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The Regal Rock Music of Simple Minds

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The average person might recall Simple Minds for their hit pop song "Don't You (Forget about Me)" from "The Breakfast Club" movie soundtrack. While the more arduous audiophile possibly remembers the band's vigorously epic sound from their numerous albums during the Eighties.

Well, after six years of inactivity, Simple Minds have returned with some recordings of particular note.

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SIMPLE MINDS: Neon Lights (CD on Eagle Records)

This release from 2001 features 50 minutes of powerful and sultry pop music. More accurately: this is a CD of cover songs, but hardly a normal example of that sort of thing. For the band has chosen songs that might be rather obscure for the average audience, although these classic sonic milestones undeniably defined the underground heyday of what would evolve into Eighties popular culture.

Indeed, the band's choices will befuddle the mass market while delighting those who have a fondness for that period. The song line-up is: Van Morrison's "Gloria", David Bowie's "The Man who Sold the World", Pete Shelley's "Homosapien", Patti Smith's "Dancing Barefoot", Kraftwerk's "Neon Lights", the Doors' "Hello, I Love You", Echo and the Bunnymen's "Bring on the Dancing Horses", Neil Young's "The Needle and the Damage Done", Roxy Music's "For Your Pleasure", the Velvet Underground's "All Tomorrow's Parties", the Human League's "Boiled Alive", and Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart". Quite an eclectic array, eh?

Imagine these undeniably historic tracks delivered in Simple Minds' signature style, given momentous proportions and delivered with stunning command. Listening to this CD will fill your lungs with escalating rapture as you continue to take in volumes of astounded oxygen without pausing to release a fraction of a breath. Even should you succeed in exhaling, the music will maintain a headiness that resounds inside your brain, evoking grandness and regal altitudes. Even the staunchest individual can expect to swoon.

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SIMPLE MINDS: Cry (CD on Eagle Records)

Released in 2002, this CD offers 48 minutes of momentous rock, all original material created by the band (which now consists of original band members Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill with newcomers Gordy Goudie, E Pat Lego, Dino Maggiorana, and Mark Kerr).

Expect crashing drums and wailing guitars and sultry keyboards and rumbling bass. And you can depend on Jim Kerr's demonstrative vocals, a voice with quite distinctive timbre and command. Each of these elements fuse into an explosive dose of heroic rock, the type of music that scrapes the ceiling of heaven with its irrepressible ascent.

The lyrical topic explored by these songs is generally the impact of relationships at their emotional pinnacle.

One of the things that has always defined Simple Minds' music is the band's severe predilection for epic grandeur, taking each song and elevating it to the stature of immeasurable majesty. This tendency is vividly evident on this release.

There's a twelve-minute CD EP entitled "Cry" that features: the album's title song; "Lead the Blind", a tasty kick-ass non-LP track; and a Vincent Clarke remix of "Homosapien" (the original Simple Minds version of which comes from the band's "Neon Lights" cover album).

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