Sons and Fascination

Release date
14 Sep 1981
Running length
13 tracks
Running time


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    Track     Duration Listeners
1 In Trance As Mission 6:52 7,448
2 Sweat in Bullet 4:28 19,172
3 70 Cities As Love Brings the Fall 4:49 5,838
4 Boys from Brazil 5:31 5,305
5 Love Song 3:51 43,449
6 This Earth That You Walk Upon 5:26 7,262
7 Sons and Fascination 5:23 6,463
8 Seeing Out the Angel 6:10 6,009
9 Theme for Great Cities 5:51 39,116
10 The American 3:33 34,553
11 20th Century Promised Land 4:54 6,185
12 Wonderful in Young Life 5:21 4,709
13 Careful in Career 5:07 4,301

About this album

For their fourth album in three years, Simple Minds signed on with Virgin and enlisted Gong’s Steve Hillage as producer. The sessions continued the group’s impressive run of high-quality output, but there are instances where ambition gets the best of them. Though their work with Hillage hardly spawned anything on a plane with the two albums that preceded it and the one that followed it, it’s still a substantial piece of the Simple Minds puzzle. Bridging the art disco of Empires and Dance with the pop masterpiece New Gold Dream, the album falters when the band seems to be reaching a bit too far for their own good. The other stumbling block is Hillage’s production: Where the basslines of Empires and Dance snapped and tugged and where the drums hit with brisk smacks and thick thumps, the echo-gauze of the production work diminishes the impact of the band’s greatest asset and makes everything sound bigger and busier than necessary. (The massive qualities of New Gold Dream sound much more natural and less forced in comparison.) The record isn’t without moments of brilliance, like the exquisitely detailed “70 Cities As Love Brings the Fall” (a great balance between grand melodies and bizarre noise), the insistently snaking “In Trance As Mission,” and “Sweat in Bullet,” which has sparkling keyboard parts and crafty guitar interplay. Aside from these moments, the mind tends to wander and wonder if the band was trying to do too much. Upon its release, Sons and Fascination was issued for a limited time with a bonus LP, the scattered Sister Feelings Call, which includes a great pre-Sons and Fascination A-side (“The American”). When Virgin issued Sons and Fascination on CD in 1985, the majority of Sister Feelings Call was tacked to the end.

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  • dwlx

    Relistening to this album many years later, one can only regret that Simple Minds never hooked up with Eno. There are a number of tracks here that one could easily imagine being lifted into something magical by The Domed One.

    8 Dec 2011 Reply
  • android1985

    pretty hard to choose between this and New Gold Dream as favorite SM album right now. Depends on the mood. And then there's Empires and Dance and Real to Real ....

    5 Nov 2010 Reply
  • hearditfirst

    Steve Hillage should have been assigned to clean up the rather disappointing mess of NGDream. The two albums Sons / Sisters are their peak...

    2 Mar 2010 Reply
  • CDPETE01

    you can hear the sound they heading towards instantly,infact the first track could have come New Gold Dream,except that is'nt possible.I never heard this but I think I need to invest in some of the pre 1982 albums.

    7 Mar 2009 Reply

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