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Simple Minds

Jim Kerr lead singer with Scottish rock band Simple Minds was born 9th July 1959 The band achieved worldwide popularity from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s. and produced a number of critically acclaimed albums in the early 1980s and best known for their No. 1 US, Canada and Netherlands hit single “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”, from the soundtrack of the John Hughes film The Breakfast Club. They are also known for the No. 3 US hit single “Alive and Kicking” and the No. 1 UK hit single”Belfast Child”. The band has sold more than 60 million albums since 1979.

In 1982 the band’s single, the disco-friendly “Promised You a Miracle” and the album which is considered the band’s watershed album, New Gold Dream (81–82–83–84). were released, which also contained the songs “Promised You a Miracle”, “Colours Fly, “Someone Somewhere In Summertime”, “Glittering Prize and Catherine Wheel”  In February 1984 the next record, Sparkle in the Rain, was released which contained a rock-oriented set of songs like Waterfront, “Speed Your Love to Me” and “Up on the Catwalk”.But Despite the band’s new-found popularity in the UK and Europe, they remained essentially unknown in the U.S. however The film The Breakfast Club changed that. Simple Minds were offered the song ‘Don’t You (Forget About me) which was Released in early 1985, and broke Simple Minds into the US market almost overnight,

In 1988 Simple Minds was the first band to sign up for Mandela Day, a concert held at Wembley Stadium, London, UK, as an expression of solidarity with the then-imprisoned Nelson Mandela. Bands involved were asked to produce a song especially for the event – Simple Minds was the only act which actually produced one. This was “Mandela Day”, which the band played live on the day (alongside cover versions of “Sun City” with Little Steven and a cover version of Peter Gabriel’s “Biko” on which Gabriel himself took on lead vocals). “Mandela Day” was released on the Ballad Of The Streets EP, Another EP track, “Belfast Child”, was a rewrite of the Celtic folk song “She Moved Through the Fair” (which had been introduced to Kerr by John Giblin) with new lyrics written about the ongoing war in Northern Ireland). The single was also an expression by Simple Minds of their support for the campaign for the release of Beirut-held hostage Brian Keenan, Both “Belfast Child” and “Mandela Day” would set the direction for Simple Minds’ next album, another song-based affair which would supplant the planned instrumental project.   The next album Street Fighting Years released 1989 maintained the band’s growing sense of scale but moved away from the American soul and gospel influences of Once Upon a Time in favour of soundtrack atmospherics and a new incorporation of acoustic and folk music-related ingredients. The lyrics were also more directly political moving away from the impressionistic or spiritual concerns of earlier 1980s Simple Minds songs and covering topics including the Poll Tax, the Soweto townships, the Berlin Wall and the stationing of nuclear submarines on the Scottish coast. Taking advantage of their new-found popularity, Simple Minds recorded what has been considered to be their most unashamedly commercial album. released in November 1985 and entitled Once Upon a Time whch included four worldwide hit singles: “Alive & Kicking”, “Sanctify Yourself”, “Ghostdancing” and “All the Things She Said”,

In 1991, Simple Minds returned with a much more radio-friendly collection of their political concerns, Real Life. This spawned four Top 40 singles. including “See the Lights” They then released the compilation album Glittering Prize in 1992. Simple Minds returned later in 1994 and the subsequent album Good News from the Next World was released in 1995 to positive reviews and produced the two Top 20 hits “She’s a River” and “Hypnotised”. n 1997 Kerr and Burchill played live as part of the Proms tour (a series of orchestral concerts featuring a mixture of light classical and pop music). The duo played versions of “Alive And Kicking”, “Belfast Child” and “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” backed by a full orchestra and were billed as Simple Minds, During 2001, Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill began working on a brand new Simple Minds album called Cry. 2-CD compilation, The Best of Simple Minds, was as released soon afterwards to continue to build commercial momentum.

On 28 October 2003, Capitol released Seen The Lights – A Visual History, the first-ever Simple Minds commercial (double) DVD, featuring over four hours and twenty minutes of archive footage. The first disc includes the majority of the band’s promotional videos. Then In 2004, Simple Minds released a five-CD compilation entitled Silver Box. This mostly comprised previously unreleased demos, radio & TV sessions and various live recordings from 1979 to 1995, but also included the long-delayed Our Secrets Are the Same In 2005, Simple Minds released their fourteenth studio album, Black & White 050505, and 2007 saw the band’s 30th anniversary, and a brief tour of Australia & New Zealand as guests of INXS.

Simple Minds played the 90th birthday tribute to Nelson Mandela on 27 June 2008 in London’s Hyde Park. The band then undertook a short tour throughout the UK to celebrate their 30th anniversary. Simple Minds recorded a new studio album, Graffiti Soul, which was released on 25 May 2009.Interspersed with Simple Minds activity, Jim Kerr recorded and released his first solo album Lostboy! AKA Jim Kerr on 17 May 2010 under the name “Lostboy! AKA”.

Durng 2011, Simple Minds embarked on the ‘Greatest Hits Forest Tour’, playing a series of seven dates in woodland locations of England, as part of Forestry Commission Live Music they als visited European countries: the UK, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Ireland, Gibraltar & Serbia mainly at summer festival venues. Simple Minds played a number of free concerts in Potsdam, Germany, in Florence, Italy for the opening of Florence’s Hard Rock Cafe, in Belgrade, Serbia and  Bad Harzburg, Germany and as announced an exclusive 16-date European tour entitled “5X5 Live” to begin in Portugal on 14 February and to end in Ireland on 4 March 2012 (including four intimate UK venues on 24 and 25 February and on 2 and 3 March 2012) during which the band would perform for the first time 5 songs from each of their first 5 albums released from 1979 to 1982 representative of the post-punk period with the birth of the new wave electro scene in the late 1970s and early 1980s. To coincide with the “5×5 Live” tour, the Simple Minds X5 box set has as been released featuring the 5 first albums over 6 discs, Life in a Day, Real to Real Cacophony, Empires and Dance, Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call and New Gold Dream (81–82–83–84) (with Sons and Fascination and Sister Feelings Call as separate discs in a gatefold sleeve as well as bonus material on each disc including rare and previously unavailable CD, B-sides and remixes). Simple MInds also  appeared at the T In The Park festival 2012 (See Below)