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chelsea girl


composers
Written by: Kerr / Burchill


publisher
© EMI Music Publishing Limited: (1979 - 2007)
© JKMC-Bucks Music Group Ltd / Hornall Music: (2008 - 2014)
© BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd: (2015 -)


background
Not connected musically with Nico's Chelsea Girls, Jim used the title as it had atmosphere.

It was based on a Jean Shrimpton character.

The riff was stolen from a Lou Reed song called Temporary Thing (Rock And Roll Heart, Arista, 1976).

"If the Boomtown Rats had recorded it, it would definitely have become a number one hit" - Bob Geldof.

A live favourite from 1978, it originally clocked in at over six minutes, featuring extra verses and breaks. This was the version recorded for the band's second demo tape.

It was during the recording of the demo, that someone stole Derek Forbes' guitar. He was planning on leaving Simple Minds to play lead guitar elsewhere, but after the theft, asked to stay on as bass player.

It was recorded for their first album and considered the best song for a single. But Life In A Day was first issued to whet the appetite before Chelsea Girl was issued. Great things were expected of it, but it sunk without a trace.

John Leckie tried to extend the track for a proposed 12" release. He eventually admitted defeat, feeling the song was in a perfect arrangement already.

It became a live favourite, being featured during all their gigs in 1979.

"Promised You a Miracle was our first true pop hit, but Chelsea Girl from our debut album was in my opinion the first really good pop song that both Charlie and I wrote. Again, I recall clearly it coming together in an instant." - Jim.

"It was a rainy March afternoon in April’78 in fact and we were in my parent’s front room with only Charlie’s acoustic guitar as a tool. We needed a killer "sing-along" to plop into the middle of our burgeoning live set, something that an audience could grasp and come in on with us from the first hearing. This was "a trick" I observed Steve Harley doing during Cockney Rebel's period of fame, when I saw them perform a handful of times, and we in turn rather ambitiously wanted to emulate some of the spirit of the Harley shows."

"The fact that he was playing Wembley Arena type shows while we were playing the basement of a beer cellar in Shawlands, Glasgow, somehow never managed to deter us from our desired effect, and Chelsea Girl was constructed and put together especially to be our big throw of the dice. This was the song that we wanted, the one we needed, the call out to anyone listening with a message intact that said we were not content to be another run of the mill punk outfit with dreams no bigger than securing a mention on the John Peel show!"

"Did it work? You bet it did, and right off the bat too. We were inundated in fact with requests to play it sometimes two or three times a night. The confidence it gave us was remarkable and the audience more than joined in on it also. Especially during the break down where Brian McGee does a great job." - Jim.

The song was dramatically rearranged for the Alive And Kicking Tour of 2003. The melody was gently toned down; gone was the accusatory questioning of the original, now replaced by a melancholy acceptance.




lyrics
And now the sound of time is getting fast,
It's getting late,
Don't know if I can take much more.
The way you talk I often wondered,
If I heard the words somewhere,
Someplace before.
I got so nervous when I called,
And found that lately,
You had gone and changed your name.
But I've got something on my mind,
I want you here,
I want you now,
You better explain.

Is it true you're running round?
Now is it true they're calling you the Chelsea Girl?
Is it true you're running round?
Now is it true they're calling you the Chelsea Girl?

Your best friend never calls you up,
But you don't mind,
'Cause lately things are all the same.
Ain't it strange how people always seem,
To know your face,
But just don't know your name?
Well I don't care there's no-one there,
That even turn around and say get out of this place.
Last night I saw a shooting star,
When morning comes,
She hides away,
A real disgrace.

Is it true you're running round?
Now is it true they're calling you the Chelsea Girl?
Is it true you're running round?
Now is it true they're calling you the Chelsea Girl?

Oh Chelsea Girl,
You got me caught up in a whirl,
I want you here now Chelsea Girl.



discography
Edit (3:55)
Producer: John Leckie
Engineer: John Leckie
Arrangement: Simple Minds/John Leckie

Chelsea Girl 7" promotional single Chelsea Girl 7" Irish single Celebrate: The Greatest Hits + Promo CD Celebrate: The Greatest Hits + Promo CD Celebrate: The Greatest Hits + 2CD Celebrate: The Greatest Hits + 3CD Celebrate: The Greatest Hits + Australian Promo 2CD Celebrate: The Collection CD

Album Version (4:33)
Producer: John Leckie
Engineer: John Leckie
Arrangement: Simple Minds/John Leckie


Life In A Day Promo LP Life In A Day LP Life In A Day MC Chelsea Girl 7" single Chelsea Girl 7" Australian single Chelsea Girl 7" US promo single Celebration Promo LP Celebration LP Celebration MC Life In A Day LP (Virgin Reissue) Life In A Day MC (Virgin Reissue) Celebration LP (Virgin Reissue) Celebration MC (Virgin Reissue) Life In A Day LP (Virgin Budget Reissue) Life In A Day MC (Virgin Budget Reissue) Celebration CD All The Things... Canadian Promo MC Life In A Day CD Celebration LP (Virgin Budget Reissue) Celebration MC (Virgin Budget Reissue) Compact Collection Celebration Disky CD Life In A Day Disky CD Life In A Day Remaster Promo CD Life In A Day Remaster Limited Edition CD Life In A Day Remaster CD Early Gold Promo CD Early Gold CD The Platinum Collection CD Early Gold US Promo CD Early Gold US Promo CD X5 Box Set Sampler X5 Life In A Day Promo CD X5 The Vinyl Collection (79,84)



