Life In A Day album
Jim Kerr: Lead Vocals
Charlie Burchill: Lead Guitar; Violin
Mick McNeill: Keyboards
Derek Forbes: Bass and Backing Vocals
Brian McGee: Drums and Backing Vocals
The beginnings of
Simple Minds date back to February 1977 and the forming, in Glasgow, of
Johnny And The Self Abusers.
Brian McGee and
Charlie Burchill were the founding part of that group,
who evolved from being "a living jukebox" (to quote
Jim), into one of Scotland's better and more distinctive new-wave groups.
Abusers were to split over differences on musical direction; a split held back a
little by the release of a
"one-off" single for Chiswick Records. To quote
Jim again, "If it hadn't been for the single, we would have split
up after two months. From July to November (1977) it became apparent that we had nothing in common
with the others apart from wanting to be in a band."
Saints And Sinners c/w
Dead Vandals was issued on the same day that the
Abusers split, and desipte its obvious 1977-ness, the roots of
Simple Minds can be heard there, especially on the flip. And as the final
live date with the
Self Abusers was billed as
Simple Minds, then the changes are perhaps described as an evolution, rather
than something new.
Mick McNeill on keyboards and
Derek Forbes on bass.
Derek had been part of another Glasgow group,
The Subhumans (or Subs), who recorded Gimme Your Heart c/w Party Clothes
for Stiff. A second guitarist came and dropped out.
The first gig with the 'real' group was on
January 17th, 1978, in Glasgow, and for the first few months,
Simple Minds concentrated their work on the west coast of Scotland, slowly
building up both a following and a positive reputation. A residency (at the excellently named Mars Bar)
gave them the security to build up a live set and a stage presence as the group developed the useful, older songs
(such as Wasteland) alongside the new
(Cocteau Twins and
Pleasantly Disturbed for example.)
Their Edinburgh debut, in August '78, was a mixture
of mystery for those who didn't know the band, confirmation for those who did and excitement for both. By now
Murder Story and
Chelsea Girl had appeared in the set, and a
string of excellent live gigs followed. Newer songs such as
Special View and
Life In A Day, gradually appeared as the group's
individuality and distinctiveness took its firm hold.
Simple Minds' music is progressive, a music for the 1980s, both
menacing and exciting and always evolving.
Simple Minds' signed to Zoom Records in December, 1978, and
almost immediately began work on the recording of an
single, produced by
John Leckie, who'd previously worked with
Magazine and Be Bop Deluxe. The album, titled
Life In A Day was completed at the beginning of March and
is set for release on April 13th. A single,
Life In A Day, will be released before then, with
Special View as its flipside, to co-incide with a television appearance on
The Old Grey Whistle Test on March 27th. A
nationwide tour is currently being finalised, with dates streching into May.
This two page Zoom press release was packaged with a black and white promotional
photograph of the band and a photocopy of the
NME's Secondhand Simplicity review. These were housed in a black
paper wallet bearing the Jim Kerr 'Red Eye' logo with
a 'Red Eye' badge (shown below). Some also included a Life In A Day black T-shirt with the "Red-Eye Logo" on the front
and a Zoom Records logo on the back.
There is also a three page Zoom press release from this period. It included the same contents
as the two page version, and featured a bigger horizontal gap between the red Zoom header and the text, so
a third page was required.