[The] mission here is to "remystify" Simple Minds. It's a wholly successful endeavour . . . Thomson's enthusiasm for tracing the cultural and geographical roots of Simple Minds is infectious, and the result shines a bright light into the forgotten corners of the band's story
Music has such a capacity to uplift, to inspire, to recognise, to connect, and Graeme Thomson's latest book explores how the work of Simple Minds captures those possibilities
An essential read
I couldn't read this book without digging out my old vinyl and listening as I read. It was like listening with new ears . . . utterly inspiring.
A deep and thrilling dive into some of the greatest musical minds to have come out of Scotland in modern times
Themes for Great Cities is so taut and so full of cliff-hangers, that it reads more like a thriller. It's exactly the sort of book that Simple Minds deserve.
The definitive biography of this most mercurial of bands. Thomson knows how to take it apart - without demystifying the mystery, he gives us the art school band that never had an art school, but went instead on an endless adventure and took a bit of all of us with them
Thomson expertly handles proceedings . . . best of all is the coverage of the epic early albums, which all too often seemed to be forgotten as soon as the mega stardom called
In focusing largely on their pre-stardom records ... Thomson elegantly reminds us how Simple Minds influenced Primal Scream, Manic Street Preachers and contemporaries U2. ****
Thomson's thesis is sound: for about five years, Scotland's biggest ever band made exceptional music, and there's no better man to tell you all about it.
Excellent . . . shows how the five-piece Simple Minds found their place
An engaging, insightful, and welcome biography and history of one of Scotland's greatest bands ... it'll make you return to those glorious early albums and fall in love with them all over again - the ultimate accolade for any music biography
Brings fresh insight into the early albums in particular. Any music biog which sends you straight to the records themselves is doing its job
One of the (many) pleasures of ... Themes for Great Cities is its desire to be an act of reclamation. Thomson wants to challenge the lazy cliches that have attached to the band's reputation, to complicate the story, to, as he says in his introduction, "remystify" his subject
Truly a story of 'ambition in motion' . . . There are a number of passages that almost uncannily mirror the music, where the narrative and inner vision perfectly align . . . In some ways Simple Minds' early music is a perfect secret waiting to be rediscovered.
For anyone who is newer to the Simple Minds fold or hasn't explored their back catalogue extensively, I implore you to read this book. For the die hards - you need this book! It is a fast and exhilarating ride
A biography that gives the group its long-overdue credit. Thomson's exquisitely written account reaches poetic levels . . . An eye-opening work throughout, Themes for Great Cities may be the final word on Kerr and Co's legacy