Simply Red

Song Book 1985-2010

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Simply Red are a pop institution, at least in areas of the world that are not the United States, and like all institutions, they're in need of a monument to their longevity. Song Book 1985-2010 is that monument, a four-disc box set that tells their story, concentrating on their hits but also adding a disc of new recordings where they revisit deep cuts from their catalog, refashioning them so they sound similar to latter-day Simply Red. This last disc is for the diehards but the rest is for those who have enjoyed hits from "Holding Back the Years" through "Stay," the group's last charting U.K. Top 40 single. All the hits are here, along with enough album tracks to give this weight, and if it's too much for American fans who only remember "Holding Back the Years," "If You Don't Know Me by Now," and maybe "Money's Too Tight (To Mention)," with its comprehensive sprawl it nevertheless illustrates the longevity of Mick Hucknall's blue-eyed soul group.

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