Picks and Pans Review: Themes for Great Cities
The Minds (as fans call them) were influenced by David Bowie, Roxy Music, the Velvet Underground and especially the Doors. And they, in turn, deeply influenced the Irish band U2 and others in the so-called "psychedelic revival." Simple Minds have in fact been minor British cult heroes for a couple of years. They were launched in 1978 (singer-songwriter Jim Kerr and guitarist Charles Burchill had met at school in Glasgow in 1972), but their discs have been hard to find in the U.S. so far. As this more available retrospective on Stiff Records demonstrates, texture and rhythm are the band's key elements. Guitar and especially Michael McNeil's electronic keyboards provide the former; Derek Forbes' tough, nimble bass patterns provide the latter. All nine cuts here climbed to the English Top 10, and it's easy to see why. The group may be Scotland's most intoxicating export since malt whiskey.