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Simply Red

Led by the vocalist Mick Hucknall, the English blue-eyed soul band Simply Red became international stars with their debut album, Picture Book. On the hit ballad "Holding Back the Years," Hucknall proved that he could sing soulfully without affectation, while their cover of the Valentine Brothers' "Money's Too Tight (To Mention)" proved that they could do light-funk capably. With each album, their fanbase expanded, especially in the U.K.

The band was formed in 1984 by singer Mick "Red" Hucknall (born Michael James Hucknall, June 8, 1960, Manchester, England) with three ex-members of Durutti Column -- bassist Tony Bowers (born October 31, 1952), drummer Chris Joyce (born October 11, 1957, Manchester, England), and keyboardist/brass player Tim Kellett (born July 23, 1964, Knaresborough, England) -- plus guitarist Sylvan Richardson and keyboardist Fritz McIntyre (born September 2, 1956, Birmingham, England).

The group signed to Elektra Records and released Picture Book (October 1985), which featured "Money's Too Tight (To Mention)," a Top 40 cover of a 1982 R&B chart single by the Valentine Brothers, and "Holding Back the Years," a Hucknall original that topped the U.S. charts. The single caused the album to go platinum, and made the group one of the major successes of 1986. Men and Women (March 1987), which featured two collaborations between Hucknall and soul songwriter Lamont Dozier, was less popular, though it generated the Top 40 hit "The Right Thing." (In the U.K., "Infidelity" and a cover of Cole Porter's "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye" also made the Top 40.) Richardson left in 1987 and was replaced by guitarist Aziz Ibrahim, who was replaced by Heitor T.P. (born in Brazil). The third album, A New Flame (February 1989), went gold due to the cover of the 1972 Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes hit "If You Don't Know Me by Now" that hit number one and became a gold single. (In the U.K., "It's Only Love" and "A New Flame" also made the Top 40.)

By the time of the fourth album, Stars (September 1991), Bowers and Joyce had left, with Shaun Ward joining on bass and Gota on drums, and saxophonist Ian Kirkham had become a permanent member. Stars was a relative commercial disappointment in the U.S. (though it spawned Top 40 hits in "Something Got Me Started" and "Stars" and eventually went gold), but it became a major success elsewhere, especially in the U.K., where it was the best-selling album of 1991, topped the charts for 19 weeks, and spawned the Top Ten hits "Stars" and "For Your Babies" and the Top 40 hits "Something Got Me Started," "Thrill Me," and "Your Mirror." Worldwide, it had sold eight and a half million copies by the second quarter of 1993.

Ward and Gota were gone by the release of Simply Red's fifth album, Life (October 1995), leaving a lineup of Hucknall, McIntyre, Heitor T.P., Kirkham, and backup singer Dee Johnson. The album again proved more of a success at home than in America, topping charts all over Europe, as did its leadoff single, "Fairground," while spending only three months in the U.S. charts. Blue followed in May 1998. It topped the British charts and spawned Top Ten hits in "Say You Love Me" and a cover of the Hollies' "The Air That I Breathe" at home, but was a negligible seller in the U.S. In November 1999, Simply Red issued Love and the Russian Winter, which reached the U.K. Top Ten, with the single "Ain't That a Lot of Love" (a cover of a Sam & Dave song) hitting the Top 20.

After establishing the simplyred.com label, the band released Home in April 2003. It reached number two in the U.K., with the singles "Sunrise" and a cover of the Stylistics' "You Make Me Feel Brand New" becoming Top Ten hits. Two years later came Simplified, a collection of old and new songs that hit number three in Britain and number two in the Eurochart. Another two-year absence followed before the notable Stay in April 2007. It hit number four in the U.K. and number two in the Eurochart. By the time of its release, the lineup of Simply Red consisted of Hucknall, Kirkham, Sarah Brown (background vocals), David Clayton (keyboards), Peter Lewinson (drums), Steve Lewinson (bass), Kevin Robinson (trumpet), and Kenji Suzuki (guitar). ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine & William Ruhlmann, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Mick is sexier to me now than he was back when! Love his voice! Want to go to Frankfort, Germany December, 2nd to see him in concert...
A strong smooth voice, that can be understood!! ! Not many of those around.
Beautiful song...
Fantastic voice and has made outstanding videos
I love simply red
ast1195
Truly soulful!
The song and video....... w h i t e hot.
Me encanta esta rola
Mick Hucknall is one of the most UNDERRATED singers. You can feel his passion in his soul every time.
Oh, almost forgot....ye s he is absolutely delicious to the Soul! Great words Delicious & Stunning in my top five.
Does anyone know if he's working on more amazing vocals by him? Whoever said they could listen to him over and over is so true. My son is grown now, but he said when he was older that whenever he heard me playing Simply Red he knew it was a great day, Mom was in her magical place feeling happy, energize and very Blessed. I may be out of the loop.......I feel like he's not singing now it hurts my heart. Somebody let me know please. One of the most amazing artists I've ever heard. Appreciate it.
Holding back the years, takes me back to a time long ago :-) like them :-)
this is a tie between harold melvin and the blue notes...both awesome
My comment is a little old but, naw you aunt crazy, Mick IZ delicious;-)
Hey ....raybo358 stay strong, shr's watching over you
Sorry for your loss raybo :( Love Lives On Forever.
I asked the only love of my life to marry me while listening to Simply Red, a year later she passed away. I listen to Simply Red all the time and think of her.
I asked the only love of my life to marry me while listening to Simple Red, she said yes, a year later she passed away.
This is for the sound system, this is for the sound system. Nothing sounds finer!
lindamast641 5 5
Mick is so much fun; really an original talent; never gets old to hear him; glad he's happily married and a father; he just keeps going and going with his success
drh6187
Agree with all ! Soothing smooth soulful Cincy lady
Hall & Oats and Mic -one of the best cover songs/mix ever - makes you want to go somewhere tropical and just let go - Awesome
This song rocks
Yes! Yes! Flashback It's only Love doing its thing Baby Yes.
Ahhh here we go again. Good times. Calming music. Understandin g every lyric.
Music is truly color-blinde d . Smooth Smooth Smooth
internalheal i n g c e n t e r
My all time favorite!!
Am I the only lady here who thinks Mick Hucknall is just delicious?!?
My husband thinks I'm crazy.....
Simply Red...one of the baddest (not a word but should be) blue eyed soul groups from back in the day! Always have me groovin'.
The best pop band of all time ! Thanks Mick !
sharifahap
Just love Simply Red!
lindamast641 5 5
the Mick can sing anything; he's awesome
Good art in any of its forms will stand the test of time.
jkretsch195
Just love his voice! I can't believe he's not a black singer.
He has such a soulful voice....lov e it....love him!
Voices like this don't come along everyday, his voice and music make me feel good all over.
I love this version....h i s voice is wonderful ;)
Lord have mercy!
Love, love, LOVE Mick!
Love this band, very soulful
CHA-CHA-CHA SIMPLY RED JUST MAKES ME WANT TO DANCE. Always loved his sound, music and voice love you RED
tmfla32714
Love it at work!!!!
MY FAV!!!!
tanya.pruitt 5
timeless classic
love it
Mick, well you listen and tell me! His voice hits you with a punch to the soul!!!
too tight to mention
funnyvalenti n e s 2
I love, love, love this song. I wonder how many versions there are of this song.
Simply great artist
I want to be wrapped in this song of light forever. Such a blessing.
simply red has always brought good feelings and joy when ever I hear their music. love it!
kiarajones89 9
Wonderful the 80's was wonderful
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