Simply Red ( ['sɪmplɪ red] ) is a British pop and soul group. The name was received according to one version due to the color of the hair of its leader Mick Hucknell . Over its history, Simply Red has released eleven studio albums and sold over 50 million CDs  . The last of them, Big Love , dates back to May 2015.
Simply Red at a concert in Chile, 2009
|Genre||Blue-eyed soul |
|Years||1985 - 2010|
2015 —the present
|A country||Great Britain|
|Language of songs||English|
East west records
Group formation. 1980s
The impetus for creating his own group for Mick Hucknell, a young singer from Denton, Lancashire , was a visit to the legendary Sex Pistols performance in Manchester in 1976. There were very few people at that concert, but almost all the visitors were future members of such famous groups as Joy Division , New Order , The Smiths and Buzzcocks . Hacknell's first band was called The Frantic Elevators and performed punk rock. The team achieved modest success, to achieve something more did not work, and the group broke up in 1984.
However, after The Frantic Elevators collapsed, Hacknell began working with manager Elliot Rushnell. Together with him, they gathered a group of local session musicians and began to look for a record company in order to sign a contract. It was then that the group got the name Simply Red. In 1985, the group signed a contract with Electra; at that time, in addition to Hacknell, the group included 5 more musicians, however, the composition of Simply Red was constantly changing in the future. The band’s first release was the single, Money's Too Tight (To Mention). It was a cover version of the soul standard originally recorded by The Valentine Brothers. The single was a definite success - it hit the UK chart , Top 100 USA and France and Top 5 Italy.
In 1986, the group rewrote The Frantic Elevators' latest single, “ Holding Back the Years, ” making it sound more like pop music, and released the song as their second single. The new work turned out to be even more successful - in Italy it reached the 5th place of the charts, in the UK - to the 2nd, and in the USA it took the first line. Therefore, their first album, Picture Book Simply Red, was released as already very popular artists.
Work on the second album did not last long - Men and Women came out in the next 1987 year. On the new disc, the group changed its image a bit - instead of colorful clothes, strict suits and bowler hats appeared. Around the same time, Mick Hucknell became the favorite hero of various tabloids, he earned a reputation as a lover of women, who sometimes could screw a strong word into speech. Men and Women enjoyed great success, but the moment of the highest success came to Simply Red a little later - it was a cover version of the song “If You Don't Know Me By Now”, released in 1989 and became the band's most popular hit. Amid the success of this song, the new album A New Flame was in great demand. By that time, Hacknell was already a recognized star on an international scale, his photographs in the company of models and Hollywood celebrities regularly appeared in glossy magazines. This behavior of the leader led to problems within the group; moreover, in a 1991 interview, Hacknell stated that Simply Red was "essentially a solo project."
In 1991, Simply Red released another Stars album. Three songs from this album: "Something's Got Me Started", "Stars" and "For Your Babies" - gained popularity among the people, and the album itself is still considered Hucknell the peak of the creative and commercial success of Simply Red. A total of about eight million copies were sold, and Stars became the UK's best-selling album of the year as a result. The group toured extensively two years after the release of this disc, and after the end of the tour decided to take a break in studio activities.
The band's next new work, the single “Fairground,” only appeared in 1995. In this song, Simply Red decided to experiment with a more danceable sound. The album Life , which included "Fairground", was released in the same year and took first place in the British charts, although critics expressed restraint, claiming that Simply Red did not say anything new with this album. Critics reacted roughly the same way to the next record, Blue , which was born three years later. Initially, it was supposed to be an album of cover versions, but Hacknell changed his mind and only four covers remained on the album. Realizing that critics suspected the group was stagnant, Simply Red decided to change the sound, and the result of these manipulations was the album Love and the Russian Winter , released in 1999  . The influence of electronic dance music on this disc has become much more noticeable, however, the general leisurely decline in the group’s career has led the album to fail to rise above the fifth line of the British charts.
The next release of the group was a collection of singles It's Only Love . Shortly afterwards, Hucknell terminated his contract with Elektra Records and set up his own recording studio called Simplyred.com.
The first release of the new label was the album Home , released in 2003 and reaching the second place in the British charts; the clip for the song of the same name was rotated on Russian music channels. The next step of the group was to re-record their old songs in acoustic arrangements. The result was a Simplified record, and the new song “Perfect Love” was also included. In March 2007, the Stay CD was released, containing such catchy tunes as “Stay”, “Oh! What A Girl ”and“ Money TV ”, in which the soloist condemned the focus of modern culture on material benefits. In 2009, the group went on a tour that Hacknell called the last. He said that 25 years is a long time, and with Stay, he wanted to end the story of Simply Red. In 2009, a collection of 25: The Greatest Hits was released , which featured the best songs created by the team, and a year later another compilation of Songs Of Love was released .
In 2015, the group announced their reunion  .
- Current squad
- Mick Hucknell - lead vocals (1985—2010, 2015)
- Ian Kirkham - saxophone, keyboards (1986—2010, 2015)
- Steve Levinson - bass (1995-1998, 2003—2010, 2015)
- Kenji Suzuki - guitar (1998—2010, 2015)
- Kevin Robinson - trumpet, flute (1999—2010, 2015)
- Dave Clayton - keyboards (2003—2010, 2015)
- Roman Roth - drums (2015)
- Former members
- Simply Red go to Russia in the hope of finding new friends . RIA Novosti (April 9, 2009). Date of treatment August 12, 2010. Archived March 14, 2012.
- Review in FUZZ Magazine No. 9, 2000
- Il ritorno dei Simply Red. A novembre a Milano e Roma . repubblica.it. Date of treatment May 18, 2015.