information

JK: "Every album sounded different. We kept moving onto the next thing. Even in the 90s the records were dramatically different - as different as Bowie's - in terms of sounds; certainly the second, third, fourth and fifth records. People look on this album as perfection. Everybody would be writing, someone would be listening to Dylan, someone to ABC."

Record Collector Interview
Record Collector #364
July 2009

  • "Empires And Dance and Sons And Fascination were so crammed, the sound was so heavy, the way it feels before a storm breaks. When the storm is over, the air is clear and clean. That's what New Gold Dream felt like." - Jim

  • The band had a new found optimism and vigour. The previous album, Sons And Fascination, had done well, the singles had charted in various countries, they had earned their first silver and gold discs, and were part way through a world tour. Their experiences in Australia had a major effect, especially on Jim, and his lyric notebooks started to fill with confidence and optimism.

  • "There was always a change after each big tour and seeing new cultures. Jim got off on every single place he passed. In many ways the Australian tour inspired all of New Gold Dream. It was such a fresh country, full of optimism and hope. There's no doubt it turned Jim on lyrically and you can heer it changing the music." - Bruce Findlay, Uncut, February 2013

  • The band had a head start: they'd already recorded and released Promised You A Miracle as a single and both Hunter And The Hunter (aka The Low Song) and King Is White And In The Crowd were demoed. (All these recordings were made during a 10 day rehearsal period at Rockfield Studios in January 1982).

  • Just before the second leg of the Sons And Fascination tour, Simple Minds recorded a Kid Jensen session, during which they exclusively premiered King Is White And In The Crowd.

  • As the second leg of the Sons And Fascination tour continued, Promised You A Miracle, King Is White And In The Crowd and Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) became new songs in the set-list.

  • After the tour, and plans turned to the new album Steve Lillywhite was first choice for producer but he was unavailable. Virgin also suggested Martin Rushnet.

  • However the band had other ideas. Impressed with his work on the Sweat In Bullet remix and Promised You A Miracle, Simple Minds pushed for nineteen year old Pete Walsh as producer for the album.

  • With Walsh onboard, Virgin told him that they wanted the magic and atmosphere of the band's live sound. So Walsh decided to record as a live studio album.

  • The band retreated to an old farmhouse in Fife (which they called the 'Vibe Factory') where they started work on the new album.

  • Pete Walsh travelled up to Fife to listen to the tapes and make some suggestions. "They would jam for two hours on the same song, and then we would listen to it back on cassette, pick the good bits and make the song around that. A lot of it was what they'd call pure shit, or not very good anyway, and there were some magic bits that maybe were never captured on the album." - Pete Walsh

  • By the end of the Fife sessions, the band had assembled several demo tapes. These included the Arpeggio Song (later to become Colours Fly And Catherine Wheel), Festival Riff (later to become New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) and Summer Song (which became Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)).

  • They then relocated to Townhouse Studios in London to record the basic tracks.

  • "As always, the music came first, and there was something of beauty about it. It suggested that sort of lyric. And the fact that such ideas came up - things of light - rang a bell in me, that was the first sign." - Jim.

  • It quickly became apparent that Mike Ogletree's style wasn't suited to the album. Walsh brought in a session drummer, Mel Gaynor, to add extra power to the backing tracks.

  • "At one point we had to get Mel - Pete Walsh siad "It's taking a bit longer to do the drums here. Mike, do you mind we get someone else in because we're running out of time? And we really need to move on it." "That's fine with me." He was a really easy-going guy was Mike. And Mel came in. And Mel did a few tracks on it." - Derek, Retropopic 2018

  • Multiple takes of the same songs were recorded to multi-track. Walsh then assembled the best parts of each take for the master. This would have profound consequences later when the DVD-Audio album was produced.

  • Herbie Hancock was recording in the studio next door. Grabbing the opportunity, the band asked if he'd like to play a solo on the album. Hence his synth solo during Hunter And The Hunted.

  • The dates in the title of the album were added at the last moment: "After an album obsessed by fear we'd made an album looking to the future." - Jim.

