They did it four times in the 1980s, in fact four times in a row. But on 24 October 1992, Simple Minds took their tally of UK No. 1 albums to five with the collection containing highlights of their previous decade together, Glittering Prize 81/92.
The album eschewed the Scottish trailblazers’ early years in the new wave era and started with their first album for Virgin, Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call, containing material up to and including 1991’s Real Life. Replacing Prince and the New Power Generation’s Symbol, the album claimed that glittering prize of an instant UK No. 1.
The compilation was named after the track from the band’s New Gold Dream 81/82/83/84 album of 1982, which became a No. 16 hit single for Simple Minds in the UK. The additional notable achievement of Glittering Prize 81/92 was stopping Madonna from claiming that reward, as her Erotica album had to be content with a No. 2 debut. Talking Heads also scored a top ten debut on that chart, with the Once In A Lifetime anthology.
The Simple Minds retrospective went on to triple platinum status in the UK, as the band’s final No. 1 album to date. That was a sequence of bestsellers that had started in 1984 with Sparkle In The Rain and continued with 1985’s Once Upon A Time, the 1987 concert album Live In The City Of Light and 1989’s Street Fighting Years.
As the modern-day band continues to go from strength to strength, Simple Minds Acoustic album was released in November 2016, announced by its first single, a stripped down version of ‘Promised You A Miracle’ featuring KT Tunstall. The album features “reimagined” versions of many favourite songs from the band’s catalogue, including ‘Glittering Prize’ itself, and as their own publicity put it: “The synths are no more – but the Celtic soul remains.”
Glittering Prize 81/92 can be bought here.