Empires and Dance is the third studio album by Scottish new wave band Simple Minds. It was recorded in Wales, on the Rolling Stones mobile, and released on 12 September 1980, through record label Arista.
Empires and Dance charted poorly, peaking at only number 41 in the UK Albums Chart. According to the Allmusic review of the album, this is primarily because the record company Arista only released a small number of copies at a time before each batch sold out. This had the effect of limited availability for fans.
The opening track "I Travel" was released as a single in 1980, but failed to chart. "Celebrate" was chosen as the second single due to popularity amongst fans. However, it was only released after Simple Minds had left the label. As a result the single sold very poorly, and the picture sleeve 7" is amongst the hardest of the band's singles to find.
Following the release of this album, Simple Minds transferred to Virgin Records, where they met with much greater commercial success. Arista tried to capitalize on this success by re-releasing "I Travel" as a single in 1982, along with a compilation "Celebration". In 1983, Virgin rereleased "I Travel" on 12", to coincide with the acquisition of the band's Arista catalogue. Both times, it still failed to chart.
The album cover's typeface was emulated for the cover of the Manic Street Preachers' third album The Holy Bible. 20 years later, Empires and Dance would be cited as a key influence on Futurology, the Manics' 12th album and their most critically acclaimed for years: it remains one of singer and guitarist James Dean Bradfield's favourite records.