Just back from a Thanksgiving trip to Chicago, where, between the socializing and eating, I spent a lot of time going through the lessons and commentary from William Billings’ The Continental Harmony. Deep and insightful stuff, and away from all of this, I feel it is necessary to reengage with the familiar. So I play Simple Minds’ New Gold Dream, still a favorite from those still innovative days on the early 1980s when so many bands where seeking to reintegrate the vigor of the punk revolution with the technical innovations of the 1960s and 1970s.
New Gold Dream is one of those heady synthesizer-drenched creations that seem to define that particular time, drawing very heavily from Roxy Music (who were undergoing a career renaissance of their own at the time), but with help from Jim Kerr’s overactive vocals, the very densely layered mix plus a set of strongly melodic and funk-based songs, this record really has stood the test of time. My favorite tune remains the sublime title cut, with its driving bubbling synthesizer rhythm and beautifully placed synthesizer and guitar embelishments.
The track played like a wash of warm water from some underappreciated part of my past, refreshing and regrounding me. Sometimes you need to do this.