The ‘80s: The 30th Anniversary of Simple Minds’ ‘Once Upon A Time’

The Scottish rock band Simple Minds hit the music scene in the late 1970s, but thanks to tunes “Glittering Prize,” “Someone Somewhere in Summertime” and more notably, “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” the mega-hit from the soundtrack from the feature film The Breakfast Club, Simple Minds was definitely a band on the rise.  So the stage was set in simpleminds1October of 1985 when the band released their album Once Upon A Time.  The album included the single “Ghost Dancing,” a Top 20 tune in the U.K. that was first introduced to a concert audience at John F. Kennedy Stadium during the band’s performance at the Live Aid Concert benefitting Ethiopian famine relief.

The album’s remaining three singles proved to be not only successful in the U.K., but in the states and pretty much the rest of the world as well.  The tune “All The Things She Said” hit the Top 40 on the U.S. pop chart simpleminds2and the Top 10 on both the dance/club and Top Rock Tracks charts.  The single “Sanctify Yourself” would become a fan favorite in concert as well as on the charts, where it hit the Top 10 in the U.K. and peaked at #14 on the U.S. pop chart. The album’s big hit, “Alive and Kicking,” shot to the top of the Top Rock Tracks chart and peaked at #3 on the pop chart.  It also hit the Top 10 in the U.K. and Ireland and went to #1 in Belgium and Italy, which may have been what inspired members of the Italian dance/pop group East Side Beat to record their own version of the song seven years later.

Once Upon A Time hit the Top 10 on the U.S. Billboard Album chart, peaked at #3 on the Canadian chart and topped the Albums chart in the U.K.

—Montrose Cunningham

Montrose Cunningham is a Dallas, Texas-based, independent funk/rock/soul artist and devoted music aficionado, with a Master of Science degree in Marketing. When he isn’t digging through the crates–digital and analog–he’s jamming with his band or hanging with his daughters, sometimes at the same time. Purchase his release Inertia at, follow him on Twitter @MontroseC and check out his blog, Daddy Rock Star.

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