Simply Red are one of the great mysteries of popular music. Did they become successful due to the quality of their music? Nope. Was it down to the attractiveness of lead singer Mick Hucknall? Oh God, no!
Simply Red’s music sounds like the sort of free to air garbage that you sometimes hear in retail outlets. The kind of appalling “tunes” that no record company in their right mind would ever, even remotely consider inflicting on the world. And yet it happened: not only were Simply Red allowed to exist – they somehow managed to sell 50 million albums over their 25 year career in the process. Seemingly designed as lounge music, it’s more likely to make you squirm rather than relax in your easy chair – right before taking a red hot poker to your eardrums. And if you thought they were finished making music, sadly you were wrong. They’ve recently gotten back together for a reunion tour, with a new album released earlier this month to boot. Here at Hamburgers N’Heroin, we’ve taken one for the team, and decided to trawl through the shit pile that is Simply Red’s Greatest Hits, with a bid to warning you of the absolute worst you can expect from this terrible, terrible band.
We were going to go with the 10 worst songs initially, but unfortunately got halfway through and felt physically sick, so we had to stop! So, in no particular order, here is the absolute worst of Simply Red.
Thanks to Kerrie O’Keeffe for the suggestion for this article and for reminding me just how woeful this group really is!
One of Simply Red’s biggest hits, Fairground seems to be about Mick Hucknall’s worries regarding his evidently doomed relationship. It’s okay though, because he knows he can still go home and get the ride.
And I love the thought of getting home to you
Even if I know we can’t make it
As for the video, the close ups are a little too close for our liking. You can see Mick Hucknall’s dental fillings for Christ sake! Then there’s the awkward dancing, as well as the whole wearing shades whilst driving at night thing. You’re not one of The Blues Brothers Mick, you’re just a knob-end.
2. If You Don’t Know Me By Now
The first of 2 cover versions on this list, Simply Red took a perfectly good soul song from the 1970’s and made it their own, i.e. absolutely rubbish. The video shows Pugnall looking smug as per usual, flicking his Tim Burton hair back every so often, with his eyes closed for the majority of the performance, lest you doubt his sincerity. If you’re going to watch a cover version of this particular song, stick to the David Brent version. At least that’s supposed to be funny. Whereas with this version it’s hard to know how to feel about it: amused or deeply depressed.
3. The Air That I Breathe
Another highly unnecessary cover version, once again ruined by the incessant squawking of Dick Fucknall. The video won’t make you loathe it any less either: Hacknall is inexplicably trapped inside a man-sized hamster ball, with scientists and his mother or someone watching/whinging about the room. He somehow escapes, and possibly dies at the end. Sadly, there’s no closure on that front.
4. Holding Back the Years
Holding back the tears more like. Another absolute pile of arse, the video for this one has Mucknall wandering about in slow motion, wearing a bogger cap and carrying a giant stick for no apparent reason. There’s a grand total of about 2 and a half notes in the song, in terms of melody. We’ll have to do a serious amount of heavy drinking to forget this one.
5. The Right Thing
Another wildly mediocre entry, this “song” actually shows the entire band in the video for a change, as opposed to having it as the Shit Sucksnall show. For reasons unknown, he’s dressed like Bilbo Baggins who’s just found his mother’s wedding hat. The band try to get funky, and fail miserably. Wanting to “do the right thing” is commendable, but there’s nothing right about this. It’s more so The Shite Thing in all honesty.