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Thanks to Merlin Wrightson‎ for posting on Simple Minds Official
September 19 at 10:42pm ·

"Just listening to Real Life, takes me back to 1991, walking round South Armagh in uniform thinking 'what am I doing here?' On a tape Walkman 🙂 Epic track, don't know where you got the inspiration for it from, but haunting and touching Jim. What do you think, hope you think it's one of your classics."

I like your choice Merlin. At the time I was writing a short story called Real Life. It was based on a group of young characters setting out to discover themselves. The work was almost complete when I received (by post) a cassette with three new musical ideas that Charlie Burchill had been working on. All three of them were good to my ears, and all three became prominent songs on what was to become our next album. One in particular seemed to have a presence that went beyond the normal pop/rock song. Seeming to be much more theatrical, like something that could have been out of a musical. It was as though it was asking to have a "story type" lyric written all over it - and I just happened to have a short story right there waiting to be applied.

I think it is an incredible piece of music. Charlie is a genius. The 'gothic operatic' intro chords and atmosphere alone - get me every time. And as for playing it live? That moment where it breaks down into the " Up high, 'bove desert sky, where the space shuttles scream etc." Well, I believe that really is a moment!

It is great that the song seems to have taken hold of you the way it did us.There are never any guarantees that just because we are touched, that anyone else will feel the same way.
That is why we make music for ourselves. Then of course hope dearly that it might click with others.

In any case, I am glad it maybe gave you some solace when you were wondering what was going with your life during that period in time. JK

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bttu7o3iU_0"
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Thanks to Merlin Wrightson‎ for posting on Simple Minds Official
September 19 at 10:42pm · 

Just listening to Real Life, takes me back to 1991, walking round South Armagh in uniform thinking what am I doing here? On a tape Walkman :) Epic track, dont know where you got the inspiration for it from, but haunting and touching Jim. What do you think, hope you think its one of your classics.

I like your choice Merlin. At the time I was writing a short story called Real Life. It was based on a  group of young characters setting out to discover themselves. The work was almost complete when I received (by post) a cassette with three new musical ideas that Charlie Burchill had been working on. All three of them were good to my ears, and all three became prominent songs on what was to become our next album. One in particular seemed to have a presence that went beyond the normal pop/rock song. Seeming to be much more theatrical, like something that could have been out of a musical. It was as though it was asking to have a story type lyric written all over it - and I just happened to have a short story right there waiting to be applied.

I think it is an incredible piece of music. Charlie is a genius. The gothic operatic intro chords and atmosphere alone - get me every time. And as for playing it live? That moment where it breaks down into the  Up high, bove desert sky, where the space shuttles scream etc. Well, I believe that really is a moment!

It is great that the song seems to have taken hold of you the way it did us.There are never any guarantees that just because we are touched, that anyone else will feel the same way. 
That is why we make music for ourselves. Then of course hope dearly that it might click with others.

In any case, I am glad it maybe gave you some solace when you were wondering what was going with your life during that period in time. JK

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bttu7o3iU_0

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Beautiful song, taking me to another place for a short moment. I would always listen to it while I’m on the move bc it felt too big for my little room. It needs scenery! Movement! Atmosphere! ❤️

I was also listening to Real Life yesterday whilst writing a section of my book. Great memories of the year I became Scotland's only professional balloon pilot.

I love this album. Rivers of Ice is that song for me. Always quiet tears.

One of my fav songs..got a lot of memories with this song ❤️

Taped the Concert of the telly in the Barrowlands still got it "Its a pleasure to play in the Barras " my later father watched it with me "That's what music is all about ...no gimmicks just live music great band " Its only rock n roll but I like it 😎😎

I remember when Real Life was in the charts and I was raving to a mate of mine how good it was.I took her to a pub where they had been playing it on their huge TVs screen. She too was blown away with it. Happy times.

Welcome back jim bravo Merlin! you give Jim a chance to talk about another amazing beautiful album! Atmospheres completely different and somewhat destabilizing after SFY .I remember that the Italian dj’s of that time (Marco Biondi and Alex Peroni) who presented it with some astonishment they did not expect a change of route especially over the contents. And in fact, this is a newspaper article from that time about you (let's say that your honesty is to say that the messages sent by SFY were sent to the world and it was also right not to go over in that sense ... where some “others” preferred to do immense cool impressions around the world making high-level speeches on how peace should be achieved in the world and how to fight famine for decades... but how sincere they were then in the end we will never know. Well this is just a bit of my real life Moments I hope you like it  Ouch ... well I ' I've been asking you a lot of times too "where you got the inspiration for it from ..." for see the lights ... I''ll be waiting for my turn. Stand by me acoustic in Zurich got me overwhelmed I didn’t expect such a pearl that way Jim! 🙂

