Music Monday: Simple Minds “Once Upon A Time”

simple minds once upon a time
The album that put this Scottish band into the mainstream

Simple Minds has been one of my favorite bands for many years, starting in 1982 with the song “Promised You A Miracle” which Los Angeles-based alternative radio station KROQ played a lot then.

A friend that I worked with in 1985 was a huge Simple Minds fan and we shared the excitement when the album “Once Upon A Time” was released in October 1985.

Track List

  1. “Once Upon a Time”
  2. “All the Things She Said”
  3. “Ghost Dancing”
  4. “Alive and Kicking”
  5. “Oh Jungleland”
  6. “I Wish You Were Here”
  7. “Sanctify Yourself”
  8. “Come a Long Way”

Played Each Track

I played each track on this album from start to finish just about every time I listened to it. I first owned it on cassette, which I’m pretty sure got well worn in the many cassette players I had. My favorite song here is “Alive and Kicking” which was not just a bit hit, but also had that great mix of backing band and the vocals of Jim Kerr. If I had to pick the weakest song on the album, it would be “I Wish You Were Here”, which is still very good, but overshadowed by the other seven songs.

Most Popular

While the bands most popular song was “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” from the soundtrack for the movie “The Breakfast Club” [and not included on this or any studio album], this album was released at their most popular period of time. It reached only Gold in the US, but went triple platinum in the UK, which makes sense given their home country status.

Live In Concert

I’ve seen Simple Minds three times in concert over the years: 1986, 1991 and 1995. Each time the band was amazing, with a great stage presence and musically sharp. The last time I saw them, they were spot on and were still just as strong as they were ten years previous.

Current Status

The band has released a total of 15 studio albums from 1977 to 2009, with a pending 2014 release for a new album titled “Big Music”

They just finished a small tour in the fall of 2013 – with their first 7 shows in North America in over 11 years.

The future of this band might never reach the height it was when “Once Upon A Time” came out, but they still keep going after all these years.

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