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alive and kicking: information

  • 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.

alive and kicking: quick reference
7"   Alive And Kicking Virgin VS 817
A1. Alive And Kicking[Edit](4:45)
B1. Alive And Kicking[Instrumental](6:05)

12"   Alive And Kicking Virgin VS 817-12
A1. Alive And Kicking(5:24)
B1. Alive And Kicking[Instrumental]   (6:05)

12"   Alive And Kicking Virgin VS 817-13
A1. Alive And Kicking(5:24)
A2. Alive And Kicking[Instrumental] (6:05)
B1. Up On The Catwalk[Live] (5:49)

12"   Alive And Kicking Virgin VS 817-13
A1. Alive And Kicking(5:24)
A2. Alive And Kicking[Instrumental] (6:05)
B1. Up On The Catwalk[Live] (5:49)

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