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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 fan base 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). Hucknall then decided to retire Simply Red but he revived the band in 2015, making a splash with the new album Big Love. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine & William Ruhlmann
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Big Love

1. Shine On

2. Daydreaming

3. Big Love

4. The Ghost Of Love

5. Dad

6. Love Wonders

7. Love Gave Me More

8. Tight Tones

9. Woru

10. Coming Home

11. The Old Man And The Beer

12. Each Day

x

Track List: Greatest Hits

1. Sunrise

2. Stars

3. A New Flame

4. Holding Back The Years

5. It's Only Love

6. Your Mirror

7. The Right Thing

8. For Your Babies

9. So Not Over You

10. Something Got Me Started

11. You Make Me Feel Brand New

12. Money's Too Tight To Mention

13. Fairground

14. Home

15. If You Don't Know Me By Now

16. Say You Love Me

17. Go Now

x

Track List: Stay

1. The World And You Tonight

2. So Not Over You

3. Stay

4. They Don't Know

5. Oh! What A Girl!

6. Good Times Have Done Me Wrong

7. Debris

8. Lady

9. Money Tv

10. The Death Of The Cool

11. Little Englander

x

Track List: Simplified

1. Perfect Love

2. Something Got Me Started

3. Holding Back The Years

4. More

5. A Song For You

6. Your Mirror

7. Fairground

8. My Perfect Love

9. Smile

10. Sad Old Red

11. For Your Babies

12. Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye

x

Track List: Home

1. Home

2. Fake

3. Sunrise

4. You Make Me Feel Brand New

5. Home Loan Blues

6. Positively 4th Street

7. Lost Weekend

8. Money In My Pocket (Plan B Mix)

9. Something For You

10. It's You

11. Home (Reprise)

x

Track List: It's Only Love

1. If You Don't Know Me By Now

2. Holding Back The Years

3. Say You Love Me

4. The Air That I Breathe

5. It's Only Love

6. You've Got It

7. Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye

8. For Your Babies

9. Lady Godiva's Room

10. Your Eyes

11. Thank You

12. Remembering The First Time

13. Angel

14. Night Nurse

15. Never Never Love

16. More

17. Mellow My Mind

18. Stars

19. Heaven

x

Track List: Love And The Russian Winter

2. Ain't That A Lot Of Love

3. Your Eyes

4. The Sky Is A Gypsy

5. Back Into The Universe

6. Words For Girlfriends

7. Thank You

8. Man Made The Gun

9. Close To You

10. More Than A Dream

11. Wave The Old World Goodbye

x

Track List: Blue

1. Mellow My Mind

2. Blue

3. Say You Love Me

4. To Be Free

5. The Air That I Breathe

6. Someday In My Life

7. The Air That I Breathe Reprise

8. Night Nurse

9. Broken Man

10. Come Get Me Angel

11. Ghetto Girl

12. Love Has Said Goodbye Again

13. High Fives

x

Track List: Life

1. You Make Me Believe

2. So Many People

3. Lives And Loves

4. Fairground

5. Never Never Love

6. So Beautiful

7. Hillside Avenue

8. Remembering The First Time

9. Out On The Range

10. We're In This Together

x

Track List: Stars

1. Something Got Me Started

2. Stars

3. Thrill Me

4. Your Mirror

5. She's Got It Bad

6. For Your Babies

7. Model

8. How Could I Fall

9. Freedom

10. Wonderland

x

Track List: A New Flame

1. It's Only Love

2. A New Flame

3. You've Got It

4. To Be With You

5. More

6. Turn it Up

7. Love Lays it's Tune

8. She'll Have to Go

9. If You Don't Know Me By Now

10. Enough

x

Track List: Men And Women

1. The Right Thing

2. Infidelity

3. Suffer

4. I Won't Feel Bad

5. Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye

6. Let Me Have It All

7. Love Fire

8. Move On Out

9. Shine

10. Maybe Someday...

x

Track List: Picture Book

1. Come To My Aid

2. Sad Old Red

3. Look At You Now

4. Heaven

5. Jericho

6. Money's Too Tight

7. Holding Back The Years

8. Red Box

9. No Direction

10. Picture Book

Comments

Report as inappropriate
taratova
I play Simply Red for hours and never tire of the smooth sophisticate d sound. The BEST of music.
Report as inappropriate
Thanks Mick for coming back to music. Your approach to music is to good for it to be retired. Please come to the USA (Florida especially) and allow us to groove to your offerings! I especially love your 'Sunrise version and some of the songs where you incorporate Latin percussion's . Just beautiful!!!
Report as inappropriate
Holding Back The Years one of the smoothest songs ever, sung by one of the earlier Best Blue-Eyed British Soul-sters, Mick Hucknal, Simply Red, himself. Very best chillin' music! Caught a concert on HBO & was hooked from then.
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I really like Mick Hucknall, Simply Red, simply good.....
