Simple Minds – Alive And Kicking
What's it gonna take to make a dream survive?
Who's got the touch to calm the storm inside?
Who's gonna save you?
Alive and kicking
Stay until your love is
… and kicking! He’s fine! He’s an album that was coming out in October 1985. Born in Scotland to a group of five musicians and a very good backing singer, and as the first sound, exactly these days, he has a beautiful song that will go down in history. The album is called “Once upon a time” and the song of course is “Alive and kicking”.
Simple Minds were really in a fantastic moment: after the great success of their album “Sparkle in the rain”, which had confirmed their popularity in Europe, their American production company, A&M, which until that time had not invested that much on them, realized that it was the right time and managed to make them appear, whatever it takes, in the soundtrack of a film coming out, and convinced them to create a song for that movie. Of course the movie was “The Breakfast Club” and the song was “Don’t You (Forget about me)“, which really brought Simple Minds’ fame worldwide.
Even on a personal level, good old Jim Kerr was over the moon, and had just married Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde, whom we would have known better within a year with “Don’t get me wrong”.
And so, in the Summer of 1985, Simple Minds find themselves in Manhattan loaded with energy, full of optimism and positivity, when they start to work on the lyrics of this song, which actually has something epic, solemn, perhaps because of the almost joyful chorus, almost like the choirs in a stadium.
For the video, they hire a Polish director with an unpronounceable name, Zbigniew Rybczyński, who will soon become one of the leading directors of music videos, and in those very days he is also shooting “p:Machinery” for Propaganda and “Opportunities (Let’s make lots of money)” for Pet Shop Boys.
The video is also an anthem to the success and sense of freedom you feel when you realize you’ve done something great. Filmed in a mountain resort in upstate New York, it’s an absolute fuel of energy amid waterfalls, ravines, forests and breathtaking views.
In addition to Jim Kerr, two elements begin to have greater visibility in Simple Minds; one is the great drummer Mel Gaynor, really an iconic presence of Simple Minds until a few years ago. Then, with this video we started getting to know the great Robin Clarke, who Jim Kerr called “additional singer” of Simple Minds, although she was not explicitly part of the group. She may not have been part of the group, but she was certainly part of Simple Minds videos and songs at the time. On the other hand, Robin Clark had been a vocalist for Chic, David Bowie, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Springsteen, Michael Jackson… and over the years she would be a vocalist for Beyoncé, Scissor Sisters, Moby, Blur. I mean, a real music queen!
Within a short time “Alive and kicking” reached the top positions of all charts, in Europe and in America. And Simple Minds, thanks to the success of the album “Once upon a time”, really became one of the iconic groups of the 80s!
Simple Minds on Wikipedia