Singer's sixth solo album, which was produced by Phil Ramone before he died last year, is due out on 17 March
Singer George Michael is back. Again. After surviving a near-death battle with pneumonia in 2011, and a car crash on the M1 last May, Michael is due to release his sixth studio album, Symphonica, on 17 March 2014.
Michael recorded the album during his 2011 to 2012 tour, also entitled Symphonica, which hit cities around Europe over a 14-month run. Michael performed with an orchestra, as he ran through sets of material from his back catalogue and covers of tracks made famous by the likes of Nina Simone, David Bowie and Elton John.
The album will be released via Virgin EMI/Universal Music Group as a deluxe 17-track CD, standard 14-track album (CD or digital) and as a "pure audio" Blu-ray disc. It will contain a mix of original compositions and covers, similar to sets Michael performed on the Symphonica tour.
Symphonica was the last album that producer Phil Ramone, whose past credits include production for Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and others, worked on before he died in March 2013, aged 79. The 14-time Grammy award-winner had previously worked with Michael on his 1999 album, Songs from the Last Century.
Fans of Michael's Facebook page will be able to download a free orchestral version of track Praying for Time, from Monday 20 January. The album's official lead single, Let Her Down Easy, is due to come out digitally on 17 March, accompanied by a video made by director Vaughan Arnell.
Symphonica will be Michael's first full-length release since 2004's Patience.