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big music


composers
Written by: Kerr / Burchill / Gillespie


publisher
JKMC-Bucks Music Group Ltd / Hornall Brothers Music Ltd / Copyright Control


background
"This track had been around for a long time but we couldn't really make it work. After re-visiting it we went loud and proud on it with it becoming the album title track." - Charlie, 24th March 2015

Big Music was one of the oldest songs selected for the album and also one of the last to be recorded.

The original riff was developed during the Black And White 050505 sessions but the band found it difficult to develop so it was shelved. Simon Hayward rediscovered the shelved instrumental recording in 2013 and badgered Jim about it. Therefore in the final days of recording at Grouse Lodge in Ireland, Jim suggested Charlie and Andy should work on it - whilst he went to a Prince concert.

The eureka moment was inspired at that Prince concert in Switzerland in 2013 where Jim became frustrated when Prince resolutely avoided any of his mainstream hits, deciding to devote the evening's entertainment to a continuous series of funky jamming. "Why doesn't he play any of the big music? - and so the lyric was found.

The song was debuted at The Hydro, Glasgow.

MH: So, that's a big song, big title. So, I know you like these challenges, and are not scared of them but, so the song lives up to the title of the song?
JK: The song really does live up to the title. Sometimes I think: what inspired what? I went to see Prince this year, and I saw him at a particular show in Switzerland, Montrose Jazz Fest, and of course he's Prince, he's amazing, but it was one of those ones where he never played anything anyone knew [laughs] and it's all these funky jams and stuff. The band were amazing, and he was amazing, but I was a bit miffed. And I'm standing thinking "Give me the stuff" just give me it. In fact, I was peeved – I won't use the other word. And the next day on the plane, flying back to the studio in Ireland, I had the music for Big Music and I thought all that frustration came out in the song: "Give me the music, give me the groove, give me the sentiment, give me the feeling." You know, jams are good but you need to deliver and so lo-and-behold...
MH: Big Music.
JK: And Andy Gillispie was playing around on a melody that Charlie Burchill had worked on a long time ago and we just couldn't find a lyric and there it was! And so this Big Music – I think if you've got a title like that, it already tells you what the song's going to sound like. Hopefully it'll live up to the expectations people may have after listening to me rave about it.

...

MH: So is this a Kerr/Burchill title?
JK: It is indeed. The melody's ten years old and it had been lost in the midst of time. We were frustrated way back then because we always thought it was a great melody but I guess we weren't quite sure where to take it next. And there's many ideas, they go on the back burner and sometimes when it's meant to be, it's meant to be. It was actually Simon Hayward who works with us on our Electrosets and stuff, he started badgering me about it: "There's this tune and you have to do it. It's so good.” And so as we were coming to the last stage of the recordings, we were doing in Dublin, I brought it up again to Charlie and Andy Gilliespie who was in the room at the time and we put it on and the melody was startlingly good and we thought it would be great if we could crack this.
JK: It's amazing sometimes. You put in the work and sometimes it adds up and sometimes you're disappointed but rarely does anything go to waste if it's that good, it usually announces itself in some way at some point later on in the future.

Jim Kerr and Martin Hanlin
17th November 2013

JK: "We have a new song called Big Music. And it was written about venues like this, playing our music to people like you. Hydro gig." - Footage from the Celebrate: Live At The SSE Hydro DVD

JK: "The title track itself, Big Music, which is another Andy collaboration – Andy and Charlie – but this time the track goes back to... I think the music's almost ten years old – or the riff is. It was always good but I could never quite come up with a lyric I felt was good enough."

AG: "And we were working on it in Ireland – just the three of us actually. And I came up with some synth stuff and we pushed and pulled it around quite a bit – I'd been working on the track before with Charlie."

