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Thursday, March 6, 2014

George Michael returns with first album in seven years

George Michael will release his first album in seven years when Symphonica arrives in stores March 18 in the US. The album, produced by the legendary Phil Ramone, and George Michael, was recorded during the wildly successful 2011-12 Symphonica tour of the UK and Europe. The first single released to support the album will be the dramatic ballad Let Her Down Easy.

A studio version of Let Her Down Easy is the subject of a provocative new video directed by Vaughan Arnell, one of the UK’s most innovative music video directors.

The Symphonica tour found George performing a selection of songs from a career which has spanned over 30 years, as well as covering some of his favourite songs. Such signatures as A Different Corner, Praying For Time and One More Try blossom in their concert setting, alongside such intriguing gems as John And Elvis Are Dead and the Through. The singer breathes new life into the swing era standard My Baby Just Cares For Me and the Oscar-nominated Wild Is The Wind, popularized by a host of artists from Johnny Mathis to David Bowie.

During a career which began in 1959, 14-time Grammy-winner Phil Ramone produced legendary artists including Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Billy Joel, Paul McCartney, Luciano Pavarotti, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, and Stevie Wonder, among many others. Ramone and George Michael enjoyed a magical working relationship: prior to Symphonica they worked on George’s 1999 album, Songs From The Last Century. Symphonica was the final work of Phil Ramone, who died in March 2013, at age 79.

George Michael has sold over 115 million records from the earliest days of Wham! in the 1980s, through a solo career which has transformed him from teen idol to icon, via a succession of albums and tours.

Along the way, he has worked with artists such as Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Aretha Franklin, and Beyonce.

Herald staff

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