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Empires And Dance

3 Mar 2003

£7.99 (VAT included if applicable)

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Mar. 2003
  • Release Date: 1 Mar. 2003
  • Label: Virgin UK
  • Copyright: (C) 2002 Virgin Records LtdThis label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved.(C) 2002 Virgin Records Ltd
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 45:52
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001IQB52W
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,081 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By F. Pearson VINE VOICE on 4 Jun. 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It appears that few bands these days have the time to develop their own sound due to the commercial pressures inflicted by the music industry. Even in the (possibly imaginary) time when this was not the case, few bands managed to evolve as rapidly as the young Simple Minds who in the space of two years moved from the copy and paste pop of Life In A Day to this musical leviathan.
Popularly conceived as the child of the band's tour through a tense turn of the decade Europe, this album superficially tied Simple Minds to the New Romantic fascination with the continent but Empires and Dance is not a work extolling an idealised Europe but, if anything, rather a travelogue and fragmentary discourse on a bleak and troubled society, which had, in fact, already enveloped Great Britain.
Most obviously propelled by Derek Forbes powerful bass sound and melodies, no member of the band failed to play their part in the creation of this extraordinary album, with both Charlie Burchill and Michael MacNeil demonstrating the reserve and deftness that was a hallmark of all their best work.
The opening track, I Travel, would remain their best known song for some time: a wild melange of thundering beats and electronics, although this was not representative of the album, which was more stately and considered, although not po-faced, as one can hear from the drunken clapping and shouts on Celebrate.
This is the first of the Simple Minds 'must have' albums. No one else has sounded quite like this and it works as a whole with a consistency that more contrived concept albums have completely lacked. There is no filler here and little fat.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 30 May 2000
Format: Audio CD
Having originally bought this great album when it was released back in 1980 on the Arista label, hearing it now, it hasn't dated at all. This is perhaps because it was never mainstream in the first place. To me this is one of Simple Minds most inventive records in terms of experimenting with new sounds and dance rhythms. The most accessible tracks are the euro-disco 'I Travel' and almost military dance beat'Celebrate' both of which were singles. The epic sweep of 'Capital City' conjures up visions of daily human life rhythmically existing in global coastal cities, while the haunting bassline matched with drum beat on the excellent 'This Fear of Gods' highlights the darker side of humanity. This record is one that grows upon you - it make take a while but once it does it'll be one of those that you may want to list in your top ten of albums to keep with you if stranded on a desert island.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By "coloursfly" on 6 Aug. 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is the album responsible for getting me into dance music. Damn Jim Kerr and his posse! Tracks like Today I Died Again, Celebrate and the mesmeric This Fear of Gods are just as relevant today as they were revolutionary back in 1980. Questions have to be asked as to how Simple Minds got from this to 'Once Upon A Time' within the space of 5 short years...but if you want variety, look no further than this band.
The photo on the sleeve is meant to depict the fall of European civilisation, power, corruption (and lies?). Listen to the lyrics and Kerr has an unhealthy obsession with decay, death, European travel (strange combination, admittedly). It's a masterful album, well ahead of it's time. Not an easy listen in places, give it time - it's one of those 'growers'. It's very claustrophobic, a very dense, menacing sound. Not as lush as their Sons and Fascination double album just around the corner. Nevertheless, a healthy addition to any collection.
And as if to prove the point, The Manic Street Preachers, those urbanite revolutionaries, even cite this album as a key influence (check out the type face lettering on their Holy Bible album) - which is about as cool as it gets.
Buy it!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Jason Parkes #1 HALL OF FAME on 22 Aug. 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Empires & Dance was the first completely coherent Minds album- Life in a Day had been a little patchy, while Real to Real Cacophony had its moments (Changeling, Premonition) but was bitty and a bit Kid A, albeit in 1979. Here then is the first great album from the original line-up of Simple Minds, which would be their last with producer John Leckie (The Stone Roses, The Bends). It remains their darkest album- the soundscapes of 1981's Sister Feelings Call/Sons&Fascination and the pop of New Gold Dream would be a relief. It makes complete sense that the cover of E&D would influence Manic Street Preachers'The Holy Bible. 1979/1980 remains a bleak time: the election of Reagan, the Iran hostage crisis, the invasion of Afghanistan, the boat people, the fallout from Cambodia, Rhodesia, El Salvador etc- E&D alludes to these various shifts and a fresh height in the Cold War.
Opening single I Travel remains the most electronic single here, a pulsing pop euphoria that is like Trans-Europe Express on ecstasy, or rather, like reading international newspapers on the trans europe express while listening to Trans Europe Express on ecstasy: "Timeless leaders stand so tall...Asia steals a new born son/Evacuees and Refugees, Presidents and Monarchies/Travel round, I Travel round/Decadence and Pleasure Towns/Tragedies, Luxuries, Statues, Parks & Galleries...In Central Europe some men are marching...I Travel/Euro-Bureau-Interpol"- the missing link between Trans Europe Express & White Car in Germany for sure...
The other 'electronic' tracks advance on 1979's Changeling- Celebrate sounds like Chic playing Gary Numan (robo-funk at its finest) & Thirty Frames a Second, which is an epic Krautrock-inflected epic that reminds me of Dick K Philip's World-Clock-Counter, its reversing SF-themes.
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