Simple Minds “Sparkle in the Rain”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#776 in the Series) is Simple Minds, Sparkle in the Rain

The band simple minds were one of those acts that really had to stick it out to find success.  They first got together toward the end of the 70s. Their first album, Life in a Day did quite well in the UK peaking at #30. It didn’t get a whiff of play here in the states outside of a couple very progressive stations and some college radio.

It would take three years and five more releases before an album even charted here. That would be New Gold Dreams which featured the hit “Promised You a Miracle.” Still, the album only reached #69 here while again, hitting #3 in the UK also #2 in The Netherlands and #8 in Oz.  It still would be some time before they clicked here.

The album I’m looking at today wasn’t it either; Sparkle in the Rain did slightly better. It peaked at #64 while hitting #1 in the UK.

No, this album didn’t do much better on the album charts here, but it was an album that did start getting them the air play here and also started getting their name a little better known.  That would be on the backs of some really good tracks. Songs that you might be familiar with would include, “Up On The Catwalk,” “East at Easter” and the great “Waterfront.”  They also would record the Lou Reed tune “Street Hassle.”

So when would Simple Minds hit here in the States? Their first top ten album wouldn’t be until 1985 with Once Upon a Time.  That would feature the monster hit “Alive and Kicking.”

It took them almost ten years but they’d really finally arrived.

One of the reasons that “Alive and Kicking” is a known song was once again, its inclusion in a soundtrack. This time it was the movie The Breakfast Club.  That would also be home for another Simple Minds super track, I’m referring to of course, “Don’t You Forget About Me.”

They’re still out there playing and recording. Jim Kerr still fronts the band as well.

— Larry Carta

Track listing

Side One

  1. “Up On The Catwalk” – 4:45
  2. “Book Of Brilliant Things” – 4:21
  3. “Speed Your Love To Me” – 4:24
  4. “Waterfront” – 7:26
  5. “East At Easter” – 3:32

Side Two

  1. “Street Hassle” – 5:14
  2. “White Hot Day” – 4:32
  3. “”C” Moon Cry Like A Baby” – 4:19
  4. “The Kick Inside Of Me” – 4:48
  5. “Shake Off The Ghosts” – 3:57


  • Charlie Burchill – Guitar, Vocals
  • Derek Forbes –  Bass, Vocals
  • Mel Gaynor –  Drums, Vocals
  • Jim Kerr – Vocals, Voices
  • Steve Lillywhite Producer
  • Kirsty MacColl Vocals, Voices
  • Mick MacNeil Keyboards, Vocals


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BONUS VIDEO: The Official Waterfront Video

Posted by Larry Carta

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