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Graffiti Soul

"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 Monmouth, Wales.

"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."

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