Band has big "Jamiroquai but different be-hatted cunt in charge" vibes.
The funny thing is listening to this album, it was even worse than I expected it to be. There have been some dubious selections so far which make me question the validity of the 1001 albums but this takes the biscuit. I refuse to believe that this is one of the 1001 greatest albums ever made. If you Google 'Best albums of 1985' you get lists with some great albums, none of which are by Simply Red.
definitely smooth and not in a lacklustre way. It feels like a lot of love went into this album. Feels like sitting at a bar with a drink and a stranger, just to swap stories and part ways.
I like the purple skin on the album cover. Billy Idol sprang to mind, both of there styles are very soulful. I especially like the intricate percussion parts.
I know I will be alone on this one but I can appreciate this sort of 80s sophistipop. The talking heads cover was a bit of a surprise and I didn't love it but I generally enjoy the confluence of synths and soul from this era. 3.5 up to 4.
The band finds a steady R&B groove reminiscent of '60s Stax house band the MG's, and, as with the MG's, it's all in the service of a big-voiced soul singer, in this case a British redhead. Features the U.S. number-one "Holding Back the Years" and the U.K. Top 20 "Money's Too Tight (To Mention)."
Mick Hucknall has an amazing voice. Their best songs sounds like he's vocally grappling with the music; all snarls, growls and whips. This album contains a lot of Simply Red's best songs, like U2 I'm not sure why this band is seen as 'uncool' but I guess that's someone else's loss.
Enjoyed this, tight 80s smooth soulful pop. Reminded me of Phil Collins/Genesis at times and Michael Jackson at others. Fav track: Jericho
A version lesser than "Go Back Jack Do it Again" of Steely Dan. Ok
"This is the second Simply Red song on this tape. One's unforgivable. Two's a war crime. Can I fast-forward?"
Simply Shite more like, amirite.
Fabulous take from the 80s. Can’t believe I’d never listened to this before
Got through the first half, realized this album is a masterpiece in my eyes
Classic 80s music. Memories of college and dance clubs 🥰
Classic. Virtually every song is excellent.
Amazing album. So fun to listen to and definitely will be revisiting again.
Fav songs: - Come to My Aid - Money's Too Tight (To Mention) - No Direction - Picture Book
Was actually not bad. Good discovery!
Finally a really good 80's album. 4.2 I could listen to this front to back and be content.
Never heard of this group, but this was a really nice album. At times it reminded me of a version of Peter Cetera with an extra helping of soul. What genre is this, exactly? It's somewhere between pop, R&B, and soul, and I like the exploration of that blended space. The kind of thing that could be called easy listening. Favorite tracks: Holding Back the Years, Jericho, Open Up the Red Box, Come to My Aid. Album art: Really like this one, a cool painting both in aesthetic and temperature. Never seen it before, but it leaves an impression (see what I did there?). 4/5
Wow! A lot of fun. I'll admit that I was sick of another "Debut album by British pop & ___ band". This list is lousy with debut albums by British pop and [something]" artists. Great beats. Real 80s. Sound. Michael Jackson-esque vocals. Really surprised to hear that these dudes hail from Manchester. I found the Heaven cover to be a bit lame, but mostly because I think Talking Heads are untouchable. Money is my favorite track.
Good music, great memories
Beautiful brilliant neosoul album from the mid80s new wave Manchester scene no more no less
What a voice! Simply Red's best album, by far. It aged, yes, but not too badly.
not what i expected. very soulful.
Big fan …. Liked these tunes
This was way better than I expected. I knew the singles but the album was punchy with a very strong groove capped by a fine ,fine singer.
Another one that works much better for me without the visual. Anyone who reads this: you must now sing the lyrics to Money’s too tight to mention to the tune of Let’s get ready to rumble by PJ and Duncan. Ta
While I didn't recognize the name, I certainly remembered the single "Holding Back the Years". Great vocals and good groove to the whole album. I probably won't go back and listen to it again, but it was enjoyable. Solid 4.
