This week saw the release of Simple Minds’ first new record in four years and 16th studio album overall — a collection that could have marked the first time the band’s original lineup had worked together in 27 years.
But it apparently wasn’t meant to be.
The nine-track Graffiti Soul — out now in Europe, with a special edition that includes a bonus CD of cover songs — features the perpetual core of the group, frontman Jim Kerr and guitarist Charlie Burchill, plus late-era sidemen Eddie Duffy (bass) and Mel Gaynor (drums).
Yet the record might have featured a full-blown reunion, as Kerr and Burchill gathered late-’70s/early-’80s bandmates Derek Forbes (bass), Brian McGee (drums) and Michael MacNeil (keyboards) for an aborted studio session last summer.
Burchill told InTheNews.co.uk he and Kerr initially convened the reunion in order to record some covers for a new best-of their old label EMI was planning:
“We thought we should do something with the guys, they’re part of it, and we’re friends anyway. So we had a get-together as a group and then we went into to try and work on a couple of cover versions and we thought we could maybe work on something new. But it soon became evident that we were trying to do it in two days and we needed a lot more time than that. So we put it on the backburner.”
Instead, Kerr and Burchill reverted to their ’00s lineup to record Graffiti Soul and its accompanying bonus disc of covers, featuring cuts by everyone from Neil Young to Massive Attack — and even The Beach Boys (full tracklist below).
The band currently is touring Europe with its “30 Years Live” retrospective show, but is planning a Graffiti Soul tour this fall and winter with Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. The band’s American agent told the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times’ “Stuck in the ’80s” blog that Simple Minds also will tour the U.S. this fall with OMD, likely starting in late September and running through October.
Tracklist: Simple Minds, Graffiti Soul
1. “Moscow Underground”
3. “Stars Will Lead the Way”
4. “Light Travels”
5. “Kiss and Fly”
6. “Graffiti Soul”
7. “Blood Type O”
8. “This Is It”
9. “Shadows and Light”
1. “Rockin’ in the Free World” (Neil Young)
2. “A Song From Under the Floorboards” (Magazine)
3. “Christine” (Siouxsie and the Banshees)
4. “(Get A) Grip (On Yourself)” (The Stranglers)
5. “Let the Day Begin” (The Call)
6. “Peace, Love and Understanding” (Nick Lowe)
7. “Teardrop” (Massive Attack)
8. “Whiskey in the Jar” (Thin Lizzy)
9. “Sloop John B” (The Beach Boys)
Video: Simple Minds, “Rockets”