“Life In A Day” by Simple Minds - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1979Album Chart of the Decade: 1970s

TJR says

At last, a decent band from Glasgow, hallelujah. After 18 months of building momentum, the first-ever Simple Minds release was finally delivered in April ’79 – and it was a full-length job, no messin’ about with these boys. The gallus five were: Jim Kerr (19, vocals); Charlie Burchill (19, guitar, violin); Derek Forbes (22, bass); Brian McGee (20, drums) and Mick MacNeil (20, keyboards). “Someone” is a bit of a glamourous piano stomper to begin, but a bit disappointing as an opener, devoid of hook. “Life In A Day” (which would be the debut single just a few weeks after the LP was issued) is next, and immediately lifts the album onto a higher plateau – what a great New Wave single, very much in the electro-post-punk spirit-of-now. It’s all a bit confusing when “Sad Affair” kicks in immediately afterwards; this seems to be a band experimenting, and this is the “let’s see what we’re like as The E Street Band” moment. They’re alright at it actually – if you like that kind of thing. Better is “All For You”, a New Wave rocker which benefits from some hot and dirty sax.

Side one ends with 8 minutes of slowcore via “Pleasantly Disturbed”, yet another track which takes the descending crescendo (if such a thing there be) from “I Wanna Be Your Dog” and twists it into something of their own as a measure of appreciation. This is done with subtly here, and the group ably demonstrate that they’re as sensitive as they are capable in 1979. Upping the mood and tempo straight away on side two is “No Cure”, which comes on like Roxy covering The Rats “Like Clockwork”. And then, la pièces de résistance; the classic “Chelsea Girl” (soon to be chosen as the second single) which is as hooky as Bowie’s hookiest. A big feature of the Minds debut has been the disparate influences from the various 70s scenes, and the Skids/Stranglers influenced “Wasteland” further underlines this. More than anything else, they’re a fine New Wave / Power Pop band, exemplified on the final two tracks; the Attractions-like “Destiny” and The Jags-like “Murder Story”. Very fashionable.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [03:43] 5.8.png Simple Minds - Someone (Jim Kerr, Charlie Burchill) New Wave
A2 [04:06] 7.8.png Simple Minds - Life In A Day (Jim Kerr, Charlie Burchill) New Wave
A3 [02:46] 5.6.png Simple Minds - Sad Affair (Jim Kerr, Charlie Burchill) Cerebral Pop
A4 [02:51] 7.2.png Simple Minds - All For You (Jim Kerr, Charlie Burchill) New Wave
A5 [07:59] 7.6.png Simple Minds - Pleasantly Disturbed (Jim Kerr, Charlie Burchill) Moodcore
B1 [03:35] 6.8.png Simple Minds - No Cure (Jim Kerr, Charlie Burchill) New Wave
B2 [04:35] 9.4.png Simple Minds - Chelsea Girl (Jim Kerr, Charlie Burchill) New Wave
B3 [03:46] 7.6.png Simple Minds - Wasteland (Jim Kerr, Charlie Burchill) New Wave
B4 [03:39] 6.0.png Simple Minds - Destiny (Jim Kerr, Charlie Burchill) New Wave
B5 [06:18] 6.6.png Simple Minds - Murder Story (Jim Kerr, Charlie Burchill) New Wave

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