David Bennum might insist that he's not being contrary, but maintaining that Simply Red's Stars is in fact "a near-flawless masterpiece" is pretty much Peak Quietus. There is also a rich irony in Bennum approvingly quoting Mick Hucknall's comment about "The Carpenters/ABBA syndrome", which involves "sneering at the sheer popularity of something" - that's a charge that could be levelled at many a Quietus writer, much as I generally love the site. And in any case, the critical sneering at Simply Red isn't down to the fact that they're popular - it's down to the fact that they're shit.
Personally speaking, then, the prospect of reading about Mick's picks for the Quietus' Baker's Dozen feature was about as appealing as, ooh, learning how Lighthouse Family made 'Lifted' - but his selection actually turns out to be quite decent, if very safe, in that it's a list of solid-gold classics. David Bowie, Miles Davis, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Doors, Led Zeppelin and Bob Dylan all feature, as do The Stooges with Fun House - with Hucknall unsurprisingly unable to resist mentioning his presence at the Sex Pistols' fabled gig at Manchester's Lesser Free Trade Hall in June 1976.