Simply Red – Life (1995)

FrontCover1Life is the fifth studio album by British band Simply Red, released in 1995. The lead single “Fairground” became their first number 1 hit in the UK. Due to this success, the album also made #1 on the UK album chart. It also included “We’re in This Together”, the official theme song for Euro ’96. This was also the last album to feature band member Fritz McIntyre. (by wikipedia)

For Life, Simply Red retain the basic influences that fueled their earlier albums, especially American R&B of the early ’70s, specifically the Marvin Gaye of What’s Going On? and Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes-era Teddy Pendergrass. Mick Hucknall’s singing has calmed down and smoothed out on such songs as “You Make Me Believe” and “So Many People,” but that only makes them sound more like the product of Philadelphia International Records. On “Fairground,” he opts for a Latin-tinged sound that ends up evoking Herb Alpert more than Milton Nascimento; reggae turns up on “Out on the Range,” and the big-time closer, “We’re in This Together,” is a South African-style anthem, complete with Hugh Masekela’s flugelhorn. Stripped of the international superstar trappings, Life is, of course, pretentious, but it does have a couple of promising songs, notably “So Beautiful” and “Remembering the First Time.” (by William Ruhlmann)

Mick Hucknall (vocals, guitar, bass)
Dee Johnson – background vocals
Fritz McIntyre (keyboards, background vocals)
Ian Kirkham (saxophone, keyboards)
Heitor T P (guitar)
Bootsy Collins (bass)
Danny Cummings (percussion)
Sly Dunbar (drums, programming)
Hugh Masekela (flugelhorn)
Robbie Shakespeare (bass)
Ritchie Stevens (drums)
Andy Wright (programming, keyboards)
Umoja Singers Chorale
The London Metropolitan Orchestra conducted by Caroline Dale

01. You Make Me Believe 3.51
02. So Many People 5.19
03. Lives And Loves 3.21
04. Fairground 5.33
05. Never Never Love 4.19
06. So Beautiful 4.58
07. Hillside Avenue 4.45
08. Remembering The First Time 4.43
09. Out On The Range 6.00
10. We’re In This Together 4.14

All songs composed by Mick Hucknall