Friday, June 23, 2017

Simply Red – Something Got Me Started

Classics: Simply Red – Something Got Me Started (EastWest)

Like many of my generation, I first was into Rock at a time (the VietNam War period) it had a strong message. Then, all of a sudden, I could feel something got me started into lovin’ Black Music. It was not long before I realized why. The main reason being the bass taking the center stage with everything else turning around it. In other words, I’d become a groove addict!

Like many, I discovered Simply Red back in 1985. That was with their brilliant rendition of The Valentine Brothers‘ classic ‘Money’s Too Tight To Mention’. I instantly bookmarked them, despite a certain penchant of theirs to do cover versions.

They most likely reached their peak 6 years later with the release of ‘Stars’ (their biggest selling album ever). Their very first to feature only original material as a matter of fact! Such as the bouncing ‘Something Got Me Started’ which, no surprisingly, opened it. And what an opener it happened to be. With singer Mick Hucknall takin’ the lead in his uncomparable style (and certainly not Fritz McIntyre as stated on Wikipedia!). With Ian Kirkham delivering a blowing jazzy part on sax. But also Shaun Ward acting like a metronome with his bass over Gota Yashiki‘s drum programming. Its construction somehow reminding of the one of Oliver Cheatham‘s ‘Saturday Night’. Don’t you think?

Paul Oakenfold and Steve Silk Hurley remixed it at the time. But none of their versions ever beat the original. An original which Simply Red eventually re-recorded as a part of their 2005 album, ‘Simplified’.

Overview
The former voice of Punk Rock band the Frantic Elevators, Mick Hucknall made himself a reputation as the charismatic leader of Simply Red. An instantly identifible look (with his famous long curly red hair). A voice like no other. An obvious talent for songwriting… As many elements which set the group’s path to glory. Not to mention their obvious inclination towards the Soul vibes.

Something one could instantly tell, remembering their cover versions. From The Valentine Brothers‘ ‘Money’s Too Tight To Mention’ which marked their debut back in 1985. To Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes”If You Don’t Need Me By Now’ 4 years after. But Simply Red happened to be more than that. Comforting their own identity with gems such as ‘Holding Back The Years’, ‘It’s Only Love’ or ‘Stars’, among other things.

Going thru different line-ups along with time, they released a total of 11 studio albums. With the latest – ‘Big Love’ – back in May 2015.

Simply Red embarked on the ’25 Years Of Stars Live’ tour in Dublin on Nov. 11, 2016. An event which celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the release of ‘Stars’ back in September 1991. They followed the debut date with a 10-date in the UK which started in Liverpool on Nov.13 and ended up on Nov. 27 at The O2 in London.

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