Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call

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Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call
Studio album by Simple Minds
Released September 1981/2002/2003
Recorded Spring–Summer 1981
Genre Post-punk, new wave
Length 78:59 (originally 43:50 + 35:09)
Label Virgin Records
Producer Steve Hillage
Simple Minds chronology
Empires and Dance
(1980)
Sons and Fascination/​Sister Feelings Call
(1981)
Themes for Great Cities 79/81
(1981)
Alternative cover
Sister Feelings Call cover
Singles from Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call
  1. "The American"
    Released: 1981
  2. "Love Song"
    Released: 1981
  3. "Sweat in Bullet"
    Released: 1981

Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call is the current common title for the fourth album by the Scottish post-punk band Simple Minds. It was released in September 1981 and was their first to reach a wide international audience. It reached number eleven on the UK Albums Chart,[1] number thirty-one on the Australian Kent Music Report chart,[2] number 7 on the New Zealand RIANZ chart[3] and number four the Swedish Sverigetopplistan chart.[4] Since 1981 the album has been certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry. It includes the singles, "The American", " Love Song" and "Sweat in Bullet".

Sons and Fascination and Sister Feelings Call were two separate albums. Both assembled from the same sessions and released at the same time and, in some instances, sold as a double-LP set. The two releases are variously categorised as a double album, two single albums or a single album and an extended play. The CD version contains all the tracks once split onto two LPs, with their respective track running orders preserved.

Recording[edit]

The sessions are the last to have the same line-up as all its predecessors. Drummer Brian McGee left just after recording the set, and was replaced by Kenny Hyslop as part-time member for the upcoming tour. Hyslop also appeared in the "Sweat in Bullet" and "Love Song" videos.

Having ended their contract with Arista the sessions were the first recordings the band made for Virgin Records. They worked with producer Steve Hillage, who was a guitarist in the progressive rock band Gong. One thing Hillage and Simple Minds had in common was a love of krautrock music. The band's previous three albums were produced by John Leckie.

The rhythm section was made more prominent than on any earlier album of the band, loud, heavy and sometimes anchoring a track to one or two driving rhythm patterns, but also often put at moving angles with some of the other instruments or with Kerr's vocals (as in "The American" or "Sweat in Bullet"); this gave the songs a spatial, multi-planed and atmospheric sound, whilst keeping up propulsion.

"Boys from Brazil" is inspired by the novel, as Kerr has said in interviews. The line "babies cannot manage crocodiles" is likely inspired by the Lewis Carroll logic puzzle: "All babies are illogical / Nobody is despised who can manage a crocodile / Illogical persons are despised".[citation needed]

Releases[edit]

Viewed as vinyl LPs, Sons and Fascination is the fourth Simple Minds album, released in 1981, with Sister Feelings Call the fifth. The two were released simultaneously, Sons and Fascination being the main feature, and Sister Feelings Call included as a bonus disc with the first 10,000 copies of the original release.

The restructured Canadian version of the Sons And Fascination album (expanded to ten tracks, six of the eight on the UK release and a further four taken from Sister Feelings Call, there shortened to five tracks on the vinyl release and six tracks on cassette) had a significantly different running order, beginning with "Love Song".

Upon its first CD release in mid-1980s Sons and Fascination came with tracks from Sister Feelings Call added directly after the main set, so that the CD played as a single long album. Due to technical limitations, the disc's running length having to fit within 74 minutes, two tracks from Sister Feelings Call, "League of Nations" and "Sound in 70 Cities" (an instrumental version of Sons and Fascination's "70 Cities as Love Brings the Fall") were dropped. However they appeared on the CD single of the 12-inch cut of "The American"[citation needed] and would re-appear in album form in 2002 and 2003 when remasters of the double set were issued under the title Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call[citation needed].

In 2012 Virgin Records released the X5 CD box set[citation needed] containing the bands' first five albums, each containing extra tracks. This could be considered[by whom?] to contain the definitive version of the album(s), collecting all the tracks spread across the various releases to date.

Singles[edit]

"The American", "Love Song" and "Sweat in Bullet" were released as singles. "The American" preceded the album was became the group's first charting single in the UK since "Life in a Day" in 1979 reaching #59.[1]

"Love Song" followed and charted slightly higher at No. 47 in the UK.[1] "Love Song" proved to be the first breakout hit for the group charting across several countries. It was a Top 40 hit in Canada and Australia. It reached No. 46 on the Canadian RPM National Top 50 Albums Chart on 6 February 1982[5] and remained on the chart for four weeks.

"Sweat in Bullet" was remixed for single release by Peter Walsh. The single reached No. 52 in the UK, No. 47 in New Zealand and No. 17 in Sweden.[4] Walsh went on to produce the band's following album New Gold Dream (81/82/83/84) in 1982.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Separate albums
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic (Sons & Fascination) 3/5 stars[6]
Allmusic (Sister Feelings Call) 3/5 stars[7]
Rock 82 (Sons & Fascination) (favorable)[8]
Professional ratings
Compilation
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[9]
The Face (favourable)[10]
Martin C. Strong (8/10)[11]
NME (unfavourable)[12]
Sounds (favourable)[13]
Virgin Encyclopedia 3/5 stars[14]

The listeners of Toronto-area alternative radio station CFNY-FM voted the album the best of 1981 (in a tie with King Crimson's Discipline); the follow-up New Gold Dream (81/82/83/84) would top the following year's list.[15] In The Essential Rock Discography (2006), Martin C. Strong rated Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call highly and wrote: "Simple Minds were beginning to find their niche, incorporating their artier tendencies into more conventional and melodic song structures."[11] The album was ranked by Sounds as the 18th best album of 1981.[16] The album's legacy was further strengthened in retrospective critic listings; a 2007 issue of Mojo magazine listed Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call as one of the 80 greatest albums of the 1980s,[17] while The Guardian newspaper selected the record as one of the "1000 Albums to Hear Before You Die", writing, "Before they descended into epic pomp-rock bluster, Simple Minds were purveyors of supremely romantic, slyly futuristic synthpop. Sons and Fascination found them cannily mining a seam of mesmerising, shimmering art-rock, while tracks like "Love Song" were so gorgeously lustrous that you could even forgive them their future."[18]

