In this World Exclusive By Gordon Smart, Showbiz Editor with The Sun UK. Gordon joined members of Amy Winehouse’s family in a West London studio to listen to never previously heard songs from Amy Winehouse.
Lioness: Hidden Treasures features 12 tracks, including three covers and a number of previously unreleased tracks.
Here’s Gordon Smart’s exclusive report about the release of Amy Winehouse’s posthumous album Amy Winehouse Lioness: Hidden Treasures…
Amy Winehouse’s Secret New Album
Song about cheating ex-hubby Blake and one track while high on drugs.
A SECRET album of unheard Amy Winehouse material is to be released — just months after her tragic death at the age of 27.
Amy Winehouse Lioness: Hidden Treasures includes a track recorded while the troubled star was under the influence of heroin.
Another song in the surprise collection — out in December — tells of cheating by ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil during the couple’s turbulent relationship.
Amy’s emotional dad Mitch wept as he listened to the album — and admitted: “I never realised what a true genius she was.”
The ex-cabbie could not hide his pride as he listened to the 12 songs, some of which even he had never previously heard.
I joined the family in a West London studio last week for the first listen to the surprise collection.
Wiping away tears of joy Mitch, 60, said: “I spent so much time chasing after Amy — telling her off — that I never realised what a true genius she was.
“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. From jazz standards to hip-hop songs, it took my breath away.”
Amy’s 56-year-old mum Janis listened separately to the collection of unheard material because the emotion of the occasion was too personal to share with others.
Mitch added: “One of the new songs on the album, Halftime, I’d never heard before. It is just incredibly beautiful.
“Had the family felt this album wasn’t up to the standard of Amy’s others, Frank and Back To Black, we’d never have agreed to release it. We believe it will stand as a fitting tribute to her musical legacy.”
Producers Salaam Remi and Mark Ronson, Amy’s close pal, have been locked in studios across the world for the past few weeks pulling the album together.
They shared the heartbreaking task of listening back to thousands of hours of vocals by the singer, whose troubled life was cut short in July at the age of just 27.
Salaam said: “When I listened back you would hear some of the conversations in between — that was emotional. It has been hard, but it has also been an amazing thing. Amy was a gifted girl.
“I believe she has left something beyond her years. She has put a body of work together that will inspire an unborn generation.
“I’m blessed to be part of that process, to have known that person and to continue her legacy with this album.” Amy, who scored a string of hits and won five Grammy awards despite battling drink and drugs, died at her home in Camden, North London.
An inquest last week heard she was five times the drink-drive limit when a bodyguard found her slumped dead on her bed. No drugs were found in her system when she died and she had been clean of them since 2009.
The posthumous album will be released on December 5 and £1 from every sale will go to the Amy Winehouse Foundation, which is helping children’s charities.
The most emotional track for the singer’s family and fans is her cover of A Song For You, a Leon Russell tune made famous by Amy’s favourite artist Donny Hathaway. The song, on which Amy plays guitar, was recorded in a single take at her London home in 2009 as she battled to overcome her addiction to Class A drugs.
Her voice can be heard quaking as she tearfully delivers the lyrics.
Another cover, of Carole King’s Shirelles classic Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, was produced in 2004 — months before Amy embarked on her drink and drug hell.
And a further track, Between The Cheats, was recorded as the star emerged from her turbulent marriage to Blake Fielder-Civil.
Others include Wake Up Alone, from 2006, and classic The Girl From Ipanema — recorded in 2002.
The last song she ever recorded, Body & Soul with Tony Bennett, also appears. The session, at Abbey Road Studios in London in March this year, marked one of the happiest days of her short life.
Tony, 85, said: “It was a thrill to record with Amy Winehouse. The recording is a testament to her artistic genius and her brilliance.”
Proud Mitch poignantly recalled Amy’s amazing lack of ego.
He said: “I remember taking her shopping at a particularly difficult time in her life a few years back.
“We looked through all these racks of clothes, she picked something out and I bought it for her.
“As we were waiting, one of her songs came on, I think it was Stronger Than Me. She just looked at me and said, ‘Is that one of my songs, Dad?’
“She genuinely didn’t listen to her own music after it was recorded. She wouldn’t wallow in her success. That’s what was so lovely — she was just Amy. No ego about her.”
SHOWBIZ Editor Gordon Smart gives his verdict on Amy Winehouse’s posthumous album.
OUR DAY WILL COM (Reggae Version): Re-working of classic ’60s doo-wop song produced by Salaam Remi. Recorded May 2002.
BETWEEN THE CHEATS: New Amy composition recorded in London in May 2008 for potential inclusion on album three, produced by Salaam Remi.
TEARS DRY: First written by Amy as a ballad, this is the original version she recorded in November 2005 in Miami with Salaam. The later up-tempo version appears on Back To Black.
WAKE UP ALONE: The first song recorded for the Back To Black sessions. This is the one-take demo recorded in March 2006 by Paul O’Duffy.
WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME TOMORROW: Beautiful reading of the Carole King-written Shirelles classic. Produced by Mark Ronson and featuring the Dap Kings with string arrangements by Chris Elliott. Recorded in September 2004.
VALERIE: One of Amy’s jukebox favourites, the original slower tempo version of the Mark Ronson-produced post-Back To Black single. Recorded in December 2006.
LIKE SMOKE featuring Nas: Amy and Nas became good friends after Amy name-checked the New York rapper on Back To Black’s Me & Mr Jones. Like Smoke is Amy finally doing a song with one of her favourite artists. Produced by Salaam Remi. Recorded in May 2008.
THE GIRL FROM IPANEMA: The first song 18-year-old Amy sang when she went to Miami to record with Salaam. He remarked that “the way she re-interpreted this bossa nova classic made me realise I was dealing with a very special talent. Her approach to the song was so young and fresh, it inspired the rest of our sessions”. Recorded in May 2002.
HALFTIME: Amy had talked to Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson of the Roots about working together. Amy and Salaam worked on Half-time since the Frank sessions. The result is beautiful. Recorded in August 2002.
BEST FRIENDS: Frank-era live set opener produced by Salaam Remi. Probably the first song that early Amy fans would have heard live. Recorded in February 2003.
BODY & SOUL with Tony Bennett: Cover of ’30s jazz standard with hero Tony Bennett. Recorded at Abbey Road Studios London in March 2011 and produced by Phil Ramone. Amy’s final studio recording.
A SONG FOR YOU: Heartbreaking and emotional version of the classic made famous by Donny Hathaway, Amy’s favourite artist. The song was recorded in one take, just Amy and her guitar, at her home during spring 2009 as she battled her demons. Produced by Salaam Remi.
Amy Winehouse Forever is pleased that £1 from each copy of the album Lioness: Hidden Treasures sold will be donated to the Amy Winehouse Foundation, the charity set up by her family in the singer’s honour.
Here is another Youtube video featuring Our Day Will Come from Amy Winehouse Lioness: Hidden Treasures. Our Day Will Come was produced in May 2002 by Salaami Remi.
Where To Buy Amy Winehouse Lioness: Hidden Treasures Album
Amy Winehouse,s “Lioness: Hidden Treasures” Album is available in all popular formats from vinyl, CD and mp3 download. To buy the album in the format of your choice, simply click on the more information, Blue link or album image below.
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