"Released 33 years ago this very week, Once Upon A Time is the album that brought
Simple Minds a level of success that truly went beyond our dreams. A kind of success in fact that all
these years later we still partly live off, still finding it hard to believe that it brought us 3 songs that
featured in the very top end of the Billboard singles charts - as well as top positions in countless countries
worldwide. (The album itself achieved platinum status in myriad territories, sealing Simple Minds' position
then as possibly one of the most popular bands of our generation.)"
"So far, so good then. Except that commercial glory was not matched with much critical glory. Particularly in
the UK - Once Upon A time was given the cold shoulder by a whole host of journalists, who all felt that
Simple Minds had seemingly become "too big for their boots." That we were being far too audacious etc., by
courting what they believed was apparently a "sell-out" to American tastes.
For them, "the rot" had somehow set in with the number one success of
Don't You (Forget About Me).
Their logic seemed to be that the more popular we became, the poorer we became as artists.
And who were we to deny them their opinions - to which they were - and still are - entitled to?"
"Then again, you are not likely to see any written opinions about anything from most of those journalists
who seemed to delight in taking a (metaphorical) axe to our art back in those days.
The reason is that just about all of them are no longer in the journalistic profession. Their own careers petered
out within a decade or so afterwards, even sooner in many cases. Sadder still, most of their publications that
they wrote for are now in the great publishing graveyards. All just about went out business already a long time ago,
their reputations now little more than an increasingly distant footnote within a faded history of pop culture.
(I miss so many of those publications. I grew up reading them religiously, on a weekly basis.
Simple Minds also owed plenty to them for the front page exposures etc. Some critics I valued as much as
artists almost. Especially those that could articulate to me why I should love a record so much.)"
"No longer Alive And Kicking then? Plenty would alternately vouch that Simple Minds most certainly are?
We in turn would thank them for that."
"I coincidentally heard two tracks from Once Upon A Time on radio during these past two days:
All The Things She Said and
Alive And Kicking respectively.
What can I tell you? More than 3 decades later they struck me as still sounding like great, big, powerful,
pop songs. Full of melody and with a creative vision that I reckon was hitting on some kind of peak."
"As for the live versions of those songs that we play with full heart every night on tour?
Those anthems that never fail to leave audiences jumping up and down, as they sing their hearts out while
"Well, how right it was of us to follow our muse back in 1985. To pursue the creative vision and style behind
those songs that feature on Once Upon A Time."
"And how courageous likewise, to pay little attention to the naysayers when they were tripping over each other
to declare that Simple Minds had chosen the wrong path."
"Same as it ever was!"
23rd October 2018