Real to Real Cacophony

Real to Real Cacophony (sometimes incorrectly referred as Reel to Real Cacophony) is the second studio album by Scottish rock band Simple Minds. It was released on 11 November 1979, through record labels Zoom and Arista.

Real to Real Cacophony
Studio album by
Released11 November 1979
RecordedSeptember 1979
StudioRockfield Studios, Monmouth, Wales
ProducerJohn Leckie
Simple Minds chronology
Life in a Day
Real to Real Cacophony
Empires and Dance
Singles from Real to Real Cacophony
  1. "Changeling"
    Released: November 1980


Real to Real Cacophony was recorded and mixed in five weeks at Rockfield Studios. According to producer John Leckie the band had only four songs ("Premonition", "Factory", "Calling Your Name" and "Changeling"), the rest of the album was written in the studio.[3]


Real to Real Cacophony did not chart, nor did its only single, "Changeling".

The 2002/2003 reissues by Virgin Records incorrectly render the album's title as Reel to Real Cacophony, and the opening track as "Reel to Real". The new spelling also appears in the discography section of all the inlays in the 2002/2003 Simple Minds remastered edition series. Subsequent editions render the title of both the album and track correctly.

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [1]
Smash Hits8/10[5]

Real to Real Cacophony has been generally well received by critics. In Sounds, John Gill wrote: "Real to Real Cacophony shows a considerable – and brave – progression. It captures some of the shock-effects of the avant-garde, some of the emotional power of outfits like the Pop Group, yet still retains the best of the Minds tight and trebly riffing. File under impressive."[6] Eric Chappe of CMJ New Music Monthly highlighted Simple Minds' "determination to constantly add unexpected touches to the arrangements".[7]

Retrospectively, Andy Kellman of AllMusic praised Real to Real Cacophony, saying that it marked the point "where Simple Minds ventured beyond the ability to mimic their influences and began to manipulate them, mercilessly pushing them around and shaping them into funny objects the way a child transforms a chunk of Play-Doh from an indefinable chunk of nothing into a definable chunk of something", and calling it "an achievement that's on a plane with other 1979 post-punk landmarks like Metal Box, 154, Entertainment! and Unknown Pleasures".[1] Bob Stanley wrote in Record Collector that the album "should be hailed as a singularly strong post-punk-into-synth-pop bridge but the shadow of 'Belfast Child' looms over their legacy."[8] Trouser Press was more lukewarm, remarking that the album "lives up (or down) to the clever title".[9]

Track listingEdit

All lyrics are written by Jim Kerr; all music is composed by Simple Minds (Kerr, Charlie Burchill, Derek Forbes, Brian McGee, Mick MacNeil).

Side A
1."Real to Real"2:47
2."Naked Eye"2:21
3."Citizen (Dance of Youth)"2:53
4."Carnival (Shelter in a Suitcase)"2:49
Side B
3."Film Theme"2:27
4."Calling Your Name"5:05


Adapted from the album's liner notes.[10]

Simple Minds


  • John Leckie – producer, engineer, mixing, arrangements
  • Mariella Sometimes – tape operator
  • Paul Henry – sleeve, packaging
  • Graphyk – sleeve graphics
  • Sheila Rock – sleeve photography
  • Trevor Rodgers – sleeve photography


  1. ^ a b c Kellman, Andy. "Real to Real Cacophony – Simple Minds". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 February 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Huey, Steve. "Simple Minds". AllMusic. Retrieved 6 December 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Real To Real Cacophony". Retrieved 10 November 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Tangari, Joe (15 April 2004). "Simple Minds: Reel to Real Cacophony / Empires and Dance". Pitchfork. Retrieved 10 November 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Starr, Red (13–26 December 1979). "Albums". Smash Hits. Vol. 1 no. 27. p. 29.
  6. ^ Gill, John (1 December 1979). "Simple Minds: Real to Real Cacophony". Sounds. Retrieved 15 February 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ Chappe, Eric. "Simple Minds: Real to Real Cacophony". CMJ New Music Monthly. Retrieved 15 February 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ Stanley, Bob (July 2019). "Bob Stanley". Record Collector. No. 494. Retrieved 29 July 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ Schlosberg, Karen; Robbins, Ira. "Simple Minds". Trouser Press. Archived from the original on 30 November 2012. Retrieved 12 May 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ "Simple Minds official website - Studio Albums: Real to Real Cacophony". Retrieved 21 April 2021.

External linksEdit