Monday, April 8, 1991

Simple Mind’s Real Life released

First posted 10/10/2020.

Real Life

Simple Minds

Released: April 8, 1991

Peak: 74 US, 2 UK, -- CN, 13 AU

Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.3 UK, 0.95 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: alternative rock


Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Real Life (10/26/91, 34 UK)
  2. See the Lights (3/23/91, 40 US, 10 AR, 12 MR, 20 UK, 10 CN, 10 AU)
  3. Let There Be Love (3/23/91, 6 UK, 15 AU)
  4. Woman
  5. Stand by Love (6/22/91, 42 AR, 4 MR, 13 UK, 70 AU)
  6. Let the Children Speak
  7. African Skies
  8. Ghostrider
  9. Banging on the Door (intro)
  10. Banging on the Door
  11. Travelling Man
  12. Rivers of Ice
  13. When Two Worlds Collide

Total Running Time: 52:15

The Players:

  • Jim Kerr (vocals)
  • Charlie Burchill (guiar, keyboards)
  • Mel Gaynor (drums)


2.999 out of 5.00 (average of 7 ratings)


About the Album:

Simple Minds brokethrough in the American market in 1985, thanks to the #1 hit “Don’t You Forget About Me.” The follow-up album, Once Upon a Time, hit the top 10, but then the band went back to relative obscurity, peaking at #70 with 1989’s Street Fighting Years and at #74 with 1991’s Real Life.

Simple Minds – now officially a trio after the departure of keyboardist and founding member Mick MacNeil – maintained success in the UK, peaking at #2 with the album and landing four top-40 singles in the UK. The lead single, Let There Be Love, reached #6 while in the U.S. the first single was See the Lights. It did squeak into the top-40, but found greater success on the modern rock (#1) and album rock charts (#10). “The catchy” AMG Stand by Love was also a top-5 hit on the modern rock charts and reached #13 in the UK.

Some of the songs were reworked version of previous material. Let the Children Speak was based on “Theme for Great Cities” from 1981’s Sister Feelings Call. WK Travelling Man shared similarities to “Waterfront” from 1983’s Sparkle in the Rain. WK Similarly, When Two Worlds Collide is based on the title track. WK

From a critical standpoint, All Music Guide’s Alex Henderson noted “how much less inspired their writing had become by the early ‘90s. Though some of the songs are decent…the majority of them aren’t very memorable.” AMG “Casual listeners would be much better off sticking to the band's mid-‘80s work.” AMG While Real Life wasn’t terrible, it didn’t compare to the band’s trio of strong albums from 1982-85: New Gold Dream, Sparkle in the Rain, and Once Upon a Time. AMG

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