100 Greatest Songs of The 80’s #11 Simple Minds – New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)

Released : 1983

One person is sometimes first to the moment. Whilst Morrissey was singing about being ill and Bono about war, Jim Kerr had other things he wanted to share, of everything being possible, of glittering prizes and golden dreams which sped out towards horizons not yet seen or imagined. For Simple Minds half a decade of experiencing sporadic success and then going two steps backwards had failed to dull their collective hunger. And when Kerr wrote Promised You A Miracle, he delivered one back on himself in the form of their first top 30 hit.

Few other British albums sounded so big in 1983. Taking a gamble the band’s management company settled on 20 year old Pete Walsh to produce New Gold Dream, a vastly ambitious album full of hypnotic, textural synthesisers which when combined with Kerr’s gnostic words made for a series of fascinating collisions between europhile art pop and vibrant commercial rock.

Such was the band’s confidence in this material that the album’s steepling title track was relegated to being first up on side two; fading in, the symphonic chords were almost prog, before Derek Forbes rubbery, pneumatic bass anchored it, a booming Kerr remaining just about still attached to this planet. Where their former contemporaries brought people gloom and endless twilight, New Gold Dream offered them spectacle instead, a futuristic theatre in which, in that perfect moment, Simple Minds were suddenly no longer a footnote.


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