Wednesday 1/26/22 10pm ET: Feature LP: Simple Minds – One Upon A Time (1985)

Once Upon a Time is the seventh studio album by Scottish pop rock band Simple Minds, released October 21, 1985 by record label Virgin (A&M in the US).

The album paired the group with music producer Jimmy Iovine. He had worked with artists featuring an aggressive guitar-based sound, including singer-songwriters Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Nicks, and he brought that approach to the band. Iovine particularly pushed frontman Jim Kerr, aiming for more energetic vocals.

Although already successful in their native U.K. and various countries in Europe and Oceania, Simple Minds had also recently become popular in the U.S., mainly due to the Keith Forsey and Steve Schiff-penned “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”. That track appeared on The Breakfast Club soundtrack and had become a #1 hit there. However, the band deliberately left the track off the album due to their reluctance to record it. Still, the bombastic pop rock sound proved influential in the construction of much of Once Upon a Time, particularly the arena-friendly single “Alive and Kicking”. Once Upon a Time also shared many influences with their previous studio album, Sparkle in the Rain, which explored a similar songwriting style.

1. “Once Upon a Time” 5:45
2. “All the Things She Said” 4:15
3. “Ghost Dancing” 4:45
4. “Alive and Kicking” 5:26
5. “Oh Jungleland” 5:14
6. “I Wish You Were Here” 4:42
7. “Sanctify Yourself” 4:57
8. “Come a Long Way” 5:07
9. “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” 4:23
10. “A Brass Band in Africa” 5:11

Jim Kerr – vocals
Charlie Burchill – guitars
Michael MacNeil – synthesizers and piano
Mel Gaynor – drums and backing vocals
John Giblin – bass
Robin Clark – background voices