JK: "We all started to think about it. Real To Real Cacophony was searching and trying not
to be The Boomtown Rats. The Paul Morleys of this world began to come on board
and see us as one of the cooler bands. It was an abstract album, to say the least."
Record Collector Interview
Record Collector #364
- "The growth within the band, from rehearsal to rehearsal, from gig to gig, from month to month was just remarkable.
Everyone was writing. Material was coming from every direction. The level of creative energy was unprecedented. We were firing
on all cylinders."
- The band were desparate to quickly record the successor to Life In A Day in an attempt to bury it.
"We were so anxious to see Life In A Day in the shops,
it was almost embarrassing. And afterwards we wanted it out, that's why we were so quick to produce follow-up." - Jim.
- The legend states that they entered the studio with nothing written nor demoed, with the entire album conceived within the walls of
Rockfield Studios, Wales. However, the band had been playing early versions of
Calling Your Name and
Scar during the
Life in A Day tour, whilst
Naked Eye had been recorded for a
Piccadilly Radio session.
- Premonition had also appeared live, and the band had also written
Carnival (Shelter In A Suitcase) and
Real To Real.
- Producer John Leckie remembered
Derek Forbes had the riff for
Changeling before entering the studio. This statement was later contradicted by
Jim who recalled recording a 4-track demo of
- Gary Numan was pencilled in as a potential producer, but the band elected to stay with
John Leckie who'd produced the previous album
Life In A Day.
- Bruce, writing in
Cripes #108, mentioned that the band recorded 13 songs. The left over song is assumed
to be Kaleidoscope.
- "Real To Real Cacophony was all recorded and mixed in five weeks at Rockfield using both studios. They had about
half the songs (Premonition,
Calling Your Name and
Changeling) and the rest were
kind of written in studio." - John Leckie
- "We were searching for sounds and they came from anywhere: guitar or keyboards. We often miked up the corridor
that ran down the side of Coach House studio at Rockfield and left the door to the studio open. It gave a good natural
eqable short reverb for drums and guitars and claps." - John Leckie
- "Jim was writing all the time, trying lyrics and different approaches to singing.
He was quite different on early records to how he sings now. The record was all mixed at Rockfield in one stint and quickly
mastered and put out." - John Leckie
- John Leckie's tape operator was Mariella Frostup who found fame as
a presenter and film critic. She was credited on the sleeve as Mariella Sometimes.
- The studio next door was being used by Iggy Pop. He was recording Soldier, being helped out by
David Bowie. The band wanted Bowie to play sax
on the album, but no-one could pluck up courage to ask him. Spotting them handing around, Bowie
asked if they could sing, gave them lyric sheets, and
Simple Minds ended up as backing vocals on Play It Safe and others.
- Originally intended to be the second Zoom album, Bruce's catalogue suggestion of
ZULP 2 was met shrugs from Arista. It turned out it would be too problematic to program the computers. By this point,
Bruce was putting Zoom Records into cold storage and forming
Schoolhouse Management so it became a moot point. As Simple Minds were still
signed to Zoom (on paper), all subsequent singles and albums were released on a 'special' Zoom Arista
- Although as far as Bruce was concerned, it was an Arista album.
- The band refused to demo the album. Or let Arista executives hear work in progress. On the first playback,
it was met with complete silence and the immortal phrase: "Jesus! Where's the Chelsea Girl?."
- Arista lost faith in the band; the album was quietly released in November, and the only
single, Changeling, slipped out in the immediate post-Christmas period. Both failed
- Tenative plans to release Carnival (Shelter In A Suitcase) as a single
were then shelved.
- However, it got far better reviews than Life In A Day. Paul Morley listed it
in his "Top Ten Records Of The Year."
- Unhappy with the artwork for Life In A Day, Arista commissioned
their in-house designer, Paul Henry, to come up with the artwork. The plan backfired spectacularly; not only
did they hate the new, dull blue textured sleeve even more, it turned out to be wildly expensive to produce.
- An inner sleeve was also required to carry track information and production credits.
- The original sleeves were thermographic, featuring a sequence raised bumps and textures. Trying to cut costs,
the second issues were packed in plain card sleeves without the texturing. Virgin, when issuing the album,
have always dodged the issue, packaging the album in a glossy sleeve. Which is always the wrong shade of blue.
- Virgin aquired the rights to the album when they purchased Simple Minds' back catalogue in
1982. Real To Real Cacophony was reissued on the label's full-price range as a
LP (Virgin V 2246) and a MC (Virgin TCV 2246). These
were reprints of the Arista originals although the outer sleeves were now glossy and the wrong shade of blue, and
the labels were Virgin's generic design. The raised bumps were omitted, but the inner sleeve was reproduced.
A further pressing, now without the inner sleeve, was produced in October 1985 anticipating the success of Once Upon A Time
this time on Virgin's budget OVED range.
- Finally, a word to any record company planning a reissue. The title is: Real To Real Cacophony. Not
Reel To Real Cacophony. Nor Real To Reel Cacophony. Or even, the final permutation,
Reel To Reel Cacophony. The album has been repeatedly released with the wrong title. The correct one?
It's Real To Real Cacophony.