Simple Minds: Sons And Fascination/Sister Feelings Call (1981)
What's always drawn me in about the music is its, well, bigness. Like U2, there is a bold, boomy, anthemic sound throughout, the sort of sound that beckons to be played on some big-ass speakers in a large space. Some of that is Jim Kerr's vocals, a strong rival to Bono's; but the huge drums, prominent bass-lines, and wide-open production all play a part. The song that conveys that vibe most effectively is "The American," a terrific, wickedly insinuating track that stands as a personal fave from the era. Other stand-outs are the quieter, slow-building "In Trance As Mission"; the funky, almost Talking Heads-like "Sweat In Bullet"; the moody, Joy Division-esque "Sons And Fascination"; the epic instrumental "Theme For Great Cities"; and the spooky, jarring "70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall" (with its instrumental reprise closing out the album).
For folks who didn't grow up with their early records and know Simple Minds largely through the latter-day singles (i.e. the albatross of "Don't You Forget About Me," which they didn't write), this release makes a strong case for the band's relevance as a serious part of the late 70s/early 80s European invasion.
Here's an audio rip of "In Trance As Mission":