Themes, Vol. 4: February 89-May 90

Simple Minds

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Themes, Vol. 4: February 89-May 90 Review

by Andy Kellman

The fifth disc of the fourth and final Themes box is the only one that features exclusive material to rope in hesitant fans and, of course, it was only obtainable through this set -- Virgin would eventually issue all the CD5s in the box sets individually, but not that one. Clearly, Virgin attempted to take advantage of Simple Minds fans on a number of levels. Why put all the extended versions of the singles on a disc or two when you can pull off a bonanza like this? At any rate, this box closes it all out with singles plucked from Street Fighting Years and includes the Amsterdam EP, featuring the group's non-album version of Prince's "Sign O' the Times." Plenty of superfluous alternate mixes and live versions fill out the B-side spots, along with a number of album cuts that no one should feel obligated to have on another source. The exclusive disc consists of three performances taken from the same concert that became the Verona video. Each song -- "Street Fighting Years," "Mandela Day," "Kick It In" -- comes in its complete form; for the sake of space, the video features edited versions.

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