Nice wee piece ther jim, i like finding out the stories behind the songs i love, i find it interesting and real life has always been one of my big favourite minds songs, it really grabbed hold of me on first listen to the album and has stayed with me ever since, i love it to this day 😊😊

Too purvey an idea, an emotion, as an artist, poet, musician, writer etc, must be one of the most, satisfying things, I think.? Validation too.😊 Remember seeing SM at Manchester Maine Road, the heavens opened, stiil, excellent vibe though. I'll never forget the intro to Real Life, it will be one of 'those' memories for a long loong time for me.😊

One of my favourites too 💜 Charlie Burchill is awesome 🎶 😎 Love to see it performed live again - not expecting to see any high kicks from Jim Kerr these days though 😄

Simply adore Real Life, you really well, Charlie is a real genius, only a beautiful wonderful soul can create something that magical 💖 Probably the feeling are for everyone in a way different, but for sure as special as they are for you 😉

Remember buying this album on cassette and sitting in my room with my (orange..) earphones on and listening to it from start to finish with no interruptions. Fantastic. And Real Life gave me goosebumps. Cant wait to see yous live again JK. ❤

I love this album. Come on Jim You must have that much writing stashed away. Its time for a book please.

Hi Jim... Real Life...as Francesca wrote..it's magical and i remember beeing in Zürich seeing SIMPLE MINDS REAL LIFE Tour and this start with it...always makes my feelings floating high...it is special!!

Great story great album Jim my favourite tracks being See The Lights and Banging On The Door. I remember taking the Father In Law to see you for the first time at Birmingham NEC on this tour he was amazed.

Proper stadium song with it's power and dynamics, great bit of guitar at the start. Where did the idea of the Led Zeppelin sample come from? btw watching Only Fools and Horses last night and Let There Be Love was playing in the background.

Listened to it every day in 1991 Jim. Went over to Germany for a football tournament in June 91 for 2 weeks. Came home ran upstairs and played it for hours, proper withdrawal symptoms. Amazing memories

Good Night, B Side, brilliant, When 2 World's Collide brilliant...listening to Neapolis 'Killing Andy Warhol' on the way home from work last night, another epic with a similar impact to Real Life. And on it goes...

Indeed a favourite of mine as well. Always were under the impression that Real Life had many influences of Sign o' the times of Prince. Great to hear that a short story was the base of it. Any idea of publishing it here or on the website some day?

The music always takes you to a time and a great album indeed.music is so special and certainly takes you on a journey...keep up the creative/live momentum as that is key of longevity of a really awesome live band

Real Life is definitely underrated , has some beautiful moments notably Banging On The Door and Rivers Of Ice , also love Let The Children Speak with its nod to Theme For Great Cities.

Real Life is a true SM classic, now 26+ years old! After SFY this opening track really opened people's eyes. It was SM in every sense, haunting chords, crashing drums and bringing the song down to an almost explosion of an encore. I will never forget listening to the instrumental version what is WOMEN and GHOSTS. If I could be a SM producer for the day I would dearly love to ignite live on stage When Two Worlds Collide and Real Life together - we all know that they are they share the same melody, but oh so different. That's what you don't get with Pearl Jam or Oasis or others. I recently discovered a mix that Trevor Horn did of Two Tribes coupling together all the 12" versions. I'd love a 35 minute epic of Women and Ghosts, Real Life and When Two Worlds Collide. Some say Somewhere in Summertime is the most haunting track - Id say the MTV filmed live version of When Two Worlds Collide is! Some would say it was a travesty that this was cut from the European legs of the RL tour. As always, I'll remain patient and hope that Uncle Jim one day realises the error of his ways back in 1991! Quit dreaming, this is real life baby!

What a great way to get a short story into the public consciousness... via a song. Real Life is classic Simple Minds....expansive, sweeping chords, crashing drums, great lyrics....and your vocals, Jim. Powerful and full of emotion. SM have more than their share of 'genius moments'. Love it. ❤️

I remembered getting Real life on compact disc, back then- the dynamic range of that track gave me goose pimples..

A great album, reading this instantly brought up the memory of your moving tribute to the Bataclan victims. Solidarity through the power of music.

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ONE STEP CLOSER - SIMPLE MINDS : Yesterday's post re Da Maria naturally had me thinking about our time spent in and around Naples while working on our album Neapolis.

