"The greatest virtue is in helping others for one's own sake and peace of mind as well as theirs. Justice,
goodness of heart, duty, courage, and fidelity to fellow creatures, all qualities worth pursuing on their own." (Sympathea.)
Hardly my words, they date back to ancient times. However on reflection, while recently being interviewed for
Simple Minds remastered Street Fighting Years to be released early next year, it struck that perhaps
some of the ideals behind the songs on Street Fighting Years aspired to that enlightened quote? And what great things to aspire.
Because the alternative is?
14th December 2019
- Work started on the Street Fighting Years project in December 2016 with tapes being transferred from
Universal's archive in London. It was indended be released six months after the
New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) Super Deluxe releases but,
for various reasons, its release stalled.
- The project was resurrected in 2018, and after dusting the master tapes off again, a release date of
September 2019 was pencilled in. This worked out well, as it coincideded with the 30th anniversary of the
- The last half of 2019 saw some reshuffling of releases as Live In The City Of Angels
was brought forward after a pressing plant became available and the 40: Best Of: 1979-2019 compilation
was put together. All formats of the new Street Fighting Years project had already been manufactured, so it was held in various warehouses until
its new release date of March 2020. (This, unfortunately meant that it missed its 30th anniversary year).
- The archive contained a large number of unpublished photos by Guido Harari and some of these were included
in the packaging and booklets.
- The original artwork was based on a pattern published in The Beauty Of Fractals by Peitgen Richter.
Stuart Crouch used the original pattern for the CD labels and based the four CD wallets in the box-set on each
quarter of the pattern.
- Jim announced the project in December 2019, posting a picture of the box, and hinting at its 2020 release.
- Formal press releases and announcements were made in January 2020. All formats (4CD, 2CD, 2LP, CD and digital) were revealed along with the track
listing. As part of the publicity, the full version of Waterfront from the
Verona concert was released.
- The vinyl version was pressed up as a double album. Not only did this improve the sound quality but it also allowed
When Spirits Rise, previously omitted from the vinyl versions of the album, to
be included for the first time. As the original album's packaging was a gatefold, then only minimal changes to the packaging were
- It was the first Super Deluxe issue by Universal not to include a 5:1 Surround Remix or DVD of videos and extras. It was decided, back
in 2014 when these releases were first proposed, that the box-sets would get smaller after "the big three", reflecting the popularity of the
the albums on which they were based.
- There were issues with the Verona part of the release with many fans pointing out that four songs
from the concert
were omitted. This was not a decision made whilst the box-set was put together. The multi-track tapes were mixed down
in 1990, and the four songs -
Wall Of Love,
Once Upon A Time,
Oh Jungleland and
Big Sleep - were left out. This was probably a decision by the band, producer
and/or record company that these songs weren't contenders for the Verona video.
- There was also controversy that no demos, outtakes and alternative versions were included in the set. This was
especially poignant with Street Fighting Years as the
Street Fighting Years Music Book included information about the recording
of the album, including songs which were worked on but never made it. Jim
addressed this issue: "Some of the box sets we put out get a better reaction than others. It's hard to explain,
how can I say this without being patronising... I mean, just because you've put something on a piece of tape,
it doesn't mean to say that it's a demo to go out. There was a few songs in the air there, but they were never part of
Street Fighting Years, they were just something at the time. There'd
be songs that Trevor wasn't involved in or
Steve wasn't involved in... we were working every day. If you were to say
every day equates to a demo for Street Fighting Years... no, it wasn't,
it was just that day's work. And even the fact that people know about those tracks, means that someone nicked them and
someone put them online! Who knows? There's a couple of those songs we might go back to - they're unfinished. There are
songs on our last album, Walk Between Worlds, from an idea that was
more than 25 years old. Finally, we cracked it! So, the idea that you just load [the box set] all up with whatever
was in the air at the time, I don't think so." - Jim, Super Deluxe Edition, February 2020
- Paul Sinclair of SuperDeluxeEdition promoted the box-set with
an exclusive interview with
Jim. He also published a glossy 24-page book which included the full unedited
interview with Jim and an unpublished interview with
Steve Lipson. This small booklet was specially designed to fit in the box-set as
- The band played the song Street Fighting Years at the Annexet, Stockholm, Sweden
on the 6th March 2020 to mark the box set's release.