Ik ben niet zo hele bekend met het repertoire van Simply Red, anders dan de bekende hits. Dit album begint meteen herkenbaar en gaat daarna in een zeer lekkere jazzy vibe verder. ****
7/10. Maybe an 8 out of 10? Solidly enjoyable throughout, nothing grabbed my attention
The debut album from Simply Red - classic stuff... ...although perhaps the overall album isn't as good as the (over-played at the time) Heaven and Money's Too Tight (To Mention)...?!
Never heard of them. This was very cool, especially the first song
The Talking Heads cover (Heaven) just doesn't approach David Byrne's tongue-in-cheek delivery, and frankly doesn't work for me, but overall it's a nice album. Anyone not moved by Holding Back the Years simply has no soul, in my opinion.
Simply Red (and Mick Hucknall) have long been the butt of jokes and the sneers of critics on these shores, and as such I was primed to join in with the ludification. But...this is really good. Hucknall is a good singer, the album is full of grooves, and in 'Holding Back the Years' they have a ballad for the ages. I really dig the light funk groove that pervades - 'Come to My Aid', 'Jericho', 'Money's Too Tight' all sparkle. 'Sad Old Red' is a very decent cabaret jazz number. One that I'll stick on the stereo again in the near future.
The opening of the album is heralded by an extremely dated synth line which immediately suggests the worst, but the rest of the songs fail to follow through with that promise. The Birks' Works quote is a particular high point, and while the title track is a rather indulgent note to end on, the musicianship is high-quality all the way through.
This was okay to listen to. Only a couple of songs were standouts.
Quite a nice album, not sure if it's for me but I have a feeling I will give it another go
cuando aún no usaba la voz tan chillona, buen soul y blues para ser blancos
Not bad for background. Somewhat boring though
A este disco también le tuve que dar dos pasadas. Casi todo el disco tiene como una onda melancólica, no tanto por el ritmo, sino por los acordes/escala que utilizan. En mi mente, este disco suena como un Maroon 5 ochentero.
First song was 80s cheese. Then 2nd is sorta Soul and live? What the hell is Jericho's lyrics? Personal enjoyment would be a like a 2. But it's to be objective I guess a 3. He's not a bad singer and nothing is bad, but absolutely not my music.
Surprisingly good. I'm definitely now of the right age to really appreciate this record. Younger me would have hated this.
How is this essential? This is easily the most dated album I’ve gotten so far.
Had a hard time making sense of this one, especially after the first track was super 80's synthy and then the second track was jazz/big band. Overall I didn't like the album that much but it did make me curious about them. Loved their Talking Heads "Heaven" cover, it made me appreciate the lyrics in a way that I hadn't in the TH version.
80’s stuff. Kinda boring
Decent quality guilty pleasure. But if i think of him, i need to listen to something else.
This was alright, easy listening
Pop. Soul. Agradable.
It's one of my mom's favorite bands. I don't think extended versions should be evaluated the same way. Maybe I would prefer to listen to the original album.
This felt like something I would have heard when I was younger, a sort of poppy soft rock. Kind of felt like Peter Gabriel at moments but also like other 80's pop/rock. I really enjoyed the opening song and it immediately was stuck in my head. Some of the others were skips but overall I enjoyed this one. Creepy album cover.
“Picture Book” by Simply Red (1985) One of the benefits of doing daily reviews of music selected randomly by someone else is that every once in a while, you across music that is good, but that somehow you missed over the years. This is one of those good albums. Good grooves, tight but colorful rhythms, thoughtful lyrics. Lead vocal is good, marred only by airy lows and tinny highs. Arrangements are elaborate enough to sustain interest, featuring well executed keyboards and trumpet. If I had heard this in 1985, I’d like to think I would have been a fan of Simply Red. That's all I have today It's all I have to say 3/5
Holding Back the Years was a beautiful serenade. Kept thinking I was listening to Carly Simon or Annie Lennex. Had some good song… If you don’t Know Me By Now….then listen to their best
If feel like the artist doesn't know what genre to play so he plays them all.
Enjoyable, but wasn't in the mood.
not to bad.