JK: "I'd got a weekend off that I was really looking forward to – in fact I went to see Prince play in Monteux. Meanwhile Andy was left working on the music and I said 'By the time I come back, I'll have a lyric. I'm sure about it.' I don't know where I got the confidence from but I'll thought go and see Prince and I've have an amazing time. So I went to see Prince and he's Prince and he's great but I was very frustrated because he never played any of the songs that I wanted him to play. I know the feeling quite a lot – people come to see Simple Minds and say 'Well you never played this or played that' but Prince literally never played any of the songs I wanted to hear. And I was enraged – I was furious. I could understand the artistic side of it but as a punter... I remember standing during the gig and just thinking 'Give me the music. Give me the songs. Give me these songs that make me feel ecstatic. Give me these songs that change my world.' Because Prince is one of these artists that indeed could lay claim to that."

JK: "Anyway, by the time I got back to Ireland, I'd scribbled all these lines listening to the backing track of what became Big Music."

AG: "He went in and he'd basically cut his lyrics and the vocal in one take. It was fairly obvious that there was something special happening there."

JK: "And I was quite happy by midnight on the day back that we'd nailed a lyric and a tune that finally seemed to match and go together well. And really it's just about a passion for music, for playing music, for listening to music and in our case, growing up in within this life of music."

Band Interviews
Big Music Deluxe DVD


MH: So Martin Hanlin here with Jim Kerr of Simple Minds on KX 93.5. Playing the tracks from the great new album from Simple Minds called Big Music. And we're at the track Big Music. And I remember discussing this –actually on this radio station – with you. I think it was the first time that you indicated that you were going to do this track as part of your live DVD. So can you explain the whole philosophy behind Big Music and why you called the album Big Music?
JK: Ironically while I've been at pains to some people of what I've been talking about over the last few months to express is that the "big music" that we refer to in the album title is not "Big" as in "bombastic big" – although having said that the title track itself is probably the most bombastic. But it's more about a celebration of music – a celebration of the fact that after all these years of listening to music, of buying music, of dreaming about music, and then gravitating to writing our own music and performing our own music, of more than forty years of listening to music, nearly forty years of writing it, creating it, and playing it, there's still nothing that manages to do – to me – what music does in terms of the way it lifts me up, the way it consoles me, the way that it gives me courage, the way that its helps me despair... all that stuff, that's what we get from music, this still mysterious thing, we don't know why or how but we just know that it does.
JK: And the track itself is really about that celebration although it's a pretty funny story about how it came about as a song because the music itself is over a decade old but I remember Charlie and I working on it in Sicily – the main theme of the song – but there was something missing that we couldn't quite work out what it was. I certainly couldn't find a lyric that I felt was really compatible with it – we'd keep getting excited about the idea, it would come up every couple of years, and we'd get excited but we couldn't quite crack it so we'd put it on the back burner. You know it would get lost in the midst of all the other ideas and stuff.
JK: But, anyway, as the recording was coming to a close, one of the guys who works with us, you know him well, Simon Hayward – Simon just goes through all our Simple Minds stuff, he's like our chronicler now, he's a bit like our great librarian – he's found all the lost tapes, he knows where the bodies are buried [laughs] – he said "Look there's this track. You've got to do it." I said "What it is." He said "It's this one." And I said "Not that!" and he said "Yes, it's dynamite. You've got to work it" and – you know what – he is right, we should really try one more time. I said it with a sigh but I went back to Charlie and Andy in Ireland and I said there was one more weekend and I said "Do you remember this one?" and Charlie was like "Oh God, that" and I said "People are hearing it and thinking it's great and we should maybe give it one more go and put our whips into it this last weekend and see if we can make something" and Andy said "Yeah, alright" and Charlie said "Yeah, alright" and I said is "The thing is I've got to go to Switzerland to see Prince. Well, you do it" and it'd been organised with my friend, and it'd been organised for months, it was her birthday and all that, and I said I would go and I couldn't get out of it and I didn't want to get out of it either but it wasn't the best time – I didn't like heading off but I said "Look. See if you can find the missing musical piece in the next twenty four hours. And if you do, send me the MP3, and I'll listen to it and see what I make of it - see if I can find a lyric to match."
JK: Well, lo and behold, they did work on it, they found a piece of music, they sent it to me, I got it about half an hour before I was going to see Prince. I was standing there at the hotel with an amazing view feeling great and I got the track with the new piece and I thought "This is fantastic." I thought "I've got to get a lyric to this and I've only got about twenty four hours to get it." Anyway I toddle off to see Prince and it was one of those nights where Prince decided that he was not going to play anything that anyone knows – or certainly I didn't know and I'm a huge fan. I think he got carried away with the fact that he was in Monteux during the Jazz Festival – it was a set of bass solos and funky jams and stuff and quite frankly it was the pits. And I didn't enjoy it at all – and I started to get angry – I started to get into a rage. And it was like I was having this conversation with myself. I was – I won't use the expletives but I was "Give me the music, give me the tunes, give me the songs, give me the stuff that makes our hearts swoon, give us..." and lo and behold that became the lyrics.
JK: The next day on the plane I wrote this song. "Give us the songs that make me romantic, give us the songs that make me ecstatic, give me the songs that keep the world turning, give me the words I'm still learning" and the frustration of – and I'm not criticising Prince – it's not like I wrote this song in anger at Prince but it just was the catalyst to me thinking "God, music still means this much to me."
MH: So talking about music meaning this much to you, we've talked about this before, who for you – even if it's just a short list – makes the big music for you, that makes the big music for Jim Kerr?
JK: It would have to include the greats: the Van Morrisons, the Jim Morrisons, the David Bowies, the Lou Reeds – he only passed away last year and I think I listened to more in a year than I have since 1975 – we call it big music, it could be called deep music – but I was listening the other day – they're a band from your side of the pond to War On Drugs they make the big music.
MH: Last week I played a few tracks from the Berlin album. I meant to only play one from the Berlin album – Lou Reed – and it just runs into another and I just had to let it go. So I'm going to play a track from Big Music by Simple Minds and the track is called Big Music.

