Thursday, February 12, 2009

simple minds - promised you a miracle

I always mightily disliked Simple Minds, mostly because they are one of those bands like Coldplay and U2 who have that overbearing sense of bluster and swagger which suggests that, wrongly or rightly, the limelight is more important to them than the music.  They were part of Live Aid.  Like Spandau Ballet and Duran Duran they are always trotted out as an example of an archetypal 80s band like there is nobody else to choose from.  Their most popular songs are dull bland and pompous like Don't you (forget about me).  Bizarrely enough however I was inspired though (by listening to Spandau Ballet of all things) to investigate as to whether their earlier incarnations would yield any interesting surprises.  And it did.  (This is clearly a dangerous challenge to set myself, after all what if I started liking early stuff by Bon Jovi or something???)  I was drawn towards the shimmering, tangential pop of Promised you a miracle delighting in its attempt to eschew the usual verse chorus set-up for leaping straight into the chorus, Jim Kerr's posturing vocals interwoven with a pleasant jangle reminiscent of fellow Scots Orange Juice (although the echo stops there) and delicate synths.  It's pretty funky compared to their leaden attempts at rock that came later.  Notable mentions to fellow companions from New Gold Dream (81/82/83/84), the dreamy stylings of Glittering Prize and the title song, with its incredibly familiar synth-led melody which I recognise from some crappy dance tune of a couple of years back, Open Your Mind by Usura.  It's amazing what dance music has cannibalised.  Perhaps there IS something in my nascent theory that 2 Unlimited were inspired by John Foxx...

A performance of said song on the much-missed Top of the Pops.

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