news
discography
songs
tours
videos
people
family tree
timeline
press releases
reviews
faq
mailing list
fanzines
site map
links
about
contact

news 2022

archives: news 1995 | news 1996 | news 1997 | news 1998 | news 1999 | news 2000 | news 2001 | news 2002 | news 2003 | news 2004 |
news 2005 | news 2006 | news 2007 | news 2008 | news 2009 | news 2010 | news 2011 | news 2012 | news 2013 | news 2014 |
news 2015 | news 2016 | news 2017 | news 2018 | news 2019 | news 2020 | news 2021 | news 2022
summary: timeline

SIMPLE MINDS

'Act Of Love'
New single released January 17


The year is 2022. The year is 1978.

On January 17, Simple Minds release Act Of Love as a one-off single to mark the anniversary of the band's very first performance - at Glasgow's Satellite City on January 17, 1978.

Mixed by Alan Moulder (Suede, Arctic Monkeys, The Killers), Act Of Love is a vivid reimagining of one of the first songs Jim Kerr and guitarist Charlie Burchill wrote together. It speaks of where Simple Minds have been and where they are heading. Honouring the youthful passion and belief which sparked the band into life, it pulses with the desire which continues to drive Kerr and Burchill to create thrilling new music.

The track is an act of time travel, sweeping across four decades in just a few exhilarating minutes.

Jim Kerr explains: 'Over the years people have asked: When did you think Simple Minds had the potential to make it? My stock answer was always, Oh, we didn't really think about that. But I realise now that I wasn't telling the truth. I believed we had something special as soon as I heard Charlie play the riff on Act Of Love.'

Act Of Love is synonymous with the beginning of the Simple Minds story. It was the first song played at the Satellite City show in January 1978, and the opening track on the demo tape that won the band a record deal later that year. 'I always loved the song,' says Kerr. 'To all intents and purposes, it was the first thing anyone heard of Simple Minds. It became our rallying cry, our banner.'

As Simple Minds established themselves as the hottest property on the Scottish post-punk scene, Act Of Love became a live favourite. 'We believed in it, but would anyone else?' says Kerr. 'It was so great when they did. It was the oxygen we needed to continue.'

Life moved fast back then. By the time Simple Minds recorded their debut album, Life In A Day, early in 1979, the song had 'disappeared into the mist' without ever being properly recorded. 'Through the years, I always wanted to go back to it,' says Kerr. In 1980 the singer recycled the title phrase as the opening line to Celebrate, the electro-blues juggernaut from Simple Minds' extraordinary third album, Empires And Dance. Meanwhile, bootlegs of the 1978 demos ensured that Act Of Love was treasured among diehard fans.

Four decades, numerous hit singles and 60m record sales later, Kerr and Burchill have finally returned to the song. A couple of years ago, while Burchill was in Thailand on a busman's holiday, he sent Kerr the outline of an updated version of the track. 'It was Act Of Love with a new bit, and it sounded great.'

While recording the next Simple Minds album in Hamburg during 2020 and 2021, the follow up to 2018's acclaimed Walk Between Worlds, periodically they returned to Act Of Love. 'We tinkered around with it,' says Kerr. 'When we listened to the original demo, we loved its spirit and its general form, but it sounded like a youth club band song. How could we do that now, adding extra pieces without losing the essence?'

Act Of Love takes the 1978 version to new places. The original rattled along with the youthful energy one would expect from fans of The Velvet Underground, Magazine and Roxy Music. In 2022, the killer riff and chorus melody remain, bolstered by pulsing synths and a surging new section in which Kerr sings poignantly to his younger self: 'A born believer / Head full of plans / Got nothing to lose / So much to reveal.'

'I was thinking about the excitement of what we were setting out to do. We would rehearse in the afternoon in a derelict building in the Gorbals and I'd walk past Govanhill Library, thinking about the idea of the muse: a voice within that will appear and provide inspiration. That's what the song was about originally. Now I'm looking back, reflecting on how the belief was real. When Charlie played that riff, it made me think we could do this. From that belief becomes your attitude, your body language, the whole culture of the band.'

