Simple Minds – Once Upon A Time

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Simple Minds – Once Upon A TimeOnce Upon a Time is the seventh studio album by Simple Minds, released in 1985.

Although already successful in their native UK and Europe, the band had also now become popular in the US, mainly due to the Keith Forsey-penned “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” which appeared on The Breakfast Club soundtrack and had become a no.1 hit there. However, the band deliberately left the track off the album due to their reluctance to record it. Four singles were taken from the album; “Alive and Kicking” (UK #7, US #3), “All the Things She Said” (UK #9, US #28), “Sanctify Yourself” (UK #10, US #14), and “Ghost Dancing” (UK #13). The album topped the UK charts, and peaked at no.10 on the US charts.

The album was available with two covers upon its original LP release. The alternate cover uses the back image for the front and vice versa. It also moves the Simple Minds logo to the right of the cover. The album cover was standardised for the original CD release and this version has since been used for the various reissues of the album. A limited edition picture disc album was also released.

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Virgin Records reissued the album as a remastered edition in 2002 (cardboard vinyl replica edition) and early 2003 (jewel-case). It was released on SACD in 2003.

2005 saw yet another reissue of the album. This time Virgin released a DVD-Audio version (actually, the disc bears a DVD-Audio/Video logo), which is notable for being a completely remixed album. All the tracks were remixed in 5.1 surround sound, and additionally, a downmixed 2.0 stereo version was created for compatibility with non-surround DVD-Audio set-ups.

The listener has a choice of playing the album from the following audio streams:

  • DVD-A 5.1 surround – essentially, a discrete six-channel 24-bit linear PCM stream sampled at 96 kHz (this stream may not be compatible with DVD-Video equipment),
  • DTS 5.1 surround – a 24-bit DTS stream sampled at 96 kHz (this stream may not be compatible with some DVD-Video equipment),
  • PCM 2.0 stereo – a linear PCM stereo stream (presumably included for compliance with the DVD-Video format).

Although the sleeve describes the 2.0 stereo stream as being a 48 kHz 16-bit PCM (which would make the disc compatible with mandatory audio requirements for DVD-Video discs), the stream itself turns out to be a 96 kHz 24-bit PCM, thus making the disc unplayable on all the DVD-Video equipment that cannot play 96 kHz 24-bit DTS (some older players would only accept a 48 kHz format) or is not DVD-Audio compliant (for the 96 kHz 24-bit PCM streams). Some DVD-Video players will only play the 2.0 stereo stream, but with distorted sound, and at wrong speed (if taking the 96/24 stream to be 48/16).

The remixed version of the album was mixed and produced by Roland Prent in 96/24 PCM.

The tracks on the remixed album differ in length in comparison to the original version. In most cases they are longer than in the original mix.

All the tracks on the remixed album contain material that has frequencies above the CD-Audio cut-off frequency, reaching beyond 30 kHz (a tribute to the original analogue multi-track tapes, and to the producers).

In 2008 Once Upon a Time was listed as the 864th greatest album of all time by the French retail chain Fnac.

In 2013, All the Things She Said was featured in Grand Theft Auto V, which went on to be the highest-selling video game ever.

Track listing

All songs written by Simple Minds (Jim Kerr, Charlie Burchill, Mick MacNeil)

LP

  1. “Once Upon a Time” – 5:44
  2. “All the Things She Said” – 4:16
  3. “Ghost Dancing” – 4:46
  4. “Alive and Kicking” – 5:25
  5. “Oh Jungleland” – 5:12
  6. “I Wish You Were Here” – 4:42
  7. “Sanctify Yourself” – 4:57
  8. “Come a Long Way” – 5:09

DVD-Audio

  1. “Once Upon a Time” – 6:19
  2. “All the Things She Said” – 4:22
  3. “Ghost Dancing” – 4:45
  4. “Alive and Kicking” – 5:14
  5. “Oh Jungleland” – 5:24
  6. “I Wish You Were Here” – 4:45
  7. “Sanctify Yourself” – 5:00
  8. “Come a Long Way” – 5:23