Posts Tagged ‘Mick MacNeil’

Simple Minds / Street Fighting Years 4CD box set

On 6th March Simple Minds will release a brand new deluxe version of the classic album ‘Street Fighting Years’ as a 4-CD box set, including the original album remastered at Abbey Road plus a host of B-sides, edits and 12″ remixes. “Street Fighting Years” is the eighth studio album by Scottish rock band Simple Minds, released in May 1989. It was notably the last of the band’s albums to feature keyboard player/composer/founder member Mick MacNeil. MacNeil has subsequently mentioned that “Jim (Kerr) had already started talking about making changes” and the credits for the album suggested that Simple Minds had officially become a trio of the only three remaining founder members, It also includes a previously unissued Verona live show from 1989 plus brand new book including a new interview with Trevor Horn. Also available as 2-LP, 2-CD or remastered single CD.

Produced by Trevor Horn and Stephen Lipson (fresh from their work on Paul McCartney’s Flowers in the Dirt) the record ended up sounding very different from the previous album (1985’s Once Upon A Time).

The band were initially expecting the producing duo to deliver what Charlie Burchill describes as  “their thing” (meaning synths, sequencers etc.) but Horn and Lipson didn’t think that was the right approach, with Trevor saying (in the excellent Daryl Easlea sleeve note interviews) that “I don’t think the Frankie thing would have suited them. I wouldn’t impose something on someone”. Jim Kerr says “We thought Trevor and Steve would be the answer to everything. We thought we’d hitch our wagon to them. It turned out that they likewise thought they had taken their whole thing to a max and thought it would be great to work with a band who could just knock it out.”

They ended up exploring atmospheric soundscapes and incorporating slide guitars, accordions and in general exuding a more celtic/folk rock vibe (the album was recorded in the Highlands of Scotland). Street Fighting Years delivered the band’s first and only UK number one single ‘Belfast Child’ (which was the lead track on the ‘Ballad of the Streets EP). Three further singles were all top 20 UK hits.

The four-CD box is packaged like the previous Simple Minds super deluxe sets and comes with a hardcover book with photos and interviews with the band and Trevor Horn and a Simple Minds poster. It offers a remastered version of the original album on the first disc (by Andrew Walter), a selection of 15 edits, B-sides and remixes on disc two and then two CDs featuring a previously unissued live concert from L’Arena in Verona, Italy (recorded on 15 September 1989). Sadly, there are no demos and or a surround sound mix of the album as part of this offering.

Simple Minds / Street Fighting Years 2LP vinyl reissue