The story has been told hundreds of times. A group struggles to find their sound, jumping from style to style, before it all comes together for one brief moment. Then, in a flash, it's gone and the group spends the rest of its career trying desperately to re-capture past glories. The Simple Minds fit that description all too well.
Formed in '78, the Glascow band was originally a Punk outfit known as Johnny and the Self-Abusers with vocalist Jim Kerr, guitarist Charlie Burchill, bassist Tony Donald, keyboardist Mick McNeil and drummer Brian McGee (who left in '84 and was replaced by Mel Gaynor).
Turning their sound in a more accessible direction paid dividends with charting albums "New Gold Dream" and "Sparkle In The Rain." The group also toured with the Pretenders and Kerr was briefly married to main Pretender, Chrissie Hynde. All this was well and good, but it was a song in the '85 film "The Breakfast Club" that put the Simple Minds on the map.
"Don't You (Forget About Me)," a song turned down by Bryan Ferry and nearly turned down by Simple Minds, became a #1 hit. Kerr thought it was nothing more than a superficial pop song and sought to distance himself and the group from it. Though the "Don't You (Forget About Me)" appeared on "The Breakfast Club" soundtrack album, it was not included on the Simple Minds' next LP "Once Upon A Time." Despite the omission the record went gold.
The Simple Minds then lurched toward their Punk roots and political commentary, which cost them their audience. A failed attempt to return to the mainstream sealed their fate. The Simple Minds soon splintered with new members added around the Kerr/Burchill axis. Though they continued recording, it was absent any impact.
1979 Life In a Day
1979 Real To Real Cacophony
1980 Empires And Dance
1981 Sons And Fascination/Sister Feelings Call
1982 New Gold Dream
1984 Sparkle In The Rain
1985 Once Upon A Time
1989 Street Fighting Years
1991 Real Life
1995 Good News From The Next World
2000Our Secrets Are The Same
2005 Black & White
2009 Graffiti Soul
2014 Big Music
While the Simple Minds never recreated the success of "Don't You (Forget About Me)" they did produce several notable tracks including, "All The Things She Said," "Sanctify Yourself," "Alive and Kicking," "See The Light" and the frantic "Up On The Catwalk." These songs (and more) are on "The Best Of Simple Minds."