Alive & Kicking – Simple Minds | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#3); 1985

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

U.S. followers of the Top 40, who remember Simple Minds chiefly for their three hit singles, will be surprised to learn that at one time the group rivaled U2 as a vinyl and stadium draw. Formed in 1978 in Glasgow, the core of Johnny and The Self Abusers thankfully changed their name after that band’s breakup on the day of its first release. (The other Johnny members formed the long-forgotten Cuban Heels.) Simple Minds released its early albums at a breathtaking pace – five LP’s worth in under three years – and in a variety of styles – from art rock to experimental to pop. At its peak the band settled into the synth-pop groove of the 1980’s, along with other, mostly-British groups such as Duran Duran and The Human League. Alive & Kicking was an international pop hit, reaching #2 on the American mainstream rock tracks chart, and propelling the album Once Upon A Time into the U.S. Top 10.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2023 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Jimmy Iovine
  • Bob Clearmountain

Lyrics Written by:

  • Jim Kerr
  • Charlie Burchill
  • Mick MacNeil