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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best bits revisited
I'm old enough to have seen Simple Minds when they were Johnny and the Self abusers and followed their progress both live and musically round Scotland then the UK, then Europe, in fact I had seen these boys more than any other band and then came Belfast Child...oh Dear. Maybe it was growing up, maybe my tastes changed, whatever it was I fell right out of love with Simple...
Published 22 months ago by Big Jim

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Mmmm
Its a good album that sums up simple minds first five albums captured clearly, but only an album for staunch fans, live in the city of lights though older is much better.
Published 10 months ago by Fireball 61


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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best bits revisited, 23 Nov 2012
By 
Big Jim "Big Jim" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 5x5 Live (Audio CD)
I'm old enough to have seen Simple Minds when they were Johnny and the Self abusers and followed their progress both live and musically round Scotland then the UK, then Europe, in fact I had seen these boys more than any other band and then came Belfast Child...oh Dear. Maybe it was growing up, maybe my tastes changed, whatever it was I fell right out of love with Simple Minds. And that might have been that until their last couple of albums which showed a re-invigorated band and the tour celebrated here, where they have acknowledged their past, realised that no matter how you cut it, the 5 albums that have been cherry picked for these live performances are the best they ever did and rank amongst 5 of the best albums in the genre ever. In fact I would say that there are damn few bands whose first 5 albums are as good as these, and having seen the tour commemorated here I can confirm that live the chosen tracks were performed brilliantly, with great panache and obvious enjoyment. This is reflected on this album. The performances are captured in all their glory, the playing is superb and Jim Kerr is in great voice throughout. Maybe the set will only appeal to fans but on the evidence here the is plenty of oomph still in the band and as an album in its own right, this deserves a much wider audience.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!, 21 Nov 2012
By 
C. Whyatt "Music Lover" (Wargrave, Berkshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 5x5 Live (Audio CD)
Listening to this as I write, and trying to work as well! Fantastic 2012 interpretations of classic Simple Minds period. The playing is excellent, can't single out anyone one player, but Charlie is terrific. Vocals are wonderful. What makes it is the quality of the material, so adventurous for its time, and still as fresh as ever! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Live Album, 25 Nov 2012
By 
Mr. A. J. Dunning "Perton Pitman" (Wolverhampton United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 5x5 Live (Audio CD)
As a fan of the band for 30 years, I was lucky enough to see the 5x5 live show in Birmingham. The show itself was one of the best gigs I have ever attended and the band threw themselves into the evening wholeheartedly. This is reflected in the quality of this CD - all of the tracks are performed with energy, vitality and no little skill. It is probably one of the better live CDs available and the performance of New Gold Dream at the end of the CD perfectly captures the atmosphere at the gig I went to and is the band's crowning glory. The only thing missing from the gig, and therefore this recording is "Wonderful in YOung Life" - a personal favourite - which I still play regularly 30 years after the making.Jim Kerr has said that he believes that this period of the band's existence should be part of the future and I totally agree. I've seen SM eight times over the years and the material produced on the first five albums is excellent and has been invigorated by the 5x5 tour and in no way sounds dated when heard live. I'll be going to a gig on the forthcoming greatest hits tour, but the material to be played won't be half as good as that to be heard on the 5x5 live album.

If you want to buy a top class, live album representing this genre and era then this is without doubt the best thing that money can buy.

Finally, I hope that Jim and the boys repeat the live 5x5 tour again in the future - the quality of the songs is simply too good to be consigned to history and should be accessible to other generations who would otherwise miss out.

This is a piece of musical history bought back to life at its best - buy it!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Celebrate These Glittering Prizes of a Different Era......, 27 Nov 2012
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M. Vincent - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 5x5 Live (Audio CD)
First things first. This is the first 'new' Simple Minds album I have bought since Once Upon a Time way back in 1985. I only mention this because I am not one to give 5 stars to an album containing 60 minutes of Jim Kerr coughing and belching just because I am a 'fan'. Why was Once Upon a Time my last new purchase? Two words: Sanctify Yourself......