Great voice but only a couple of songs really caught my attention, predictably "Holding Back the Years" and "Money's too tight (to mention)
The pop tracks are great, the lounge tracks are not
Favourite Song: Holding Back the Years
This feels like a combination of disco or soul music with sprinkles of indie or blues thrown in depending on the song. It really defies categorization. Unfortunately, most of the songs aren't very good. Heaven is the best song from a bluesy standpoint and money's too right is like a generic disco song. Overall, this is a 5/10 album. I would say it doesn't belong on the 1001 albums list.
Funky tunes, enjoyed it but not memorable enough
I've heard of Simply Red but never listened to their music. Not what I was expecting, actually enjoyed their music though the album wasn't very exciting.
I liked Money's Too Tight (To Mention)
Funky music Pop dance genre 3/5
I don't hate this album. I just prefer Style Council.
Liked more than I thought I would
Good music, although the most repetitive sections really stood out for me (No Direction) and put me off. 80% of it I liked but 20% of it was working against me.
Some tracks sound embarrassingly dated but Holding back the years and Moneys too tight manage to hold up well. Credit to Mick Hucknall for his strong vocals and for a good effort for a debut album.
If you don't know simply red by now, you may never, never, never know them. Pretty good debut album.
Heel erg soulfull album. Begon wel een klein beetje te vervelen na een tijdje
This album surprised me. Loved it.
This guy has a crazy powerful voice, but to listen to him for an hour straight is made me a bit nauseous.
Better than I had expected.
easy listening, typical 80s synth style with a smooth voice. Nice!
Very nice smooth production made for easy listening.
Better than I expected.
These guys are a better band than I remember. There are some really good tunes on here, but all of it is just outside of my style preferences. It's very dated to the eighties.... instrument choice and production wise
11/24/2021 Today's Album: "Picture Book" by Simply Red - I like this album decently well. I think the sound is really clean and emblematic of what was going on with pop rock in the 80s. Some moments sound like Michael Jackson, Prince, Alan Parson's Project, The Police, and maybe even some Van Halen? There's some really nice stuff on the opening moments of the album, like the Paul Simon like anthem that is Come to my Aid or the soultry bassline that backs Sad Old Red. I think that there are some very forgettable songs on this album, but that isn't to say there isn't great musicianship throughout the rest of the track list with some catchy hooks and groovy basslines. Overall, I had a good time when I was listening to it. It definitely had a coherent feel and consistent vibe throughout Score: 6.5/10 pretty good. Highlights: Come to My Aid, Sad Old Red, Heaven, Holding Back the Years, Open up the Red Box, Picture Book
Easily a good album in its own right, but not my style, so I probably won't return to this one. Some fun groovy motown 80s-ness, but also a bit of excess cheesiness that described many 80s songs. Love the singer's voice a lot; sorta a mix between Phil Collins and George Michael and Elton John?
3/5 okeyish but no
There is another challenger for the battle against the mediocrity of '80s synthpop. Equipped with elements from jazz and soul, as well as a pretty good vocalist, Simply Red made a pretty nice effort in it in their debut, "Picture Book". But unfortunately, they lost the battle. The generic sound of the '80s synthpop didn't engulfed them, but it knocked them to the ground. "Come to My Aid" is such an early triumph. The banger sounds generic, but they used the sound well and produced such an electrifying synth pop song. After it comes a live (?) jazz infused song. While the instrumentals here are great, the overall sounds are unremarkable and even boring. It's not really downhill from here. Some songs, especially the slower ones, are pretty good. But it's all dull and boring. Not exactly generic, but still terrible. Not a really bad album though. An easy listen, at least for the first time.
Fun(ky) - very 80s and funny fairlight i guess trumpet but yea so far quite pleasant melodies. 'sad old red' is jazz n nice. it's all quite pleasant but idk if it's for me in the foreground...
6/10 some jams but the 80s overproduction and corny vocals detracted at times
Very good music for drive time home just as night is falling
Before Mick Hucknall went full tosser.
I thought this was peak 85, then a sax solo started..... Very enjoyable tunes
This was good as background music. Nothing really stood out to me.
