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real life : information

JK: "On our first 90s album, Real Life, we thought that if the melodies were tehre, we'd be fine. They weren't there. Up until then, it was a group thing, but then it was all on Charlie's shoulders. We thoguht we could sail through this, but it was fragmented. Engines were falling off, leaving only Charlie and I. At the time, it was going to be tough anyway. For a band of your generation, with one or two exceptions, you're going to get it in the neck with what's coming next. For us, it was The Stone Roses or Happy Mondays coming over the hill. At times like that you need to have all your wits about you and be at the top of your game. Ironically, we never saw it that way."

CB: "Real Life was a big selling album, but everyone was talking about slippage. Becasue we weren't selling quite as much, there was a negative air about it. We were still trying to change sounds, but we overshot the mark at times."

Record Collector Interview
Record Collector #364
July 2009


I recall it being around January/Feb 1990. Although unwilling to admit to myself, I was definitely feeling the pressure.

Mick MacNeil, our friend and band mate for the whole of the previous decade, one who had brought to so much to the music, had finally decided (not entirely unexpectedly) that he no longer wished to play keyboards with Simple Minds. Simultaneously, although disconnected to that event, Bruce Findlay our long time manager, mentor, father figure etc, also felt that he had taken Simple Minds as far as he could. In doing so we found ourselves genuinely bewildered - suddenly without a manager and our greatest supporter.

They say "it never rains, then it pours". Well I could understand that saying easily, as news of various legal disputes also started to accumulate. In fact, they were business disputes that in the end mostly came to not that much at all. Nevertheless, against a backdrop of plenty enough turmoil, they certainly added to whatever worries were in the air that surrounded as we licked our wounds, while also trying to get on with the next bout of songwriting.

After all our record company were already pushing for the next album what was to become Real Life. Plus, no matter what happens, what disasters unfold etc, Charlie and I just never seem to blink and therefore the work goes on always. With pressure. And without pressure. As already stated though, we were feeling the strain. My confidence had taken a major dent.

Plenty of time was spent searching and reviewing how things could have gone so wayward? How communications had broken down? How disputes had got out of hand etc? I certainly could see with hindsight how I could have done things differently. But I could also see how we could all have improved the situation that led to things growing apart. Quitting however... well that was never an option!

Recalling those days brings me to Tom Petty. How so you may ask? What the hell had Tom Petty to do with the turbulence blowing through the heart of Simple Minds back in 1990? I'll explain. While all that stuff was going on, I was living alone for a couple of months, in a rambling house that overlooked the Atlantic Ocean. I had one book with me and I read it repeatedly. It is called Bhagavad Gita - the Indian classic - a tale that itself takes place on a battlefield. (Civilisation in turmoil.) I also had one album continually on rote. It was Tom Petty's latest, and although full of wonderful songs, the song that called out most to me was I Won't Back Down. Given what I felt at that time, with all I was going through, how could it not? That little song of defiance gave so much to me in fact. It reaffirmed how I was going to react in situations when it felt that "walls are closing in." And it also gave me an attitude that is written through me to this very day.

Thanks for that Tom Petty. Rest In Peace.

Well, I won't back down
No, I won't back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won't back down

Jim
4th October 2017


  • More information coming soon.





real life: quick reference
LP    Real Life Virgin V 2660
A1. Real Life(4:53)
A2. See The Lights(4:22)
A3. Let There Be Love(4:57)
A4. Woman(4:40)
A5. Stand By Love(4:04)
B1. African Skies(4:52)
B2. Let The Children Speak(4:17)
B3. Ghostrider(3:22)
B4. Banging On The Door(1:16)/(4.24)
B5. Travelling Man(3:35)
B6. Rivers Of Ice(3:30)
B7. When Two Worlds Collide(4:01)


MC    Real Life Virgin TCV 2660
1-1. Real Life(4:53)
1-2. See The Lights(4:22)
1-3. Let There Be Love(4:57)
1-4. Woman(4:40)
1-5. Stand By Love(4:04)
1-6. Let The Children Speak(4:17)
2-1. African Skies(4:52)
2-2. Ghostrider(3:22)
2-3. Banging On The Door(1:16)/(4.24)
2-4. Travelling Man(3:35)
2-5. Rivers Of Ice(3:30)
2-6. When Two Worlds Collide(4:01)


CD    Real Life Virgin CDV 2660
1. Real Life(4:53)
2. See The Lights(4:22)
3. Let There Be Love(4:57)
4. Woman(4:40)
5. Stand By Love(4:04)
6. Let The Children Speak(4:17)
7. African Skies(4:52)
8. Ghostrider(3:22)
9/10. Banging On The Door(1:16)/(4.24)
11. Travelling Man(3:35)
12. Rivers Of Ice(3:30)
13. When Two Worlds Collide(4:01)


DAT    Real Life Virgin DATV 2660
1. Real Life(4:53)
2. See The Lights(4:22)
3. Let There Be Love(4:57)
4. Woman(4:40)
5. Stand By Love(4:04)
6. Let The Children Speak(4:17)
7. African Skies(4:52)
8. Ghostrider(3:22)
9/10. Banging On The Door(1:16)/(4.24)
11. Travelling Man(3:35)
12. Rivers Of Ice(3:30)
13. When Two Worlds Collide(4:01)







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Let There Be Love See The Lights


Stand By Love Real Life