After putting Simply Red on hiatus in 2010, Mick Hucknall spent his days enjoying being a husband to his wife, Gabriella, and father to his daughter, Romy. “I wanted to switch off from the music and just be there for my family,” the singer explained. His group had not released a new album since 2007’s Stay, and with Hucknall seemingly concentrating on solo work – 2008’s Tribute To Bobby and 2012’s American Soul – it seemed for a moment that Simply Red’s days were numbered. All that changed, however, when a proposed reunion tour resulted in enough material for a Simply Red comeback album, 2015’s Big Love.
Listen to ‘Big Love’ here.
Initially, the band’s manager had suggested Hucknall stage a world tour to celebrate the group’s 30th anniversary. After agreeing to set aside time to write some new material for a greatest-hits compilation, Hucknall soon found himself writing a dozen songs that reflected his new life. “The theme of the new album is family, and all that brings,” Hucknall told The Huffington Post. “It was so natural putting that into the music.”
“I wrote in a style appropriate for the 30th anniversary”
Big Love’s opener and lead single, Shine On was a burst of buoyant funk nostalgia released in April 2015; with its cheery syncopated rhythm, it recalled the band’s famous hit Something Got Me Started. “We always had this tradition of opening up with a kind of groovy track,” Mick Hucknall said, hoping to treat Simply Red fans with a “classic” sound that tapped into the same soulful vein as their juggernaut 1991 album, Stars. “I tried to write in a style that I thought was appropriate for the 30th anniversary.”