10 April 1982 and a new single by Simple Minds is released.
1 May 1982 and Simple Minds finally have the euphoria that comes with a single hitting the Top 20 in the UK.
It was the fourth successive week the single had climbed the charts, something it would do for a further two weeks, peaking at #13. It would hang around the lower parts of the charts for a while longer, finally taking its leave in mid-June.
It was really strange seeing the band achieve such high-profile success after five studio albums, one compilation LP and two record labels. It’s a single that didn’t quite gel with me at the outset. It seemed really light and sparse sounding, very much lacking the bite and energy of many of the previous singles but it was one that I came to appreciate after hearing it in the live setting and how it was actually all part of yet a further shift in sound with more reliance on the keyboard skills of Mick MacNeil and the thumping bass lines from Derek Forbes. It was more pop-orientated than ever and of appeal to fans of bands such as ABC, Associates and Yazoo, all of whom would enjoy stellar years in 1982 – it was also similar to the latest Roxy Music album, Avalon, which itself was a million miles removed from the art-house and experimental stuff from the 70s that had been such an influence on early Simple Minds.
A new producer, Pete Walsh, was also at the helm, the job his reward for the impressive remix work he had done on Sweat in Bullet. What very few knew at the time was that Walsh was a total rookie, just 21 years of age, but considered by the band, and indeed the label bosses, to be something of a genius in terms of eking out all sorts of new and fresh sounds from the advances in production technology.
As had happened the previous year with The American, the band rush-released Promised You A Miracle, it being the among the first of the completed songs from the studio sessions in London. There wasn’t really any new material well-developed enough to appear as a b-side and so the decision was taken to use an instrumental track from Sister Feelings Call.
It’s one of the bands finest bits of music in their entire career, capturing the moment when they stood on the very threshold of fame and fortune. I’m guessing that many of those who weren’t familiar with the band until this 45 would have had their minds blown by the b-side and gone exploring the back catalogue, much of which was available at reasonably cheap prices.
The big question, however, was whether time would show Simple Minds to be just a one-hit wonder. We didn’t have too long to wait to find out.