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Digital Subscriptions > Classic Pop > Nov 2019 > ”THIS IS A BIT OF ESCAPISM – IT’S A GOOD-TIME BLUE-EYED SOUL ALBUM”

”THIS IS A BIT OF ESCAPISM – IT’S A GOOD-TIME BLUE-EYED SOUL ALBUM”

MICK HUCKNALL IS GIVING FIREBRAND POLITICS A SWERVE ON SIMPLY RED’S FORTHCOMING 12TH STUDIO ALBUM. INSTEAD, HE’S TAKING REFUGE IN AN ARSENAL OF IRRESISTIBLE SOUL-INFUSED FUNKY TUNES.
Mick Hucknall was inspired to make a life in music after attending the now legendary Sex Pistols gig at the Lesser Free Trade Hall in Manchester in June 1976

Iused to take things way too personally,” Mick Hucknall refl ects.

“Probably that was a deep-seated insecurity at being abandoned by my mother. If something like that happens to you you’re probably not going to be fi lled with eternal self-confi dence and might see everything as being kind of like a battle.” There’s more: “I think people have an image of me as being very arrogant but it’s not always been the case. It might surprise people to know that I can be quite shy.” He goes on to describe an incident in London years ago when the singer caught sight of Alec Guinness getting into a cab but was too paralysed by fear to go over and tell the actor how much he admired him.

Mick has been a part of British pop culture for so long, we all think we know him: ginger hair, Man Utd fan, brilliant voice, but in person a little bit… spiky, not quite at ease with himself in the way you’d assume a pop star who’s sold 50 million albums should be.

Today, that spikiness seems to be a thing of the past. Instead he seems refl ective, talking about his three decade-long career and a new album that sounds like a product of a relaxed, happy man fronting a relaxed, happy band; one that comes with a none more this-is-who-I-am Ronseal-like title.

Simply Red releasing an album called Blue Eyed Soul is a bit like AC/DC christening their latest opus ‘Rock’ or George Clinton putting out ‘Funk’. It’s what they do, duh.

“Yeah, it is kind of stating the obvious,” he shrugs. “But people have described me in this way for pretty much all of my life so I thought ‘just own it’. If that’s what you are then just be that.

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About Classic Pop

In the latest issue, we have an exclusive interview with synth pioneers Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark as they celebrate 40 years of marrying art with pop. Elsewhere, we welcome back Simply Red – Mick Hucknall talks us through new album Blue Eyed Soul and Classic Pop speaks to Prince’s inner circle as the Purple One’s wonderful 1999 LP gets a revelatory boxset treatment. Our classic album this month is Peter Gabriel’s iconic So, the perfect union of pop and World music that made the former Genesis frontman a global star. There’s a dash of Acid Jazz funkiness as we meet Incognito and The Brand New Heavies plus we hear from Bruce Hornsby about how Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon has given him some latter-day hipster cachet. We take an in-depth look at the solo back catalogue of George Michael in our Album By Album feature and also hear from Midge Ure about his 1980 Tour and brand new career retrospective compilation. In our extensive reviews section, we put new albums from the likes of A-ha’s Magne Furuholmen, Anna Of The North, Alphabeat, The Wonder Stuff and David Hasselhoff under the microscope and there’s a bumper crop of reissues including that huge Prince boxset, Rick Astley, The Police, Sparks, David Bowie, Simple Minds, Factory Records and much more. Our books special includes reviews of Prince’s autobiography The Beautiful Ones, Andrew Ridgeley’s George & Me plus Debbie Harry’s Face It and more. For live reviews, we head to Hyde Park for Radio 2’s Festival In A Day – headlined by Pet Shop Boys – and elbow our way down the front for shows by xPropaganda/D:uel, Tanita Tikaram, The International Teachers Of Pop and Morten Harket.