Simple Minds--Theme for a Great City. 2xCD, two shows from 1981 and 1982 in Sydney. This is simply one of the best live recordings I've ever heard, from any band. 10/10, both performance and sound quality. Where did they get this stuff? It must've been from radio shows. It sounds like it was recorded yesterday, not almost 35 years ago. The New Gold Dream set is amazing, almost bettering the studio versions. From about 1981 to 1984 this band was total class. Experimental, moody, haunting at times, yet accessible. This was before their sad demise into bland stadium rock and totally selling out, much like U2 from Joshua Tree forward. Both NGD and Sparkle in the Rain were IMO two of the best rock albums of the 80s.
This sounds great. I am a huge fan of the period of the band from '79-'84. NGD and Sparkle are both great, but my favorite album of theirs is Empires and Dance. A lot of people still don't know about their pre-watered down era, believe it or not. I've turned a few friends onto them by introducing them to those early albums.
I actually think Once Upon A Time is their best. It's a really consistent batch of pop songs and it wasn't that far off from Sparkle In The Rain in sound. After that, they definitely got way worse. I just think the decline really started with Street Fighting Years, while many of their diehard fans would say Once Upon The Time.