Anyway back to 5x5 Live. Whatever people think of the tour and this live cd, one thing is for sure, it took a lot of bottle for the band to take on something of this nature. Too many other bands would be too far up their own backsides to contemplate such a tour. The questions were, would anyone be interested? Would it alienate current fans? Could they still perform these songs in a way to do them justice? Answers definitely, don't know and oh yes! In fact not only have they done these songs justice, they have nailed them good and proper! Everyone is on top of their game, and they are not content to do a sort of 5x5 by numbers, each song is given due loving attention like a long lost childhood sweetheart that you have rediscovered on Facebook. Even though these songs are over 30 years old, they sound like they could have been released in 2012 as they don't sound dated at all. Highlights? Virtually all of it! Obvious ones are The American, Theme for Great Cities and New Gold Dream, but the 2 tracks that REALLY do it for me on here are Pleasantly Disturbed and Room. Play LOUD in a dark room and enjoy. It was a privilege to be at the O2 in Birmingham last February to see something that meant a lot to so many people. My first ever gig was Simple Minds at The Lycium in 1982, and here I was seeing the same band 30 years on belting out some of the same fantastic songs. This double cd captures the magic of that night (and the whole tour). Fabulous..........
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 100% Simple. 100% Minds., 17 Jan 2013
By 
Christos Theofilogiannakos (Tripoli, Greece) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 5x5 Live (Audio CD)
I found out about Simple minds 27 years ago (1985)at the tender age of 13 by 'accidentally' listening to the "Once upon a time" album. At the time I hadn't made the connection between the band and "Don't you forget about me" that was being played everywhere as I was into the Duran Duran hype. I bought 'OUAT' simply because the cover and the band logo looked interesting (the first and last time I bought a record that way, it's funny how destiny works sometimes). Fascinated after a few days of listening to it (such a great transitory album from chart pop to more serious stuff), a friend of mine invited me to his house to listen to his brother's Simple Minds records. Once the first notes of 'New Gold Dream' came out of the speakers, I was flabbergasted by the sheer beauty of the sound and it was the first time I actually cried listening to a record. The rest is history, I was drawn into the magical, dark, strange, futuristic world of the first records and I am still pretty much discovering new levels everytime I listen to them (especially "Sons and fascination / Sister Feelings call").

For me, the beginning of the end for this special band was signalled by the apalling (save for a few brief moments) 'Live in the City of Light' live album. Every single album the Minds made since then was really insignificant and added nothing to their myth. There were entertaining moments, but very few of these songs really matter in the greater scheme of things. So now, after 25 years of being irrelevant (except for the dedicated fans, who painfully watched Jim and Charlie becoming a mockery of themselves) this double live album comes along. I 've long stopped watching them live, I think Jim is just a shadow of the thin, ethereal, pale Prince with the deep voice that could sweep you off your feet and lift you above the crowd. (But aren't we all the shadow of what we used to be?).

Against my better judgement I decided to order the CD online and have another go at the Minds (chances of being let down once again were above the 90% mark in my mind). Boy, was I wrong! 25 years after listening to "NGD" for the first time, my eyes became watery again, a testament to the greatness of the early material. No "Don't yous", no "la la la la", no gospel backing vocals, no "See the lights" crap. Almost all songs (the ones from NGD seem a bit out of place and slightly inferior to previous live incarnations) are extremely vibrant and the arrangements are tight and firm. Like caged animals that have waited too long for their release, they jump forth soaring, full of energy and pulsating with new life. What's very prominent here, is the retention of the original atmosphere and where new elements have been added, they enhance that. Just listen to Charlie's guitar in "This Fear of Gods", its cold, gripping essence is multiplied by his strategically placed riffs while at the same time its monotonous, repetitive beat has gained some variety that makes it so enjoyable. Jim's voice is equally vibrant (surprisingly) and he seems to thoroughly enjoy singing the songs.

For die-hard fans of the Minds who still live and swear by the majestic brilliance of the pioneering early work, this is a total climax. I cannot stop listening to "70 cities as Love brings the Fall" (their best chorus EVER, so shamelessly neglected all these years), "Room", "I travel", "This fear of Gods", "Pleasantly disturbed", "Thirty Frames a second", "Scar", "Changeling" and all the other buried jewels. My only complaint is the lack of my personal favorite "Earth that you walk upon", maybe next time eh?

I hear they are in the process of releasing yet another album soon. My only hope is that unearthing all these brilliant memories will help them recapture some of their lost genious. (keeping my fingers crossed!)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple Minds scores BIG!!, 17 Dec 2012
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This review is from: 5x5 Live (Audio CD)
This set is simply superb. Before they became huge stadium rockers in the mid to late 80's, Simple Minds made some fantastic synth-laden albums which were on the left side of the mainstream. Life In A Day, Real To Real Cacophony, Empires and Dance, Sister Feelings Call, Sons and Fascination, and New Gold Dream were all released between 1979-1982, and aside from New Gold Dream, the band seemed to stubbornly turn their back on their earliest songs for more safe, commercial territory.

Early in 2012, Virgin Records remastered and packaged the first six titles in a box set titled 5X5, and each disc had some bonus material added to them. The two EPs from 1981, Sister Feelings Call and Sons and Fascination, were counted as one album, which accounts for the 5. Then to the delights of many of the band's longtime fans, Simple Minds embarked an a tour where they played whole concerts featuring 5 songs from each of the five albums.

This led to the cd where are talking about here. It's an amazing two-disc companion to the 5X5 studio box set. There are too many highlights to mention, but even though Simple Minds has undergone many lineup changes in its 34 year history, there have been two dominant forces intact since day one - singer Jim Kerr, and guitarist Charlie Burchill. The songs from 5X5 that were chosen were performed beautifully, in a way to make them not sound retro, but futuristic even here in 2012.

