Tag Archives: Acoustic

Review: Acoustic In Concert – Simple Minds

There certainly aren’t many artists daring enough to re-record their songs in an acoustic format. But that’s not true of Simple Minds, whom, late in 2016, released an album of much-loved classics in a stunning reintroduction. Oh yeah, here were those who recorded live sets unplugged. But not many of them actually going into a studio to do it. With Acoustic, Kerr and Burchill has easily produced a new and enduring classic with reimagined classic Simple Minds tunes. Songs like “Promised You A Miracle” (recorded with KT Tunstall), “See The Lights”, “Someone, Somewhere In Summertime”, “Alive and Kicking”, “Waterfront”, and of course, “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”, are delightful to listen to and carry a high caliber of replay value. I know. Today, some nine months after release, it’s a regular in rotation.

Eagle Rock Music released a BBC Music live set from Simple Minds’ show in London at the Hackney Empire. The show was a response to the popularity of the Acoustic album, and was warmly attended by fans. The set, Acoustic In Concert, is a combo CD/DVD and a BD set that can be viewed and, with the DVD set, equally enjoyed on the run. What’s as surprising about the Acoustic In Concert set is how vibrant the show was. Kerr and Burchill may be older now, but their age has no impact on their ability to parade their famous songs in great glory. It’s evident that they’re proud of those songs.

Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill have employed Cherisse Osei as their drummer and percussionist. Her performance is lively adding to the currency value of the show itself. The band is rounded out by current member, Ged Grimes, and vocalist Sarah Brown. Simple Minds are as valid a band long after their sales peak as can be enjoyed. Their previous album, Big Music, was released in 2014, and was filled with excellence. I’ll say this, it was easy to remain a Simple Minds fan long after the retreat of Once Upon A Time from 1985.

Not only have I enjoyed listening to Acoustic for these many months, I have enjoyed watching this amazing band on In Concert. There’s little doubt that I will regularly revisit the DVD just like I do with a few other great concert DVDs. I won’t compare it to others because each band brings their own presence to the stage. But suffice it to say, listening to the mates perform classics like “Sanctify Yourself”, “Promised You A Miracle”, “New Gold Dreams”, and “Chelsea Girl”, is a heart-warming experience. There’s even a good cover of Patti Smith’s “Dancing Barefoot” within. The DVD’s video quality is quite amazing. I could only imagine the beauty of a BD.

If the band decided to do an Acoustic, Volume II, I’d be first in line for it. As for their Acoustic show, I’d definitely attend. Acoustic In Concert is an able convincing media for that resolution.

Acoustic In Concert – Simple Minds

01 New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)
02 See The Lights
03 Glittering Prize
04 Stand By Love
05 Waterfront
06 Andy Warhol
07 Chelsea Girl
08 Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)
09 Dancing Barefoot
10 Speed Your Love To Me
11 Promised You A Miracle
12 Don t You (Forget About Me)
13 Sanctify Yourself
14 Long Black Train
15 Alive And Kicking
16 Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)

 

Live Simple Minds Set, Acoustic In Concert, Planned For June

With the release of the Acoustic Simple Minds album issued in 2016, I’m on high alert to anything else by them. That album delivered a new shine to what were already great songs. It’s almost never pretty to have an artist revisit their classic material in new recordings. But that is not always true as some have not only produced beautiful and memorable revisits, but also some have revitalized the import of songs. A prime example of that is Joni Mitchell’s introspective turning of “Both Sides Now”, re-recorded in 2000 as a new viewpoint.  Simple Minds’ Acoustic album is likewise a goldmine of newness.

On June 16, Eagle Rock Entertainment will release Acoustic In Concert. This new live set will feature sixteen performance tracks that include songs like “See The Lights”, “New Gold Dream (81.82.83.84)”, “Someone, Somewhere, In Summertime”, “Sanctify Yourself”, and “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”.  The set was recorded from their November 10, 2016 Hackney Empire (London) show for the ongoing BBC Radio 2 In Concert series. Simple Minds continues their Acoustic concert tour with a large string of Europe dates.

Acoustic In Concert is expected to be released on CD/DVD and DD.

Acoustic In ConcertSimple Minds

01 New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)
02 See The Lights
03 Glittering Prize
04 Stand By Love
05 Waterfront
06 Andy Warhol
07 Chelsea Girl
08 Someone Somewhere In Summertime
09 Dancing Barefoot
10 Speed Your Love To Me
11 Promised You A Miracle
12 Don’t You (Forget About Me)
13 Sanctify Yourself
14 Long Black Train
15 Alive And Kicking
16 Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)

 

Review: Acoustic – Simple Minds

One of the better albums of 2016 (or at least one that deserves inclusion with a note that this is not an album of brand new originals) is Acoustic by Simple Minds. Simply, the collection is a newly recorded unplugged set of classic Simple Minds originals. And given the band that Simple Minds are, they have created a timeless and ultimately listenable album with easy replay value. In fact, this is not the first time I’ve listened to Acoustic. It may be around the 50th time!

