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Simply Red - 25: The Greatest Hits

2008-12-30 11:29
25: The Greatest Hits
Everyone has, at some point in their lives, found themselves entranced by a Simply Red song. For me, it was seeing the video for "If You Don't Know Me By Now" on TV when I was eight years old, thinking it was the saddest, most tragic song I'd ever heard in my life. I found out, much later, that the song was a cover version (originally recorded by Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes in 1972), but it never took away any of the impact of the words, its so-soulful-it-hurts delivery and my realisation, at eight, that relationships were a bitch.

Songs like the "Stars", "For Your Babies" and "Something Got Me Started" soundtracked the early 90s and were near-perfect examples of Hucknall's remarkable knack for a good tune, whether it be a sexy dance tune or poignant love song, the melodies were unmissable and unforgettable. Their instantly recognisable blend of soul, blues, pop, funk and dancehall has given birth to an enviable catalogue of classic songs. There's a reason why you're likely to hear one of their old hits on the radio. Because they still sound good, and relevant.

Every Simply Red hit you can think of is included in this double-disc Greatest Hits collection, from the jungle-like playfulness of "Fairground" to the reggae-fied funk of their collaboration on "Angel" with Wyclef Jean.

So while never considered hip or cutting-edge, Simply Red have been the type of band that just keep going, infiltrating your life with their smooth sounds, whether you're conscious of it or not. There must be something in those ginger locks, because Mick Hucknall and his blue-eyed soul were cool all along.

Mick Hucknall isn’t cool or particularly "hot" in a pop idol, look at these abs I've been sculpting all year for your viewing pleasure sort of way. Nope, the ginger soul man has carved out a glittering 25 year career as Simply Red frontman through the music. He kinda didn’t really have a choice, having not been blessed aesthetically.

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