“Nobody owes us anything, but the Simple Minds story has been too condensed. After Live Aid and ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’ there hasn’t been quite the credit for those first few records. I think they contain some really special music. I can hear the flaws but there’s something about the spirit and imagination in them that feels good. They draw from such a wide range of influences. We’d go from really obscure krautrock to Chic and Sister Sledge to Captain Beefheart to Bowie and Eno, but the spirit of it was always Simple Minds.” Jim Kerr, to the author, 2014
Simple Minds formed in Glasgow in 1977. They have sold in the region of 60m records and are recognised globally. For a group of their stature, success and longevity, the lack of an in-depth, critically authoritative biography is an anomaly.
Simple Minds began as a post-punk band, transitioned into restless art-rock and electro pioneers, became a stadium rock behemoth – and travelled on, always searching. Much of the drama of their story and their music lies in those transformations and their triumphs, conflicts and contradictions.
From its title, approach and overall aesthetic to the granular detail of its contents, Themes For Great Cities will be weighted in favour of the period when the most significant of these transformations occurred, the era between 1977 and 1989. It will place particular emphasis on the albums and activities up to and including Once Upon A Time, released in 1985. It will pay close attention to the “serious, dark music” Simple Minds made in the beginning. It will give credit where credit is due.