  • "I think we definitely had Walshy right off his nut. He was supposed to have stopped smoking and drinking, he was saying to us 'I very rarely drink' and all that. At the end of the album he was chain smoking with fucking bottles everywhere" - Charlie.

  • With the backing tracks completed, the band moved onto The Manor, Virgin's recording studio in the lush Oxfordshire countryside, to complete the album. It was renamed The Leisure Centre: "Whenever we came up against a problem we'd go and have a game of table tennis or a swim or go fishing, and just have some fun and go back in" - Pete Walsh

  • "I remember phoning up Bruce Findlay and saying 'We've really kinda surpassed what we should be.' He was going, 'It's two o'clock in the morning, what are you rabbiting on about?'." - Jim.

  • With the album reaching completion, the band were invited back for another Kid Jensen session. They recorded three exclusive tracks from the album: Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) (logged at the BBC under its original name of Summer Song), Glittering Prize and Hunter And The Hunter.

  • "[During the writing of the album] we often went for walks. Around Perth you find a lot of Celtic crosses, crosses that seem to spring up from the earth. We thought it was a very powerful symbol. They were in the ground which produced the water we drank, so why not?" - Jim.

  • Malcolm Garrett had already used the symbol on the sleeve of Promised You A Miracle and so they decided to continue the idea, using a cross for the cover of New Gold Dream. The 'flaming heart' design was influenced particularly by crosses found in France.

  • "We knew what we were doing when we used that cross. It created a lot of controversy and some people even got angry, but when a hard rock band puts devils and creatures from the depths of hell on its cover, no one blinks an eye. But when you want to use something of beauty, everyone starts wondering whether it's the right thing. Hang on, this is kind of heavy, isn't it? A born again Christian! Why born again? I've never been away." - Jim

  • "The image of the cross shocked us but we couldnít deny it felt right and, more to the point, looked striking and beautiful. He [designer Malcolm Garrett] was tripping on the music and lyrics, and the idea of faith, of mysticism and spirituality. He felt that from what he was hearing and it influenced his work." - Jim

  • The first LPs pressed in the UK had gold inner sleeves; for subsequent pressings, purple inner sleeves were used.

  • The purple of the album titles and inner sleeves (second pressings) was based on the colour of a cardinal's habit. Malcolm Garrett came up with the idea when the Pope visited Scotland (and, incidentally, used Simple Minds' sound system to address the Glasgow crowd).

  • Gold and purple inner sleeves were also used in other countries except these included the lyrics, printed around a simple cross. As this artwork is stylised and repeated for each country, it's assumed this was Malcolm Garrett's original design. In the UK, the lyrics were omitted, leaving just a book logo.

  • The UK CD featured unique artwork. The booklet included new graphics and different pictures of the band, whilst the sleeve featured a compacted version of LP cover. The CD cover used white instead of gold, giving it a cold, frosy appearance (it isn't known if this was intented or a mistake by the printers).

  • For the USA, A&M pressed up a special limited edition picture disc; this became known as the "purple splashed gold" version of the album. (It's actually transparent vinyl in which a small amount of purple and gold colours have been added). A large number of these were "gold stamped" and sent out as promotional issues. A cassette and CD were also available.

  • All the A&M pressings featured the edited version of the title track (which isn't noted on the sleeve). The original German CD featured an extended version of the title track (which isn't indicated on the sleeve either) which became known as the German 12" Remix.

  • In Canada, Virgin pressed up a limited edition gold version of the LP. Again, this was transparent vinyl with a small amount of yellow colouring added.

  • The Yugoslavian version of the album is highly prized by the collectors for its unique sleeve which removed all the religious images. Like all Yugosalvian releases, it was delayed, not appearing until April 1983.

  • "That's why I called it a coffee-table album. Not to be nasty, but that's what it is: a coffee-table album. They should have sold New Gold Dream in furniture stores, because it can brighten a room." - Jim

  • The Super-Audio CD version of the album was sonically created from the stereo master and again added nothing special.

