One of the better albums of 2016 (or at least one that deserves inclusion with a note that this is not an album of brand new originals) is Acoustic by Simple Minds. Simply, the collection is a newly recorded unplugged set of classic Simple Minds originals. And given the band that Simple Minds are, they have created a timeless and ultimately listenable album with easy replay value. In fact, this is not the first time I’ve listened to Acoustic. It may be around the 50th time!

Acoustic has twelve familiar songs including their breakout hit, “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”. What Acoustic has successfully done is to recreate those beloved songs from many original albums and make them new classics. Few artists can do this trick. For the record, there’s “Waterfront”, “New Gold Dreams”, “Sanctify Yourself”, “Chelsea Girl”, “Alive and Kicking” and others. Culling songs from as early as their first album (Life In A Day, 1979) with “Chelsea Girl”, and as late as their Real Life album from 1991 with “See The Light” (unless you want to count the non-album cover, “Long Black Train” as the latest, or the LP add of “Light Travels” from the band’s 2009 set, Graffiti Soul).

While most tracks are excellent, I’m a little less enamored of “See The Light”, a song version that feels too underpowered. However, I doubt there will be much complaining when you listen to the rest of the album. Songs like “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”, “Waterfront”, “Someone, Somewhere in Summertime”, and the highly marketable “Promised You A Miracle” with KT Tunstall.

Acoustic is an album that can easily occupy your time like it has mine. And with so many classic SM songs unrepresented, I’m hoping for a second volume of Acoustic. One that will include “Book Of Brilliant Things”, “All The Things She Said”, “Belfast Child”, “She’s A River”, “Life In A Day”, “Let There Be Love”,  “Today I Died Again”, “Up On The Catwalk”, and a few others.  But…if you’re a vinyl fan, Simple Minds has thrown three bonus tracks onto the LP that do not appear on the CD edition of Acoustic.

Since the album’s release, it has done well on the European music charts. That’s a magnificent feat given the difficulties of anything hitting the charts. But it also speaks of the excellence that Acoustic is filled with.

Acoustic – Simple Minds (2016)

01 – The American (Sons and Fascination, 1981)
02 – Promised You A Miracle w/KT Tunstall (New Gold Dreams (81.82.83.84), 1982)
03 – Glittering Prize (New Gold Dreams (81.82.83.84), 1982)
04 – See The Lights (Real Life, 1991)
05 – New Gold Dreams (81.82.83.84) (New Gold Dreams (81.82.83.84), 1982)
06 – Someone, Somewhere In Summertime (New Gold Dreams (81.82.83.84), 1982)
07 – Waterfront (Sparkle In The Rain, 1984)
08 – Sanctify Yourself (Once Upon A Time, 1985)
09 – Chelsea Girl (Life In A Day, 1979)
10 – Alive And Kicking (Once Upon A Time, 1985)
11 – Don’t You (Forget About Me) (1985)
12 – Long Black Train (2016).

LP adds:

13 – Stand By Love (Real Life, 1991)
14 – Speed Your Love To Me (Sparkle In The Rain, 1984)
15 – Light Travels (Graffiti Soul, 2009)