Simply Red – Biography, Songs, Albums, Discography & Facts

Simply Red Biography

Under the direction of lead singer Mick Hucknall, the English blue-eyed soul group Simply Red rose to prominence in the U.K. during the 1980s and ’90s. Hucknall demonstrated his ability to sing soulfully without effort on their smash ballad “Holding Back the Years,” and the band’s cover of the Valentine Brothers’ “Money’s Too Tight (To Mention)” demonstrated their proficiency with light funk. Their fan base grew with each record, particularly in the U.K. and Europe. Simply Red’s approach is distinguished by both a respect for the history of soul music and a clear sound that is very much their own, even though they may not be the form’s saviors.

Mick “Red” Hucknall, the singer, was born Michael James Hucknall on June 8, 1960 in Manchester, England. He formed the band in 1985 with guitarist Sylvan Richardson, keyboardist Fritz McIntyre, and three former Durutti Column members: bassist Tony Bowers, drummer Chris Joyce, and keyboardist/brass player Tim Kellett.

The trio joined Elektra Records and released Picture Book (October 1985), which included “Holding Back the Years,” a Hucknall original that topped the U.S. charts, and “Money’s Too Tight (To Mention), a Top 40 rendition of a 1982 R&B chart single by the Valentine Brothers. The track helped the album achieve platinum status and elevated the trio to prominence in 1986. Though the album produced the Top 40 hit “The Right Thing,” Men and Women (March 1987), which contained two duets between Hucknall and soul musician Lamont Dozier, was less well-liked. (In the UK, a cover of Cole Porter’s “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye” and “Infidelity” also reached the Top 40.) Heitor T.P. took over for Richardson when the guitarist Aziz Ibrahim left in 1987. Due to the version of the No. 1 hit song “If You Don’t Know Me by Now” by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes from 1972, the third album, A New Flame (released in February 1989), earned gold. It’s Only Love and “A New Flame” (which also charted in the UK).

By the time they released their fourth album, Stars, in September 1991, Bowers and Joyce had quit, Shaun Ward and Gota had replaced them on bass and drums, respectively, and saxophonist Ian Kirkham had joined as a regular. Stars was 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 produced the Top Ten hits “Stars” and “For Your Babies” as well as the Top 40 hits “Something Got Me Started,” “Thrill Me,” and “Your Mirror.” However, it was a relative commercial flop in the U.S. (despite producing the Top 40 hits “Something Got Me Started” and “Stars By the second quarter of 1993, it had sold eight and a half million copies globally.

By the time Life, Simply Red’s fifth album, was released in October 1995, Ward and Gota had left the band, leaving only Hucknall, McIntyre, Heitor T.P., Kirkham, and backup singer Dee Johnson. The album, along with its leadoff song, “Fairground,” was once again more popular domestically than abroad. It topped charts across Europe, lasting only three months in the American charts. Following in May 1998 was Blue. Although it peaked at number one in the British charts and produced Top Ten successes at home with “Say You Love Me” and a cover of the Hollies‘ “The Air That I Breathe,” it sold very little in the United States. The track “Ain’t That a Lot of Love,” a rendition of a Sam & Dave song, made the Top 20 on Simply Red’s Love and the Russian Winter, which was released in November 1999 and reached the U.K. Top Ten.

The band published Home in April 2003 after founding the label. The songs “Sunrise” and a rendition of the Stylistics’ “You Make Me Feel Brand New” both cracked the Top Ten and helped the album reach number two in the U.K.Simplified, a mix of both old and new songs, was released two years later. It peaked at number two on the Eurochart and third in Britain. Before the memorable Stay in April 2007, a further two years had passed. It peaked at number two on the Eurochart and number four in the UK. Hucknall, Kirkham, Sarah Brown (background vocals), David Clayton (keyboards), Peter Lewinson (drums), Steve Lewinson (bass), Kevin Robinson (trumpet), and Kenji Suzuki made Simply Red’s line-up at the time of its release (guitar). Following his decision to disband Simply Red, Hucknall brought the group back in 2015 and made an impact with its debut album, Big Love.Blue Eyed Soul, a collection of ten Hucknall originals produced by Andy Wright, was published by Simply Red four years later. Fritz McIntyre, the original keyboardist, passed away on August 24, 2021, at the age of 62.

Simply Red Discography

Blue Eyed SoulSpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Big LoveSpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Love and the Russian WinterSpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
A New FlameSpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Men and WomenSpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Picture BookSpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Simply Red’S Most Famous Song?

“Simply Red’s most famous song is ‘Stars’. The song peaked at number one on the UK Singles Chart for three weeks in 1991.

What Is Simply Red A One Hit Song?

“Simply Red” is a song by the English rock band The Stone Roses. It was released as the lead single from their self-titled debut album in May 1989. The song peaked at number 8 on the UK Singles Chart.

How Many Number Ones Have Simply Red Had?

To date, Simply Red have had seven UK number one singles. Their first number one was “Holding Back the Years” in 1986, followed by “If You Don’t Know Me by Now” in 1989. They then had three consecutive number ones with “A New Flame” (1989), “Something Got Me Started” (1991) and “Stars” (1991). Their most recent number one was “Fairground” in 1995.

What Is The Biggest One-Hit Wonder Of All Time?

The song “Macarena” by Los Del Rio is often considered to be the biggest one-hit wonder of all time. The song was a global phenomenon in the 1990s, topping charts in multiple countries and becoming an international dance craze. Despite its massive success, Los Del Rio never managed to replicate that level of success with any of their other releases.

Most Searched For Simply Red Songs

If You Don’t Know Me by Now – 2008 Remaster SpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Holding Back the Years – 2008 Remaster SpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Sunrise SpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
The Right Thing SpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Something Got Me Started – 2008 Remaster SpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Money’s Too Tight (To Mention) – 2008 Remaster SpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Fairground SpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Heaven – 2008 Remaster SpotifyAppleYouTube
For Your Babies SpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon