Mick MacNeil (Simple Minds)

Mick MacNeil, Scottish keyboard player and composer with Simple Minds was born 20 July 1958. Simple minds achieved worldwide popularity from the mid-1980s to the 1990s and are best known for the songs “Don’t You (Forget About me)”, from the soundtrack o theJohn Hughes film The BreakfastClub, “Alive and Kicking” and”Belfast Child”. The band has sold more than 60 million albums since 1979. In 1982 the band’s single “Promised You a Miracle” and the album New God Dream were released, containing the songs “Promised You a Miracle”, “Colours Fly, “Somene Somewhere in Summertime”, “Glittering Prize and Catherine Wheel” In February 1984, Sparkle in the Rain, was released containg Waterfront, “Speed Your Love to Me” and “Up on the Catwalk”.However Despite the band’s new-found popularity in the UK and Europe, they remained unknown in the U.S. until the film The Breakfast Club, where Simple Minds were offered the song ‘Don’t You (Forget About me) whoch broke them into the US market almost overnight,

In 1988 Simple Minds signed 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” (with new lyrics written about the ongoing war in Northern Ireland) and was also an expression of Simple Mind’s support for the campaign for the release of Beirut-held hostage Brian Keenan.

Simple Minds’ next album, Street Fighting Years 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 rock oriented acoustic and folk music-related ingredients. The lyrics were also more directly political covering topics including the Poll Tax, the Soweto townships, the Berlin Wall and the stationing of nuclear submarines on the Scottish coast. Simple Minds then recorded Once Upon a Time which included : “Alive & Kicking”, “Sanctify Yourself”, “Ghostdancing” and “All the Things She Said”. In 1991, Simple Minds returned with , Real Life which included the songs ”See the Lights” They then released the compilation album Glittering Prize in 1992. Simple Minds released the album Good News from the Next World including the songs “She’s a River” and “Hypnotised”.

In 1997 Kerr and Burchill played live as part of the Proms tour and played orchestral versions of “Alive And Kicking”, “Belfast Child” and “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” backed by a full orchestra then began working on a brand new Simple Minds album called Cry. Then A 2-CD compilation, The Best of Simple Minds, was released soon afterwards to continue to build commercial momentum.In 2003 Seen The Lights – A Visual History, the first-ever Simple Minds commercial (double) DVD, was releasd, featuring over four hours and twenty minutes of archive footage plus the majority of the band’s promotional videos. Then In 2004, Simple Minds released a five-CD compilation entitled Silver Box which. comprised previously unreleased demos, radio & TV sessions and various live recordings from 1979 to 1995, and 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 latest album ” Big Music” was released 2014.

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