Simply Red were a British soul band that sold more than 50 million albums over a 25-year career. Their style drew influences from blue-eyed soul, New Romantic, rock, reggae and jazz. Since their early days the main driving force behind the band was singer Mick Hucknall, who by the time the band broke up in 2010 was the only original member left.
Simply Red originated from the 1976 Sex Pistols gig at the Lesser Free Trade Hall in Manchester, England. Manchester art student Mick Hucknall was one of the many young music fans present, along with Mark E. Smith of The Fall as well as original members of the bands Joy Division, The Smiths and Buzzcocks. The first incarnation of the band was a punk group called The Frantic Elevators, which existed for 7 years, with limited releases on local labels. They split in 1984 with only limited local attention and critical acclaim for their final single, "Holding Back the Years".
After the demise of The Frantic Elevators, Hucknall linked up with manager Elliot Rashman. By early 1985, Hucknall and Rashman had assembled a band of local session musicians, and began to attract record company attention.