Reviews

Simply Red / Home 3CD+DVD

simplyred_spread

All the recent Edsel Simply Red reissues photographed by SDE

Edsel Records have earned a deserved reputation for putting out some excellent deluxe reissues over the years. Virtually flawless offerings expanding the studio albums of Bananarama and Belinda Carlisle are two sets that come to mind.

Most recently they’ve turned their attention to Simply Red. Unfortunately, we’re not talking about the classic albums from the late eighties and the early nineties (Stars was the only really good deluxe that Warners put out) but rather the ‘noughties’ albums that Mick released on his own SimplyRed.com label after walking away from his major label deal.

The albums in question are Home (2003), Simplified (2005) and the last studio record, Stay from 2007. It’s hard to find fault with Edsel’s methodical and thoughtful approach to the bonus material with each album. Not only is a DVD included with all three (something Cherry Red refuse to bundle with their 2CD sets) but in the case of Home you get TWO extra CDs of bonus audio, plus a few tracks appended to the first disc. Whilst no one can accuse them of skimping on content, you might question whether some of the material is worthy of even being on these sets in the first place.

The focus of this review is on Home, and once the appealing, laid back album finishes on CD 1, you are presented with the normally welcome radio edits. This time though, they’re not so welcome. The listener is subjected to an immediate aural assault, thanks to some rather extreme remixes including the pumped up ‘Motivo Hi-Lectro Radio Edit/Mix’ of Sunrise and the ridiculous ‘Antillas Full Vocal Edit’ of You Make Me Feel Brand New which turns a melodic ballad into a 1000 BPM nightmare. To be fair, the Fake [Radio Mix] isn’t bad and I can live with the Tin Tin Out Radio mix of Home but these are a million miles from the cherished radio edits from the 1980s that fans often hope to see included in these sets.

The second disc (“Remixes”) offers more club re-workings (one wonders if any of these were ever played in a club) but just reading the names of these mixes is tiring, never mind listening to them. A sample:  “ATFC Morning Glory Remix”, “Phunk Investigation Exte-Club Mix” and six (count ’em) “Love To Infinity” mixes. You have to go to hell and back through 11 tracks of ‘boom-tish’ to find the gold nugget that is the ‘Who Knows About Forever’ version of Sunrise, which isn’t a remix at all (relief!) but rather a version of the hit single as it sounded before the Hall & Oates sample was fused on to it. This embryonic version surely should have sat alongside the album proper on disc one.

After the horrors of disc two, the third and final audio disc offers the kind of content the average Simply Red reissue buyer might actually want, which is a recording of a Ronnie Scott’s gig where Mick and band performed to ‘industry’ and friends back in 2003. Nine of these 12 tracks did appear on various CD singles back in the day, but it’s satisfying to have the whole thing in one place. Virtually the entire album is performed (flawlessly) and a few oldies are thrown in for good measure, including the beguiling So Beautiful and It’s Only Love. In this intimate live environment, one is left to marvel at Hucknall’s vocal prowess.

The DVD isn’t exactly overloaded with content, but having said that you do get all the videos, the original EPK (Electronic Press Kit) and performances from Parkinson and Laterwith Jools Holland. Hucknall has also cooperated by making himself available to be interviewed by Mark Goodier especially for this set. This exchange (filmed in March 2014) is short and unrevealing, although Mick is as articulate as ever.

This set has much to commend it. The lovely casebound book packaging feels great, the design is excellent and the booklet provides all the lyrics and some notes from Alan Robinson. If you bought all the CD singles and perhaps even some vinyl back in the day then you might find yourself scratching your head looking for reasons to purchase, but if you didn’t, then the live disc and DVD justifies the price of entry on their own.

The only real criticism is the inclusion of the remixes disc. The target audience who might enjoy hearing Mick singing Bob Dylan’s Positively 4th Street live at Ronnie Scott’s are surely not the same as those who enjoy an hour of headache-inducing club mixes. These mixes were folly when included on the CD singles back in 2003 – some marketing man’s idea of how to keep the band hip – and they remain folly 11 years later.