A bridge between Simple Minds' glittering past and still-evolving future, Act Of Love is a reassertion of faith. The song has again become a 'rallying cry', this time for fans who have waited two years for the group to re-commence their world tour. Curtailed in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic, it is due to start again in the spring.

'What a thing: merging the very first Simple Minds song and where we are now,' says Kerr. 'There's a story there. I think we've managed to tell it well.'

Act Of Love is released via BMG on January 17


Simple Minds 2022 UK Tour Dates

31 MarchThe SSE Arena Wembley, London
01 April International Centre, Bournemouth
03 April Brighton Centre
05 April P&J Live, Aberdeen
06 April OVO Hydro, Glasgow
07 April Resorts World Arena, Birmingham
09 April First Direct Arena, Leeds
10 April Utilita Arena, Newcastle
12 April Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham
14 April Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
15 April Bonus Arena, Hull
16 April M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool
18 June Nocturne Live, Blenheim Palace
09 August Custon House Square, Belfast
12 August Summer Sessions, Edinburgh
13 August Summer Sessions, Edinburgh



JK: However, we'd written these songs, one of which was called Pleasantly Disturbed which - and I can say this, because I'm talking musically more than lyrically so I'm not being big headed - but I thought it was a master piece that Charlie had written. He'd really come up with something there. So I knew we had a great end to the set but I wasn't quite sure about the 25 minutes previously. However, a couple of days before the gig, Charlie came up with this riff for a song called Act Of Love and just hearing it coming out of the amplifier for the first time, I just thought "I think we're going to be OK here. I think this is going to work." But it's not until you walk on stage, to the sound of your own feet, and welcomed with two hand claps...

Interview with Billy Sloan
BBC Radio Scotland
2nd November 2019


'Over the years people have asked: When did you think Simple Minds had the potential to make it? My stock answer was always, Oh, we didn't really think about that. But I realise now that I wasn't telling the truth. I believed we had something special as soon as I heard Charlie play the riff on Act Of Love.' - Jim.

Act Of Love was one of the first songs written for the first post-Abusers line-up of Simple Minds. It was written by Charlie's in early January 1978, a couple of days before the band's first gig at Satellite City. It was completely dominated by one of Charlie’s distinctive guitar riffs, which drove the entire song, and underpinned the verses and its limited choruses. It opened their first gig at Satellite City, therefore becoming the first ever song played by the fledgling group.

Unfortunately no recordings of Act Of Love by the all-guitar early line-up of Simple Minds exist. By the time it was demoed in May 1978, both Mick MacNeil and Derek Forbes had joined the group, adding their own signature parts to the track’s basic sound. Their limited time with the band showed, particularly with MacNeil's arrangement, which was just a staccato single-note for the versus, and a straightforward follow of the melody for the choruses.



The unofficial recording from the Mars Bar in July 1978 revealed how much the song had evolved. Not only were MacNeil and Forbes filling out its simplistic structure with more elaborate lines, but a police siren was added to parts of the song, adding to its urgent, hurried progression. Whether this was prompted by, or prompted, the use of a blue police light in a translucent head which spun around as an early, primitive light show is unknown.

The song's gradual relegation through the set-list during the rest of 1978 suggested it was slowly falling from grace. From pole-position in January 1978, it had dropped back to mid-set by July 1978, and had disappeared from the ranks altogether by the winter. By the time of the recording of Life In A Day, it was either forgotten or dropped. Tape box logs from the album sessions reveal that Act Of Love was never officially recorded.

It was formally officially released on the The Early Years 1977-78 CD in March 1998. Questions over legalities, especially the financing of demo tape, saw the CD being swiftly withdrawn.

It wasn't entirely forgotten however. One possibly extremely oblique reference was found in the run-out groove of Lostboy's debut album where an extremely knowledgeable engineer wrote 'ACT OF LOVE' in the run-out. Alternatively, it could've been a nod to the first line of Celebrate. But given Lostboy's reference to early Simple Minds, especially by covering such rarities as Someone and New Warm Skin, then the etching was probably a homage to this song.

