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Johnnie Walker's Long-Players

S6-E1 Simply Red & The Verve

S6-E1 Simply Red & The Verve

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It’s thanks to the ever knowledgeable David Hepworth that when Johnnie Walker asks why Simply Red’s 1991 album Stars went platinum 12 times in the UK he comes straight back with an answer.

The early 1990s witnessed a boom in commercial radio stations, all competing for specific age ranges. Stars pretty much ticked the box for all of them, becoming British radio’s most played album. The Verve’s Urban Hymns (1997) attracted mass critical acclaim but nowhere near as much commercial success.

Illuminating archive interviews with Simply Red’s Mick Hucknall and the Verve’s Richard Ashcroft throw a more personal light on both recordings, although having first come across Hucknall at a punk gig — when he was fronting a band called the Frantic Elevators — it was hard to swallow how his one true inspiration has always been soul music.  


New series. David Hepworth teams up with Johnnie to compare classic albums, beginning with releases by two heavyweights of the 1990s - Simply Red and The Verve.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Johnnie Walker
Contributor David Hepworth
Producer Mark Simpson


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