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Big Music [LP]

4.4 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The 16th album from Scotland s legendary electronic rock pioneers Simple Minds, and their first album of new material since 2009. The band hit #1 worldwide and in the US in the 80s & 90s with albums including Sparkle in the Rain and New Gold Dream. They have returned with Big Music, a swaggering collection that reiterates their world-class credentials, it is the culmination of a decade of stealthy rediscovery.

Made with an array of collaborators old and new including co-writer Iain Cook (of Glasgow band Chvrches) and producers Steve Osborne, Andy Wright and Steve Hillage (who worked on 1981's Sons And Fascination / Sister Feelings Call) Big Music is an irresistible mix of artistry and accessibility.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Blindfolded
  2. Midnight Walking
  3. Honest Town
  4. Big Music
  5. Human
  6. Blood Diamonds
  7. Let The Day Begin
  8. Concrete And Cherry Blossom
  9. Imagination
  10. Kill Or Cure
  11. Broken Glass Park
  12. Spirited Away


Product Details

  • Vinyl (December 9, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Caroline
  • ASIN: B00NXAA2VQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,763 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David Parker on November 24, 2014
Format: Audio CD
While U2 bask in the glory of being able to have nearly everyone in the world know about their new album, if not have it on their phones and devices, Simple Minds, as usual, reside in the background of the fame they had nearly thirty years ago. Not that they have been on the sidelines or broken-up for long periods of time - it's just that their presence in the U.S. is not nearly what is was when songs like "Don't you forget about me" ruled the airwaves. In fact, their most recent output, albums like "Neopolis" and "Black and White" were a great surprise to me, as I had sort of forgotten about them over the last few years but decided to revisit. (Their most recent work, "Graffiti Soul" was a nice return to form, as well). But this....WOW. A big, loud, overt album with nary a bad song. And I do mean LOUD - with the emphasis on heavy synths and pounding electronic percussion. (I suppose I could say that my only problem with the album is that Charlie Burchill's guitar is mixed to the rear too much of the time - but that would be middling). This is at once a very modern take on their 80's sound, but with a solid foot in the big choruses and catchy chord structures that made them so great in the eighties. And with their 90's output being so generally forgettable, this is a real welcome album. In considering the excellent extra tracks on the special-edition bonus disc (minus the two lame cover songs), I would say that this is probably their best since "New Gold Dream" or "Once upon a time". 37 years on, that's no small feat. Bravo, guys!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
From a long time fan of Simple Minds - rediscovered the band a year or so ago. I call it "songs you forgot you loved". I won't be forgetting this release for a long time. It is brilliant. SM has the complete package - catchy tunes, thoughtful lyrics, great voice, talented keyboards and drums. I do miss Mr. Burchill's guitar. Thrilled that SM is once again trying to break into the US and released this here. It has been a long month waiting for this to arrive! Do yourself a favor and buy the deluxe version - you do not want to miss Disc Two!
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Song for song, BIG MUSIC is (pun alert) quite simply one of the best records of Simple Mind's twisty, storied, and widely misunderstood career. To give you an idea where I'm coming from, here's my top-5 list of SM records:
SPARKLE IN THE RAIN (the powerhouse pinnacle of pre-BREAKFAST CLUB Minds)
NEW GOLD DREAM (top-to-bottom brilliance - lush, dynamic, and memorable)
SONS & FASCINATION / SISTER FEELINGS CALL (big double-album packed with favorites)
NEAPOLIS (electro-heavy record in which SM sheds their tiresome "pop rock" skin)
BLACK AND WHITE (05 05 05) (the modern "comeback" begins)

BIG MUSIC represents the third record of SM's "return to form" that, according to general consensus, began with B&W (05 05 05) and continued with the exceptional GRAFFITI SOUL / SEARCHING FOR THE LOST BOYS double album. This latest incarnation of the band sees them blending everything they were ever great at it into one big heady stew.

Every track on BIG is a winner, although, as always, some jump out at you more quickly than others. The single, "Honest Town" appeals on the first listen, as do "Blood Diamonds" and "Broken Glass Park" - especially to those who are familiar with these last two from the 2013 CELEBRATE collection, where they appeared in substantially different versions. It should be noted the BIG MUSIC takes are much better. The title track is yet another familiar name to hardcore fans who will recognize it from their 2014 live CD/DVD release. And need I say it again? The studio cut trounces the live one.
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Format: Audio CD
Once upon a time Simple Minds were competing against U2 and Big Country in becoming the biggest band on earth. U2 obviously were the big winners. Regarding Simple Minds themselves, they were major culprits who finally lost their way in a complete manner with the 1995 release of Good News from the Next World (1991s Real Life was not bad but lacked inspiration) and alienating their fans with so-so releases for the next decade (me included, still buying all their releases). The tide turned somewhat with their 2005 release Black & White 050505, which brought back signs of confidence and enthusiasm that had been absent for a long time. Their 2009 Graffiti Soul release was another fine album, and although both aforementioned albums were somewhat uneven, Graffiti Soul had few low points and deservedly breaking the top 10 in the UK, their first to do so since 1995.

Fast forward to 2014 and Simple Minds are back with an album after having toured extensively for the past years. I have listened to this set 7-8 times via streaming Simple Minds themselves provided to introduce the album. The title, Big Music, says it all. There is not one single track here being anything close to being a ballad or acoustic; this is a bombastic album with heavy synth and bass dominant in all songs, many songs being potential audience friendly rockers for stadium concerts (Simple Minds will tour all over Europe in 2015). In short, there are here some really great tracks but in whole the set is let down by a few clunkers. By replacing some of those clunkers with some slower tracks and maybe a bit less synth and bombastic ones, the set would have been close to perfect; but that may just not being Simple Minds today.

The first three tracks, like on their Graffiti Soul release, are fantastic.
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