Simplified and Stay follow the same kind of structure and although they are both ‘just’ 2CD+DVD you do still get a fairly heavy dose of similarly charmless remixes on the second CD of each. If there is one saving grace, its that all three of these sets are available for less than £14 which is excellent value. There is also a fan bundle available via the Simply Red online store.
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Home, Simplified and Stay deluxe reissues are out now, along with Home Live In Sicily and Cuba! two blu-ray sets which come also come with a DVD and two CDs.


home

Home (3CD+DVD)

simplified

Simplified (2CD+DVD)

stay

Stay (2CD+DVD)

home_sicily

Home Live in Sicily (Blu-ray+DVD+2CD)

cuba

Cuba! (Blu-ray+DVD+2CD)


FULL TRACK LISTINGS

home

Home [3CD+DVD]

CD ONE

HOME

  • 1. Home
  • 2. Fake
  • 3. Sunrise
  • 4. You Make Me Feel Brand New
  • 5. Home Loan Blues
  • 6. Positively 4th Street
  • 7. Lost Weekend
  • 8. Money In My Pocket [Plan B Mix]
  • 9. Something For You
  • 10. It’s You
  • 11. Home [reprise]

RADIO EDITS

  • 12. Sunrise [Motivo Hi-Lectro Radio edit/mix]
  • 13. Fake [radio mix]
  • 14. You Make Me Feel Brand New [single edit]
  • 15. Home [Tin Tin Out radio mix]
  • 16. Fake [Phunk Investigation radio edit]
  • 17. You Make Me Feel Brand New [Antillas full vocal edit]
  • 18. Home [Motivo Hi-Lectro Radio Mix]

CD TWO

REMIXES

  • 1. Sunrise [ATFC Morning Glory remix] 2. Fake [Phunk Investigation Extended Club Mix]
  • 3. Home [David Harness Taboo vocal]
  • 4. Sunrise [Love To Infinity Classic Mix]
  • 5. Fake [Love To Infinity Classic Radio Mix] 6. You Make Me Feel Brand New [Love To Infinity Radio Mix]
  • 7. Fake [Eric Kupper Club Mix]
  • 8. Sunrise [Love To Infinity Club Mix] 9. Fake [Love To Infinity Club Mix]
  • 10. You Make Me Feel Brand New [Love To Infinity Master Mix]
  • 11. Home [Minimal Chic Mix]
  • 12. Sunrise (Who Knows About Forever?)

CD THREE

LIVE AT RONNIE SCOTT’S

  • 1. Fake
  • 2. You Make Me Feel Brand New 3. Positively 4th Street
  • 4. Home Loan Blues
  • 5. Home
  • 6. So Beautiful
  • 7. It’s Only Love
  • 8. Come To My Aid
  • 9. Sunrise
  • 10. Lost Weekend
  • 11. Money In My Pocket
  • 12. Something For You

Bonus track:

  • 13. Home [live in Sicily]

DVD

FEATURE INTERVIEW

  • Mark Goodier interviews Mick Hucknall about “Home”, March 2014

PROMO VIDEOS

  • 1. Sunrise
  • 2. Fake
  • 3. You Make Me Feel Brand New [live]
  • 4. Home

BONUS FEATURES

  • ‘Home’ album EPK
  • The making of “Sunrise” The making of “Fake”

BBC TV APPEARANCES

  • Sunrise [Parkinson] Fake [Later…]

simplified

SIMPLIFIED [2CD+DVD]

CD ONE

SIMPLIFIED

  • 1. Perfect Love
  • 2. Something Got Me Started
  • 3. Holding Back The Years
  • 4. More
  • 5. A Song For You
  • 6. Your Mirror
  • 7. Fairground
  • 8. My Perfect Love
  • 9. Smile
  • 10. Sad Old Red
  • 11. For Your Babies
  • 12. Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye

CD TWO

REMIXES

  • 1. Perfect Love [Lazy Radio Mix]
  • 2. Perfect Love [Love To Infinity Sunset Mix – long version]
  • 3. Perfect Love [Love To Infinity radio mix]
  • 4. Perfect Love [Kurtis Mantronik 12” vocal mix]
  • 5. Perfect Love [Motive Hi-Lectro Mix]
  • 6. Perfect Love [Roger’s Dirty Sanchez Mix edit]
  • 7. Perfect Love [Lee Cabrera’s Lower East Side Dub]

