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alive and kicking (demo)

Written by: Kerr / Burchill / MacNeil

In Mick MacNeil's archive are four files in a directory marked "Live Rehearsal", each called Alive And Kicking. Such a description suggests pre-tour work, perhaps for Once Upon A Time or Street Fighting Years, of the titular song.

Despite the poor recording, which appears to be from a cassette recorder eavesdropping on proceedings, it quickly becomes clear this is not the case. It's clearly an early version of Alive And Kicking: the band are hesitant, Jim repeats the vocals, and it comes to a halt at the bridge.

The band then discuss how to proceed. Jim, Charlie and Mick discuss various options, whilst Mel and John occasionally interject with questions. A sixth person is also present, offering guiding advice in a calm American accent. Charlie calls him "Jimmy".

It becomes clear that this poor recording split into four files is bearing witness to the writing of Alive And Kicking. The band are kicking around ideas for the song's bridge, whilst Jimmy Iovine sits in on the session, and guides the process forward. Given the early nature of the song, and that Iovine is present, suggests that these recordings were made at Barwell Court in late 1984/early 1985.

The demo of Alive And Kicking was first recorded on the start of Jams #1. This 8:22 minute instrumental featured the entire structure of the final finished song with the verses, choruses, middle-8 and coda all in place. It was a later recording, overwriting 5/4 on the tape, and therefore recorded at a later date than the rest of the material. (Its precursor, Someone Sequel, was also present on the same tape).

A second, similar take appears on Tape #1. The vocals have now started to appear, but they're rather hesitant and quiet - it sounds like most of them are now in place but they've yet to reach their final form.

see also:
Someone Sequel (Demo)
Alive And Kicking

The lyrics have not been published.

demo discography
Instrumental Rough #1 (8:22)
Simple Minds Jams #1

Rough #2 (6:16)
Simple Minds June 1985 Tape 1