‘Blue Eyed Soul’ is the much awaited twelfth studio album, and the groups first new album in four years, by British pop sensations - the sleek multi-million selling groove machine - Simply Red. Fronted by vocal powerhouse Mick Hucknall, since the band formed in Manchester in 1983 they have continually incorporated many influencing genres into there recordings, from reggae rock, new romantic and jazz. But what they have become synonymous with and perhaps the band’s biggest source of inspiration is soul music, frequently citing monolith artists like Otis Redding and Marvin Gaye as influences, having incorporated many of their recording techniques into their sound. And ‘Blue Eyed Soul’ is the rawest, funkiest, dirtiest, brassiest and most purely 100 per cent soulful concoction of their stellar career.
‘Blue Eyed Soul’ features 10 tracks written by Mick Hucknall and produced by long time collaborator Andy Wright. “I wanted to push my voice a little harder, challenge it a little bit, give myself something to really sing to," said Hucknall. The album is said to have been inspired by classic funk and soul artists such as Isaac Hayes, Curtis Mayfield, James Brown, Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland and Tower of Power. ‘Blue Eyed Soul’ is the sound of Simply Red firing on all cylinders.
"At this stage of my career, I could do one of those dark reflective albums looking back on my life and all that kind of stuff that people tend to do at a certain age,” Hucknall added. “But I thought sod that! I wanted to make something punchy. I want to have a good time.”
The album was recorded at Mark Knopfler’s British Grove studios in London, where the Rolling Stones recently made their acclaimed Blue & Lonesome.