LIVE IN CUBA

  • 8. Perfect Love
  • 9. Something Got Me Started 10. A Song For You
  • 11. Stars
  • 12. It’s Only Love
  • 13. Fairground

DVD

FEATURE INTERVIEW

  • Mark Goodier interviews Mick Hucknall about “Simplified”, March 2014

PROMO VIDEOS

  • 1. Perfect Love
  • 2. Something Got Me Started
  • 3. A Song For You

BBC TV APPEARANCES

  • Perfect Love [Top Of The Tops] Something Got Me Started
  • [All Time Greatest Party Songs]

stay

STAY [2CD+DVD]

CD ONE

STAY

  • 1. The World And You Tonight
  • 2. So Not Over You
  • 3. Stay
  • 4. They Don’t Know
  • 5. Oh! What A Girl!
  • 6. Good Times Have Done Me Wrong
  • 7. Debris
  • 8. Lady
  • 9. Money TV
  • 10. The Death Of The Cool
  • 11. Little Englander

RADIO EDITS

  • 12. Oh! What a Girl! [radio version]
  • 13. Stay [radio mix]
  • 14. So Not Over You [single version]
  • 15. Go Now [single version]
  • 16. Stay [7th Heaven radio edit]
  • 17. So Not Over You [Johnny Douglas Radio Mix]

CD TWO

REMIXES

  • 1. Go Now [Trance vocal]
  • 2. Oh! What A Girl! [Sweet Connection Club Mix]
  • 3. Stay [7th Heaven Vocal Mix]
  • 4. Go Now [Triple Dee Club Remix]
  • 5. Oh! What a Girl! [Tom Belton Vocal Mix]
  • 6. So Not Over You [Motivo Pop-Lectro Remix]
  • 7. Stay [Grant Nelson Club Mix]
  • 8. Go Now [Alex B Very Vocal]

BONUS TRACKS

  • 9. Beside You
  • 10. Oh! What A Girl! [live]
  • 11. Debris [Sirius Radio Session]
  • 12. Stay [Sirius Radio Session]
  • 13. So Not Over You [Sirius Radio Session]

DVD

FEATURE INTERVIEW

  • Mark Goodier interviews Mick Hucknall about “Stay”, March 2014

PROMO VIDEOS

  • 1. Oh! What A Girl!
  • 2. So Not Over You
  • 3. Stay [live]
  • 4. So Not Over You [live]

BONUS FEATURE

  • ‘Stay’ album EPK

BBC TV APPEARANCES

  • Oh! What A Girl! [Later…] They Don’t Know [Later…]

home_sicily

HOME LIVE IN SICILY [Blu-ray+DVD+2CD]

CONCERT

  • 1. Someday In My Life (Tu Sei Dentro Di Me)
  • 2. Ocean
  • 3. Home
  • 4. Positively 4th Street
  • 5. Lost Weekend
  • 6. Home Loan Blues
  • 7. A New Flame
  • 8. Night Nurse
  • 9. Something For You
  • 10. You Make Me Feel Brand New
  • 11. Stars
  • 12. Money In My Pocket
  • 13. Fake
  • 14. Thrill Me
  • 15. The Right Thing
  • 16. Something Got Me Started
  • 17. Holding Back The Years
  • 18. Money’s Too Tight To Mention
  • 19. Fairground
  • 20. Sunrise

EXTRA FEATURES ON DVD

  • Documentary
  • Mick Cam

BONUS TRACKS

  • The Right Thing [live in Montreux]
  • You Make Me Feel Brand New [live in Croatia]

cuba

CUBA! [Blu-ray+DVD+2CD]

CONCERT

  • 1. A Song For You
  • 2. Your Mirror
  • 3. Stars
  • 4. For Your Babies
  • 5. So Beautiful
  • 6. Smile
  • 7. Home
  • 8. Sad Old Red
  • 9. Holding Back The Years
  • 10. It’s Only Love
  • 11. More
  • 12. Love Fire
  • 13. Sunrise
  • 14. The Right Thing
  • 15. Come To My Aid
  • 16. Perfect Love
  • 17. Fairground
  • 18. Something Got Me Started
  • 19. If You Don’t Know Me By Now

