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New Amy Winehouse album arrives in December
A new, posthumous Amy Winehouse album is scheduled for release next month.
“Amy Winehouse Lioness: Hidden Treasures” features 12 songs recorded between 2002 and 2008. “Back to Black” producers Salaam Remi and Mark Ronson compiled the unreleased Winehouse tracks. One of the new songs, “Between the Cheats”, is thought to be about Winehouse’s troubled marriage to Blake Civil-Fielder. Another, “Like Smoke” finds Winehouse dueting with rapper Nas.
Covers of Ruby and the Romantics 1960’s hit, “Our Day Will Come”, Donny Hathaway’s “A Song For You” (originally written and recorded by Leon Russell), and the bossa nova hit “The Girl From Ipanema” are also included. Winehouse’s final recording, a duet with Tony Bennett on “Body and Soul” appears on the new album, too. It’s also one of the tracks on Bennett’s “Duets II” CD, which topped the U.S. album chart last September.
Some might argue that it’s too soon after her passing for a new Amy Winehouse album to be released. “Michael”, an album of unreleased Michael Jackson songs came a year and a half following his death. On the other hand, Janis Joplin’s “Pearl” album was released just four months after her passing, and featured a U.S. number one hit, “Me and Bobby McGee”. Nirvana’s “Live Unplugged in New York” was released seven months after frontman Kurt Cobain’s suicide. Like the Joplin album, “Lioness: Hidden Treasures” hits the stores four months after Winehouse passed away.
But, this release comes with the blessing of her family. Winehouse’s father, Mitch, told the UK Sun newspaper that hearing the new songs brought him new respect for his daughter’s work. "It wasn't until I sat down with the rest of the family and listened to this album that I fully appreciated the breadth of her talent” he said. “From jazz standards to hip-hop songs, it took my breath away.”
Plus, a pound from every UK copy sold of the new album will go to the Amy Winehouse Foundation, a charity set up by her family following her death last July. The Foundation’s aim is to support organizations that help young people who are vulnerable, including those with addictions.
Winehouse recorded just two “official” albums during her lifetime, “Back to Black” and “Frank”. It’s been five years since “Back to Black” was released. Would the “Lioness: Hidden Treasure” tracks have been released if Winehouse were still alive? Probably, as part of a rarities box set. It’s also quite possible that more Winehouse material will come out in the future. As long as the recordings don’t “scrape the bottom of the barrel”, then they should be out for the public to hear.
The new Winehouse album, on the Island label, arrives in UK stores and on the Net on December 5th. The U.S. edition comes out one day later.