Friday, June 09, 2006

Well Red

Not sure when exactly Mick Hucknall and Simply Red became a by-word for naffness, and I'm really not sure it's totally deserved, either. Sure, Mick doesn't do himself any favours with his OTT dress sense, his habit of propositioning naive young ladies in the toilets of the Hacienda ("just slip yer tights off, luv"), the authoritarian streak that led to his band being summarily fired, the excruciating cover versions...and yet...

The case for the defence:
  • their cover of Bunny Wailer's "Love Fire", and its remix by Lee Perry;
  • Chris Joyce and Tony Bowers being the original Durutti Column, before leaving Vini Reilly to form The Mothmen, and subsequently hooking up with Mick and co.
  • Simply Red's Tim Kellett later playing with The self-same Durutti Column
  • Adrian Sherwood saying that Mick Hucknall was the best voice he'd ever worked with;
  • Blood and Fire Records (of which Hucknall is co-owner).
In fact just for the fact that he's the money behind Blood and Fire I'm prepared to forgive him. This peerless reissue label, run by Steve Barrow and Bob Harding, is comaprable to Blue Note in its quality control and attention to detail. Its graphic sense is unmatched in the genre (not difficult really when you look at some of the Letrasetted dreck that comes out of Jamaica), and the emphasis on sonic fidelity is equally rare in the field. Notable successes include reissues of The Congos' Heart Of The Congos and Horace Andy's In The Light; both include numerous dub versions, and Heart of The Congos manages to squeeze pretty much all of the Congos' Black Ark output onto 2 CDs. In their ongoing quest to provide VFM for discerning reggae fanatics, the label has recently dropped the price of many of its CDs to about a fiver, so there's really little excuse for not owning Train To Zion by U-Brown or Tapper Zukie in Dub.

Provided below are a couple of tasters: King Tubby's In Fine Style from Dub Gone 2 Crazy, and Jah Hucknall himself in a Blood and Fire remix of the execrable Ghetto Girl.

King Tubby's In Fine Style (deleted Feb 2007--sorry!)

Simply Red Ghetto Girl- Blood and Fire remix (deleted Feb 2007--sorry!)

Buy Blood and Fire Cds

1 comment:

holly said...

Here here young man and about time too...

I wasn't the only 6th former who used to think he was fit either
And I like the new single...