EXTRA FEATURES ON DVD:

  • Documentary
  • Photo Gallery
  • ‘Perfect Love’ Video

home

Home (3CD+DVD)

simplified

Simplified (2CD+DVD)

stay

Stay (2CD+DVD)

home_sicily

Home Live in Sicily (Blu-ray+DVD+2CD)

cuba

Cuba! (Blu-ray+DVD+2CD)

 

 

 

 

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24 responses to Simply Red / Home 3CD+DVD

  1. Lanny Justice says:

    Great review as always Paul. Edsel are really setting a very high standard with their reissues. I could really talk their ears off with suggestions for future reissues. I am glad they included all the remixes. If they hadn’t, I think the moaning and groaning would be even louder. :)

  2. bob says:

    Loved reading this review. It’s funny you mentioned about the remixes, I have often wondered myself why bands like Simply Red and others bother with them, because as you say I cannot believe they would ever get played in a club.

  3. Dave says:

    I have to say that Paul is right with the unnecesary inclusion of these remixes. I know that i will skip that disc as i already got the all the cd singles releases from 2003 and early 2004. These remixes for me are not worth the listen. I like the laidback Simply Red. They don’t need to remixed but it comes with the era we’re living in i guess. It’s nice to get the original Sunrise version which i have on a DVD when i got the limited edition of Home. Great review. As for Simplified and Stay, i’ll have to think about them because if you want to have nice Simply Red sets, the ones for Stars, A New Flame and Picture Book are amazing collector’s editions.

  4. Steve says:

    The remixes are the only reason I’d bother purchasing these re-issues.

  5. James says:

    Well Paul I enjoyed reading the review a while lot more than I would listening to disc 2. Put a smile on my face – thanks.

  6. Tom says:

    Great review as usual, Paul, although I don’t entirely agree about the remixes. I think it’s more for completists. And since Home was released in an era which was the last hurrah for CD singles, it makes sense because there were a number of them. I remember the remixes from the era. It will be interesting to hear them over a decade later and how they have aged.

  7. Hans says:

    Very interesting review. I considered to buy all three as I don’t have them on cd and the prices are fair. But remixes in this style are mostly quite awful. I will never understand why people want these along with radio edits or single versions as a bonus. They are useless. What I want are b-sides or unreleased songs or maybe demos and live tracks on a deluxe re-issue.

  8. Griffin says:

    I wanted to leave comment the very first time I read about these releases on SDE! But I didn’t!

    Do they think we, 80’s seven & twelve versions/remixes collectors, will buy anything they release with any remixes thrown in? Wrong, I won’t! I like the 80’s music & will buy their 7″ & 12″ remixes! If Edsel would do better than WEA/Warner expanded reissues of Simply Red’s Picture Book/Men And Women/A New Flame/or even their 90’s Stars with all the 7″ & 12″ remixes and more I would have bought them instantly. I hope Edsel can concentrate more on the 80’s music. Hope to see some really interesting/exciting stuff coming out soon :P

    Btw, will Edsel release Belinda Carlisle The Anthology 2DVD separately? As I bought all their/her expanded reissues I like to get her 2DVD alone instead of the whole Anthology set! I guess there are more out there like me!

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I think a future repackage of the BC anthology is reasonably likely, the same way Demon repackaged the Suede Live at the Royal Albert Hall set.

  9. Steven Roberts says:

    “Edsel Records have earned a deserved reputation for putting out some excellent deluxe reissues over the years. Virtually flawless offerings expanding the studio albums of Bananarama and Belinda Carlisle are two sets that come to mind.”

    Fair point, the Bananarama and Carlisle sets were well received…but wasn’t it Edsel who dropped the ball big time with the Robert Palmer reissues, sourcing them from mp3 files?

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Fair point Steven. In that instance Edsel used files provided by Universal, so they while guilty of not checking the files, they didn’t knowingly do it, which would have been more damning.

