Simply Red's WMG catalog goes digital - Goldmine Magazine: Record Collector & Music Memorabilia

Simply Red's WMG catalog goes digital

Simply Red's seven-album WMG catalog will be released in expanded editions from all online music retailers starting Nov. 4, 2008.
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Simply Red's seven-album WMG catalog will be released in expanded editions from all online music retailers starting Nov. 4, 2008.

The titles, originally issued on the Elektra Records and East/West labels,

include Picture Book, Men And Women, A New Flame, Stars, Life, Blue and

Love And The Russian Winter. These albums will be available from all

digital outlets as expanded audio editions priced at $11.99 unless noted.

On the heels of these rereleases, Simply Red is preparing for its 25th

anniversary tour in 2009. Dates in the U.S. will include:

March 13, 2009 — Los Angeles, Club Nokia

March 15, 2009 — New York, Radio City Music Hall

Simply Red scored an immediate success with the 1985 debut Picture Book,

which included the hit "Money's Too Tight (To Mention)" and the

group's signature smash (and first U.S. #1 single) "Holding Back The

Years." In addition to the original album's 10 songs, the new digital

release features five bonus 12-inch mixes previously available only on vinyl.

Simply Red's second album, Men And Women (1987), offered more of their

sparkling blue-eyed soul; Rhino's new digital version features six bonus

tracks, including the original version of "Broken Man" (later rerecorded

for Blue). Simply Red closed the decade in style with 1989's A New Flame,

which brought the band another U.S. #1 single with their cover of "If You

Don't Know Me By Now." The digital reissue adds five instrumental B-sides

to the original album's 10 tracks.

Stars was Simply Red's fourth album and one of its most well-received. In

America, the 1991 release went gold — but it was even more successful

internationally, logging 19 weeks at the top of the U.K. charts and selling

more than 10 million copies worldwide. The expanded digital issue features

nine bonus recordings including a quartet of Robert Johnson covers released

as B-sides to Stars singles and live performances from 1992. In addition to

this version, the 10-song original album and a deluxe edition with 11 bonus recordings, five videos and a digital booklet will be available exclusively from iTunes and

Wal-Mart.

The follow-up, 1995's Life, featured 10 new songs penned by band leader

Mick Hucknall; the additional tracks on the album download include remixes

of five of these — one of which (the Howie B mix of "You Make Me Believe")

is previously unreleased. Blue (1998) boasted several intriguing covers (of

such artists as Neil Young, Gregory Issacs and The Hollies); the 18-track

digital version includes rare remixes and an Italian rendition of Blue

songs, plus a jungle version of "So Beautiful" from their previous album.

Simply Red's final album for East/West, 1999's Love And The Russian Winter

added some fresh dance moves to their trademark blend of R&B and pop; the

digital reissue supplements the original 11 selections with five bonus

tracks: two club versions of "Ain't That A Lot Of Love" and a trio of mixes

of "Your Eyes."

Led by the distinctive voice (and namesake red hair) of Mick Hucknall,

Simply Red remains one of England's most successful groups more than two

decades after its debut. Simply Red wins fans with an inviting mix of

contemporary pop and — as Hucknall's recent Tribute To Bobby album attests —

classic R&B.

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