Not a bad pop album. Definitely have some mixed feelings as some songs were catchy and good and others were almost skippable. Definitely a product of its era as well which made this one just ok. 5.8/10
I know a few Simply Red songs, but only recognised one here (didn't catch the name) and I didn't even know it was Simply Red. Definitely wasn't a worldwide smash hit like STARS was in the early 90s - boy do I remember that!! Overall, I really don't have anything bad to say about this album. If you're a hipster you'll hate how well written, cleanly produced and nicely pulled off it is (did they not even know just what groundbreaking garbagey talentless noise dinosaur jnr were making at the same time?!), but if you're not a complete toss it'll just come across as well written, cleanly produced and nicely pulled off. Not my fav genre by any stretch but totally ok for 45min on a Sunday morning. 3/5.
Nice enough album, a couple hits and the rest were pretty chill.
Dangerously close to liking a Simply Red album here. Money's too tight to mention still slaps.
I like the hits from this album, but the whole thing is a bit much.
Actually enjoyed this a fair bit more than I thought I would. Those initial expectations were pretty low mind ...
This album has moments of where everything seems to line up and the instrumentals and vocals complement each other well. However, when mixing a timeless style like soul, and a very dated synth sound, it’s bound to be jarring when listened to 35 years after its release. The lyrics occasionally express economic anxieties that were prevalent at the time especially in the UK, but there’s such a disjunction between the music and words being sung that it doesn’t quite have the same effect as a new wave album for example that expresses the same sentiment. Overall, not bad, not great, but an interesting clash of styles.
I didn't have cable growing up, but my grandparents did and we'd visit them a couple times a year. I wanted them to have MTV, but the cable tier they had only had Vh1. So I got a big dose of this, Tracy Chapman and Swing Out Sister. And I'm all the better for it. Holding Back the Years is a great song. Hoo boy, though, Jericho. That one almost broke me. Yeah, nothing really gets to that same height as Holding Back, but this isn't hack work. They're putting their backs into it.
I dunno - conflicting feelings. Only listened to it once, but felt like a watered down Wham!
1985. Key Songs: Come to My Aid, Holding Back the Years
Udefinerbart, opmuntrende, instinktivt, spontant
meh........ not too fond of the style....
meh, didn't move my needle
Just really felt like a random British pop group. Didn't stand out for me in any way.
Simply 80s... Fine for what it is, but it does nothing for me.
Some good songs but not for me
First side was pretty poor, few good tracks on side 2 but overall a forgettable experience
Lo esperaba una rayita peor, con los antecedentes que tenía, sin embargo ya abierto a aceptar la música que los "adultos contemporáneos" oían en los ochenta, le alcanzo a ver algo de valor. El problema es que no me encantan los teclados, los metales que usa, la voz, las percusiones… Creo que solo el bajo me pasa. 'No Direction' y las marimbas de 'Come to My Aid' me chocaron.
Production: 7/20 Songwriting: 8/20 Innovation: 8/20 Bangers: 0/20 Emotional response: 5/20 =28 "His music's rubbish and he's a ginger." - Tony Wilson
Ehh it was 80s
ugh. i wanted to like that, i really did. but i didn't.
A ratos me gustó, a ratos me aburrió. Supongo que no es mi tipo de música. Tiene momentos interesantes y un par bastante movidos pero nada que quiera volver a escuchar.
Meh. Pretty boring. 4/10
damn I hate those 80's synths... the album closes strong but the damage is done
I actually have this album on vinyl so I’ve listened to it before. Although the singer has a pretty unique/cool voice and a few of the songs are really catchy and funky, I just didn’t really enjoy this album overall. Maybe with repeat listens more songs would grab me. Reminds me a lot of Hall & Oates, but not as fun and awesome. Stand out tracks: come to my aid, look at you now and moneys too tight.
This kind of reminds of department store music. Not really my thing and the singer kind of sounds like a poor man's Nina Simone. 4/10.