  10. Steve Hak says:

    I just wonder why they couldn’t include the original version of Money In My Pocket on this CD as a bonus track. It was the Japanese bonus track on the original Home release. Plus that song received the remix treatment as well and those mixes were vinyl only at that time and they seem to remain so… Otherwise I think it’s a really good bundle of reissues :-)

  11. Adam says:

    Steve, I also lament the non-inclusion of the original Money In My Pocket from the Japanese edition and its vinyl only mixes, would have made the collection truly complete and instant buy for me. Also Simplified had “Stars” as a bonus track in Japan, I have never even heard it, but I assume it was also a re-recording fitting with the rest of that album.
    Edsel will hopefully someday reissue the 80s and 90s albums as well. Many mixes or b-sides from Picture Book, unreleased songs (There’s A Light) from Men and Women would be most welcome on a proper CD reissue, even with a DVD of complete music videos (Jericho, and different versions of Come To My Aid)

  12. Adam says:

    I think the first CD should have been like this:
    11. Home [reprise]
    12. Money In My Pocket (Original Version, Japanese bonus track)
    13. Fake (Radio mix): this is not an edit of a club mix, fits with first CD, music video was this version
    14. Sunrise (Who Knows About Forever?)
    15. You Make Me Feel Brand New [single edit]: edited version of album track, 50sec shorter)
    16. Home [Tin Tin Out radio mix]: still radio friendly and the music video had this version, if I am not mistaken

    The Antillas Mix should have been the Full Vocal Mix and definitely on the Remixes CD which by the way includes a 6. You Make Me Feel Brand New [Love To Infinity Radio Mix].

    The Remix CD should have included (if time permitted) the radio edits instea dof CD1. I am happy about the Home (David Harness Taboo Vocal) and Fake (Eric Kupper Club Mix) which were available on promo CDs only.

    These are the vinyl only Money In My Pocket mixes, they are not dance club mixes I think, so either CD1 or CD3 could have featured them:
    Wai Wan & Blood and Fire Sound Mix (4.14)
    Commissioner Gordon Main Mix (3.22)
    Commissioner Gordon Vocal Mix (3.25)

    Other dance mix version not included, not that they should have been:
    Sunrise (ATFC Early Riser Dub) (7.28)
    Fake (Eric Kupper Dub Mix) 6:54

  13. Kiefer2 says:

    Both “Fake” and “Sunrise” were #1’s on the Billboard dance charts in the United States.

  14. Steve Hak says:

    Hey Adam, completely agree.

    Plus Stay re-issue should have included So Not Over You (Motivo Pop-Lectro Mix Edit) and Lady (Jab Remix) that were digital only versions in 192 kbps mp3 files on the official website if I remember correctly…

  15. joe says:

    I just got my CDs today. Looks like the DVDs are region free, which is nice. Any idea if the Blu Rays are also region free? I didnt buy those but would if I could play them in the U.S.

    Thanks,

  16. Aevion says:

    I look at the Warner reissues of the older albums, and to me they seem kinda messy? I mean, one or two of them are CD/DVD sets, Stars is a 2CD/DVD, while the rest are just a CD? No consistency at all.

    It’d be wonderful to see Edsel reissue those albums (as these ones here are stunning), with all the B-sides and mixes put together on one release. The Stars one is excellent, but the rest are really lacking. Especially the ones post-Life. I wonder if it will ever happen though….

  17. John says:

    I disagree with your complaints about the remixes, Paul. As Kiefer2 stated above, both “Sunrise” and “Fake” were Billboard dance chart #1s. The remixes from this era are some of my favorites, actually, and it’s not an age thing as I’m old enough to have purchased “Holding Back The Years” on 7-inch vinyl. Different tastes, I guess, as evidenced by your involvement with other reissues that collect remixes (e.g. the forthcoming Thompson Twins set). Perhaps the order of the tracklist could have been better executed, but I wouldn’t have wanted these mixes left off for any one person’s complaint that they’re “headache-inducing.” Maybe I’m in the minority, but I like to listen to both Mick’s take on Dylan and the ATFC mixes. (That all said, I do think “Money In My Pocket” and the mixes should not have been overlooked.)

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