A city that seems to divide opinion strongly among travellers who either love it for its full on intensity and wild beauty? (Me.) Or those who cannot abide the place, or even begin to see beyond an all encompassing unruliness - one that matches those famous dirty pavements, horrendously graffiti'd walls, and of course that never far away criminal reputation? (Definitely Not Me.)
Anyway, who can really resist a place that has been identified in travel journals as something of a "A risk-taker's paradise. A crime-ridden labyrinth. A beautiful, death-haunted shambles. It's the Keith Richards of cities, a menacing, espresso-crazed circus clinging tenuously to a fierce slope." Again... (Not Me.)
Plus people who really know Keith will tell you that underneath all that surface image stuff, lies a warm and gentle soul.

My grandad was in both Naples and Sicily during the war. Tough times for all - that is an undersatement. He loved those places, and loved the character of the local people he met. As he got older and much more sentimental, no doubt aided by a few wee whiskies, he would get all misty eyed for Naples. A place to which he always wanted to return.

I obviously inherited that same sensation - also falling in love with both, undoubtedly we share something of a fascination for the Romans and the ancient Greeks. Plus, I cannot wait to go back.

Undoubtedly one of the greatest memories of being in Naples for me has to be the long weekend that I spent recording/with local heroes Planet Funk.
( Spring 2001 )

As with anywhere in the world, it is only through being and working with 'natives' that you quickly get a true sense of the heart within a community. That unfortunately is beyond most tourists as we whizz through destinations, gulping in the sights and the atmospheres, but little else really.

In any case, they were not only a musical outfit, as in every sense I could feel that they were indeed more like a huge family. A brotherhood for sure. And even if I was never sure how many were actually in the group, I can tell you that I have never been in a more packed studio control room. Particularly so at the end of the day, when the wives, girlfriends, and even kids seemed to have also turned up in their dark and dingy (forgive me) studio basement.

And what a feeling that was. Seeing them all together - bouncing of the walls to the groove of their music - while listening to the song that we had created together that same day.

And what a tune they gave me to work with? Because although I had never heard of the group previously and literally knew nothing about them. Those opening orchestral chords sealed the deal with me, and I knew on hearing them alone that I wanted to go to work with this band from Naples - called Planet Funk!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=AeoO_-kmu7k
... See MoreSee Less

ONE STEP CLOSER - SIMPLE MINDS : Yesterdays post re Da Maria naturally had me thinking about our time spent in and around Naples while working on our album Neapolis. 

A city that seems to divide opinion strongly among travellers who either love it for its full on intensity and wild beauty? (Me.) Or those who cannot abide the place, or even begin to see beyond an all encompassing unruliness - one that matches those famous dirty pavements, horrendously graffitid walls, and of course that never far away criminal reputation? (Definitely Not Me.)
Anyway, who can really resist a place that has been identified in travel journals as something of a  A risk-takers paradise. A crime-ridden labyrinth. A beautiful, death-haunted shambles. Its the Keith Richards of cities, a menacing, espresso-crazed circus clinging tenuously to a fierce slope. Again... (Not Me.)
Plus people who really know Keith will tell you that underneath all that surface image stuff, lies a warm and gentle soul.

My grandad was in both Naples and Sicily during the war. Tough times for all - that is an undersatement. He loved those places, and loved the character of the local people he met. As he got older and much more sentimental, no doubt aided by a few wee whiskies, he would get all misty eyed for Naples. A place to which he always wanted to return.

I obviously inherited that same sensation - also falling in love with both, undoubtedly we share something of a fascination for the Romans and the ancient Greeks. Plus, I cannot wait to go back.

Undoubtedly one of the greatest memories of being in Naples for me has to be the long weekend that I spent recording/with local heroes Planet Funk. 
( Spring 2001 )

As with anywhere in the world, it is only through being and working with natives that you quickly get a true sense of the heart within a community. That unfortunately is beyond most tourists as we whizz through destinations, gulping in the sights and the atmospheres, but little else really.

In any case, they were not only a musical outfit, as in every sense I could feel that they were indeed more like a huge family. A brotherhood for sure. And even if I was never sure how many were actually in the group, I can tell you that I have never been in a more packed studio control room. Particularly so at the end of the day, when the wives, girlfriends, and even kids seemed to have also turned up in their dark and dingy (forgive me) studio basement. 

And what a feeling that was. Seeing them all together - bouncing of the walls to the groove of their music - while listening to the song that we had created together that same day.

And what a tune they gave me to work with? Because although I had never heard of the group previously and literally knew nothing about them. Those opening orchestral chords sealed the deal with me, and I knew on hearing them alone that I wanted to go to work with this band from Naples - called Planet Funk!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AeoO_-kmu7k

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I actually had Non Zero Sumness on in the car today. It doesn't feel like an album born out of Naples. SM fans need to check out Under The Rain, which Mr Burchill lends a hand. Great album.

