Saturday, January 11, 2014

Simple Minds - All The Things She Said

While I had thought of Simple Minds as a big time success story, it turns out that they had only a brief period of success in the U.S.  American audiences will likely remember the band's big hit, "Don't You (Forget About Me)," which hit #1 in 1985.  That song was the first of 4 top 40 hits in the U.S between 1985 and 1986.  And with the exception of 1991's "See The Lights," the group did not have another top 40 song in America.

In contrast, Simple Minds were stars in their native Britain, where they had 24 top 40 singles between 1982 and 1998.  They also had three #1 and two #2 albums during this period, as opposed to one top 50 album in the U.S. (1985's Once Upon a Time).

Simple Minds were formed in Glasgow, Scotland in the late 1970's.  The band's name came from the lyrics to David Bowie's 1972 hit, "The Jean Jeanie" ("He's so simple minded he can't drive his module.")  Originally an art rock band modeled after Roxy Music, they evolved into more of an artistic pop/rock band over time; "All The Things She Said" is reasonably representative of the band during the 1980's.

The video features the two key members of the band, singer Jim Kerr and guitarist Charlie Burchill.  In fact, both of them remain with the group to the present day.  The female co-lead singer is Robin Clark, a professional backup singer.  Interestingly, Clark is married to Carlos Alomar, who played with David Bowie from 1975 to 2003.

"All The Things She Said" was the last of the four top 40 hits mentioned above -- the song reached #28, while the Once Upon a Time album hit #10.

Cool trivia fact:  The band was not eager to record "Don't You (Forget About Me)," which was brought to them by their label.  The song had already been turned down by The Fixx, Bryan Ferry, and Billy Idol, and Simple Minds also initially turned the song down before reconsidering.  However, they remained ambivalent towards it, as evidenced by the band leaving it off the Once Upon a Time album.

Cool trivia fact #2:  Lead singer Jim Kerr was married to Chrissie Hynde (of the Pretenders) from 1984 - 1990.  He subsequently was married to actress Patsy Kensit from 1992 - 1996.

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