Written by: Parker / Kerr / Burchill
Copyright Control / JKMC-Bucks Music Group Ltd / Hornall Music
This track was one of several new songs which was prepared for the UK leg of the
Lostboy! ElectroSet Tour 2010.
It was again mentioned by Jim on the 17th February 2014.
"New tunes - best live songs? Light Travels was played
for the second time in the last three days. With this new arrangement it could perhaps become one
of our best live songs. Similarly, Big Music and brand new
tunes Human, Midnight Walking,
Sprited Away, are all due to start featuring in the live set. We
need to start airing them now in order to have them sounding great for the
planned summer shows."
MH: This is Martin Hanlin, KX 93.5FM, Laguna Beach, California talking to
Mr. James Kerr who's back in Glasgow and we're working through the tracks of
Big Music and we're looking at the vinyl – this is what I've got in my hand and it's
a beautiful piece of work and the last track on here is another track who'd co-written with
Owen Parker and it's called Spirited Away, a beautiful,
really beautiful track that just takes your imagination and film theme music.
JK: I was in London and Owen sent me it on a Tuesday evening and I called him
back later on that evening and I'd written it and I said "Meet me tomorrow somewhere and we'll stick a vocal on this and see what you think"
so I remember in the room was me, him and a little guy called Jim who works for Paolo Nutini -
MH: Jim Duguid I think it is -
JK: There you go. Jim Duguid. We just knew it was rather special. What was special about it was I don't
think I'd ever done something so conversationally. I'm really talking my way through most of the track. But this is where we've been
really lucky because we've worked with some of the greatest producers ever – and even our secondary producers, the non-legendary ones
in terms of reputation, are still great – we've worked with some of the best guys. Andy Wright
who worked with us, had lots of talents, what he did quite a few times with me was say "I'll see your second verse now" and I'm a well
seasoned song writer having written hundreds of songs – he'd go "I'll see your second verse now" and he'll go "It's your first verse."
And I'll go "No, no, no" and he'll go "No, it is" and he'll go "If you open with "I'm not a complicated guy. I like things simple as can
be" we're there, we're just there, you set the scene." And I was kind of resistant just because the way I heard it out of habit, it
was working everyone liked it, why would I change it? And he went "No, no, no. This is it."
JK: He also did it with Midnight Walking. At the end we had this bit
"All these people, all these lonely people" and he brought that into the first verse as well and it was a great insight. But I think on
Spirited Away it sounds like ships in the night where ships are passing and we know
there's something special between us but we know it's never going to get to come to fruition. But it's a beautiful little fairy tale song.
JK: The great thing about it is Owen wrote it and I did the words but in the end
it was Charlie Burchill's little guitar flourishes that just kind of sealed the deal. However, trying
to get Charlie on it was impossible – I don't know why he was resisting, we had a million things
to do and he was like "Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever. Soon. Whatever." But the door was closing, the studio clock was moving, and I thought
"We're never going to get this done" and I had to tell him a white lie to get him on it, and as soon as he got on it, it was done. A lot
of people know it is Charlie's favourite song on the album even though he wouldn't go on it to begin
JK: And the other day we were doing the set-list for the album – for the tour rather – and by mistake I had omitted – because
it sounds amazing live, there's not a dry eye, we've got these hardened roadies standing behind us and they're all kind of sniffling
when the song ends – and I forgot to put it in and Charlie was like "Where's Spirited Away?"
I thought there was going to be a fight or something and I was like "We're gonna do it. Calm down!" And he said
"How can you forget about it? It's the best song on the album!" And I was like "Yeah, and you wouldn't even play on it mate!"
[Laughs] But that's the way it goes sometimes.
MH: Yeah, there's Jim Kerr time and there's
Charlie Burchill time and I must give you a lot of credit because
Jim Kerr time moves very fast and is very creative and
Charlie's just like "Hmmmmm, let me think about it" and both of us were sat and thought
"How do we get Charlie involved" and then one day he just gets involved and he puts this
thing on it and it just makes it Simple Minds and it just captures the moment.
JK: Yeah, he did. As much as you and I were talking about Honest Town,
it was right there and all that – and as a song it was from the very first time we did it in Iain's
basement – but when you listen to the record and Charlie comes in with that riff it's like,
it is another thing. And it really just seals the deal. I don't mean it minorly seals the deal, it just not only puts the ball in the net,
it bursts the net.
MH: So thanks to Charlie Burchill for making it happen. This is
Spirited Away, track number twelve, a beautiful version from the vinyl version of
Simple Minds' Big Music. Written by
Owen Parker, Jim Kerr and
Charlie Burchill. It's Spirited Away.
The Real McCoy
The live version of the song was a much slower arrangement. It wasn't included on
Big Music Live 2015 as the band felt it needed more
I'm not a complicated guy,
I like things simple as can be.
But there is so much I don't understand,
So much I fail to see.
Album Version (4:08)
Produced by Andy Wright, Gavin Goldberg and Simple Minds
Mixed by Gavin Goldberg
Assisted by Lewis Chapman
Original Production Of Spirited Away by Owen Parker
Additional Programming, Guitars And Backing Vocals by Owen Parker
Backing Vocals by Clinton Outten AKA Roachie