Simple Minds are Jim Kerr, Charlie Burchill and a selection of very talented collaborators including Ged Grimes, Sarah Brown, Gordy Goudie, and Cherisse Osei.
One of the UK’s most successful bands, Simple Minds – named after a line in David Bowie’s ‘Jean Genie’ – have achieved six No.1 albums in the UK as well hitting the top spot in countless other territories including Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.
Simple Minds have been many things to many people: soundscapers, sound-shapers, soundtrack makers, serial chart-toppers. They have influenced acts as diverse as the Manic Street Preachers, Primal Scream, Moby and The Horrors, and have been sampled by Nicki Minaj, David Guetta, Joey Negro and Freddy Bastone. They have provided memorable movie moments for directors Christian Carion (‘L’Affaire Farewell’), Gregor Jordan (‘The Informers’), Cameron Crowe (‘Elizabethtown’) and, of course, John Hughes (‘The Breakfast Club’).
Having topped the British charts half a dozen times – ‘Sparkle In The Rain’ (1984); ‘Once Upon A Time’ (1985); ‘Street Fighting Years’ (1989); ‘Ballad Of The Streets’ EP (1989), ‘Live In The City Of Light’ (1987); ‘Glittering Prize 81/92’ – the band returned to the UK Top Ten with their latest albums ‘Graffiti Soul,' ‘Big Music’ and 'Walk Between Worlds.'
Simple Minds evolved out of Johnny & the Self Abusers, the ‘rank and file’ punk group Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill had formed in April 1977. By the time ‘Saints And Sinners’, the sole Abusers single, was issued on Chiswick six months later, Simple Minds were already moving towards a darker, broodier sound, with nods to the Velvet Underground but also the Krautrock of Can, Kraftwerk and Neu!
Making their chart debut with ‘Life In A Day’ in April 1979, Simple Minds recorded some of the most beguiling, inventive, adventurous music of the post-punk period, setting the standard for the British alternative scene with ‘Real To Real Cacophony’ (1979), ‘Empires And Dance’ (1980) and the pioneering ‘twin’ releases ‘Sons And Fascination’/’Sister Feelings Call’ (1981). The most prolific and fast-evolving band of a generation that also included The Cure, the Psychedelic Furs and Joy Division/New Order, in 1982 they went on to make the landmark ‘New Gold Dream (81–82–83–84)’, which ma served as the template for U2’s ‘The Unforgettable Fire’ two years later. Success was cemented by the bombastically anthemic ‘Sparkle In The Rain’ in 1984.
Simple Minds went stratospheric with ‘Once Upon A Time’ and became a band with a mission, playing the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute concert held at Wembley Stadium in July 1988, writing ‘Mandela Day’ for the occasion. Following Mandela’s release, they played the Freedom Concert (1990) and the Nelson Mandela 90th Birthday Tribute in Hyde Park in 2008. In the intervening years, they have graced the Top 20 with singles including ‘Let There Be Love’, ‘See The Lights’, ‘Stand By Love’, and the album charts with ‘Real Life’ (1991), ‘Good News From The Next World’ (1995), ‘Neapolis’ (1998) and ‘Black & White 050505’ (2005).
In 2009, they initiated a regeneration with ‘Graffiti Soul’, followed by 2014’s critically acclaimed ‘Big Music’. With 2018’s ‘Walk Between Worlds’, Simple Minds proved they’ve got even more to give.