Waterfront

Album: Sparkle In The Rain (1983)
Charted: 13
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • The waterfront in this song is the River Clyde in Glasgow, where the band is from. "The song itself is about the rebirth of our city," Simple Minds lead singer Jim Kerr told Songfacts. "It talks about the water, and anyone listening might think it's Biblical. A baptism or something."

    Glasgow was economically depressed at the time, but walking along the river, Kerr got a sense of hope.
  • The song is driven by a big bass pulse that was generated by a Dynacord amplifier and sampler. This was relatively new technology and the sound they got out of it was modern and anthemic, making it perfect for live performance. It became a concert favorite for the band.
  • Released as the first single from Sparkle In The Rain, "Waterfront" went over well in the UK, but got little attention in America, where the band didn't chart until 1985, when "Don't You (Forget About Me)," their contribution to the movie The Breakfast Club, went to #1.
  • Michael Been, lead singer of The Call, was a big fan of this song. The Call was often the opening act for Simple Minds, and the band members became good friends. In 1989, The Call had their biggest hit with "Let The Day Begin," which owes a debt to "Waterfront." That was quite alright with Jim Kerr.

    He told Songfacts: "He played me 'Let The Day Begin,' but before I had the chance to say anything - because I wouldn't have said it, but I was thinking it - he said, 'It's not a million miles from 'Waterfront,' is it?' And I said, 'No, it's not.' It's got the same rhythm, but his song is much better."
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Jim McCarty of The YardbirdsSongwriter Interviews

The Yardbirds drummer explains how they created their sound and talks about working with their famous guitarists.

Into The Great Wide Open: Made-up MusiciansSong Writing

Eddie (played by Johnny Depp in the video) found fame fleeting, but Chuck Berry's made-up musician fared better.

George HarrisonFact or Fiction

Did Eric Clapton really steal George's wife? What's the George Harrison-Monty Python connection? Set the record straight with our Fact or Fiction quiz.

Macabre Mother Goose: The Dark Side of Children's SongsSong Writing

"London Bridge," "Ring Around the Rosie" and "It's Raining, It's Pouring" are just a few examples of shockingly morbid children's songs.

Matthew Wilder - "Break My Stride"They're Playing My Song

Wilder's hit "Break My Stride" had an unlikely inspiration: a famous record mogul who rejected it.

Phone Booth SongsSong Writing

Phone booths are nearly extinct, but they provided storylines for some of the most profound songs of the pre-cell phone era.