  • However, for the DVD-Audio, Ronald Prent returned to the original multi-tracks to create a true 5:1 Surround Sound recording. Prent and Charlie discovered a host of unused takes and extra instrumentation. So rather than recreate Pete Walsh's original arrangements, they decided to extended the songs and add the missing effects. The take of King Is White And In The Crowd is especially interesting as it features the studio cues and banter.

  • Unfortunately the multi-tracks Colours Fly And Catherine Wheel and Promised You A Miracle were missing, so the original stereo versions of these songs were included.

  • Also discovered were the sessions for Soundtrack For Every Heaven, a choppy instrumental based around one of Mike Ogletree's drum rhythms, but left unfinished (and relegated to B-side status on the 12" of Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)). Amazingly they found a take with vocals, and so as a bonus, the newly discovered In Every Heaven was added to the album as a bonus track.

  • Everyone who loves New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) should absolutely seek out this version of the album.

  • "I have the most beautiful memories of New Gold Dream. It was made in a time between Spring and Summer and everything we tried worked. There were no arguments. We were in love with what we were doing, playing it, listening to it. You don't get many periods in your life when it all goes your way." - Jim

  • "Promised You A Miracle had this confidence and swagger about it, as well as this new positive feeling. Wherever we worked, up in Fife, at the Manor in Oxfordshire or at the Townshouse in London, it seemed to be sunny all the time. The storm had broken and there was this beautiful morning. Thatís what New Gold Dream sounded like."

    On New Gold Dream I introduced some Alabama Soul into the mix for the first and last time. Mick, Charlie, Dan and I had a complete blast writing the music for the songs as instrumentals. Jim never added lyrics or melodies until after the instrumentals were all basically written. (That's how you get great instrumentals like Somebody Up There Likes You.) Mick would show me the song ideas he had on cassette and at the keyboards then I would show him my funky rock grooves on the drums and we would start jamming to create these great new grooves and rhythmic textures combining arpeggiator, vintage drum machine with Mick's playing and my drumming. This was the core of every song on the album. The addition of Dan's big bass lines and Charlie's magical guitar colorings to this new sound that Mick and I were creating sealed the deal on what was the creation of a unique new Simple Minds sound being created by a unique group of Simple Minds musicians. It turned out to be the creative zenith of our career, then we both moved on in different directions never to create together again. Likewise the sound of the band and the albums they released would never capture that same creative energy. ScotAlabama (yours truly) added the subtle complexity and irresistible rhythm of a funk rock groove to one of the best trance grooves around. Thus you have New Gold Dream.

    Mike Ogletree
    Message on Facebook
    July 2019

  • The album was remastered in 2002 as part of an extensive Virgin campaign. It was released as a limited edition vinyl replica CD and standard edition CD. This version remains on catalogue.

new gold dream: quick reference
LP    New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) Virgin V 2230
A1. Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)(4:37)
A2. Colours Fly And Catherine Wheel (3:48)
A3. Promised You A Miracle(4:25)
A4. Big Sleep(4:58)
A5. Somebody Up There Likes You(4:56)
B1. New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)(5:38)
B2. Glittering Prize(4:33)
B3. Hunter And The Hunted(5:53)
B4. King Is White And In The Crowd(6:59)

MC    New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) Virgin TCV 2230
1-1. Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)(4:37)
1-2. Colours Fly And Catherine Wheel (3:48)
1-3. Promised You A Miracle(4:25)
1-4. Big Sleep(4:58)
1-5. Somebody Up There Likes You(4:56)
2-1. New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)(5:38)
2-2. Glittering Prize(4:33)
2-3. Hunter And The Hunted(5:53)
2-4. King Is White And In The Crowd(6:59)

CD    New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) Virgin CDV 2230
1. Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)(4:37)
2. Colours Fly And Catherine Wheel (3:48)
3. Promised You A Miracle(4:25)
4. Big Sleep(4:58)
5. Somebody Up There Likes You(4:56)
6. New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)(5:38)
7. Glittering Prize(4:33)
8. Hunter And The Hunted(5:53)
9. King Is White And In The Crowd(6:59)

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Promised You A Miracle Glittering Prize

Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)