Thursday, August 23, 2018

"Alive and Kicking" by Simple Minds

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  2505
Date:  10/19/1985
Debut:  52
Peak:  3
Weeks:  20
Genre:  Arena Rock

Pop Bits:  Following the worldwide success of their #1 hit "Don't You (Forget About Me)" from the soundtrack to The Breakfast Club, Simple Minds set out to record their eighth album, Once Upon a Time. Wanting to distance themselves away from the hit that made them famous, they decided to do a full album with famed rock producer Jimmy Iovine that completely ignored their now-signature tune. With a beefier, arena-ready sound that invited comparisons to U2, the band issued out this first single from the album. It would easily reach #2 at Rock while breaking into the Top 3 at Pop. It would also see a little time on the Dance chart getting to #25. The hit would help the album reach #10 and go gold. It would be their most successful studio album in the US.

ReduxReview:  I always thought it was kind of funny that the band disowned "Don't You (Forget About Me)," but then on their next LP they write and release this song which was not too far off from the sound and production of that hit. Luckily, it turned out to be a good tune and it ended up giving them a second Top 10. My favorite part was always the quiet piano break followed by the section featuring Robin Clark (see below) that led to the final chorus. It always irritated me that the radio version cut this part down quite a bit. The full album version is the only way to go. The band could have easily been a one-hit wonder if they had not been able to follow-up "Don't You," but this song made sure they were not (although their US charting career was short-lived).

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  The female background vocalist on this track and others on the album is singer Robin Clark. When she was still a teenager, she joined a band that included a young Luther Vandross and her future husband, guitarist Carlos Alomar. All three performers would get a career boost when they appeared on David Bowie's 1975 album Young Americans. Clark continued to work with other artists and do jingle work as well. The spotlight was put back on her thanks to her appearance on the Simple Minds album. In addition to being featured on some tracks, Clark also appeared in two of the album's videos and she joined the band for their tour in support of the album.


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