Charlie Burchill - guitar, vocals; Derek Forbes - bass; Jim Kerr - vocals, guitar; Mel Gaynor - drums; Mick MacNeil - keyboards; Robin Clarke - guest vocals; Sue Hadjopolous - percussion
Simple Minds were at their peak as a commercially successful and critically acclaimed recording and performing act when this show was recorded for the King Biscuit Flower Hour on the band's Once Upon A Time tour. The basic line-up of the band was augmented by vocalist Robbie Clark, and ace percussionist Sue Hadjopolous (who had worked extensively with Joe Jackson).
The group had been around for eight years when they finally hit platinum pay dirt with the theme song from the popular teen movie, The Breakfast Club. This show was the second of two recorded in 1985 for the King Biscuit Flower Hour Radio concert series. In the set, they do mostly material from the new album, as well as a handful of older hits. "Glittering Prize" is played with high-powered energy, and slides easily into the compelling tale about US politics, "The American." The band delivers a ten-minute version of "The King Is White And In The Crowd," and a version of "Waterfront," (named after the famous Marlon Brando film). They close the set with "New Gold Dream," which U2's Bono has said is one of the best rock songs ever recorded.
Simple Minds evolved from the punk band Johnny & The Self Abusers, which featured Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill, and later, the band's initial rhythm section. Heavily influenced by The Velvet Underground, the band re-named itself Simple Minds in 1977, taking the moniker from a line in the David Bowie classic, "Jean Genie."
The band initially signed with Arista Records in 1979, who was looking for a UK version of radio friendly rockers, The Cars, and they experimented with everything from straightforward riff-rock to minimalist abstract soundscapes. In 1981, they moved over to Virgin Records, who paired them with several key producers, including Steve Lillywhite, who had produced several of the early U2 albums. It would not be until 1985 that Simple Minds would finally become a household name and secure its place in rock history. Early in the year, the band was asked to record a song written by producer Keith Forsey, entitled "Don't You Forget About Me." The song had been first offered to both Billy Idol and Bryan Ferry, both of whom passed on it.
Simple Minds was asked to record because it was going to be the opening song in the film, The Breakfast Club, the first of the Brat-pack films starring Emilio Estevez, Molly Ringwald, and Ally Sheedy. The film was teen box office smash, and the track by Simple Minds (thanks to a popular MTV video) became one of the biggest records of that year. The band had a run of several MTV hits shortly thereafter, and gained notoriety as an opening act for Peter Gabriel. By 1987, however, the run of hits had dried up, and the band has had to rely on its strong fanbase left over from its glory years.
Simple Minds today only contains Kerr and Burchill from the original line-up. They have continued to write, record, and tour, with their newest album being released in 2006.