- The first signs of new activity from Simple Minds was in February/March 1991 when the
new single Let There Be Love was announced. It was accompanied by full-sized press adverts, window stickers and
shop mobiles which stressed the point that Simple Minds was back for the new decade, this was the new single,
and the album Real Life was coming.
- Let There Be Love was premiered by national radio in February and confirmed that the post-MacNeil
Simple Minds had not lost any vital musical elements. The song was a slick continuation of the sounds from
Street Fighting Years, complete with celtic-sounding melodic pipes,
but with modern drums and rhythms. (Trills and synth swoops came courtesy of
Steve Lipson which he borrowed from Grace Jones'
Slave To The Rhythm).
- Virgin, like all record companies, were still in the throes of multi-formatting, and the single was
issued in a number of different forms. In the case of Simple Minds, it was never excessive and the selection of
material and the formats themselves were intelligently compiled and beautifully packaged. The formats were also
rationalized with the 3" CD now thankfully obsoleted.
- Steve Lipson had already edited the title track into a radio-friendly version
at Olympic Studios in January 1991. And Julian Mendelsohn was called in to give the track extra gloss
and fill it out for the 12". Mendelsohn made his name producing The Pet Shop Boys,
Level 42 and Nik Kershaw, so was a natural choice to polish up the song. He finished his 7" and 12"
remixes at Sarm the same month. Bonus tracks from the album sessions were also available, including the slow
memorable ballad Goodnight. And there was plentiful recent live material, thanks to the
recently released Verona (which had only been issued on VHS).
- A tape of potential tracks for the single was compiled. This included the two Julian Mendelssohn remixes
of Let There Be Love, two alternative mixes of the title track for consideration (which were not released),
unedited recordings from Verona of
Alive And Kicking and
East At Easter, and finally the album mix of
Ghostrider. Interestingly the latter track was pencilled in for inclusion,
and an attempt had been made to produce a 12" mix, but the track was dropped from the single.
- Several formats were issued during the first week of release. The 7" and cassette single shared the same tracks,
a coupling of 7" mix of Let There Be Love and the bonus song
Goodnight. The cassette single was available in a card slip-sleeve,
Virgin having discarded the plastic box, and was easily scuffed and damaged. Luckily the requirement
to add the awful generic Cassette Single logo had now been dropped.
- The 12" and CD single brought in the Extended Mix (Mendelsohn's lenghty opus and considered one
of Simple Minds' best remxies)
and an oddly truncated live version of
Alive And Kicking. The UK's chart compilers had just
issued a decree that singles couldn't include more than 20 minutes of material - otherwise the single wouldn't be considered
for the chart. Virgin's response to this daft rule was equally daft - pull down the faders fast on
Alive And Kicking therefore omitting about a third of the song
and keeping everything within the time limit.
- The limited edition appeared a week later. This three CD box-set, sublimely designed with beautiful graphics,
included one limited edition CD and empty slots for two others. The standard Let There Be Love CD fitted in the
first slot, whilst the third was intended for the forthcoming See The Lights CD single.
Selling incomplete sets, or boxes with spaces for other releases, was a new marketing gimmick and Virgin would
repeat it with the Love Song / Alive And Kicking single a year later.
- The limited edition CD single (packaged in a jewelcase and included in the box) added
Steve Lipson's original LP edit of Let There Be Love
and a live version of East At Easter from Verona.
- It became clear that material from Verona was now being used as single
filler; an option Virgin took until the band had recorded material from the
Real Life tour. Unlike
Alive And Kicking,
East At Easter appeared in its full form, complete with its "whispering" intro.
- The box also included a horizontal obi-strip which carried all the label copy. It promised an Extended Album Mix
but the CD featured the Edited Album Mix - perhaps the error simply occurred because someone misheard Extended for
Edited. Interestingly an extended album mix of Let There Be Love did turn up
on the Best Of compilation ten years later.
- 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 light blue sticker in the top right corner below).
- Oddly the only other promo was a single track CD which featured the extended version of the track. It's difficult to
see how this could've been of use to reviewers, DJs and radio stations, but Virgin deemed it important enough
to press up a large number of copies. There was also no corresponding master for this release in the tape library - so
it was probably a qucik, rushed job.
- The design was by Stylorogue, a well-established design house originally founded by Rob O'Conner. It was
O'Conner and Stuart Mackenzie who designed the sleeves, a productive collaboration which would last four
albums (with Mackenzie continuing alone as Toorkwaz for Neapolis).
They continued and developed Malcolm Garrett's heart motif as branding, and
utilitised the still-life photography of Geoff Brightling for the whispy main imagery and employed
studio portraits of the now-reduced Simple Minds of Jim,
Charlie and Mel for the CD inserts.
- The single did well reaching #6 in the UK chart.
- The single was also widely released across Europe, with many overseas subsidiaries matching the formats
and packaging. An interesting collectable turned up in France, where
the 7” sleeve fell foul of the "record counter top–flip" rule;
a French executive obviously decided the single's title wasn’t clear enough, so the title was added again
rudely across the top of the sleeve.
- Reaction was more muted in America, where A&M decided that See The Lights
would be the lead single. However one American promo CD was issued which featured both
A&M also simplified the sleeve's graphics, dispensing with Brighting's backgrounds, and settling on just
the heart logo. Jim, once signing a copy, remarked that it was one of his favourite sleeves.