• Simple Minds: Life In A Day

    10 Feb 2006, 21:10 by Progbear

    Life In A Day

    The Scottish band’s 1979 debut is a far cry from the bombastic U2-clones they eventually metamorphosed into. This definitely falls into the “post-punk” category, with a herky-jerky, anxious “new-wave” sound very much of its time. Lots of synthesizer, saxophone and jagged guitar stabs. Jim Kerr would drop his voice an octave on ensuing albums to Bryan Ferry-ize his delivery. Here he sounds rather like a cross between Russell Mael of Sparks and Andy Partridge of XTC. The latter is a valid stylistic comparison (early XTC anyway), the former a highly likely influence.

    The band were progressing along a similar line as Ultravox, an arty, Doctors Of Madness-style post-punk odyssey. Guitarist Charlie Burchill even whips out an electric violin for the haunting Pleasantly Disturbed.

    In any case, I find the early, pre-fame Simple Minds albums to be highly appealing. Of their early albums, this is probably the most tuneful. Also the least characteristic of their general sound.