Martin Hanlin
The Real McCoy
KX 93.5




lyrics
You can search through time with your fantasies,
But still you will not find the secret how to play Big Music.



discography
Live Version (27th November 2013) (4:14)
Recorded: SSE Hydro, Glasgow, UK
Mixed By Olivier Gerard
Sound Engineer: Rudy Coclet
Mastered By Alan Ward

Live EP Celebrate - Live At The SSE Hydro Deluxe CD Celebrate - Live At The SSE Hydro CD Celebrate - Live At The SSE Hydro Limited Edition 2XLP Celebrate - Live At The SSE Hydro Limited Edition 2XLP

Live Version (9th June 2014) (4:29)
Recorded: KulturPur Festival, Hilchenbach, Germany
Mixed By Bleecker Street

Simple Minds Live Generic USB

Live Version (11th July 2014) (4:31)
Recorded: Kunst!Rasen, Bonn, Germany
Mixed By Bleecker Street

Simple Minds Live Generic USB

Live Version (24th July 2014) (4:25)
Recorded: Teatro Antico, Taormina, Sicily
Mixed By Bleecker Street

Simple Minds Live Generic USB

Live Version (26th July 2014) (4:26)
Recorded: Banchina San Domenico, Molfetta, Italy
Mixed By Bleecker Street

Simple Minds Live Generic USB

Live Version (27th July 2014) (4:14)
Recorded: The Cavea, Rome, Italy
Mixed By Bleecker Street

Simple Minds Live Generic USB

Live Version (28th July 2014) (3:07)
Recorded: Piazza Castello, Ferrara, Italy
Mixed By Bleecker Street

Simple Minds Live Generic USB

Live Version (29th July 2014) (4:18)
Recorded: Arena Alpe Adria, Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy
Mixed By Bleecker Street

Simple Minds Live Generic USB

Live Version (30th July 2014) (4:18)
Recorded: Gru Village, Turin, Italy
Mixed By Bleecker Street

Simple Minds Live Generic USB

Album Version (4:12)
Produced by Andy Wright, Gavin Goldberg and Simple Minds
Mixed by Gavin Goldberg
Assisted by Lewis Chapman
Additioanl Programming by Andy Gillispie
Acoustic Guitar by Gavin Goldberg
Backing Vocals by Sarah Brown and Clinton Outten AKA Roachie