And Jim, probably searching as far back as possible, namechecked Act of Love in a Walk Between Worlds interview, suggesting it had early potential and could be reworked and recorded in the future. This was in response to some criticism of using ideas and shelved demos from older albums for new releases - in doing so, Jim probably picked the oldest bona-fide Simple Minds song he could think of.


"Two nights ago Charlie and I were coming back from a radio interview we did in London. In the car, we started talking about the first gig we ever did which was forty years ago last week. And we spoke about a song we opened the set with. It was a song called, Act Of Love - it never made it onto an album. But a light bulb went on in our heads, and we thought "That was an amazing riff. We should go back to that." And we really can't wait to go back to it. That song could be the record breaker that could turn up forty-two years later on an album if we sort it out. You're right some songs do have a long gestation period, but that doesn't mean that they are old songs - it just means that they are works in progress."

Jim Kerr interviewed by Mark Millar
xsnoize.com
31st January 2018


One of the ideas for memorabilia to be included with the Heart Of The Crowd book was a one-sided 7" featuring a newly recorded version of the song. Unfortunately the concept was dropped; either it was rejected out-of-hand or the COVID-19 pandemic made it too logistically difficult to record.

But the genie was out of the bottle, and the long-forgotten song, which Jim had always wanted to return to, wouldn't leave them alone. While recording the next Simple Minds album in Hamburg during 2020 and 2021, they periodically returned to the song. 'We tinkered around with it,' says Jim. 'When we listened to the original demo, we loved its spirit and its general form, but it sounded like a youth club band song. How could we do that now, adding extra pieces without losing the essence?'

It was finally nailed by Charlie on a holiday in Thailand. He sent Jim the outline of an updated version of the track. 'It was Act Of Love with a new bit, and it sounded great.' It was recorded during the album sessions in Hamburg in November 2021 and released in January 2022 as the band's first post-COVID single, and promotion for the resumption of the 40: Best Of tour.




A new live music initiative is coming to BBC Radio 2 in February with the launch of Piano Room Month.

Twenty artists will perform accompanied by the BBC Concert Orchestra live from London's BBC Maida Vale studios. The gigs will be broadcast live in Ken Bruce's Radio 2 show from Monday 31st January to Friday 25th February.

Each artist will perform three tracks - a new song, a classic, and a cover - with members of the BBC Concert Orchestra accompanying alongside them.

Following the live shows, each performance will be available to watch live on BBC iPlayer then on demand from 6pm that day and available for 30 days afterwards.

In addition to the live broadcasts, an hour-long special will be broadcast on Radio 2 each Sunday (7-8pm) featuring highlights from the previous week's performances (Sunday 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th February).

Jeff Smith, Radio 2's Head of Music, said: "At Radio 2 we pride ourselves on providing our music-loving listeners with the widest range of songs and live music to be heard anywhere on UK radio.

"We worked hard to offer incredible performances to our audience throughout the past two years, and I'm thrilled to bring 20 live sessions to each of Ken's weekday shows next month.

"I'd like to thank all of the artists, most of whom will be performing their first live session of 2022, as well as the BBC Concert Orchestra, who have been busy rehearsing a vast range of different songs. Tune in live, watch them all on BBC iPlayer or listen on BBC Sounds."

Ken Bruce said: "I predict cold, rain and possibly even a smattering of snow this February, so what better remedy than to sit back with a warm brew and join me and some of the finest musicians in the world for Radio 2's Piano Room Month."

The artists performing are:

Monday 31st January: David Gray
Tuesday 1st February: Jack Savoretti
Wednesday 2nd February: Stereophonics
Thursday 3rd February: Anne-Marie
Friday 4th February: Katie Melua
Monday 7th February: Clean Bandit
Tuesday 8th February: Joy Crookes
Wednesday 9th February: Will Young - performing on the anniversary of him winning Pop Idol in 2002
Thursday 10th February: Rebecca Ferguson
Friday 11st February: Tom Odell
Monday 14th February: James Morrison
Tuesday 15th February: Ella Henderson
Wednesday 16th February: Craig David
Thursday 17th February: Natalie Imbruglia
Friday 18th February: James Blunt
Monday 21st February: Tears For Fears
Tuesday 22nd February: Simple Minds
Wednesday 23rd February: Emeli Sande
Thursday 24th February: Jamie Cullum (pre-recorded)
Friday 25th February: Ed Sheeran (pre-recorded)

Bill Chandler, Director BBC Concert Orchestra, says: "The BBC Concert Orchestra takes great pride in its Radio 2 home and is excited to collaborate with such a range of world-class musicians for its Piano Room Month.