Track listing: Sons and Fascination[edit]

LP: Virgin / V 2207 (UK)[edit]

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

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "In Trance as Mission"   6:50
2. "Sweat in Bullet"   4:30
3. "70 Cities as Love Brings the Fall"   4:48
4. "Boys From Brazil"   5:30
Side two
No. Title Length
5. "Love Song"   5:03
6. "This Earth That You Walk Upon"   5:26
7. "Sons and Fascination"   5:23
8. "Seeing out the Angel"   6:11

LP: Virgin / VL 2224 (Canada)[edit]

The Canadian edition includes a mixture of tracks from Sons and Fascination and Sister Feelings Call

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

MC: Virgin / TCV 2207 (UK)[edit]

The UK cassette includes all titles from Sons and Fascination and Sister Feelings Call. The edition is titled as Sons and Fascination though the sleeve notes that it contains seven bonus tracks. It shuffles the order of the two albums, sequencing the opening side of each LP on side one, followed by the closing sides of the LPs on side two.

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

Track listing: Sister Feelings Call[edit]

LP: Virgin / Virgin OVED 2 (UK)[edit]

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

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Theme for Great Cities"   5:50
2. "The American"   3:49
3. "20th Century Promised Land"   4:53
Side two
No. Title Length
4. "Wonderful in Young Life"   5:20
5. "League of Nations"   4:55
6. "Careful in Career"   5:08
7. "Sound in 70 Cities" (Dub mix of "70 Cities as Love Brings the Fall") 5:01
  • also released on MC (Virgin / OVEDC 2)

LP: Virgin / VEP 311 (Canada)[edit]

The Canadian edition includes a mixture of tracks from Sister Feelings Call and Sons and Fascination.

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

MC: Virgin / VEP4-311 (Canada)[edit]

The Canadian edition includes a mixture of tracks from Sister Feelings Call and Sons and Fascination plus the original instrumental version of "This Earth That You Walk Upon".

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

Track listing: Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call[edit]

CD: Virgin / Virgin SIMCD 4 (UK)[edit]

The 2002 remastered reissue includes all titles from both albums. It was also released in heavy duty gatefold picture card sleeve with black inner sleeve (Virgin / SIMCDX 4)

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

No. Title Length
1. "In Trance as Mission"   6:50
2. "Sweat in Bullet"   4:30
3. "70 Cities as Love Brings the Fall"   4:48
4. "Boys From Brazil"   5:30
5. "Love Song"   5:03
6. "This Earth That You Walk Upon"   5:26
7. "Sons and Fascination"   5:23
8. "Seeing out the Angel"   6:11
9. "Theme for Great Cities"   5:50
10. "The American"   3:49
11. "20th Century Promised Land"   4:53
12. "Wonderful in Young Life"   5:20
13. "League of Nations"   4:55
14. "Careful in Career"   5:08
15. "Sound in 70 Cities" (Dub mix of "70 Cities as Love Brings the Fall") 5:01

CD: Virgin / CDV 2207 (UK)[edit]

The original 1986 CD omits "League of Nations" and "Sound in 70 Cities" due to space constraints.

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

Personnel[edit]

Additional personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Chart Stats - Simple Minds". chartstats.com. Archived from the original on 28 July 2012. Retrieved 21 July 2008. 
  2. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  3. ^ "charts.org.nz - Discography Simple Minds". Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "Swedish Charts - Simple Minds". Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  5. ^ "RPM 50 Albums". RPM (archived at Library and Archives Canada) (Volume 35, No. 26). 6 February 1982. Retrieved 24 October 2011. 
  6. ^ Kellman, Andy. "Simple Minds: Sons and Fascination > Review" at AllMusic. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
  7. ^ Kellman, Andy. "Simple Minds: Sister Feelings Call > Review" at AllMusic. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
  8. ^ "Sons & Fascination, Simple Minds". Rock 82 (in Serbian) (Belgrade: NIP Politika) (18): 9. 
  9. ^ Kellman, Andy. "Simple Minds - Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call - review". AllMusic. Retrieved 1 February 2013. 
  10. ^ Cranna, Ian (October 1981). "Sons & Fascination/Sister Feelings Call". The Face (London: Wagadon) (18). ISSN 0263-1210. Retrieved 2 February 2013. 
  11. ^ a b The Essential Rock Discography - Volume 1: 970. 2006. 
  12. ^ Bohn, Chris (5 September 1981). "Sons And Fascination/Sister Feelings Call". NME (IPC Media). ISSN 0028-6362. Retrieved 24 October 2011. 
  13. ^ Gill, John (19 September 1981). ""It's time we got our crown", says Jim Kerr of Simple Minds. John Gill doesn't disagree.". Sounds (UBM plc). Retrieved 2 February 2013. 
  14. ^ Larkin, Colin. "Review: Sons & Fascination". Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music: 2002.
  15. ^ "The Best 81 of 1981". CFNY Charts & Hit Lists. spiritofradio.ca. Retrieved 24 October 2011. 
  16. ^ "Sounds End of Year Lists". Rock List Music. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  17. ^ "Sons and Fascination - Simple Minds". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  18. ^ "1000 albums: Artists beginning with S". The Guardian (London: Guardian Media Group). 20 November 2007. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 

External links[edit]