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  • Rob


Last year, Sky Arts aired a series called Greatest Albums Live, in which the creators of noteworthy records were interviewed and given a chance to provide some background on how the album came about, challenges, successes, etc. before it was played live to an audience.

'New Gold Dream' by Simple Minds was one of the albums selected; Jim Kerr gave the interview detailing how the record came about and then played it live in the stunning Paisley Abbey.

Kerr explained, "When it came to choosing a venue to perform New Gold Dream, we wanted to do it somewhere locally.  And obviously, the band being from Glasgow, it had to be somewhere nearby. 

"But it also had to be somewhere at some Grandeur and something that was just out of the norm because it is a special album for us.  And so Paisley Abbey, knowing its history and knowing the look of the place, we thought this would be something special."

Unlike the other albums performed in the series, this was recorded live but without an audience.

The album itself is arguably Simple Minds' finest.  It includes fan favourites' Someone, Somewhere, In Summertime', 'Promised You A Miracle', 'Big Sleep', 'New Gold Dream (81, 82, 83, 84)', and 'Glittering Prize'.  There isn't a bad track on the album.

I was lucky enough to catch them live twice a couple of years ago, and they still sound as good as ever.  Seeing them, a couple of drinks in me, the focus is more on the show than how the songs are performed.  The great thing about this recording of it is that it gives a chance to hear how good they still are live after all these years.

With the new session musicians, the band are a bit like Trigger's Brush, but Birchall and Kerr marshal them brilliantly.

This recording is a must-have for any Simple Minds fan.  A copy is available online for as little as £17.  It comes on red and black marble vinyl in a lovely spot-finished sleeve.

Tracks To Try: Any of them.


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