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Simply Red

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Simply Red
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Over their 25-year career, Simply Red brought their distinctive blue-eyed soul to the top of the charts everywhere, selling more than 50 million albums worldwide. Led by ginger-haired vocalist Mick Hucknall, the Manchester, England-based band took the classic R&B of Sam Cooke and Otis Redding and brought it up to date with contemporary hints of reggae, rock, jazz, and pop. Personally Signed by Warner Music UK A&R man Simon Potts and scouted by Saul Galpern, Simply Red released their debut album, Picture Book, via Elektra in 1985. The album was an international sensation, with singles including the funky U.S. top 30 hit, “Money’s Too Tight To Mention,” and Hucknall’s self-penned old school ballad, “Holding Back The Years.” The latter track was a universal smash, hitting #1 on Billboard’s “Hot 100” in July 1986 and spurring Picture Book to RIAA platinum certification.
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Simply Red’s sophomore outing, Men and Women, was released in 1987, followed two years later by A New Flame. The RIAA gold-certified album was highlighted by the band’s second “Hot 100” chart-topper, a gold-certified cover of Harold Melvin & The Blue-Notes’ 1972 classic, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” which Simply Red made a bigger hit the second time around. Stars, the band’s fourth collection, was Europe’s best-selling album for two years running following its 1991 release. Certified gold in the U.S., the deeply personal, intensely political album turned Simply Red into megastars in their native UK, ultimately achieving 12-times platinum status. Over the next decade, the band released a string of UK multi-platinum hits, scoring #1 singles and albums as well as a trophy case full of honors like three Brit Awards, two Ivor Novello Awards (for songwriting and composing) and a MOBO (Music of Black Origin) Award. In 2007, Hucknall announced the imminent end of Simply Red, declaring that the band would split at the end of their 2009/2010 tour, with a farewell concert slated for December 19th, 2010 at London’s O2 Arena. Ever anxious to stretch himself musically, Hucknall made his solo debut with his 2008 tribute album to the great Bobby “Blue” Bland and in 2010, stood in for lead singer Rod Stewart at a number of reunion concerts by The Faces.
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