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love 'holding back the years' so beautiful
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I could listen to you for hours.
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gerricks1
Say you Love Me My favorite!
Report as inappropriate
katherinewon g 6 6 1
Sunrise - holy s**t! Anything that he sings is amazing. He knows his voice so well and even as he ages he uses it perfectly!
Report as inappropriate
matratus
Stars ♫ ♫
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jeff-laura.s m i t h
Perfect add for Ecstasy.
Report as inappropriate
jeff-laura.s m i t h
Looks like an Ecstasy Pill add jargon.
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I love simply red forever
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Stars: One of my most favorite songs.
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Dude....real l y ! ?
Great stuff!! Awesome interpretati o n by "Simply Red"'!!
Smooth as silk!!!
Report as inappropriate
Love Mick/Simply Red's music, as far as I am concerned they have NO bad or borderline songs. For Your Babies is my all time favorite
Report as inappropriate
nettaree83
Smyl
Smyl
Smyl
Smyl
Report as inappropriate
nettaree83
Smey
Report as inappropriate
nettaree83
Samyl
Smayl
Smayl
Report as inappropriate
dragonlady60 8 8
Outstanding to wake up to....
Report as inappropriate
ost3600
Can't get enough of SUNRISE. Awesome!!!!
Report as inappropriate
very talented songwriter
Report as inappropriate
johnmargie6
Thank you for taking back.
Report as inappropriate
Your music frees my mind to a good place,TY

Report as inappropriate
Love all of his music...
Report as inappropriate
The best...I do my works out listening his amazing songs !!!
Report as inappropriate
Mick....is the best
Report as inappropriate
dragonlady60 8 8
Ol skl.....YESS S S S S S
Report as inappropriate
Melody music, I like to heard all day!!!!
Report as inappropriate
You are very talented simply red I have two sons with red hair love all of your hits
Report as inappropriate
Mellow
Report as inappropriate
"Sunrise" -nice take on the Hall & Oats hook!!
Report as inappropriate
Why in the heck would you retire this popular band in 2007 just to un-retire it in 2015? Love some of their stuff but truthfully Micks vocals are only borderline with the band making up for whatever is lacking! Good listen though.
Report as inappropriate
I love this song!!!
Report as inappropriate
I really like Mick's voice.
Report as inappropriate
You have to admit Mick and Company nailed this re-make of the Hall and Oates written song!
Report as inappropriate
Mick is so sexy. My 64 year old friend, Martha money is in love with him. Infact at the end of money's too tight, it sounds like Mick says her name. She even dreams about him,. Simply red is just sexy relaxing music. We listen together all the time, and we just get happy again!
Report as inappropriate
Love 'Stars' and 'Sunrise' and that handsome ginger Mick.
Report as inappropriate
I love Simply Red station I play it every night I have for almost two years. It's easy to relax to
Report as inappropriate
rogerpreciad o
good to hear a new voice on pandora
Report as inappropriate
Mick Hucknall.... . . Simply Soul......
Report as inappropriate
debshvn_1996
Love, love, love Simply Red!! From day one...
Report as inappropriate
myraclehof
My Favorite band of all time. A perfect mix of Pop, R&B, and Jazz ... and that voice. Funny none of the groups Pandora lists as similar actually similar at all
Report as inappropriate
ahenwood3
great voice
Report as inappropriate
beerman.rg
Became a fan when I heard holding back the years in the 80's
Report as inappropriate
About 10 years ago I just accidently heard Simply Red once, now I'm in love with his songs forever. Thanks Mick!
Report as inappropriate
Don't read this because it actually works you will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in two days. Now you started don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in the next 143 minutes when done press f6 and your lovers name will appear in big letters this is so scary because it actually works.
Report as inappropriate
He is one of my all time favorites. His voice is sultry, sexy and so diverse. Thanks for sharing your gift Mike
Report as inappropriate
Favorite song
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Don't worry be happy because it will soon pass that's what I want to see and hear it will pass it's not a reason to be unhappy and that's the way I think
Report as inappropriate
This song makes me cry. Love this song, It reminds me of when my daughter was a baby.
Show more

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