There was a time that I didn’t proclaim my love for Simply Red in public too much. Mick Hucknall had become persona non grata within the community I spent most of my time in, and quite frankly I didn’t like almost anything he did after Picture Book. Too slick for my liking. But said album still has a couple of pretty good tunes on it, including the A-side of this here single (which by the way comes in a gatefold sleeve + poster of the album). “Holding Back the Years” was originally a song by Hucknall’s previous band Frantic Elevators, whose version I like better, because it sounds rougher, more naked. I like rough and naked, me.
Fun fact 1: I was at a restaurant once in Milan which apparently was owned by Hucknall. While the food was alright, the place itself wasn’t. It reminded me of the eighties I read about in books like Bright Lights, Big City and Less than Zero. There was a room where a horrible, horrible DJ was playing horrible, horrible music. Horrible, it was.
Fun fact 2: Mick Hucknall is one of the founders of the fantastic Blood and Fire label. Which made me forget about his post-Picture Book music.
Video of “Holding Back the Years”.