Simply Red’s Biggest Hits In Australia

Simply Red’s Biggest Hits In Australia

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Mick Hucknall of Simply Red, 1985. Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images.

Formed in 1985 by frontman Mick Hucknall, who has long been the only original member remaining, British soul band Simply Red established themselves around the world with a series of soulful original tracks and well-chosen cover versions. Selling over 50 million records worldwide, the band achieved six top 10 albums in Australia, including 1996’s Greatest Hits. On the ARIA singles chart, they haven’t fared quite as well, with these eight hits their best performers.

8. "It’s Only Love"

Released: 1989

Peak: #31

Simply Red kicked off third album A New Flame by releasing their version of a track from Barry White’s 1978 album, The Man. With a shortened title – the original was called “It’s Only Love Doing Its Thing” – the Simply Red version narrowly missed the top 30, but the album became their highest-charting in Australia, reaching number 2.

7. "Something Got Me Started"

Released: 1991

Peak: #29

This original song co-written by Mick and the band’s then-keyboard player Fritz McIntyre narrowly made the top 30 as the lead single from fourth album Stars. “Something Got Me Started” would end up being Simply Red’s final top 40 hit in the US.

6. "Stars"

Released: 1991

Peak: #29

The follow-up to “Something Got Me Started” peaked at exactly the same position, but stayed on the ARIA chart longer. “Stars” was the title track of Simply Red’s biggest UK album – Stars sold so many copies there that it was the top-selling release not just in 1991, but for 1992 as well.

5. "Money’s Too Tight (To Mention)"

Released: 1985

Peak: #21

Simply Red’s debut single was a cover of a little-known 1982 song by American duo The Valentine Brothers, which tackled the topic of US president Ronald Reagan’s economic reforms. With the UK also experiencing similar social issues under Thatcher, the song had trans-Atlantic appeal, becoming a hit in both countries, and their first in Australia as well.

4. "The Right Thing"

Released: 1987

Peak: #17

The only top 50 hit from Men And Women, “The Right Thing” was indicative of the shift away from social commentary on the band’s second album. Four other singles were lifted from the album, including a remake of Cole Porter tune “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye,” but only “Infidelity,” which peaked just outside the top 50, charted in Australia.

3. "Holding Back The Years"

Released: 1986

Peak: #16

It initially looked like Simply Red’s third single wasn’t going to be a success, since it peaked at number 51 in the UK in 1985, but when the ballad started to take off in America and ultimately went to number 1 there, the rest of the world took notice. An eventual top 20 hit locally and a UK number 2, “Holding Back The Years” had also been recorded by Mick’s previous band, The Frantic Elevators, and released as their final single in 1982.

2. "Fairground"

Released: 1995

Peak: #7

The band’s biggest single from the ’90s, “Fairground” featured a drum sample from 1993 dance track “Give It Up” by The Goodmen, which in turn borrowed beats from songs by Sergio Mendes. Wafting over the top was a joyful melody written by Mick, with the combination providing the band with a long-awaited number 1 hit in the UK.

1. "If You Don’t Know Me By Now"

Released: 1989

Peak: #1

Simply Red had achieved a chart-topper in Australia years earlier when their remake of a 1972 single by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes took them to number 1 both here and, for a second time, in the US. The understated ballad was released as the second single from A New Flame.

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