V2364 Once Upon A Time
Produced by Jimmy Iovine, Bob Clearmountain
Released on November 1985
UK CHART POSITION #1 . . . US CHART POSITION #10 . . . GOLD RECORD
Find it at GEMM
V2364 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

A t first, I was with Trouser Press on this one (“virtually unlistenable,” “the most appalling sell-out in recent memory”). But that was years ago, and I’ve mellowed some since then. New Gold Dream (the other Simple Minds record I’ve listened to a lot) is still the gold standard for me. Once Upon A Time isn’t a better record, just a good bet to please anyone who liked New Gold Dream and their stunning contribution to the brilliant film, The Breakfast Club. (Yes, yes, lots of sarcasm there.) Once again, Simple Minds had a string of singles on their hands: “Alive and Kicking,” “Sanctify Yourself,” “All The Things She Said,” “Ghost Dancing.” And, once again, even the album tracks were awfully impressive: “Oh Jungleland,” “Once Upon A Time.” Simple Minds evoke what’s best about ‘80s rock: U2, The Call, Japan, Icehouse, Big Country. They rose about the lure of easy money and made music that mattered. Maybe not to Trouser Press, but to lots of other people. Why this didn’t grab me the first time, I don’t know. Jaded ears maybe, that regarded Jim Kerr’s overwrought vocals and the smoothly mannered, mildly funky music behind it as self-cancelling. These are troubled songs some of them (“Ghost Dancing,” “Oh Jungleland’) with a remarkably smooth façade, and a lot of bands made the mistake of using pop music as a pulpit, but a handful (U2, Big Country, Simple Minds) pulled it off. ‘Twas a time when music was going to make the world a better place. Once Upon A Time does, for forty minutes anyway, and you can’t ask a piece of plastic to do more than that.

TRACK LISTING

  1. ONCE UPON A TIME    5:44
  2. ALL THE THINGS SHE SAID    4:16
  3. GHOST DANCING    4:46
  4. ALIVE AND KICKING    5:24
  5. OH JUNGLELAND    5:12
  6. I WISH YOU WERE HERE    4:42
  7. SANCTIFY YOURSELF    5:00
  8. COME A LONG WAY    5:08

    All songs written by Simple Minds

CREDITS

CHARLES BURCHILL -- guitars
MEL GAYNOR -- drums & vocals
JOHN GIBLIN -- bass guitars
JIM KERR -- lead vocals
MICHAEL MACNEIL -- piano & synthesisers
Carlos Alomar -- backing vocals
Michael Been -- backing vocals
Robin Clark -- additional lead singer
Sue Hadjopoulos -- extra percussion (2)
The Simms Brothers -- backing vocals
Moira Marquis -- engineer
Mark McKenna -- engineer
Mick Haggerty -- art
Anton Corbijn -- photography

return to SIMPLE MINDS discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK November 1985 Virgin LP/LPPIC/CD/CS V/VP/CDV/TCV-2364 lyric sleeve, avail. as picture disc
US November 1985 A&M LP/CD/CS SP/CS-5092 lyric sleeve
BRA 1985 Virgin LP 1048346  
CAN 1985 Virgin LP VL-2342  
GER 1985 Virgin LP 207.350.630 lyric sleeve
JPN 1985 Virgin LP 25VB-1056  
YUG 1985 Jugoton LP SVIRG-11137  
UK 2002 Virgin CD SIMCDX-7  
UK 2003 Virgin CD SIMCD-7 24-bit digital remaster
UK 2003 Virgin CD SACDV-2364 SACD remaster
US 2003 Virgin CD 13016 digital remaster

 

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