Three Best Songs: Simply Red

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Mick Hucknall and Ron Wood

Mick Hucknall with pal Ron Wood (Ian Walton/Getty Images)

From redheaded golden boy of the early ’80s to impetuous model-escorting boyfriend of the ’90s to social change advocate of the ’00s to lead singer of the [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Faces[/lastfm] in the ’10s, [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Mick Hucknal[/lastfm]l has pretty well lived the gamut of what rock stars are all about.

And, without a doubt he is everything Simply Red–in face, in name, and probably in court, too, if it ever came to that.


“Holding Back the Years” deserves to be on the list of the three best songs by Simply Red songs because, even though it followed “Money’s Too Tight (To Mention)” by a few months, it’s really the song that introduced Hucknall’s unmatched voice to the world — and crystallized his standing as a great new voice for the ’80s.

Purists and “Pendergrassians” might disagree, but Simply Red’s reading of “If You Don’t Know Me by Now” wins a head-to-head battle with the [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes [/lastfm]original. Teddy may have been more adept at sexy ’70s Velveeta, but it’s cheesy when compared to the painful urgency Hucknall brings to the song.

“Stars” is a bit on the disco tip but it’s makes the list as a sign of props: a purely executed piece of pop is a masterful in and of itself.

And of those three, this to me is the best of all:

See more of Fusion 45’s Three Best Songs.

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