on December 9, 2000
New Gold Dream is the quintessential example of Simple Minds' magical combintation of new age synth sounds and guitar-based post punk pop music. From the dancey, title track, New Gold Dream, to the etherial instrumental, Somebody Up There Likes You, this album towers above the other great new age classics from Great Britain in the early 80s. I believe this is one of the best albums of all times.
on February 7, 2010
I ended up buying this remastered version when I already owned the limited edition LP style CD remaster. I was going to sell the imported mini LP version and keep this one but something strange happened. When I put in this version to listen to it took less than 10 seconds into Someone, Somewhere In Summertime to realize something was wrong. This remaster is not the same as the LP style CD. Not even close. To put it simply, someone has taken quite a bit of the top off this record (the sheen you could say) and it sounds wrong, all wrong. Having owned the original LP when it came out in 1982 (purple and gold vinyl!) and the original A+M CD version I have a fairly good idea of what it should sound like. This remaster is compressed and all wrong.
You have to ask yourself why there would be two different remastered versions of this CD. It is really strange. The lushness of the synthesizers, the guitars, the cymbals and little details are all muted and not upfront like they should be. It is literally like they have been shaved off (by equalization I assume) during the remastering process. Jim Kerr's vocals, on the other hand, are up front too much, in contrast to the some of the music, when his vocals should be buried in the mix more and with more reverb and echo on the them. That's how the record was made. I have no idea how this was done by the remastering engineer but it was done. It is basically, remixed and remastered, as if someone didn't know what it was supposed to sound like and decided to change it to what they thought it should be. It is truly strange.
I had a friend over who is not a Simple Minds fan (doesn't know this record at all) but he installs high end home theater systems and I played him about 30 seconds of the first track from each CD and asked him if he noticed anything about the two different CD versions. He noticed the difference easily. That tells you something.
If you want to buy this CD buy the limited edition LP style version. It sounds like what this classic record should sound like. The remastering is superb.
Why would you not use the UK remaster?
I even made a copy of this version to keep and show people how different they are.
Consider this a warning.
on March 30, 2002
To the record company-- this album needs to be re-released in the US!!!
As a dedicated listener of post-punk new wave music during the golden days of KROQ in Pasadena, CA (late 1970's until early 1990's), the Simple Minds stood out as the perfect balance between aggressive guitar rock and smooth synthesizer melody. Hearing this album (and also Sparkle in the Rain) was like finding your favorite toy from childhood. New Gold Dream falls on the more melodic side of the Simple Minds. The Simple Minds missed their calling as film composers-- their instrumental tracks are among some of their best compositions.
on January 27, 2003
Simple Minds should never be laid to the side without a close listen. Certainly, not everything they produced was on par with this album and Sparkle in the Rain, but how many albums of this stature have been produced in the history of mankind? Simple Minds never realized the greatness of Pink Floyd in a monetary sense, but in musical and experimental livelihood and uniqueness, they match perfectly. This is not to say that Simple Minds is not a journey of its own, only that in stature they deserve a place with greats such as Floyd and Moody Blues. A sense of owing popularity a bit to U2's own, despite vague similarities to U2's later works such as 'Joshua Tree' and 'Unforgetable Fire' Simple Minds early on surpass them in pure genius.
Simple Minds is rightfully considered New Wave while on the same hand surpassing easy definition of the genre. Thought-provoking lyrics substantiated by powerful and experimental music. The entire album is set with grand schemes which aspires to, and achieves, etherial thought in music.
on February 19, 2004
This is a fine, fine recording of very different music. One of the things other reviewers haven't noted is the spiritual (and dare I say it evangelical) note of Jim's singing. He and Bono both came from a direction which in the US would have been called Christian Rock, but without the pigeonhole baggage US groups carried. He is so emotional in trying to deliver the lyric it is almost a collection of songs without words. You do not have even adequate coverage of the very, very best of 80's music without this CD, Sparkle In The Rain and Sons and Fascination. And the answer to "Why Didn't They Stay This Great?" is: Jim had his soul stolen by the greatest Alpha female rocker of all time, Chryssie Hynde. After her, he was never the same. Would you be any different?
on May 28, 2006
On this album, Simple Minds evolved from their brilliant underground electro-art-rock to, well, more accessible versions of the same thing. Although I love their previous phase, the band sounds more relaxed and natural on NEW GOLD DREAM (a bit like the change from Tears for Fears' THE HURTING to SONGS FROM THE BIG CHAIR).
