1989, Music

Street Fighting Years (1989) by Simple Minds

Simple Minds is one of those bands that put out an absolute ton of music but which I was only aware of due to their biggest hit. Until 2018 or 2019 I had never heard a single album of there’s. That one album sounded too much like U2 to me, but mostly because of Kerr. That was an unfair criticism for many reasons, in part because I believe this band was releasing music prior to U2. (So Bono sounds like Kerr at times, I guess.)

Simple Minds are one of the innumerable bands to emerge from the Post Punk scene with a sound that is relatively conventional, which sounds much more like “pop rock” than it does post punk, especially at this stage. (Not at all dissimilar to U2. I really have to stop with that.) Listening to this record, I’m not sure the average person would think that it came about as an eventual result of punk music. That’s not a criticism necessarily, but it’s just a fact that I find interesting.

This is a big-sounding record. Though there aren’t always an absolute ton of instruments at all times, there is a lot of space to the recording when it is just Kerr’s voice and a few instruments, and that space is really, really filled up when the full band is playing. It’s another thing that brings up similarities with that more famous band I’m trying desperately not to talk about. But this sounds less unique, of course.

I guess by all these references to another band I’m trying to say that Simple Minds don’t sound unique enough to me. I’m not sure what it is specifically that I’m supposed to be won over by. The songs are catchy enough. When I pay attention the lyrics are fine. I’m not sure the cover of “Biko” was musically necessary, though I guess the more bands singing about apartheid in 1989 the better. The record is blessedly relatively free of ’80s ness, except on the odd track (such as “Wall Of Love”). ┬áIt’s well made. But I just don’t care. And I don’t know why I should.


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