"In previous times there would have been a lot of naval gazing
about our place in the great scheme of things, but sometimes you have to
stop analysing and get on with it. That's what we're doing and we've never
felt so energised. We're delighted with this record."
Jim Kerr, February 2009
In 2008 Simple Minds celebrated their past with a weather eye on the future.
Some brief mouse work at YouTube affirms that their sold out 30th Anniversary
stadium tour of the UK and mainland Europe was a roaring success, the Glasgow-formed
band delighting fans with a set that included such bit-hitters as
Alive And Kicking, plus every
track of their 1982 masterpiece New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84).
In reminding us of their pedigree, Simple Minds were tilling the soil
for what would happen next. "We only wanted to shout about our anniversary
on the understanding that hte new reocrd would sound really fresh," says front main
Jim Kerr. We wanted to make a full-blooded record of ballsy pop songs;
somethign that belied the fact we'd been together for three decades."
Graffiti Soul, released May 25th, easily fulfils that mandate.
Indeed, flagship single Rockets, released May 18th, is the icing on
the cake, its unforgettable guitar riff, soaring vocal harmonies and hooky handclaps making for the most
immediate pop nugget Simple Minds have recorded in years. Witness, too, the Spartan
grandeur of Light Travels ("It's great! Just turn up the
acoustic guitar!" counselled pop production legend Trevor Horn), or
the expansive power of Kiss And Fly, a song that proves
Kerr's rich baritone has lost none of its oomph.
Simple Minds' 15th studio album was produced by the band and
Jez Coad and was mixed by Bob Clearmountain
in Santa Monica, California. The songs were written in Rome, Sicily, Antwerp and Glasgow, and the core line-up of
Jim Kerr (vocals),
Charlie Burchill (guitar, keyboards),
Mel Gaynor (drums) and
Eddie Duffy (bass) recorded the material at Rockfield Studios near
"We had to overhaul the band in recent years, and this new record finally ses the full fruit of
that", says Kerr. "From the band itself, to production, to outside
writers we've got a great team now; people who are able to fill the boots of those who brought great things to
Simple Minds in the past." Graffiti Soul
and Simple Minds' ongoing success as a live act serve to underline that the group is anything
but a spent force. More than that, the band that broke America with their 1985 chart-topper
Don't You (Forget About Me) and the attendant
Once Upon A Time album is as hungry and committed as ever.
"If you really love music, you'll come back to it with a passion irrespective of life's twists and
turns", says Kerr. "That's why I hope people get to hear
Graffiti Soul - I think it's got legs."