70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall, Changeling, Someone, Life In A Day, Calling Your Name and In Trance As Mission were passionately resurrected, and even though Jim and Charlie hadn't touched some of these in decades, you wouldn't even know it. This title far exceeded my expectations. A splendid accomplishment for a band with a brilliant early catalog to return to. I for one am glad they did.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Live Classic!, 25 Nov 2012
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This review is from: 5x5 Live (Audio CD)
This is a pretty special live album capturing critically acclaimed 5x5 tour. It's hard to believe that these songs are 30+ years old. Many of them sound very fresh and relevant. It's difficult to pick out the standout tracks as there are so many, but 'This Fear Of Gods ', 'Room', 'Scar', and 'The King Is White' deserve a special mention. The band are on top form here especially some of the resonating bass lines. If you're after Alive & Kicking, Don't You et al it's not here, but what you do get are some great, innovative early songs that still sound very current today! Enjoy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Celebrate, 3 Feb 2013
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This review is from: 5x5 Live (Audio CD)
I don't write reviews usually. 14 years on Amazon and never felt a need too but there is something amazing about this little box set that makes me want to say something about it.

Time passes and bands change and as I'm not the 14 year old who fell in love with Simple Minds in 1981 nor are they the band that they were. Thank goodness for both as the worst thing one can do is stagnate. I've seen them many times since 1981 and sometimes they are great and sometimes not quite so. The last few years they have wobbled a bit for me live just like they did in the 90s and Jim's voice hasn't sounded right. Then I went to see them at the Barrowlands on 5x5 and something magical had reappeared in not just Jim's voice but the whole sound and feel of the band.

There is something beautiful about this live recording and it comes out best in Hunter and the Hunted which I can listen to over and over. Everything sounds perfect about it and it is enchantingly beautiful the way it was back in time. Only more so as it is Simple Minds doing it now, rather than trying to reproduce the past. The band have recharged themselves somehow by doing this tour and at Hogmanay the magic that was at Barrowlands, the rest of that tour and on this live box, is still there and growing.

Simply fabulous.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT, 11 Dec 2012
By 
P. Storey "pstorey" (newcastle upon tyne, tyne and wear United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 5x5 Live (Audio CD)
despite not being a fan of live recordings , these make me wish id attended the concerts as the versions on here are pretty faithful to the original. new gold dream is one of the greats of the 80's and is etched on my brain in the original form so it takes abit of getting used to hearing a live recording of it. however these are as good as you could hope for, the recording quality is excellent, the crowd noise is not too loud but you are certainly aware of what a cracking night it must have been. its a great compilation of the best stuff off the early albums done live what more can i say!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The golden dream made new again, 15 Aug 2014
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This review is from: 5x5 Live (MP3 Download)
I'm beginning to get obsessed with pre 1983 Simple Minds. At the time I played New Gold Dream album to death and had The American, Sweat In Bullet, I Travel and Love Song as singles, loving each but for some unknown reason never bought those earlier albums. Only now looking back 30 years I realised I never fully caught up by the time they'd hit their peak. While debut Life In A Day is perhaps the sound of a band finding its feet, 1980-1982 was a goldrush, a phenomenal volume of outstanding material in a very short space of time that went largely unnoticed - even after the success of New Gold Dream it seems their earlier material never got the reappraisal it deserved. And the reason for that is that as the band descended ever deeper into stadium rock, their new large audience wasn't so interested in this original blend of funk, electronica, ambient and pop. And the people who would be interested just figured Simple Minds were a stadium rock band, so never knew.

So kudos here for going back as a band to that early treasure trove. And what fine performances - though I mourn the absence here of Greatest Bass Player Of All Time Derek Forbes terribly, it has to be said that Ged Grimes does a fine job of playing those inspired and often complex lines. For the most part these songs manage to reacreate those important iconic sounds perfectly, while not being slavish to the originals - in general they are a shade more muscular, more confident perhaps yet never overdoing it. But most of all, it all sounds so incredibly fresh - they sound like an original band in their twenties playing brand new material. Scar makes the hairs on the back of your neck go up followed by a delicate yet almost menacing rendition of Hunter and the Hunted; 70 Cities as Love Brings The Fall charges in all its glorious tuneful chaos while Big Sleep washes over you with pure reflective joy. By the time the intro hits for Promised You a Miracle, I'll admit I'm practically blubbing.

It is hard to think of any other band with a history like Minds, their strongest and most original material being so little known and from an era many don't even know existed. As someone else wrote, if Radiohead came up with something like Factory tomorrow, it would be hailed as the future of music. Essential listening - and having completely missed the gigs in 2012 I can only hope they choose to re-revisit this era before another 30 years have passed.
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