About Symphonica & The Album After That

George Michael working on Symphonica at AIR Studios

George Michael working on Symphonica at AIR Studios

The current issue of Music Week has around 30 pages dedicated to covering George Michael. The articles include: a profile of George’s career to date; an interview with David Joseph, Chairman and CEO of Universal UK, talking about current and future plans for working with George; a piece about Phil Ramone and the Symphonica album, which George and David Austin supplied a few quotes for; and an interview with George’s publisher, discussing future plans for George’s back catalogue.

I know you’re all interested in what the plans are for Symphonica, and for the album after that (the album of new material). So, here’s some of the main points from David Joseph’s interview.

About the Symphonica album…

  • There are currently no plans for George Michael to do any promotion for Symphonica. The record company believes they can do well with this album, without the need for George to do the rounds of the PR circuit.
  • There may be more singles to come from Symphonica, in addition to Let Her Down Easy.  David Joseph’s vote for the next single goes to, The First Time Ever I Saw Her Face. No final decision has yet been taken on that. Presumably that will depend on how well the album does in terms of sales.
  • Currently, the belief is that the Symphonica documentary will not be shown on TV to coincide with the release of the album. They’re looking to place the TV special with broadcasters around the world. If they can sign the deals in time, it could be shown to coincide with the release, but the most likely scenario is that it will air some time later.

About the album that comes after Symphonica…

  • George has already signed the deal with Universal for the release of the album after Symphonica.
  • George is still working on the next album (with new songs on it). It will be done when it’s done. From the point of view of the record company, there is no timescale for release. George will say when he feels it’s done, and then the record company will release it.
  • David Joseph doesn’t know if that release will be this year or not. His best estimate, based on what he’s heard of the album so far, is that it won’t be finished in time for a release this year. Obviously, George may or may not share that view.
  • David Joseph seems genuinely excited about the new material that George has recorded so far. He clearly thinks it’s going to be a great album (although, obviously he’d hardly say otherwise in an interview like this!).
  • George’s complete attention and focus at the moment is working on the next album. If you’re wondering why he’s not doing any promotion for Symphonica, that’s the reason why.

8 thoughts on “About Symphonica & The Album After That

  1. In general, they’re looking to get some creative use of his music in films and on TV. They are also currently actively pursuing the idea of “unusual” cover versions of his songs, particularly of songs that are regarded as “untouchable” (like Jesus To A Child), or that are not well known (like To Be Forgiven). An example of an unusual cover version was given – the Iron and Wine cover of One More Try.

  2. Thanx! I don’t believe that’s why he doesn’t do any promotion now he is going to put out a new album in one or two years time or something. Sounds ridiculous. Anyway I was interested in the album credits, especially One More Try. It says, it’s arranged by Chris Cameron, so I don’t know what that’s saying about the track version. As they premiered the 25 Live version on the radio, I am curious to know whether that was a mistake or it’s the actual one (a 25Live song) on the Symphonica album. That would be an out of character move by George. Maybe you can shed some light on it?

  3. @Anna. I agree, if George doesn’r release his album of new material for two years, then the reason given for not doing promotion is not right. On the other hand, if it turns out that George actually delivers the album to Universal in the next few months, in time for a release this year, then it could easily be. The jury is out on that one, I’d say.

    I’d be 99% sure that the version played on the radio is the “correct one”. I had been assuming that they’d used the 25 Live arrangement of One More Try for this album, but recorded a new version at AIR studios in 2011 when they did the rest of the album (possibly re-using some of the parts (like the organ) that had been done for for the 25 Live tour).

  4. If the version on the radio is the correct one, than George has included the 25 Live version on Symphonica. They are EXACT the same, including audience. Even the whistles in the audience, the singing, everything. It’s a replica!!🙂 If you play them at the same time (or a second in between), you’ll hear it. There’s no difference.

  5. Interesting! For sure, it wouldn’t be any surprise if they used the audience reaction from 25 Live on the track, given that One More Try wasn’t performed on the Symphonica tour. So, there’s no audience reaction for that song to take from that tour.

    You might be right, though, that they used the whole recording, including vocals, that they used on the 25 LIve DVD. Seems a slightly odd thing to do, though. I guess we’ll have to wait for the album to know for sure.

  6. Yes, interesting for sure! That’s why I am curious about the whole thing. I don’t think they would have used the audience from 25 live, especially cos there are people with whistles in it, they have enough more reserved audience recordings from Symphonica which they can use. Because I know for sure it was the 25 Live version on radio and at the same time find it a very odd thing to do, I am curious as to what the deal on this is. We’ll see indeed!😉

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