New Gold Dream - Simple Minds album cover

The importance of inspiration cannot be underestimated. It elevates experiences and can be the catalyst for great ideas. The strongest inspiration I suspect is when it’s most personal; where others might not understand or share your experience. When you’re really, truly inspired you feel like you’re in another place where anything can happen – that everything has a reason; a purpose; you feel a different energy – as if in a dream…

The music of Simple Minds does this for me and their album New Gold Dream is the pinnacle of that – a sustained piece of brilliant magic that even after 30 years takes me to ‘that place’.

On the subject of this ‘sustained piece of magic’ the emphasis being on sustained I wondered about the article the other day from the BBC discussing the forecast demise of the LP/album – as sales are decreasing at an alarming rate as “… people listen to music in a way which is now “more mobile and more distracted” and single tracks, therefore “make sense”. A large part of the beauty of the experience in listening to New Gold Dream is the duration of it – from song to song there is a thread that weaves through it all that sustains this. In this multi-fractured world of constant info feeds it does indeed appear as though music buying behaviour echoes this. I just can’t help wonder that perhaps now and then that a bit of sustained focus might be a healthy and welcome break from all the chatter…

Is the love of albums and what they mean just wishful or even outdated thinking? To borrow a phrase from another 80s gem – the film “The Outsiders” (based on S.E. Hinton’s classic novel) – one character looking to express how his friend has inspired him simply asks him to “Stay Gold” – stay pure – stay innocent – hold back the forces of evil…

Staying gold might be a bit difficult but at least once in a while I can put on Simple Minds and at least for a brief period – return to ‘Gold’!

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