Simple Minds [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


View Full Version : Simple Minds

04-16-2004, 05:04 AM
Someone please tell me about Real to Real Cacophony. This is an album I've never heard, and I've really only heard their mid to late 80s output and based on that, never explored further. I jumped onto Pitchfork today and saw this statement:

Reissues of Simple Minds' 1979 debut and 1980 follow-up reveal that, before their brief string of mid-80s radio hits, Simple Minds owed more to Wire and Roxy Music than pop contemporaries like Big Country and Glass Tiger.

Well, that caught my attention, but not trusting it I went to AMG to see how the first couple albums were ranked there. Real to Real Cacophony has 4 1/2 stars, and a glowing review, with, to me, one hell of a serious compliment:

The record is certainly as much of an achievement as New Gold Dream an achievement that's on a plane with other 1979 post-punk landmarks like Metal Box, 154, Entertainment, and Unknown Pleasures. No kidding.

If it's on a plane with those four albums, which are some of my favorites ever, I'm guessing it's high time to seek out the Simple Minds reissues, but I'd like to get opinions from you guys.

Jim? Dave G? Mark? Anyone?

04-16-2004, 06:36 AM
Yeah, I have this. It's a solid album and yes, very different from the sugary singles band that most people are familiar with.

It's an artful twist on the late 70s new wave scene. They remind me of Japan back then too.

I always liked "Themes from Great Cities" too.

Ex Lion Tamer
04-16-2004, 07:13 AM
I don't have Real to Real Cacaphony, but I do have Empires & Dance, which has 3 or 4 standout new wave/dance tracks, but did not entice me enough to further explore their catalog. That album is closer to OMD-style synth-pop, (but with a definite edge) than the angular funk of Gang of Four, but I gather from the review on, that it is a very different album than Real to Real. Every few years I am reminded that I should probably give Real to Real a try, but so far have never followed through. I fear this post was not much help at all.

04-16-2004, 02:43 PM
I haven't heard that album in many,many years so can't really say if you (or me) would totally like it today. I don't recall it being all that solid, but tastes change. It does have some great songs and I picked up the <i>Early Gold</i> CD not that long ago which covers that early period and it's very good. Virgin released it after the two-stage remaster program. It's a new collection that was supposedly chosen by the band, but it's UK only. Shows up on ebay for a decent price. Anyhow, that would be my choice since there are some good songs on all those early albums. Used to really like Simple Minds and saw them back in the early days. Good show. Kind of a pastiche of many styles. Funny thing though about the latest remaster of <i>Real to Real Cacaphony</i>, Virgin decided to rename it for some reason. Not sure if that's an error or if the original title was an error. Kind of makes sense either way, but seems like they should've stuck to the original name :)

<img src="">

Dusty Chalk
04-16-2004, 09:23 PM
I'm pretty sure the correct title is Reel to Real Cacophony, as I have the original vinyl. I'm not to fond of the early stuff (other than "Theme for Great Cities" -- which remains one of the greatest rock instrumentals of all-time -- when I was in my garage-band-without-a-garage...sort of a living room band...I played the rhythm guitar on that one).

And again, I prefer the poppier stuff -- New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84), and the completely under-rated Sparkle in the Rain -- so if you're one of those indie music hipster types, just discount my opinion.

N. Abstentia
04-16-2004, 10:34 PM
Anybody have any thoughts on the Simple Minds remasters? Particularly Street Fighting Years, which is one of my favorite CD's of all time. Are the remasters worth picking up?