Empires and Dance

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Empires and Dance
Studio album by Simple Minds
Released 12 September 1980
Recorded 1980
Genre Post-punk, new wave, synthpop, dance-punk
Length 45:33
Label Arista
Producer John Leckie
Simple Minds chronology
Real to Real Cacophony
Empires and Dance
Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call
Simple Minds studio albums chronology
Real to Real Cacophony
Empires and Dance
Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call
Singles from Empires and Dance
  1. "I Travel"
    Released: 1980
  2. "Celebrate"
    Released: 1981

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,[1] through record label Arista.


Empires and Dance charted poorly, peaking at only number 41 in the UK Albums Chart.[2] 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.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[3]
NME very favourable[4]
Pitchfork 8.1/10[5]
Martin C. Strong 8/10[6]

Empires and Dance has been generally well-received critically.

NME called it as "a weird, agitating record".[4] AllMusic described the album as a "post-punk dance classic".[3]


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.[7]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Jim Kerr, all music composed by Simple Minds.

Side A
No. Title Length
1. "I Travel"   4:00
2. "Today I Died Again"   4:36
3. "Celebrate"   5:03
4. "This Fear of Gods"   7:03
Side B
No. Title Length
1. "Capital City"   6:15
2. "Constantinople Line"   4:43
3. "Twist/Run/Repulsion"   4:31
4. "Thirty Frames a Second"   5:02
5. "Kant-Kino"   1:52
6. "Room"   2:28



  1. ^ "Record News". NME (London, England: IPC Media): 5. 30 August 1980. 
  2. ^ "SIMPLE MINDS – Artist – Official Charts". Official Charts Company. 
  3. ^ a b Kellman, Andy. "Empires and Dance – Simple Minds : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 February 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Morley, Paul (13 September 1980). "Awe and Terror from the Inner Minds". NME. Retrieved 9 February 2013. 
  5. ^ Tangari, Joe. "Simple Minds: Reel to Real Cacophony / Empires and Dance | Album Reviews | Pitchfork". Pitchfork. Retrieved 9 February 2013. 
  6. ^ The Essential Rock Discography – Volume 1: 970. 2006.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ Price, Simon. "A Masterpiece: Simon Price On Manic Street Preachers' Futurology". The Quietus. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 

External links[edit]