Music Review: Simply Red – Picture Book
Well folks, it’s time to take a trip in the way back machine again. In 1986, the 6-man band from
Manchester, England, Simply Red, splashed down in America with their debut, “Picture Book.”
The band is extremely tight with all the necessary instrumentation with excellent saxophones
and trumpet thrown into the mix. The element which puts them in a class by themselves is the now distinct vocals
by their leader Mick Hucknall (also Red). Perfect albums do come few and far between, but here we definitely have
a vintage one.
Everyone knows the ultra classic #1 tune “Holding Back The Years” (a song I’ve been
lost in thousands of times and will forever find it to be one of my favorite all-time songs). The disc also contains
the minor hit “Money$ Too Tight (To Mention), a shuffler about the state of economics in mid-Eighties England.
Others (To Mention) are the smoky, bluesy “Sad Old Red” and the melodramatic title song (a potent way
to end this masterpiece).
At first, Simply Red may remind you of an advanced lounge act leftover from the late Sixties,
but after a couple of spins you’ll soon realize they’ve created their own niche of blues and soul. An effort well
produced by Stewart Levine, it is 45 minutes of pure pleasure. Enough said, add this classic to your collection
immediately if you haven’t already, it’s timeless!
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