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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, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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About 10 years ago I just accidently heard Simply Red once, now I'm in love with his songs forever. Thanks Mick!
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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.
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He is one of my all time favorites. His voice is sultry, sexy and so diverse. Thanks for sharing your gift Mike
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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
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This song makes me cry. Love this song, It reminds me of when my daughter was a baby.
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Love me some Simply Red! My favorite song is You've Got it I listen to this song about 10 times a day, during my commute to work.
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Great Sound.
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Sunrise...lo v e this song.
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connie.jowil k
Love love love love love love love love me some simply red. This guy is simply the best. Love this station the best.�������
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walksinwater 7
This is one of best sampled songs produced. Bravo, to the brains behind this collaboratio n of music. Simply Red, simply the best.
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My jam!
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I created it...from the inside....tr y out some elecric light orchestra ad a variety to it.posted by bernrd6737
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Soulful Soulful Soulful..... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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dragonlady60 8 8
Simply. Wonderful
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Love this station period
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This song is INTOXICATING ! Wow! I could listen to it continuously .
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common back huck
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hauntingly memorable..
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If you don't know me by now....!
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Its the ginger hair, all right mate!
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dragonlady60 8 8
Another fave song and artist!!!
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princessbeau t y i a m
The song right here...one of my ALL TIME FAVORITES :) It stays on repeat in my car.
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Simply Red! :)
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dragonlady60 8 8
Love this man..
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who? said that white men can't sing without soul. they sure did lie!
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I was still married back then , but thats, ok I still like them!

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Love love love Sunrise
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walksinwater 7
Sunrise is Simply Red hippest track, proving why they are Britain greatest soulful band.
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"Sunrise" is the bomb, love
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One of the better Modern Blue Eyed Soul Bands. Simply Red.
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ana.kemple
I never get sick of this music!
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tyhesia74
I'll keep holding on...
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linzzanne
#lifetimefav o r i t e
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You want my"" BODY NOW YOU WANT MY SOUL"" LOVE IT!!!!
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LIKE !!!!!
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Simply Red was a good band in 80s
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Getting My Groove & Move On To This Jam:)
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guitarman_st e v e
Great music. Great to share with a special person you love for life on the dance floor
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Never left you!!!!
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excellent band!
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My top 10 classic band
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He is back on my music world.
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scdavis1019
All I can say Simlply Great
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bobbyjoe1221 1
Holding back the years is Simply the BEST song in recorded history. Way to go Mick!
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One of my all time favorite, Simply Red in my top 10.....Class i c
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Love this song
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I like him and the music in general!
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tandramthomp s o n
I'm in love with this song
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I love this song it's is so soulful. The bridge gets me every time. I love the words.
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