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However, when Simple Minds got it right, the result is spectacular, as proved by the magnificent I Travel. This alternative dance classic with its driving synths has the most addictive rhythm and rousing, hypnotic vocals. Kraftwerk's travel songs like Autobahn of Europe Endless might have inspired it but the song always reminds me of Bowie's Heroes as it has the same passion and power. Changeling is a brilliant track with a dramatic arrangement built around a simple basic melody.
The title track pales by comparison to the aforementioned classics, plodding on without tune or tempo, and is followed by Thirty Frames A Second, which has a nervous beat, evocative atmospherics and synthesizer textures. Kaleidoscope is a brooding rock ballad where the occasionally overpowering drums and guitars are embellished with lovely piano or keyboard lines. Celebration shows the rawer and more experimental side of Simple Minds, without a hint of the blandness that would sometimes surface in their later work. These songs have certainly aged well, especially the wonderful Chelsea Girl and I Travel.
The Mind's, alongside avant-garde contemporaries Japan, were one of the only truly innovative bands of the post-punk New Wave era, and acted carefully to disassociate themselves from the simplistic doodlings of the New Romantic scene around them.
Listening to this collection now, it's difficult to believe that they would eventually fall foul of the then-dreaded mainstream and the sound of stadium-oriented rock in the mid-1980's. Almost every track is worth investigation, especially the brilliant underground dance hit of 1980, I Travel, and perhaps one of their greatest ever tracks, the utterly sublime Calling You Name. Other notable tracks include the excellent Chelsea Girl and the weird and wonderful Changeling.
Admittedly, there are some better tracks to be found on their first three releases which could've replaced some of the duller tracks here, but overall this is a pretty solid introduction to the Minds in their formative years. The ultimate pay-off from these brilliant early experiments would come with their next two album releases, Sons & Fascination (1981) and New Gold Dream (1982), two of the cornerstone albums of the 1980s.