After a bike ride in the heat today, I was grateful to be lounging in the shade of our summer porch and listening to some oldies this afternoon. At some point, I got onto Simply Red. Someone among our family and friends was talking about them in the past week… I can’t remember whom or what they were talking about in relation to the band.
Anyway, I was listening to several of their songs and recalled how much I love their sound. Their instrumentation is fantastic, and lead singer/songwriter Mick Hucknall’s voice is perfect, mostly soft, but sturdy and, at times, with an ever-so-slightest touch of raspiness. And that long, flowing, curly red hair… Wowza!
Simply Red exploded onto the popular music scene in 1985 with their debut album, Picture Book, which spawned the hit “Holding Back the Years.” In 1989 they covered Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff’s “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” (originally recorded by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, with Teddy Pendergrass as lead vocalist). It was a significant hit for Simply Red.
In 1991, the band released Stars, on which today’s selection is the title track. I love all the instrumentation and vocals, particularly the bass line… it adds a happily-wandering joy and jazziness to the song.
The song seemed like a fit for today as Sweety and I will drive out of the city after dark to try and catch some of the annual Perseid meteor shower, which peaked last night but should still be possible to see tonight. In my life, I’ve only seen a few meteor showers, commonly known as “shooting stars.” I love to see such astronomical displays but have rarely pursued them. I guess it might be age, mortality, or whatever, and maybe partly because we’re retired, so we can set our priorities much of the time, but my feeling about such things now is to seize the opportunities when they come. I’ve spoken before about regretting not taking a side trip in England to see Wolf Alice play a show, not flying to the USA years ago to see Nanci Griffith, and not travelling to Vancouver or Toronto the last time Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds came through Canada. And with COVID-19, who knows when such chances will come again — safely and easily, anyway.
Another date night, yay! I just hope I can stay awake long enough!
“I wanna fall from the stars
Straight into your arms
I, I feel you
I hope you comprehend”
(from “Stars,” by Mick Hucknall)
Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.
Here’s the official video for the song from Simply Red’s YouTube channel: