If you’ve never seen this before, let me just say up front that you will not be thinking what an amazing song this is. You’ll be thinking, “This is hilarious.”
For me, this video from MTV’s Saturday night concerts of a 1986 show that Simple Minds did in Rotterdam is a special part of my teen years. I videotaped it in my lonely second year of high school and watched (possibly) hundreds of times, being at that perfect intersection of being a Simple Minds fan and always being at home on Saturday nights. This was by far and away my favorite part of the concert. They changed up all of their songs in this show, at least a little bit, but “Book of Brilliant Things” was the most radical: a reinvention of the cold, reverbed-out album version into a slow-building, charging arena blaster. It straight up gives me chills, y’all.
But unless you’re a big Simple Minds fan, you’re not going to hear that because you’ll be laughing too hard at the video. This is some seriously hardcore 80s shit. No amount of drug use excuses those “shiny Renaissance” fashion choices. Die laughing at the impossibly large shoulder pads on keyboardist Mick MacNeil before doubling over at Jim Kerr’s flowy-shirt-with-vest and beret combo, and then completely losing your shit when he tosses up a handful of glitter at the word “sparkles”. The special effects attempts of the filming is even better: double-exposure, quick camera movements, slow motion. It’s almost too much.
So enjoy that. I’ll be watching it over and over again like I did when I was 15.