Forgettable 80s adult contemporary. “Holding back the years” is an amazing standout (though a cover) but that’s about it.
not really something i like but i can tell its good music nonetheless
Thought I was gonna hate this so much but its actually catchy AF 😂 he's got a decent voice tbf to him. Real mix between like Lounge Soul and more funky dance stuff. Prob worth a 3. Maybe actually a 2,its ite but just not for me. 2.5 at best.
i’m sure holding back the years was fire back in the day
not my thing
Wasn't my thing
Ok. I heard it. I can die now
I did not care this album. I was not familiar with the band or any of the songs. It definitely had an 80s sound to it, but the songs sounded much different from each other.
I like the big Simply Red hits more than i perhaps ought to. I'm just about old enough to have nostalgia for them. This is still kinda boring though.
Mostly inoffensive. First half much better than the later tracks, which drag this down from being middle-of-the-road.
We listened to this over breakfast at which point my co-judge offered her opinion that it was "stinky", and on second listen (with headphones) I agree that a few songs, especially the debut smash hit, "Holding Back the Years" are over-the-top stinky. But I liked the title track and though I usually hate covers, I thought their version of Heaven was transformative. He has a great voice and I like the fact that the theme of not having any money shows up in a number of songs. So 5/10 from me with rounding down due to the radio-ready production.
En dan ben ik nog mild. Ik vind Simply Red echt verschrikkelijk, komt door die neuzelige stem.
Op de hitjes na loop ik hier niet heel warm voor.
Best leuk die Simply Red, maar snap nu waarom ik niet een heel album volhoud. Veel te glad allemaal! En van die stem moet je echt houden.
Kolejne wyspiarskie granie, tym razem banda Simply Red rodem z manchesteru, rocznik tego debiutanckiego albumu to 85, a gdyby klasyfikowac gatunkowo to najbardziej pasuje niebieskooki soul po dosc popowej stronie spektrum gatunku, 44 minuty na 10 trakach, gdzie wiekszosc kawalkow miesci sie w 4 minutowym radio pleju tajmie, pomimo tego ze dlugosciowo plyta jest akurat, nie za dluga nie za krotka, to jednak czuje, ze za tydzien juz nie bede pamietal z niej zadnego traczka, zarowno lirycznie plyta niczym nie przyciaga uwagi, instrumentalnie kawalki takie jak sad old red czy jericho grane sa jak cool jazzowe numery, ktore pod tym wzgledem slucha sie dobrze, ale obok nich czuc kontrast bardziej soulowo rokowych numerow jak otwierajacy come to my aid, ktory krzyczy swoimi trumpetami i klawiszami, to sa lata 80, nie potrafie zrozumiec jak banda chciala polaczyc tak dwa rozne style grania na jednym materiale i kto byl zadowolony z finalnego efektu, ze az album znalazl sie na liscie 1001 albumikowej, ale tak juz to jest z wyspiarskimi materialami, na plejaka wrzuuce sobie moneys too tight ktory najlepiej laczy dwa swiaty plyty w jednym traczku, takie zdziwienie dlaczego ten traczek tak rozni sie lirycznie od reszty materialu, a okazuje sie, ze jest to cover murzynskiego soulowego kawalka od the valentine brothers z 70s, wiec pan Hucknall, ktory jest tutaj glownym wokalem i klawiszami jest tak bialy, ze tego pietno jest odczuwalne na liryce tej plyty, z ciekawostej jeden traczek pisany byl przez pana Bryne z Talking Heads, to jest heaven, ktory rowniez pasuje tutaj jak piesc do nosa, im dluzej sie tej plyty slucha tym gorzej chce sie ja oceniac, wiec koncze ten wymeczony odsluch
I'm going to be open minded about this record.... but I just cannot like Simply Red, just not interested in 80s soul.
I don't know Simply Red enough to tell you what music is theirs. Before listening to the album I was pretty sure that I do not like this band. I've heard "Holding Back the Years" many times and I've never liked that track. I listened to the whole album, but it was kind of a slog to get through. It's not bad music, it's just not for me. I wouldn't know who to recommend the album to.
I don't think this has aged well
On the cheesy uninteresting side - but it’s got its own sound
This is an actual enigma. It's so bland that I completely forgot every song, every word sung and every note played the second the album ended. I didn't gain or lose anything. Can't decide if this is a 1/5 or a 2/5 - probably like a 1.75, so I'll be generous and round it up.
