Simple Minds - Real Life (1991)

Simple Minds - Real Life (1991)

Simple Minds - Real Life (1991)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 340 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 120 Mb | Scans ~ 63 Mb | 00:52:15
Alternative Pop/Rock, Dance-Rock | Label: Virgin | # CDV 2660, 0777 7 86384 2 1

Real Life is the ninth studio album by Scottish rock band Simple Minds, released in April 1991. This was the first Simple Minds album recorded without keyboardist and original bandmember Mick MacNeil, who left the band after the previous tour in 1990. The core band on this album comprise only Jim Kerr, Charlie Burchill, and Mel Gaynor (who all appear on the rear cover), with the remaining personnel being session musicians.

The album features several songs that are reworkings of older material or were reworked into new songs on subsequent releases. "Let the Children Speak" is based on the 1981 Simple Minds instrumental "Theme for Great Cities" from Sister Feelings Call. A re-recorded version of that piece, called "Theme for Great Cities '91" appeared as a B-side of the "See the Lights" single. "Travelling Man" bears some resemblance to the 1983 song "Waterfront" from Sparkle in the Rain. "When Two Worlds Collide" is based on the title track as is the 1995 song "And The Band Played On" which appeared on the following album Good News from the Next World. "Women and Ghosts" ncluded on the US edition of 1995 single "Hypnotised" is a reworked instrumental version of the title track.

Real life has to be one of the most under rated and overlooked albums by Simple Minds and is without question a worthy inclusion in their back catalogue. It is also an album whose appeal had matured over the years and is in retrospect a better release than many of us considered it to be at the time. What prevents this album from achieving the full 5 stars are the American market orientated tracks `Ghost rider' and `African Skies' which don't really fit in with the rest of the album's direction, and the rather weak last track `Two worlds Collide' which is basically the title track with a different vocal and softer drums which fades away into not much.

This albums real strengths are not only the singles released from the album `See the Lights' (forgive me love I'm too proud to cry), `Let there be love' and `Real Life' but also album tracks `Woman', `Banging On The Door', `Let the children speak', `Travellin' Man' and `Rivers Of Ice' are superb. The production quality on this album is also very good. The sound is clean, crisp and punchy and a joy to listen to. I suspect that legendary producer and musician Steve Lipson's production played a part in this. Listening to the quality production on this album from the 90's begs the question why more recent releases from newer bands are not up to this standard?

The Amazon review does contain some inaccuracies as it declares Simple minds were a duo during this album. Mel Gaynor was definitely part of the line up that made and toured this album, I know this because I saw Simple Minds on tour during the Real Life tour and that was definitely Mel playing his drums. Another clue would the album cover which features Mel and also the linear notes where Mel is credited as the drummer. The Amazon review also unfairly accuses Simple minds of plagiarising their former output and also criticises their previous album `Street Fighting years' which happens to be one of the bands finest works.

The follow up to this album was the ponderous and less subtle `Good news from the next World' which really marked the beginning of the decline of Simple Minds musical output during the 90's which bottomed out with the disappointing Neapolis album. Fans would have to wait for over 15 years until the superb five star album Black and White 050505 until Simple Minds returned to the form of this album and its predecessors.

I paid the full price when this album was originally released and felt it was a good purchase, but now available at a much lower price, this is a bargain for an album of this quality. If you are a Simple Minds fan that does not yet own this album, then this is a safe purchase. You will enjoy this album, guaranteed.

One prize Simple Minds will never win is for being the most consistent band in the world. Some of their albums have been strong (New Gold Dream, Sparkle in the Rain, and Once Upon a Time, to name a few), while others have been weak and disappointing. Real Life isn't terrible, but play it next to any of those aforementioned albums, and you're reminded how much less inspired their writing had become by the early '90s. Though some of the songs are decent (including the catchy "Stand By Love" and the haunting "Woman"), the majority of them aren't very memorable. Only the most devoted Simple Minds fans will want this generally uneventful CD; more casual listeners would be much better off sticking to the band's mid-'80s work.


01. Real Life (4:53)
02. See The Lights (4:22)
03. Let There Be Love (4:57)
04. Woman (4:40)
05. Stand By Love (4:04)
06. Let The Children Speak (4:17)
07. African Skies (4:52)
08. Ghostrider (3:22)
09. Banging On The Door (Intro) (1:17)
10. Banging On The Door (4:22)
11. Travelling Man (3:35)
12. Rivers Of Ice (3:30)
13. When Two Worlds Collide (4:02)

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