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Music's Secret Weapons - The Guardian, 6th October 2006

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ARTICLES:2006



Title: Music's Secret Weapons
Publication: The Guardian
Date: Friday 6th October 2006


'Everyone has their special album: the one nobody else has heard of, the one to bring out when you want to amaze people. We asked 49 musicians, producers and writers to tell us about their records to be reckoned with.

James Dean Bradfield (Manic Street Preacher): Simple Minds - Empires and Dance (1980)

I bought it because I heard [the song] I Travel on an old Radio 1 session and I couldn't reconcile it with the band that had done Don't You Forget About Me. You've got this vaguely soul voice making a cold, glacial, European album. There's hardly any machinery on it. It's one of the truly futurist organic records, cold-sounding but engaged - a massive contradiction but it works. It has the courage of its convictions from the first track to the last. I tried referencing it so many times on The Holy Bible and it didn't work out. You can't understand what Simple Minds were after they made this or what they were before they made it - it came out of nowhere. It's like if somebody saw Robert De Niro in The Fan, they'd never assume he'd made Taxi Driver. It really is one of the lost British albums but nobody will ever quote it because they can't stand the idea of a fashionable Simple Minds record.