Simply Red Shot for the 'Stars' on Fourth Album

Simply Red's 'Stars'
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Warner Music UK

30 years ago, Simply Red released the album which remains to this day the biggest selling album of their career - but for frontman and songwriter Mick Hucknall, it was an album which also served as the start of his realization that perhaps his group simply wasn’t destined to be as big in America as they were in England.

Precious few albums hold the honor of having gone platinum 12 times over, but that’s where Stars stands in the U.K. With no less than five Top 40 singles released from the album – “Something Got Me Started,” the title track, “For Your Babies,” “Thrill Me,” and “Your Mirror” – it’s about as iconic as ‘90s albums get in Europe, and yet that success wasn’t even remotely matched in the States.

This proved both surprising and disappointing to Hucknall, of course, but he was far from the only one.

READ MORE: If You Don't Know Them by Now: An Introduction to Simply Red

“I remember Elton John saying to me that he couldn't believe that Stars didn't go in America,” Hucknall told Rhino in 2015. “He just couldn't believe it, and he actually had sympathy for it. And when you get an artist of his stature noticing something like that, that really makes it worse. [Laughs.] You just think, ‘Wow…’ You know, with America, you're always talking about it like it's in terms of an autopsy! But we still managed to carve out about 60 million album sales in the rest of the world, so we've managed to have a fantastic career. And, you know, as I try to explain this to you, I realize that there really wasn't a whole lot I could do about it!”

Despite sales in the United States that were in no way comparable to most other territories around the world, Stars continues to be a go-to album for most Simply Red fans, with its five hit singles still instantly-recognizable ear worms. Indeed, songs from the album play an integral part in the group’s new compilation, Simply Red Remixed: Vol. 1 (1985-2000), with “Something Got Me Started (David Morales Radio Mix),” “Freedom (Perfecto Mix),” “Stars (Comprende Mix),” and “Thrill Me (Masters at Work House Mix)” all featuring on the two-disc set, which hits stores Friday, Oct. 18.

READ MORE: Simply Red Announce New Remix Collection

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