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the signal and the noise


composers
Written by: Kerr / Burchill


publisher
BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd


background
The song dated back to Big Music when Jim mentioned it in an interview.

MH: How are you this morning?
JK: Great. I’ve been here about a week amongst getting some work done – in fact, this morning I was working on a new song. You and I know each other really well and you know how when sometimes a thought just pops up you have to case it so it messed up my plan. My plan was to get up really early – which I did – and go jogging. But, as I was having my coffee, this idea – loose idea – for a song popped up so I've been chasing it for the last couple of hours. I’m getting ready to pack – I will go for a jog – and then head for the airport. And as you know Simple Minds begin touring again in the middle of this week in Europe and really looking forward to that.
MH: So are you going to tell me what the title of this song is? Or is it not there yet?
JK: Signal And The Noise.
MH: Signal And The Noise? Nice... nice. Is it from a piece of music you've had for a while? Or is this just an initial idea of a lyric?
JK: It is. It's a piece of music from someone you introduced me to – Owen Parker – who co-wrote Broken Glass Park. He intermittently sends me some pieces and I've had this for a while. I was enchanted by it but I never thought – or thought maybe it's an instrumental. It was very cinematic and when you get these pieces they already sound sometimes complete. You think "Why would I put a voice on this? It would detract?” or it wouldn't live up. But the great thing about the whole MP3 thing – and of course with iTunes and stuff – is that I've got thousands of songs and stuff just pops up randomly. And it's amazing sometimes, a month later, two months later, that you thought I'll never have an idea for that and the music comes on and you're right there and I'm harmonizing with it and that was the case this morning.

Jim Kerr and Martin Hanlin
17th November 2013

It was subsequently recorded for Walk Between Worlds.
Signal And The Noise is the title of one of the key new songs featured on our forthcoming new album Walk Between Worlds. Featuring layered guitars, sequencer keys, and with dance floor bass and programmed drums, all of it put together by Charlie Burchill, fleshed out later by the rest of the band.

In being the first post-Big Music song composition to complete, it set the process of the new album recording in motion. Kick starting a rush of similarly energetic ideas that followed it its wake Never easy to describe music, but I recall thinking on listening to the basic track for the first time, should Kraftwerk (during their Trans Euro Express era) have been produced by Quincy Jones? Then the spirit of that might resemble the train like groove that pulsates through Signal and The Noise.

Jim Kerr
2nd December 2017


You can never go back. So why would you even attempt?

Then again, although you cannot turn back time, you can still revisit places that hold some significance personally. Once there, it might be easier to recall pasts events by walking the very same steps, sensing a return to what once was as you now reflect on changes in the world that surround you, and the changes within likewise.

I suppose that was my thinking earlier this year when I checked into the very same, small, one bedroom hotel room, that I last spent time in way back in May 1985.

Back then I was struggling to finish off many of the lyrics to the songs that eventually appeared on our most successful album, Once Upon A Time.

Having become a father for the first time only weeks before, my attention had been more on family throughout the previous months. And then suddenly feeling the pressure with studio time now booked in London and New York for the following month, I needed to isolate myself in order to first focus, and then deliver on the completion of a bunch of new tunes awaiting lyrics and vocal melodies.

Our increasingly nervous producer, Jimmy Iovine, was also piling pressure. Convinced that Simple Minds were about to "Crack it...Big Time", Jimmy was rarin' to go. The only thing holding us back he declared, barking down the phone on a daily basis with his Brooklyn, New York, Italian- American accent - was me?

"Where are these f*cking songs Jim?" he'd boom. "Clearmountain and me have been waiting' for weeks." "Why is it every lyric writer I work with is a liar? All of you, always late. Always making lame excuses?" "Well, they'd better be as good as you said they would Jim." They'II f*cking have to be if you want to go one better than that Keith Forsey crap that you are sittn' at the top of the Billboard charts with right now?"

I still miss Jimmy. His bullying. His wisdom. His "It's us against the world" mentality.

In any case, the strategy more than worked. Alive And Kicking, Sanctify Yourself, All The Things She Said, Oh Jungleland, are among some of the songs that materialised during a 10 day period where I stared incessantly out at a sky blue horizon. Listening daily, and for hours on end, to a cassette full of new Simple Minds ideas.

But that was then. And this is now!

And yet almost 32 years later, the idea of revisiting that same little room and locking myself inside those same four walls, with a view to finishing yet another collection of new Minds tunes - had taken on an increasingly curious dimension. Would it all click and fall into place for me again just as it did eons ago? Or was I merely over indulging my superstitious nature, within a still beautiful coastal city that had brought me so much luck previously?

Signal And The Noise is the result of my revisit.

Jim Kerr
31st December 2017

AW: "Signal and the Noise followed a similar course with Charlie delivering a fantastic music track. We lived with an earlier revision for months, but Jim felt that the song needed a new section and on the very last session Charlie came to the studio with a completely new middle 8. It sounds like it was always intended to be that way now. From a production point of view, I think we worked on making the song a touch more harmonic, but by and large it’s just a great piece of Charlie and Jim composition – and so it’s not a surprise to see it’s been really well received."

Andy Wright and Gavin Goldberg
Producers Interview
March 2018

The Signal And The Nosie was exclusively premiered on Steve Lamacq's BBC Radio Six afternoon show on the 4th January 2018. And was formally released the next week, when it appeared for download and was made available on streaming sites.

Johnson Somerset uploaded a remix of the song to YouTube on the 24th April 2018.




lyrics
Take off those headphones and let this world pour into you
Throw off those glasses and then you’ll start seeing
Forget those battles, those ones that mean nothing to you
Know you’re alive and just smile, you’ll start hearing

Somewhere out beneath the heavens and the atmosphere
Somewhere out among the silence
There’s a voice
There’s a feeling that takes over and it has no fear
When you’re caught between the signal and the noise

Shout out the names, everyone, that feels most dear to you
Praise to the moon and the sun - you’ll start feeling
Shut out those ghouls with their talk, it’s far too negative
Make love your armour and smile
And you’ll start healing

Somewhere out beneath the heavens and the atmosphere
Somewhere out among the silence
There’s a voice
There’s a feeling it takes over and it has no fear
When you’re caught between the signal and the noise

Somewhere out beneath the heavens and the atmosphere
Somewhere out among the silence
There’s a voice
There’s a feeling it takes over and it has no fear
When you’re caught between the signal and the noise

You’re just caught between the signal and the noise




discography
Edit (4:04)
Produced by Andy Wright, Gavin Goldberg and Simple Minds
Mixed by Gavin Goldberg
Assisted by Lewis Chapman


The Signal And The Noise Promo CD
Album Version (5:18)
Produced by Andy Wright, Gavin Goldberg and Simple Minds
Mixed by Gavin Goldberg
Assisted by Lewis Chapman


The Signal And The Noise Promo CD Walk Between Worlds Promo CD Walk Between Worlds LP Walk Between Worlds Limited Edition Deluxe LP (Blue) Walk Between Worlds Limited Edition Deluxe LP (Pink) Walk Between Worlds Limited Edition Picture LP Walk Between Worlds CD Walk Between Worlds Limited Edition Deluxe CD
Johnson Somerset Remix (10:56)
Produced by Andy Wright, Gavin Goldberg and Simple Minds
Mixed by Gavin Goldberg
Assisted by Lewis Chapman
Remixed by Johnson Somerset





live history
Walk Between Worlds: 2018
Walk Between Worlds Summer Tour: 2018