Acoustic has twelve familiar songs including their breakout hit, “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”. What Acoustic has successfully done is to recreate those beloved songs from many original albums and make them new classics. Few artists can do this trick. For the record, there’s “Waterfront”, “New Gold Dreams”, “Sanctify Yourself”, “Chelsea Girl”, “Alive and Kicking” and others. Culling songs from as early as their first album (Life In A Day, 1979) with “Chelsea Girl”, and as late as their Real Life album from 1991 with “See The Light” (unless you want to count the non-album cover, “Long Black Train” as the latest, or the LP add of “Light Travels” from the band’s 2009 set, Graffiti Soul).

While most tracks are excellent, I’m a little less enamored of “See The Light”, a song version that feels too underpowered. However, I doubt there will be much complaining when you listen to the rest of the album. Songs like “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”, “Waterfront”, “Someone, Somewhere in Summertime”, and the highly marketable “Promised You A Miracle” with KT Tunstall.

Acoustic is an album that can easily occupy your time like it has mine. And with so many classic SM songs unrepresented, I’m hoping for a second volume of Acoustic. One that will include “Book Of Brilliant Things”, “All The Things She Said”, “Belfast Child”, “She’s A River”, “Life In A Day”, “Let There Be Love”,  “Today I Died Again”, “Up On The Catwalk”, and a few others.  But…if you’re a vinyl fan, Simple Minds has thrown three bonus tracks onto the LP that do not appear on the CD edition of Acoustic.

Since the album’s release, it has done well on the European music charts. That’s a magnificent feat given the difficulties of anything hitting the charts. But it also speaks of the excellence that Acoustic is filled with.

Acoustic – Simple Minds (2016)

01 – The American (Sons and Fascination, 1981)
02 – Promised You A Miracle w/KT Tunstall (New Gold Dreams (81.82.83.84), 1982)
03 – Glittering Prize (New Gold Dreams (81.82.83.84), 1982)
04 – See The Lights (Real Life, 1991)
05 – New Gold Dreams (81.82.83.84) (New Gold Dreams (81.82.83.84), 1982)
06 – Someone, Somewhere In Summertime (New Gold Dreams (81.82.83.84), 1982)
07 – Waterfront (Sparkle In The Rain, 1984)
08 – Sanctify Yourself (Once Upon A Time, 1985)
09 – Chelsea Girl (Life In A Day, 1979)
10 – Alive And Kicking (Once Upon A Time, 1985)
11 – Don’t You (Forget About Me) (1985)
12 – Long Black Train (2016).

LP adds:

13 – Stand By Love (Real Life, 1991)
14 – Speed Your Love To Me (Sparkle In The Rain, 1984)
15 – Light Travels (Graffiti Soul, 2009)

 

New Simple Minds Unplugged Set, Acoustic, Due in November

simple-minds-acousticFor a time, Simple Minds had our attention while they created some of Rock’s more resilient classics. Unfortunately, their decline began as soon as the diamond sheen on their Once Upon A Time album ceased to be of interest to the MTV crowd. Which is sad because almost every album afterwards were pure excellence. It’s those that I return to more often than even their early gems like Sparkle In the Rain. But that’s a personal preference. Their last album was the well received Big Music, issued in 2014.

For the solid and nostalgic Simple Minds fans, they have just announced an unplugged collection of their biggest tracks. The new album collection is called Acoustic and will supply acoustic versions of twelve gems (see list below). Acoustic will be released on CD, DD, and a 180g-weight vinyl edition with three extra tracks that will not be on the CD (don’t ask. I don’t know why). As for the CD, there are signed copies by Charlie (Burchill), and Jim (Kerr), limited to the first 1000 pre-orders.

Acoustic is being released on November 11 on CD and DD. The vinyl 2LP is expected on November 25, and will add in a download card for all 15 tracks found on the LPs. The new album is being preceded by a released track from the album of “Promised You A Miracle” with KT Tunstall. If you were to ask me, it’s a great recording of the song. As that, it gives me a great feeling that the album will be quite special. I’m anxious to hear the whole set.

Acoustic – Simple Minds – CD/DD

01 The American
02 Promised You A Miracle
03 Glittering Prize
04 See The Lights
05 New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)
06 Someone Somewhere In Summertime
07 Waterfront
08 Sanctify Yourself
09 Chelsea Girl
10 Alive And Kicking
11 Don’t You (Forget About Me)
12 Long Black Train

Acoustic – Simple Minds – 180g Vinyl LP

01 The American
02 Promised You A Miracle
03 Glittering Prize
04 See The Lights
05 New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)
06 Someone Somewhere In Summertime
07 Waterfront
08 Sanctify Yourself
09 Chelsea Girl
10 Alive And Kicking
11 Don’t You (Forget About Me)
12 Long Black Train
13 Stand By Love
14 Speed Your Love To Me
15 Light Travels

simple-minds-acoustic-lp