"As the UK's most versatile orchestra, we're thrilled to help bring these extra-special live performances to audiences across the month of February."

Given the ongoing situation with Covid, please note that artists are subject to change at short notice.

THEMES FOR GREAT CITIES

A New History of Simple Minds

Graeme Thomson


27th January 2022 - hardback/eBook - £20.00


"Graeme Thomson's will be the definitive biography of this most mercurial of bands. Thomson knows how to take it apart - without demystifying the mystery, he gives us the art school band that never had an art school, but went instead on an endless adventure and took a bit of all of us with them." - Alan Warner

"They did wonders." - Bobby Gillespie


An illuminating new biography of one of Britain's biggest and most influential bands, written with the full input and cooperation of Simple Minds, shedding new light on their dazzling art-rock legacy.

Emerging in 1978 from Glasgow's post-punk scene, Simple Minds transitioned from restless art-rock to electro Futurism, mutated into passionate pop contenders and, finally, a global rock behemoth. They have sold in the region of 60 million records and remain a worldwide phenomenon. The drama of their tale lies in these transformations and triumphs, conflicts and contradictions.

Themes For Great Cities features in-depth new interviews with original band members Jim Kerr, Charlie Burchill, Mick MacNeil and Derek Forbes, alongside key figures from within their creative community and high-profile fans such as Bobby Gillespie, James Dean Bradfield and Mogwai's Stuart Braithwaite. The book reclaims and revivifies the magnificence of Simple Minds' pioneering early albums, from the glitchy Euro-ambience of Real To Real Cacophony and Empires And Dance to the pulsing, agitated romance of Sons And Fascination, New Gold Dream and beyond.

Themes For Great Cities tells the inside story of a band becoming a band. Inspiring, insightful and enlightening, it celebrates the trailblazing music of one of Brtain's greatest groups.

Graeme Thomson is the author of several acclaimed music books, including Under The Ivy: The Life & Music of Kate Bush, described by The Irish Times as 'the best music biography in perhaps the past decade', and Cowboy Song, the authorised biography of Philip Lynott, published by Constable in 2016. In 2020, Small Hours: The Long Night of John Martyn was a Book of the Year in the Sunday Times, Financial Times, Telegraph, Evening Standard and MOJO. Graeme is pop columnist for the Spectator and writes on music, literature and popular culture for a number of publications, including the Guardian, Radio Times, Uncut and Pitchfork.




On the subject of press releases, I've now uploaded press releases for the Empires And Dance era. This includes three press releases for the album along with a press release for I Travel.

They've revealed new details about these releases which I've yet to add to the discography.

Namely the tour with Peter Gabriel brought the release date of Empires And Dance back to the 12th September, with Arista offering the first 10,000 copies at £3.99 as an extra incentive. (Which explains the stickers on some copies of the album).

Also that I Travel was issued to promote the UK leg of the tour. This means it was released in October 1980, not September 1980, as published in previous discographies. This is confirmed by the Universal Tape Library as masters were not prepared for its release until the start of September - with a month's lead time.

The discography will be updated with this new information when I next update.


archives: news 1995 | news 1996 | news 1997 | news 1998 | news 1999 | news 2000 | news 2001 | news 2002 | news 2003 | news 2004 |
news 2005 | news 2006 | news 2007 | news 2008 | news 2009 | news 2010 | news 2011 | news 2012 | news 2013 | news 2014 |
news 2015 | news 2016 | news 2017 | news 2018 | news 2019 | news 2020 | news 2021 | news 2022
summary: timeline