Belangloser Pop-/Disko-Kram. Aber auf hohem Niveau.
nähädu, den gubben går inte. det är som att picka sig själv under nageln med en nål
There were a couple of good songs, but it was mostly very bland soft rock with generally godawful 80s production with every single worst cliché of that decaee
Lacked bops but some nice bits.
Started off pretty well, got a bit tedious by the end. Simply Meh
I remember a few of their songs. While back then, as I do know, I find their sound overall to be just too syrupy for me, I can appreciate Mick Hucknall's voice. I listened to this album and I was bored for the most part. Although it was played a ton back in the 80s, I was surprised to find I did enjoy "Holding Back The Years". I like the groove and it showcases Mick's voice nicely. When I hear this song, my ear wants a grittier, darker version, and I think that applies to this whole album for me. I'll bet there are some great covers out there.
It's a good album, and there are a couple of good songs, but just overall not something I enjoy.
I think all this soft 80s adult-oriented pop is payback for me having missed the two Black Sabbath records. That's on me, guys. You make a deal with the devil and the devil wants his due. I didn't mind "Heaven," "Holding Back the Years," or "Picture Book." But I'm going to have that lower octave singing of the line "Open Up the Red Box" stuck in my head the rest of my life and I am not sure I deserved that one.
Conjure every cliche you can think of when I say the words "Mid-80s adult contemporary music." This is that and more. I had to take three breaks while listening to this 45 minute album. Best track: Heaven
Boring lounge singer with a terrible face. Just moaning unlikable terribleness.
Very Popy and boring
1.5 | Muchos discos mejoran en la segunda vuelta, este es el primero que empeora. La base del disco, el fundamento musical, no es malo; tiene un cimiento muy fuerte en muchas canciones de Soul, R&B y Jazz. Después se dedica a tomar esas bases y embarrarlas de sacarina, quitarles todo su carácter y hacer música tremendamente aburrida. Lo que más me sorprende es que, la canción que fue el sencillo y la que todos conocen es la peor de todo el disco en mi opinión. En caso de Steely Dan les llamaba "música de elevador," pero esto es bastante más cansado y tedioso, lo único que se me ocurre es llamarle música de consultorio dental. El medio punto extra sería solo porque sí tiene bastante buena voz. Lo único que me dieron ganas fue de escuchar Soul de verdad.
Nossa, eu odeio Simply Red. Que tortura. Esse álbum deveria estar numa lista "1001 albuns para NÃO ouvir antes de morrer"
This made me wish I was simply dead. Shite.
The beauty of this 1,001 albums project is it forces me to listen to a lot of music I have never heard before, even including this dogshit album. Regretfully, this also likely means I'll have to suffer through at least one Nickelback album, since they are likely somehow less bad than this album. The bright side is I never need to hear these songs ever again. And, God willing, likely won't.
Music styling is pop-jazz-saxo beats. But good grief! Didn't really think too much about the lyrics until it got to "Jericho's" first verse. That sounds like some messed up crap, and made me go back and look at the other lyrics a bit closer. Hope there is a reasonable explanation for those lyrics on Jericho. Should re-think having this album in the best 1001 of all time in my opinion. 0 stars if I could
Boring , generic blue-eyed soul. 1 🌟
Simply Shite more like
I always Money too Tight to Mention. Guess that's a death blow for this album
Ook nog eens jazzy
Some 80's pop album, couldn't listened to the end
When this popped up this morning my initial reaction was "Oh God". I'm still scarred from having to endure Stars on repeat back in '91, when all I wanted to listen to was Jimi Hendrix. Anyway in the spirit of this adventure, I did listen to this album in full. It was alright.... I survived the experience. Will I listen to it again? Doubtful. But I can at least tick it off the list.
insufferable. I couldn't get through 3 songs. Feels like the worst of 80's tropes.
Simply Red? More like Simply Fuck Off. Absolute cuntbag of an album. Dogshit.
This is why I didn't like pop.
4-bit nancy graphics
I basically had this on repeat during 6th form. Brilliant blast from the past.
Not for me