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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Music > Rock > Soul > Albums > Classic Albums: Simply Red - Stars (Eagle DVD)

Classic Albums: Simply Red – Stars


Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: C+     Main Program: B-



Simply Red was part of a sub-cycle of New Wave acts along with Culture Club that was doing a fine job of reviving a Soul sound that originated in the 1960s.  Besides cover songs, Holding Back The Years was one of 1986’s biggest and best hits, but the band had other hits like Money$ Too Tight (To Mention) and The Right Thing.  Stars was released in 1991 and though the band continued in name, the recent Simply Red – Live In Sicily DVD (reviewed elsewhere on this site) shows it is more Hucknall solo than ever.


Stars has no remakes/covers on it, but that does not necessarily mean that it is automatically their best album, yet it is their most defining for a few reasons.  New Wave was over, they were not guaranteed any hits, they had not been a consistent sensation (unfortunately for a music industry in wrecked shape) and they had not peaked.  Though nothing here is as striking as Holding Back The Years, it is a strong album of original material that was a moderate U.S. success that seems to have done even better overseas.


Something Got Me Started barely broke the Top 30 in the U.S., remaining their last hit to date in the states, but Thrill Me, For Your Babies and the title song fared better overseas.  It is a good, solid album we hope to review in a future reissue, but the story told here is another more than worthy entry in this series.  It just may not have gone on long enough or asked enough questions.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1/16 X 9 image is in line with the best the Classic Albums series has been offering since Eagle picked it up, with most of the footage in this case being relatively recent.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has enough Pro Logic surround information to have a choice in playback options.  Extras include seven bonus sections, two of which are new Hucknall performances, while the others feature the other musicians beyond the main feature in ways they more than deserve and more about the band’s history.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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