Simple Mnds / Live in the City of Light
by William Ruhlmann
Recorded primarily at Le Zenith in Paris on the last date of a world tour in August 1986 and released as a stopgap to satiate fans while the group spent another two years crafting its studio follow-up to Once Upon a Time, Simple Minds' double-album Live in the City of Light was a good summation of the band's rise to worldwide fame between 1982-1985.
Except for the 1981 "Love Song" (paired in a medley with covers of Artists United Against Apartheid's "Sun City" and Sly & the Family Stone's "Dance to the Music") electrically sung by Robin Clark and the inevitable movie song hit "Don't You Forget About Me."
Simple Minds / Once Upon A Time
by MacKenzie Wilson.
Riding the coat tails of the John Hughes flick The Breakfast Club, Simple Minds finally broke America with their theme song "Don't You Forget About Me," and their 1985 release Once Upon a Time captured the heart-wrenching excitement found in bands such as U2. They were now one of the biggest names in music and Jim Kerr's thirsting vocals became the band's signature. Once Upon a Time, featuring producer Jimmy Iovine (U2, Stevie Nicks, Bruce Springsteen), showcased more of a guitar-driven sound.
The band's heavy synth-pop beats had relaxed a bit and Charlie Burchill's charming playing style was most noticeable. Also enlisting the choir-like beauty of Robin Clark, Simple Minds' popularity was expounded on songs such as Alive & Kicking" and "Sanctify Yourself." This album was one of their best, most likely leading the pack in the band's album roster, because it exuded raw energy and solid composition not entirely captured on previous albums.
Funk The Peanuts started off as a duo in 1994. It featured Miwa Yoshida and the main DCT backup singer at the time, Rin Urashima. The name of the group is a play on words:
Funky –> Funk·P –> Funk The Peanuts
Funk The Peanuts performs very soulful music, as always arranged and produced by Nakamura Masato. Miwa and Rin’s voices are both very powerful and make for wonderous harmonies.
In 1999, the group added a new member, DCT backup singer Robin Clark, and changed the name to Funk The Peanuts [R] (Pronounced “Funk The Peanuts Rated R”). The result was an even more funky and hip-hop laced force of nature; three voices of true power and soul. One can only hope they’ll continued to make more music in the future.
Rather than rely on the Bologna based session players, it was decided to record Sharing Your Love in New York. Nearly fifty musicians, including a string section featured on Sharing Your Love. That’s not forgetting fifteen backing vocalists, including Chic’s Norma Jean Wright and Fonzi Thornton, Robin Clark, Debbie Cole, Jocelyn Brown, Gordon Grody, Michelle Cobbs and Leroy Burgess. They all made their way to Media Sound Studios, New York. So did vocalists James “Crabbe” Robinson, Roz Ryan and Deborah Cooper, This huge cast of musicians and vocalists, were responsible for Change’s third album Sharing Your Love. It was released in April 1982.