Simple Minds

Best known in the U.S. for their 1985 number one hit "Don't You (Forget About Me)" from the film The Breakfast Club, Scotland's Simple Minds evolved from a post-punk art rock band influenced by Roxy Music into a grand, epic-sounding pop band along the lines of U2. The band grew out of a Glasgow punk group called Johnny and the Self-Abusers, which featured guitarist Charlie Burchill and lead singer Jim Kerr. The inaugural 1978 lineup of Simple Minds featured a rhythm section of Tony Donald on bass and Brian McGee on drums, plus keyboardist Mick McNeil; Donald was soon replaced by Derek Forbes. Their early albums leaped from one style to another, with Life in a Day consisting mostly of dense, arty pop songs; critical acclaim followed the darker, more experimental art rock of Reel to Real Cacophony and the Euro-disco of Empires and Dance. The group began a transition to a more accessible pop style with the albums Sons and Fascination and Sister Feelings Call, originally issued together and subsequently split up. New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84) became their first chart album in the U.S., and the tour-shy McGee quit owing to burgeoning popularity, eventually being replaced by Mel Gaynor. Following the Steve Lillywhite-produced Sparkle in the Rain, Jim Kerr married Pretenders lead singer Chrissie Hynde (the two groups had toured together).

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