Simply Red Biography
Last updated: 12/20/2012 03:46:59 PM
The British soul pop band Simply Red was formed in 1984 by singer Mick "Red" Hucknall (born Michael James Hucknall, Jun. 8, 1960, Manchester, England) with three ex-members of Durutti Column, Tony Bowers (b. Oct. 31, 1952) (bass), Chris Joyce (b. Oct. 11, 1957, Manchester, England) (drums), and Tim Kellett (b. July 23, 1964, Knaresborough, England) (brass, keyboards), plus Sylvan Richardson (guitar) and Fritz McIntyre (b. Sep. 2, 1956, Birmingham, England) (keyboards).
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, 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. (b. Brazil).
The third album, A New Flame (February 1989), went gold due to the cover of the 1972 Harold Melvin and 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 8.5 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., irkham, 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 lead-off single, "Fairground," while spending only three months in the U.S. charts. In 1996 they released "Greatest Hits" and Blue followed in 1998, and a year later Simply Red issued Live at the Lyceum.
In 1999 Simply Red released "Love and the Russian Winter" and they made a world tour called "the Spirit of Life Tour".
Simply Red's album It's Only Love was released in 2000.
After three years, Simply Red release their last album called "Home" and a new greatest hits album called "The very best of Simply Red" which contains 37 songs.
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