Big Music Promo CD Big Music Promo CD Big Music French Promo CD Big Music French Promo CDs Big Music Hungrian Promo CD Big Music CD Big Music Limited Edition Deluxe CD Big Music Limited Edition LP
Live Version (February-May 2015) (3:07)
Recorded: Big Music Tour 2015
Recorded By: Olivier Gerard
Mixed By: Olivier Gerard at Jet Studios

Live Big Music Tour 2015 Live Big Music Tour 2015

Johnson Somerset Remix (11:05)
Produced by Andy Wright, Gavin Goldberg and Simple Minds
Mixed by Gavin Goldberg
Assisted by Lewis Chapman
Additioanl Programming by Andy Gillispie
Acoustic Guitar by Gavin Goldberg
Backing Vocals by Sarah Brown and Clinton Outten AKA Roachie
Remixed by Johnson Somerset

Big Music Johnson Somerset Remixes Promo CD Big Music Johnson Somerset Remixes Dutch Promo CD



videography
Live Version (27th November 2013) (4:14)
Recorded: Hydro, Glasgow, UK
Mixing: Olivier Gerard (GG) at Jet Studios, Brussels
Sound Engineer: Rudy Coclet

Celebrate - Live At The SSE Hydro Deluxe DVD Celebrate - Live At The SSE Hydro DVD Celebrate - Live At The SSE Hydro Blu-Ray

Live Version (7th April 2015) (3:19)
Recorded: Usher Hall, Edinburgh, UK


Big Music YouTube

Johnson Somerset Remix (11:05)
Produced by Andy Wright, Gavin Goldberg and Simple Minds
Mixed by Gavin Goldberg
Assisted by Lewis Chapman
Additioanl Programming by Andy Gillispie
Acoustic Guitar by Gavin Goldberg
Backing Vocals by Sarah Brown and Clinton Outten AKA Roachie
Remixed by Johnson Somerset

Big Music Remix promo video



downloads
Live Version (9th June 2014) (4:29)
Recorded: KulturPur Festival, Hilchenbach, Germany
Mixed By Bleecker Street

Simple Minds Live Generic USB

Live Version (11th July 2014) (4:31)
Recorded: Kunst!Rasen, Bonn, Germany
Mixed By Bleecker Street

Simple Minds Live Generic USB

Live Version (24th July 2014) (4:25)
Recorded: Teatro Antico, Taormina, Sicily
Mixed By Bleecker Street

Simple Minds Live Generic USB

Live Version (26th July 2014) (4:26)
Recorded: Banchina San Domenico, Molfetta, Italy
Mixed By Bleecker Street

Simple Minds Live Generic USB

Live Version (27th July 2014) (4:14)
Recorded: The Cavea, Rome, Italy
Mixed By Bleecker Street

Simple Minds Live Generic USB

Live Version (28th July 2014) (?:??)
Recorded: Piazza Castello, Ferrara, Italy
Mixed By Bleecker Street

Simple Minds Live Generic USB

Live Version (29th July 2014) (4:18)
Recorded: Arena Alpe Adria, Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy
Mixed By Bleecker Street

Simple Minds Live Generic USB

Live Version (30th July 2014) (4:18)
Recorded: Gru Village, Turin, Italy
Mixed By Bleecker Street

Simple Minds Live Generic USB

Johnson Somerset Remix (11:05)
Produced by Andy Wright, Gavin Goldberg and Simple Minds
Mixed by Gavin Goldberg
Assisted by Lewis Chapman
Additioanl Programming by Andy Gillispie
Acoustic Guitar by Gavin Goldberg
Backing Vocals by Sarah Brown and Clinton Outten AKA Roachie
Remixed by Johnson Somerset

Big Music Johnson Somerset Remixes Downloads



live history
South Africa / Europe: 2013
Greatest Hits + European Tour: 2014
Greatest Hits + Summer Tour: 2014
Big Music European Tour: 2015
Big Music Winter Tour: 2015
Big Music Western Asia: 2016