Simply Red have announced their first album in four years, 'Blue Eyed Soul'.

Mick Hucknall and co have released lead single 'Thinking Of You' from the follow-up to 2015's 'Big Love', and the 'Something Got Me Started' hitmaker, 59, has admitted he wanted to make an uplifting record this time.

According to The Sun newspaper's Bizarre column, he said: ''I could do one of those dark, reflective albums looking back on my life, that people tend to do at a certain age.

''But I thought, sod that! I want to have a good time.''

The new record - which is released on November 8 - may come as a surprise to fans, as Mick had suggested that their previous album ''may be the last''.

The frontman had admitted it could have been the final music anyone hears from the band because he wanted to enjoy being ''happy'' with his family.

He confessed at the time: ''I do have the feeling I've reached a sort of end point. I'm very happy in my life, my focus is my family and actually enjoying what I have. I never thought I'd get to this place. I never thought I'd actually ever get to be happy.''

'Big Love' was a ''very personal collection of songs,'' which were inspired by his marriage to long-term girlfriend Gabriella Wesberry in 2010, their daughter Romy, and his late father, who brought him up single-handedly.

He explained: ''The idea started out to mark the 30th anniversary of Simply Red but it turned into this very personal collection of songs.''

And due to the emotional nature of the tracks, the 'Holding Back the Years' hitmaker confessed he was unsure whether he will ever be able to perform them live without breaking down in tears.

Speaking about one specific song 'Dad', he said: ''I don't know how I'm ever going to sing this song live.

''I don't think I could get through it without crying.''

Ahead of the album, Simply Red will play BBC Radio 2 Hyde Park on September 15.