After years of chasing success, while morosely claiming they couldn't care less, when superstardom finally came knocking, Simple Minds fell over themselves to answer the door. It was not necessarily a pleasant sight, particularly for fans who’d followed the group through the uber-experimental days of Life In A Day and Empires And Dance. But still, the band made a mighty fist of their new status and, as their confidence grew, so their determination to hold onto their newfound status increased.
Indeed, 1985’s "Alive and Kicking" (or “dead and buried” as the disgruntled former faithful renamed it) left no doubts where the group was heading - straight into the heartland of American stadium rock. And, for every one of their old fans who ran screaming back to the cover of clubland, 100 replacements leapt into their place.
Overseen by producers Jimmy Iovine and Bob Clearwater, "Alive and Kicking" boasts a new lush sound, emphasized by the Gospel-esque female backing vocals, and billowing with grandiose orchestration. Occasionally, things strayed into U2-shaped territory, albeit without that group's ringing guitar solos and hook-lined choruses. But still "Alive and Kicking" cakewalked its way into the US Top 3, and became another Top Ten hit at home.