Released today in 1986: Open Up The Red Box

WEA YZ75

WEA YZ75

A fact that might have passed a number of people by in the mid-80s was that there were six members of Simply Red; the name wasn’t a pseudonym for lead singer and main songwriter Mick Hucknall. (Admittedly ten years later, it would be.) The cover of single Open Up The Red Box was one of only two official releases in the UK which featured pictures of the other members. At the time of this 1986 release, they were (clockwise from top, with Hucknall in the centre):

Tim Kellett started his professional career when he joined post-punkers The Durutti Column as a teenager, a band that two other Simply Red members had a stint in also. He played the trumpet in Durutti and this was his main role initially for Simply Red too, although across the four albums he appeared on he also played keyboards, flugelhorn, bass guitar and percussion instruments. He left the group after the album Stars.

Tony Bowers had been active in the music industry for nearly fifteen years prior to joining Simply Red. He was another of the former members of The Durutti Column to join the group, but his time with that band didn’t coincide with Kellett’s: Bowers was a founding member in 1978 but left the following year just as recording work on an album was about to begin in earnest. He then formed The Mothmen who released a few singles before splitting in 1982.He then played bass for Simply Red from its inception until the end of the 80s.

Sylvan Richardson was not an original member of Simply Red, as there was another guitarist called David Fryman before him, but he was part of the line-up in time for the group’s first single. Usually credited only as ‘Sylvan’, he remained with the band for two albums and participated in their first world tour.

Chris Joyce had worked with Bowers both in the original The Durutti Column line-up in the late 70s and then in The Mothmen in the early 80s. After the Mothmen split he worked with Pete Wylie’s and toured with Wah! from ’82 to ’83, before getting the call to join Simply Red.

Fritz McIntyre was the main keyboard player in the first Simply Red line-up, but he also sang: mostly backing vocals of course, but also the lead on the closing track from 1991’s Stars album. He also co-wrote a couple of the group’s singles with Hucknall, and was the only original member of the band besides Hucknall to feature on 1995’s Life album. He left the following year.

NEW SINGLES on sale from Jul. 28
1986
SIMPLY RED (Mick Hucknall) Open Up The Red Box (WEA YZ75)
David SYLVIAN Taking The Veil (Virgin VS815)

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