SIMPLY RED stars (1991)
Mick Hucknall, L. Dozier
1 Something Got Me Started 04:01
2 Stars 04:08
3 Thrill Me 05:03
4 Your Mirror 03:59
5 Shes Got It Bad 03:34
6 For Your Babies 04:17
7 Model 03:46
8 How Could I Fall 04:45
9 Freedom 03:52
10 Wonderland 03:49
Label: EastWest 9031-75284-2
Format: CD, Album
Genre: Electronic, Rock, Pop, Synth-pop
Stars is the fourth album by UK pop/soul/jazz band Simply Red, released in September 1991.
It included the singles:
“Stars” (UK #8),
“For Your Babies” (UK #9),
“Something Got Me Started” (UK #11), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMgVS2j05HA
“Your Mirror” (UK #17)
“Thrill Me” (UK #33).
It was another #1 album for the group in their native UK.
“The Stars” tour took the band around the world for nearly two years
In 2000 Q magazine placed Stars at number 80 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever.
Mick Hucknall – Vocals & Background Vocals
Fritz McIntyre – Keyboards, Vocals & Background Vocals
Tim Kellett – Keyboards
Heitor T P – Guitars
Ian Kirkham – Saxophone
Gota – Drums, Percussion & Programs
Shaun Ward – Bass Guitar
Jess Bailey – Keyboard Programming
Rowetta – Backing Vocals on ‘Freedom’
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Reds best album
In the 1980s, it seemed that any band that came from England was all about synthesizers and soulless music. Simply Red turned out to be the exception to that rule. Thanks to leader Mick Hucknalls love of old-school soul, Simply Red turned out to be one of the most organic pop bands to come out of the U.K. After #1 hits with “Holding Back The Years” and a cover of Harold Melvins “If You Don’t Know Me By Now”, Simply Red seemed guaranteed to carry on their winning streak into the 1990s. Unfortunately, just as it seemed the Red had finally learned how to make convincing blue-eyed soul without putting themselves at the mercy of cover versions, their all-important American fan base was slipping away. STARS contained no covers to help placate the American market who had been so taken by “If You Don’t Know Me By Now”, and as a result, STARS undeservedly disappeared quicker than their previous albums. The hits that did come off of STARS (originals, at that) reached the top 40 in America, but deserved much better. The uptempo “Something Got Me Started” and the wonderful title ballad are some of the best white R&B this side of Hall & Oates, and remain standards of pop radio today, so I guess there is some justice in the world. But STARS had 8 other songs that were just as good as those hits. They expand on their soulful pop sound with experiments in jazz on “Thrill Me”, the reggae-fied “Model” and some rare journeys into political commentary with “Freedom” and “Wonderland”. While the titles may sound generic, thats actually good because it proves Simply Red isn’t trying too hard to act black by adopting the lingo. For those who knew Simply Red just from their hits, STARS has some more traditional material like another masterful ballad in “How Could I Fall”, the proverbial soul throwback “Shes Got It Bad” (but notice how its not a cover this time) and the longing for self-love on “Your Mirror” (the Staple Singers would have loved to have this one). Sure enough, Simply Red seemed to find their own identity on STARS, not they didn’t already have one, its just they seemed to do better on cover songs than on originals until now (with a few notable exceptions). Unfortunately, we Americans don’t appreciate longevity too much, and STARS became their last album to even make a dent here in the States. By the time Simply Red returned 4 years later with LIFE (1995), their audience in America was down to a near-cult following. Luckily, their more respectful European fan base was still large enough to keep them going without the near-crucial American market.
5.0 out of 5 stars For Me The Best Pop Record Ever Produced
Simply Red have been my favourite band since Stars was released in 1991. Since then, I have bought every album on cassette, CD and vinyl. I am literally obsessed.
That said, I would like to point out that this is the first review I have written online. I have always felt that Simply Reds music has “sung” for itself, but I felt compelled to write this review at 1am to put my two cents in.
Stars is a Pop Music Masterpiece. Mick Hucknall is the greatest Pop singer since Sinatra (see him sing live if you don’t believe me). This is not to be compared to Rock & Roll – The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd, even Elvis Presley are all responsible for music being so ecclectic today and are far more important than any other Artists in history.
But Stars is Pop music at its most pure, accessible and high quality best. There has never been an album before or since that was so perfectly arranged, written, performed and produced than Stars. The flow of the songs from beginning to end is like liquid, Mick Hucknalls vocals are flawless and the musicianship is impeccable. You simply cannot find a flaw in this album.
I am not going to spoil it for you and review each song. This album merely requires attention from beginning to end from someone who appreciates Pop music for its ability to tug at every emotion through short(ish), meaningful songs.
Stars is rare magic and as we stand at the beginning of 2004 in a world of absolutely poor quality Pop music (with a few exceptions), Stars has not only stood the test of time, it actually sounds better today than it did that sunny day in 1991 when the musical part of my life was changed forever….
Thank you Simply Red, for the magic, emotion and perfection that is Stars.
5.0 out of 5 stars No Wonder this was so Big in Britain!!!,
This album is undoubtedly a pop-soul masterpiece. From first to last, this album just hits you in the heart. “Stars” and “For Your Babies” can either elevate your soul, or move you to tears, which is high praise indeed. It goes without saying that Micks voice would sound good singing the Yellow Pages (“Call for a freeeee apppointmenttt!”). This CD is their strongest overall, with the move from uptempo to reggae to ballad happening flawlessly. Its easy to see why this baby moved “Thriller”-type numbers in England.