Mick Hucknall - one of the greatest British voices of all-time - goes it alone for a stunning debut solo record of 'American Soul', out October 29th, with a great version of the Otis Redding classic 'That's How Strong My Love Is', released October 29th, both on ATCO.
The erstwhile Simply Red frontman has lovingly handpicked twelve personal favourites for a quadruple helping of classic American soul and an insight into the music that has inspired him throughout his career.
Produced by Andy Wright, highlights include 'I'd Rather Go Blind' - a song which takes Etta James's earth-shattering blueprint and re-imagines it from a new perspective - The Flamingos' fireside burner
'I Only Have Eyes For You' and 'Hope There's Someone' and
'Baby What Do You Want Me To Do', which was one of the first blues songs Mick ever heard as a teenager.
Together with Simply Red, Mick Hucknall has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide, won a plethora of awards - including three BRITS, two Ivor Novellos and a MOBO - and spent a glorious career carving his attractive blend of blue-eyed soul.
We could talk all day but no one tells it better than Mick himself, who explains his song choices below;
1. 'That's How Strong My Love Is' - "A great song. I've always loved the poetry of the lyrics."
2. 'Hands of Time' - Enjoyed listening to this with Nesuhi Ertegun in 1986. I've always meant to sing this, just have never got round to it until now!"
3. 'I'd Rather Go Blind' - "I've always loved Etta James and was lucky enough to have met her. An inspiration. She also sang a version of 'Holding Back The Years', which was a thrill for me.
4. 'Lonely Avenue'- "I love the insistent tempo of this song; it gets under your skin! This was one of the many great songs he recorded."
5. 'I Only Have Eyes For You' - "This is a difficult song to sing. The sustained note at the end, particularly challenging!"
6. 'Tell It Like It Is' - "Lots of angles in this melody, a song of unrequited love, a man running out of patience!!"
7. 'Baby What Do You Want Me To Do' - "One of the first Blues songs I ever heard, started collecting and enjoying when I was 15."
8. 'The Girl That Radiates Charm' - "I think the lyric on this song has a modern flavour even though it was written over 50 years ago!"
9. 'Let Me Down Easy' - "A heart wrenching lyric about being left deserted. Never fun for anyone, I've been there."
10. 'Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood' - "A fabulous and familiar song to millions, the challenge was to make an original interpretation."
11. 'Impossible' - "I learnt this when I was a waiter in a Working Men's Club a 13 yr old pretending to be 18! A wonderful timeless song."
12. 'Hope There's Someone' - "This is such a challenging and unusual melody about life, death and the deep blue sea."
Mick stepped out for his first solo show this September, taking new album 'American Soul' to the Royal Albert Hall for two nights and has a string of dates lined up for 2013, including Manchester's O2 Apollo on April 13th.