I wanted to write a simple post today, and Scotland’s Simple Minds came to mind. Their worldwide No. 1 hit from the brilliant John Hughes film, THE BREAKFAST CLUB, “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” is my all-time favorite song, and from 1985, the best year of my youth. I’m sure I’ll write about that another time, maybe even a two-parter. Today, though, I wanted to write about the B-side of “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” the instrumental “A Brass Band In Africa.”
“A Brass Band In Africa” is five core minutes of a longer, 9-minute-plus, three-part piece that’s fully titled “A Brass Band In African Chimes.” I didn’t make the connection until recently, but if you listen to the instrumental “Shake Off The Ghosts,” which is the last song on the band’s critically-acclaimed 1984 album, SPARKLE IN THE RAIN, right away it sounds like the precursor to “A Brass Band In Africa.” Several elements of and instrumentation on “Shake Off The Ghosts” are incorporated directly into “A Brass Band In Africa” and its extended counterpart, “A Brass Band In African Chimes.”
Granted, with “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” being my favorite song of all-time, naturally the B-side already had an advantage of me liking it, and I hoped it wouldn’t suck. Gladly, it didn’t disappoint. In fact, “A Brass Band In Africa” is not only one of THE BEST B-sides of the 80s, it’s one of THE BEST instrumentals to come out of the decade too. Do yourself a favor – click on the link below, close your eyes and take the five minutes to listen. Simply brilliant and beautiful.