Every song here is great except I really can't take "Promised You a Miracle" (the biggest hit, no less) which sounds like annoying, cheesy disco to me (obviously an unorthodox opinion, but to each his own). Typically, I skip it. "New Gold Dream" and "Glittering Prize" are also disco-tinged, but I like those two a lot. They're very up-beat with great melodies.
"Someone, Somewhere in Summertime" is one of those magical songs that warms the heart and, for me at least, evokes an indescribable feeling of nostalgia, even when I first heard it. I also really like the more "relaxed" songs like "Hunter and the Hunted" featuring a frantic-fingered Herbie Hancock (!) and the hypnotic "Big Sleep." "King is White and in the Crowd" is also hypnotic and dreamy.
The album's sound fits perfectly into the time it was made (1982), yet it doesn't sound dated, at least not in any negative way. If this is a quasi-disco album, so be it. Jim Kerr could be seen as letting his soul shine through a bit more on this one (which he continued to do more and more on subsequent albums). The band follows suit; everyone seems to have lightened up for this one. I'll always go back to this album.
(this review pertains to the original issue - haven't heard the remaster)
on September 23, 2008
I'm a little bit disappointed with this remastered version, it sounds almost tinny and lacking in bass. A perfect example is the opening track "Someone, somewhere in Summertime". Just because a CD is labelled "Digitally remastered" doesnt mean you are necessarily getting a better product over the original CD. Often the remastered CD is just a volume higher so that when you put it on it might sound better because it is really loud. I'm just not convinced. Perhaps record companies are just trying to get our money twice. Think about it.
on December 15, 2013
20 years ago I bought their CD 'glittering prizes', a CD with 'the best of'. Great songs, great compilation. Then I heard a song that wasn't on this compilation CD, but is on this. Decided to get it. And I've to say that it is really worth it: nice 80s music. And now I've a few more Simple Minds songs in my collection, always good.
on January 22, 2008
Dazzled by the iridescence of 'Glittering Prize', this startled reviewer could easily be duped into thinking that the rest of 'New Gold Dream' would come hurtling apologetically in on its shirt-tails.
It is SUCH a good song, all glammed up and sinewy, with a killer ethereal chorus, Jim Kerr's deep echoey vocal sending a chill down even the most resistant spine.
But one swallow doesn't make a summer, and it's a big ask of anyone to come up with a whole album which can stand eye-to-eye with its wistful, beautiful offspring.
Fortunately, 'NGD' does.
Nine exceptional songs, cosseted in a thick, viscous, production that allows them complete freedom to move into your consciousness and lurk there, long after you've finished listening.
On the first few hearings it sounds like our sad ole friend 'Stad-Rock' is rearing it's artless and pointless head again, but patience is giver of lasting reward; perseverance reveals all kinds of depth and nuance in the music, certainly above and beyond the highly polished veneer.
'Prize' itself is tucked away in a corner, but this of course only goes to heighten it's glory. The non-trumpeting of this neo-classic, in a way, sums up the recklessly brilliant core of 'NGD'
It sounds so effortless, you get the feeling they just knocked it together in a few hours - that the ideas came thick and fast one rainy Scottish afternoon (there is no other kind). The deep, fluid melodies broke through, bathed in some kind of artistic Borealis half-light, as the Simples lounged around a trendy café, smoking ciggies and quaffing expensive lager.
It even has, right at it's heart (shock! horror!), that contradiction in terms, that elusive rock leper - the (gasp!) interesting instrumental! Honest! Right in the middle!
As if the shock of that wasn't enough, the following title track cranks the excellence quota up to another level again. It's one of a series of songs here, blessed with some kind of innate grace, a tight, whirling elan. They expand, draw you in rather than drag you.
The more you listen to 'NGD`, the more you realise the little grain of good taste you thought it was, has become a mountain of good sense, and you'll know in your heart of hearts, it's what you (we!?) NEED.
Good songs, intelligently presented, is always a winning proposition, and coming after TWO previous storming albums, 'Reel to Real Cacophany' and 'Sons and Fascination' this is a peak of peaks in SM's ascendancy. Unfortunately the next album 'Sparkle in the Rain' was the beginning of the sad (but utterly unavoidable) decline.
Enjoy this one, a stunning album by a group at the absolute apex of its powers. Jammed with confidence and verve, delivering top notch soulful, atmospheric, sensuous anthems, almost nonchalantly.
Literally, a glittering prize.