- With Once Upon A Time completed, Virgin turned their attention to the marketing of
both the album and the associated world tour. Whilst the album was stuffed full of potential
radio-friendly single choices, the band hadn't recorded any exclusive B-side material, so
Virgin had to bulk up the forthcoming singles with instrumentals, live recordings and remixes.
- The choice of leading single was easy. Alive And Kicking
had been shaped and formed
as the natural successor of Donít You (Forget About Me) and was always the contender to be
the first taster from Once Upon A Time.
- To punch the single high into the charts, Virgin issued Alive And Kicking in four different
formats. (For previous releases, the number of formats tended to increase across an album's
campaign to bolster flagging interest). As was typical for the first single, only a little was
really being offered as the 7" and 12" merely featured vocal and instrumental cuts of the title song.
- The two limited edition 12" singles were beefed up with a live version of Up On The Catwalk
performed at The Barrowlands earlier in the year. These
recordings made for a potential live album, subsequently rejected, were pushed into service as single B-sides.
- The two limited editions were the same except one had a matt gold sleeve, whilst the other had a
spectacular specular gold sleeve (also known as the 'mirror' sleeve).
- The picture on the back of the sleeve was a backstage shot of
Jim taken at the
Live Aid concert by Anton Corbijn.
- Some copies of the 7" were sent out as promos. These can be identified by compliment stickers on the back of the
sleeve (as shown above by the red sticker in the top right corner).
- The artwork was by Mick Haggerty, Virginís in-house graphic designer, and the Alive And Kicking
sleeve was the first time fans saw the new Ďcondensedí Simple Minds logo which would be synonymous
with the band for the mid to late 1980s.
- In addition to the four formats, collectors could search out the 12" promos, which featured the
same tracks as the first 12" single. However, someone at the pressing plant was in a hurry, and a
batch were mispressed with the instrumental labels on both sides (the record still featured the album version backed with
the instrumental version though).
- Some of these 12" promos included press releases.
- After the success of Don't You (Forget About Me) in the US, A&M were
quick to release the single commercially on a 7" and 12", both backed by the live cut of
Up On The Catwalk. These were accompanied by
three different promos which
quickly found favour with collectors.
- Whilst an extended mix of the title track wasn't available, a longer version did turn up on a
Brazilian 12" promo. Probably intended for DJs only, this exclusive remix extended
Alive And Kicking by combining the album and instrumental versions. Unfortunately
the cuts can be quite jarring at times. Despite this, the 12" is popular as the only source of this version.