I like the picture of "the Keith Richards of cities": hard shell, soft core! Sometimes it takes some time to discover the true beauty or a hidden treasure of a person, a city or whatever.

I'd love to visit Naples one day. I love Italy in general and Naples as well as being utterly stunning to look at with it's views, I'm a big football fan and Maradona was a God to me growing up so I'd love to visit the San Paolo. They've still got one of the most entertaining teams in Europe! It's just that criminal aspect you mention that puts me off (it's a criminal world, perhaps??) But I'd still like to visit one day

My only encounter with anything Neapolitan (other than Planet Funk music by way of SM) is the tricolour of ice creams. That was exotic stuff back when I was a kid. But as much as I love chocolate, for some reason, I don't "do" chocolate ice cream. Only ever wanted the strawberry and vanilla ones.

Reminds me of the Australian town Cobber Pedy. It's a moon scape on the surface but littered with years of mining debris and stinking hot. Below the ground is a different story. There are houses, churches, shops, restaurants and motels. It's extrodinary but many people have missed the experience because they didn't look beneath the surface.

We all know that to find true beauty we often have to look beyond the surface and scratch deeply within....it takes time, something we often don't have, as you point out, Jim. Is there anywhere in the world you haven't recorded but would like to?

Non Zero Sumness is a great album and I really enjoyed your collaboration with the song "One Step Closer" ... really beautiful. W Napoli, W Planet Funk, W Simple Minds💗

Love reading your posts. Never heard of planet funk or indeed one step closer. Just listened to it this morning. What a wee gem.

Neapolis is a great album. I always thought Killing Andy Warhol would sound amazing live!

Thanks Jim. You just made me want to go to Naples!

Spent a few weeks working around Naples. Many memories from such a beautiful place. I learnt how to truly relax out there 😁

What a brilliant track the intro is so cool

We need Neapolis 2!!!

I play it loud and often! 😊

Hey Jim Just got back from Sicily. What a beautiful place. We didn't make it along to your hotel but perhaps next time.. Chatting to our chauffeur and I asked the question " so who is the most famous person you have driven in Sicily ? " He thought for a minute and said "You know I've driven lots of Royalty in this car, but without a doubt the nicest guy has been Jim Kerr, a one hour journey with him was like 5 minutes. "

Jim, I am known for loving the album, 'Cry'. And 'One Step Closer' is a brilliant track. Please try to get this album out on vinyl for next year's IRD! Planet Funk produce their own interesting work, too. As for Naples, I have only experienced the railway station (and airport). But I have heard the coffee is fantastic! 😀

I was out in Naples in 2008 - we sailed across to Ischia to film the National Children's Orchestra GB play at the Teatro Greco in the Walton's Giardini La Mortella - truly amazing venue (and amazing mozzie bites but I won't go into that 🤐) 🤩😎 Like you I found Naples colourfully fascinating and could have spent much longer in the city 😃 Must dig out my photos!

Neapolis always feels like a bit of a low in the SM back catalogue for me. Almost like a break up album at the time. But Cry was the start of a re-birth and I am sure 'One Step Closer' could have been an even better song with different producers.

I was mesmerised with the view of the bay and Vesuvius when we stayed in Sorrento. Is there any chance Neapolis could be released on vinyl / does the band own it JK?

We were in Naples this summer- The city blew our minds. It is ace. It is mental. It's like being in an Asian city but you're in Europe!!!!!!!

Ciao Jim... Napoli has its fascination...caotic traffic, wonderfull center town, beatifull people, great history and of course the most famous pizza, caffè and Vesuvio!! As said many many times...im so proud to have you Jim & Charlie in my home country and that you feel home yourself... Grazie one million times🙌🏼

Definitely a Marmite city. I know people who have visited , stated their dislike and would never return. However we spent a few days early this year as a base for ferry ⛴ crossings to islands. Yes when we arrived at the station from Rome it was a bit of a I am not sure about this moment! We explored and saw some beautiful sites and some interesting sites. Like all cities , when visiting you should always see beyond that first impression. Explore ......... 😉🙂 x

We only buzzed through it from the train station up to Sorrento and same on the way back so it was hard to get a proper impression. With vesuvius looming it was an amazing sight. Would love to see it properly.

I recall in the Lostboy electro rehearsals working on a version of The Switch from Planet Funk. Great tune. Non Zero Sumness is a cracking album, Paraffin being my favourite song.

Ciao Jim I'm in a hurry today I'll read your post when I'm home and relaxed..too many troubles at the office today ciao !

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