Demo Version (6:15)
Producer: Lex McEwan and Simple Minds

The Early Years 1977-1978 CD

Live Version (27th Mar 1979) (4:42)
Recorded: Old Grey Whistle Test

Seen The Lights - DVD 1 Bonus Tracks In-House CD

Live Version (8th September 1979) (4:52)
Recorded: Paris Theatre, London, UK
Mastered by: Simon Heyworth

Silver Box Promo CDR #1 Silver Box

Live Version (24th November 2009) (4:13)
Recorded: Sentrum Scene, Oslo, Norway
Mixed By Concert Online

Boxed USB Stick Boxed MP3 Player

Live Version (3rd December 2009) (4:47)
Recorded: MEN, Manchester, UK
Mixed By Concert Online

Boxed USB Stick Boxed MP3 Player Limited Edition Boxed Gold USB Stick

Live Version (5th December 2009) (4:52)
Recorded: Arena, Sheffield, UK
Mixed By Concert Online

Boxed USB Stick Boxed MP3 Player Limited Edition Boxed Gold USB Stick

Live Version (6th December 2009) (4:51)
Recorded: CIA, Cardiff, UK
Mixed By Concert Online

Boxed USB Stick Boxed MP3 Player Limited Edition Boxed Gold USB Stick

Live Version (9th December 2009) (4:50)
Recorded: 02, Dublin, Ireland
Mixed By Concert Online

Boxed USB Stick Boxed MP3 Player Limited Edition Boxed Gold USB Stick

Live Version (11th December 2009) (4:52)
Recorded: SECC, Glasgow, UK
Mixed By Concert Online

Boxed USB Stick Boxed MP3 Player Limited Edition Boxed Gold USB Stick

Live Version (12th December 2009) (4:56)
Recorded: AEC, Aberdeen, UK
Mixed By Concert Online

Boxed USB Stick Boxed MP3 Player Limited Edition Boxed Gold USB Stick

Live Version (17th December 2009) (5:07)
Recorded: Popcentrum, Tilburg, Netherlands
Mixed By Concert Online

Boxed USB Stick Boxed MP3 Player

Live Version (23rd February 2012) (4:03)
Recorded: Cirque Royal, Brussels, Belgium
Recorded by: Olivier Gerard
Mixed by: Olivier Gerard
Engineered by: Rudy Coclet
ISRC: GB01A1201429

5X5 Live Promo CD #1-2 5X5 Live Promo CD #2-2 5X5 Live 5X5 Live Irish Promo CD

Acoustic (4:27)
Producer: Andy Wright, Gavin Goldberg and Simple Minds
Recorded By: Gavin Goldberg
Mixed By: Gavin Goldberg


Acoustic Promo CD Acoustic Promo International CD Acoustic LP Acoustic CD




demo discography
Demo Version (6:17)
Producer: Lex McEwan and Simple Minds
Simple Minds: 6 tracks demo tape



videography
Album Version (4:33)
Producer: John Leckie
Engineer: John Leckie
Arrangement: Simple Minds/John Leckie

Chelsea Girl promo video
Live Version (27th March 1979) (4:42)
Recorded: Old Grey Whistle Test

Seen The Lights - A Visual History Promo DVD Seen The Lights - A Visual History DVD
Acoustic (4:27)
Producer: Andy Wright, Gavin Goldberg and Simple Minds
Recorded By: Gavin Goldberg
Mixed By: Gavin Goldberg


Chelsea Girl Acoustic graphic promo video




sessions
Kid Jensen, Radio One: 10th April 1979
Piccadilly Radio 261: 7th June 1979



downloads
Live Version (24th November 2009) (4:13)
Recorded: Sentrum Scene, Oslo, Norway
Mixed By Concert Online

Concert Online Download

Live Version (3rd December 2009) (4:47)
Recorded: MEN, Manchester, UK
Mixed By Concert Online

Concert Online Download

Live Version (5th December 2009) (4:52)
Recorded: Arena, Sheffield, UK
Mixed By Concert Online

Concert Online Download

Live Version (6th December 2009) (4:51)
Recorded: CIA, Cardiff, UK
Mixed By Concert Online

Concert Online Download

Live Version (9th December 2009) (4:50)
Recorded: 02, Dublin, Ireland
Mixed By Concert Online

Concert Online Download

Live Version (11th December 2009) (4:52)
Recorded: SECC, Glasgow, UK
Mixed By Concert Online

Concert Online Download

Live Version (12th December 2009) (4:56)
Recorded: AEC, Aberdeen, UK
Mixed By Concert Online

Concert Online Download

Live Version (17th December 2009) (5:07)
Recorded: Popcentrum, Tilburg, Netherlands
Mixed By Concert Online

Concert Online Download




live history
Simple Minds: 1978
Life In A Day Tour: 1979
Real To Real Cacophony Tour: 1979-1980
The Floating World Tour: 2002
Alive And Kicking Tour: 2003
Celebrate 30 Years Live Tour: 2008
Graffiti Soul Tour: 2009
Australian Tour: 2010
5X5 Tour: 2012
Festival Tour: 2012
Travelling Light: 2016