Legendary Scots rock band Simple Minds are celebrating an anniversary of their first concert - with the release of a song that helped them become global stars. 

Act Of Love has been re-recorded to mark the anniversary of their debut live show at Glasgow's Satellite City on January 17, 1978.

The band say the song was synonymous with the beginning of the story of Simple Minds, who went on to become chart-toppers across the world.

It was the first song played at the Satellite City show in January 1978, and the opening track on the demo tape that won the band their first record deal later that year.

“I always loved the song,” says Simple Minds front man Jim Kerr. “To all intents and purposes, it was the first thing anyone heard of Simple Minds. It became our rallying cry, our banner.”

The band formed in Glasgow in 1977, would go on to released a string of hit singles, becoming best known internationally for Don't You (Forget About Me) which topped the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States in 1985.

Four decades on, they notched up 60m record sales with the help of numerous hit singles such as Glittering Prize, Belfast Child, Waterfront, Alive and Kicking and Someone Somewhere in Summertime.

As the band established themselves as the hottest property on the Scottish post-punk scene Act Of Love became an early live favourite.

“We believed in it, but would anyone else?” Kerr continued. “It was so great when they did. It was the oxygen we needed to continue.”

By the time Simple Minds recorded their debut album, Life In A Day, early in 1979, the song had “disappeared into the mist” without ever being properly recorded.

“Through the years, I always wanted to go back to it,” says Kerr.

In 1980 the singer recycled the title phrase as the opening line to Celebrate, the electro-blues song from Simple Minds’ third album, Empires & Dance. Meanwhile, bootlegs of the 1978 demos ensured that Act Of Love became a cult songs among diehard fans.

The band returned to to the lost song hile recording the next Simple Minds album in Hamburg during 2020 & 2021, the follow up to 2018’s acclaimed ‘Walk Between Worlds.

“We tinkered around with it,” says Kerr. “When we listened to the original demo, we loved its spirit and its general form, but it sounded like a youth club band song. How could we do that now, adding extra pieces without losing the essence?”

Of the original concept he added: “I was thinking about the excitement of what we were setting out to do. We would rehearse in the afternoon in a derelict building in the Gorbals and I’d walk past Govanhill Library, thinking about the idea of the muse: a voice within that will appear and provide inspiration. That’s what the song was about originally.

"Now I’m looking back, reflecting on how the belief was real. When Charlie played that riff, it made me think we could do this. From that belief becomes your attitude, your body language, the whole culture of the band.”


Now the song is set to become a link between the band's glittering past and still-evolving future while the band prepare to re-commence their world tour which was curtailed in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic.

They are due to play the Glasgow Ovo Hydro on April 6 and the Edinburgh Summer Sessions on August 12 and 13.

“What a thing: merging the very first Simple Minds song and where we are now,” says Kerr. “There’s a story there. I think we’ve managed to tell it well.”