Educating Peter # 12

September 9, 2012

This week’s sacrificial offering is from Steve (Hi, Steve!). It’s “Speed Your Love To Me” by Simple Minds.

To let you know of any potential biases as we go into this analysis of “Speed Your Love To Me”, I must tell you about my particular history with Simple Minds:

I used to listen to them a bit (not a lot), and enjoyed what I heard, but not enough to buy any of their albums or singles.

Bearing in mind that I haven’t heard anything by Simple Minds in years (except for “Don’t You Forget About Me” which still gets played on Australian radio over and over again), I’ll tell you what I remember of Simple Minds:

  1. A tremendous amount of seriousness.
  2. Cavernous echo on everything in the sound mix.
  3. Thunderous drums.
  4. Jim Kerr crouching. A lot.

Oh, and I’ve always said this to anyone who’ll listen:

If you’ve ever wondered where U2 got their sound from, look no further than Simple Minds.

And one more thing: I’m pretty sure I heard “Speed Your Love To Me” back in 1984 when it was released (I did listen to more than “Don’t You Forget About Me”), but have no memory of any of it now.

OK. To the song!

Simple Minds – “Speed Your Love To Me (1984)


0:00-4:25 – Ah, so that’s where that came from. I never knew.

Sorry, I’ll back up a bit.

In Australia there’s a TV program called rage (lowercase lettering deliberate). It’s shown every weekend without fail (rain, hail, or shine). It’s on overnight Friday and Saturday (with an hour tucked in on Saturday morning). rage has an opening theme and a closing theme, as well as an in-between-songs theme, and they’re both designed for maximum “STAY AWAKE!”-ness.

This is the current theme, utilising Iggy Pop’s “Real Wild Child (Wild One)”:

I must admit that I preferred the previous theme, mainly because it used King Crimson’s “Sleepless”:

But getting back to the point of this interlude. Here is rage‘s end theme:

So that’s where I’ve heard “Speed Your Love To Me” before. And I’ve just noticed that the song’s opening line, “I couldn’t sleep a wink last night”, is probably the reason the rage people chose it. That makes sense.

I’ve also just noticed that I’m typing this with only a few hours to go before I’m supposed to post it on the blog. Focus, Peter, focus. Listen to the song and make some quick notes.

0:00-0:08 – Is that an electric sitar? It is? Good-o.

0:08-0:24 – I like the portentous piano note at the start of each bar in this verse. It reminds me of the ominous piano note in the instrumental part of Killing Joke’s “Love Like Blood”.

Also: The drums! The drums!

[Note to self: Hurry, Peter. Type faster.]

0:24-0:40 – This is one galloping chorus. (Which reminds me of a song that Michael suggested a couple of weeks ago for Educating Peter.)

And now I’m vaguely remembering this Simple Minds song. I’m also liking it.

0:40-0:48 – An instrumental bit before the rest of the chorus. It contains a very weird scraping sound that I think is an acoustic guitar getting manhandled by someone doing something like rubbing their guitar pick down the strings. Maybe. [Another note to self: Stop talking about guitar picks and strings. Finish this post.]

0:48-1:04 – The rest of the chorus (plus a bit more non-Jim-Kerr-related instrumental playing). The drums!

0:04-1:20 – I think that Jim Kerr’s singing in this verse is not very good. It’s impassioned, but not good. (For example, his “fire!” 1:19 at is annoyingly flat. The passion’s there, but not the note. Grrr.)

1:20-1:56 – It’s half a chorus and then the band sneak in a middle eight before returning the rest of the chorus. Speaking from a song-structure point of view, that’s sneaky and clever.

1:28-1:48 – The middle eight within the chorus. See above.

1:56-2:12 – A slightly extended instrumental bit before the next verse. As far as I can tell, it doesn’t fulfil much of a function except to keep the song rocketing along.

2:12-2:56 – The next chorus. This also includes a middle eight hidden inside it.

2:56-3:12 – Another chorus. Well, why not?

3:12-4:25 – I think this is a continuation of the chorus. It’s hard to tell because Jim Kerr is simply – but still impassionedly – singing “You go to my head!” repeatedly. Incidentally, I don’t know if this is confined to the MP3 of the song that I have (and the one you’re listening to), but there’s an odd sound at 3:32. At first I thought it might have been a drum sound effect taken to an extreme, but it sounds more like a digital quirk.

3:32-4:25 – As the song reaches its end, I’ve noticed that Jim Kerr’s voice is starting to sound tired (e.g., 3:36-3:38 and 3:56-3:57). He’s certainly giving his all.

3:52 – There’s that sound again. Odd.

4:12 – And again, during the fade-out. Very odd.

The song has finished, and I have enough time to quickly let you know what I thought of it:

I liked “Speed Your Love To Me” – despite everything in it sounding gargantuan.

Thanks, Steve!