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Charted: May 13, 1989

Rating: 3.621 (average of 7 ratings)

Genre: new wave/ alternative rock

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  1. Street Fighting Years
  2. Soul Crying Out
  3. Wall of Love
  4. This Is Your Land (w/ Lou Reed)
  5. Take a Step Back
  6. Kick It In
  7. Let It All Come Down
  8. Mandela Day
  9. Belfast Child
  10. Biko
  11. When Spirits Rise

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only --
sales in U.K. only - estimated 0.6
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 0.6


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 70
peak on U.K. album chart 1 1

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Belfast Child (2/18/89) #1 UK
  • Mandela Day (4/18/89) #17 MR
  • This Is Your Land (4/22/89) #13 UK, #37 AR, #12 MR
  • Take a Step Back (6/24/89) #14 MR
  • Kick It In (7/23/89) #15 UK

Street Fighting Years
Simple Minds
Simple Minds built a following in the U.K. during the early ‘80s, but didn’t have their U.S. breakthrough until 1985’s #1 pop hit “Don’t You Forget about Me.” Before the year was out, the band followed that up with their most successful album to date, the top 10, gold-selling Once Upon a Time. Then, other than an interim live album, the group disappeared from the scene for four years.

When they returned it was with this “decidedly, noncommercial follow-up. Street Fighting Years is a moody, dark affair. The music is yearning and most of the songs are politically charged lyrically. It was a move that could (and did) bring commercial failure.” TD

“However, Street Fighting Years is an artistic and elegant album that might lack immediate choruses but draws in the listener. The title track takes some dramatic turns that give the gentle melody added thrust. Take a Step Back pulsates and Wall of Love rocks with conviction. Slower tracks like the brooding Let It All Come Down and a spirited run through the traditional Belfast Child are well done. Other noteworthy tracks include a version of the Peter Gabriel classic Biko and the soaring Mandela Day. It might not have satisfied the band’s newly won fans, but Street Fighting Years is an interesting, enjoyable album with some truly lovely moments.” TD

Review Source(s):

Related DMDB Links:

previous album: Once Upon a Time (1985)

Belfast Child (video)

Mandela Day (video)

This Is Your Land (video)

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Last updated July 9, 2010.