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’80s Treasure Trove: Uncovering Simple Minds’ “Glittering Prize” Video

How is it possible that I’ve never seen the video for “Glittering Prize,” one of the biggest hits from one of my favorite bands, Simple Minds?

Sure, I’ve seen the video for “Don’t You “Forget About Me)” from The Breakfast Club more times than I can count, but, until today, I had never seen the video for their 1982 hit “Glittering Prize.”

And I’m not alone. Check the YouTube comments and most users say the same thing:

Brian Folks: “I’ve been a fan since 81 and have never seen this video.”

bill mill: “EXACTLY. I didn’t even know this existed!”

sgtrayelwood: “I was eleven when this single came out. I remember playing it to death – I must have near worn it out. I never saw the video until now, though.”

MTV (which was the only way to see videos back in the day) had a very short playlist of hits that it would play over and over again.

Before landing the theme song on the 1985 The Breakfast Club soundtrack, Simple Minds was relatively unknown in the U.S., so none of their videos were put into MTV rotation.

Any fan of the band will likely claim New Gold Dream as their favorite album, most people never saw these early videos, like the one for “Promised You a Miracle”,  also off 1982’s New Gold Dream.

As for the “Glittering Prize” video, well, it glitters and it’s got enough gold to choke Spandau Ballet.

Taking the album title New Gold Dream literally, there are gold masks,  gold eyeglasses, gold statues, shimmering gold backdrops … even the drums and keyboard are gold! And — with a nod to the then-recent King Tut traveling exhibit — there’s an Egyptian sarcophagus covered in goldleaf.. and the pharoah inside is Jim Kerr!

There’s also a tribute to James Bond’s Goldfinger, with a beautiful blonde covered in gold paint.

In his Allmusic review of the song, Dave Thompson writes:

“Indeed [the song] was a ‘Glittering Prize’ and, as the band held their breath and crossed their fingers, the single was released as a taster for their forthcoming New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84) album in August, 1982. It promptly sparkled up the UK chart and into the Top 15. After four long years, Simple Minds finally grabbed the golden ring.”

So here’s to the band’s “lost” videos . As Jim sang over 30 years ago, it’s nice that a light has finally been shown on them in their prime:

Shine on, shine the light on me
In all of my Life
So much more I see
Like a Glittering Prize
I saw you up on a clear day
First taking heart then our last breath away
Only on a clear day coming into our lives

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