Saturday, September 1, 2012

new gold dream

Simple Minds reached the zenith of their creative powers with the lush and hypnotic glittering glory and transcendent visionary majesty of this spiritual synth-pop masterpiece.  Sessions for 'New Gold Dream' began after a successful tour in Australia promoting 'Sons and Facination / Sister Feelings Call' as the opening act for Icehouse.  Jim Kerr remembers:  “You don't expect much reaction as the support band but people were going nuts. In Australia they had fantastic pirate-style radio and all the British stuff was being played on bootlegs, from the Banshees right through – and these stations had huge ratings and we heard ourselves being played constantly. We left the country holding gold discs! And I remember feeling, this pop star lark, it's pretty good. And I don't think it's any coincidence that the first song we wrote when we got back was as catchy as 'Promised You A Miracle'.”

Rehearsals took place in a large converted barn in Perthshire, Scotland with Kerr on lead vocals; Charlie Burchill on guitars and effects; Michael MacNeil on keyboards and effects; Derek Forbes on bass guitar, and Mike Ogletree replacing Kenny Hyslop on drums.  By the time the band made it to  Townhouse Studios in London, Ogletree was having trouble finding his groove; so producer Pete Walsh suggested studio drummer Mel Gaynor step in.  

All three drummers played on the album:  Ogletree on "Colours Fly and Catherine Wheel", "Somebody Up There Likes You", and "New Gold Dream (81/82/83/84)"; Mel Gaynor on "Someone Somewhere in Summertime", "Big Sleep", "New Gold Dream (81/82/83/84)", "Glittering Prize", "Hunter and the Hunted", and "The King is White and in the Crowd"; and Hyslop on "Promised You A Miracle". Mike Ogletree played during the beginning of the 'New Gold Dream' tour, but left the band and was replaced by Mel Gaynor.  Sharon Campbell was the voice on "Colours Fly and Catherine Wheel" and "Glittering Prize"; and Herbie Hancock did a guest synthesizer solo on "Hunter and the Hunted".

Kerr remembers:  “The amazing thing was the producer, Pete Walsh: he'd worked with Heaven 17. We did 'Miracle' first with him. We were only in our early 20s, he was only in his teens. He was a kid. But he and his elder brother had somewhow both worked with Herbie Hancock, and he was at the Townhouse at the time as us. So our guys were never slow in coming forward; 'Play a wee bit, Herbie!' And he rolled the track a couple of times and, as we're finding out, it's a difficult thing to emulate. What a cameo...I have the most beautiful memories of 'New Gold Dream'. It was made in a time between Spring and Summer and everything we tried worked. There were no arguments. We were in love with what we were doing, playing it, listening to it. You don't get many periods in your life when it all goes your way...No matter who it is, whether it's Springsteen or Bowie, they get certain moments that they're never going to beat. And what word we all learned from the NME, the Zeitgeist. You get to hark back to it, maybe revisit another version of it... but it slips through your fingers. We were big, but not at the point where jobs depended on us. That came later.”

'New Gold Dream' went to number sixty-nine in the US, thirty-three in the Netherlands, thirty in France, nine in Sweden, eight in Australia, three in the UK, and two in New Zealand.

The single for "Promised You A Miracle" was released in April of 1982, five months before the album.  It was the only song the band recorded with Kenny Hyslop during his five month stint as drummer.  It broke the band into the British top forty for the first time; hitting twenty-five in Ireland and the Netherlands, seventeen in Sweden, thirteen in the UK, ten in Australia, and nine in New Zealand. 

Promised you a miracle 
Belief is a beauty thing 
Promises promises 
As golden days break wondering 
Chance as love takes a train 
Summer breeze and brilliant light 
One love she sees 
He controls on love 
Love sails to a new life 

"Glittering Prize" made it to sixteen in the UK, eleven in Ireland and Sweden, nine in Australia, and four in New Zealand.

Shine On, Shine the Light on me, 
In all of my Life so that much more I see 
In the Light of his Love 
In the Light of reflection 
Oh what a world 
Or sometimes oh so it seems 
Eyes in the skies 
In that silver gift friendship 
A Glittering Prize 
Is it the prize of lost loves 
They can remember quiet sides of midnight 
They can remember the attraction of fame 
Like a Glittering Prize 
I saw up on a clear day 
First taking hearts 
Then our last breath away 

"Someone Somewhere In Summertime" went to 
fifty-one in Australia, thirty-six in the UK, and nineteen in Ireland. 

Stay, I'm burning slow 
With me in the rain, walking in the soft rain 
Calling out my name 
See me burning slow 
Brilliant days, wake up on brilliant days 
Shadows of brilliant ways will change all the time 
Memories, burning gold memories 
Gold of day memories change me in these times 
Somewhere there is some place, 
That one million eyes can't see 
And somewhere there is someone, 
Who can see what I can see 
Someone, Somewhere In Summertime 

"In Every Heaven" was a bonus track.

'New Gold Dream'
full album:

1."Someone Somewhere In Summertime" – 00:00
2."Colours Fly and Catherine Wheel" – 04:39 
3."Promised You A Miracle" – 08:29 
4."Big Sleep" – 12:57  
5."Somebody Up There Likes You" – 18:03  
6."New Gold Dream (81/82/83/84)" – 23:05 
7."Glittering Prize" – 28:43  
8."Hunter and the Hunted" – 33:18 
9."King Is White and in the Crowd" – 39:15

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