Reuters top ten news stories delivered to your inbox each day.
You are here:
Business & Finance
The Great Debate
Do More With Reuters
Make Reuters My Homepage
Support (Customer Zone)
About Thomson Reuters
Songwriters lure Bassey back for "The Performance"
Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:05pm EDT
Email | Print |
| Reprints | Single Page
By Paul Sexton
LONDON (Billboard) - One of Britain's most beloved entertainers, with global career sales estimated at 135 million by her label, Shirley Bassey hardly needs to make albums anymore.
But on November 9 in the United Kingdom, Geffen/Universal will release "The Performance," produced by James Bond soundtrack master David Arnold and featuring songs custom-written for her by Take That's Gary Barlow, the Pet Shop Boys, Rufus Wainwright, KT Tunstall and others.
Bassey's manager, album executive producer Paul Carey, suggested the project after the "incredible" reaction to Bassey's 2007 Glastonbury Festival performance. In July 2008, he met with the 72-year-old singer to explain the concept of "a true Bassey album: classic-sounding yet contemporary."
Carey took the idea to Geffen U.K. president Colin Barlow and, with Arnold onboard, the album took shape. A U.S. release is under discussion.
Billboard: You've had compilations and remix albums, but this is your first all-new record in more than 20 years. Is that because the material wasn't right for you before?
Shirley Bassey: Well, not only that. I'd really retired, to tell you the truth, and was just coming out for special occasions. These writers have brought me back. Only that could have done it, and it was a challenge, because you wouldn't have thought they were my songs. I took them on holiday with me, and I would say, "I can't do this, they're too difficult." But I was listening to the way the writers were singing them, and trying to sing in their key, which never helps. It wasn't until I actually went into the studio, with a piano, and put my voice on, that I started to get excited. I could hear myself. I'm always up for a challenge, and it paid off.
Billboard: How was the experience of working with David Arnold?
Bassey: He's very gentle. He lets you find your own way. And I love him for allowing my music director, Mike Dixon, to be in the studio, because Mike knows me. He knows the notes I would want to hold. If I hit a note and I like it, I want to stay on it -- you can't get me off, but Mike was able to do that.
Billboard: What are your expectations for the album?
Bassey: We would all love to have No. 1s -- oh, my gosh, yes. It would be great, great, great.
Billboard: Will you tour after your Electric Proms performance October 23 at the London Roundhouse?
Bassey: No. It's very tiring, it takes so much out of you, especially now in the September of my years. You wake up and the whole day is concentrated on the performance, so you have no life. You do your performance, get on your bus and go off through the night to the next town, and that's what it's like until the tour finishes. Then you're in bed for two or three days. I loved it, but I doubt I'd do it again. I say "doubt," because you should never say "never."
Billboard: Why do you think you still draw big crowds and have a loyal fan base after all these years?
Bassey: My down-to-earthness, I think. But if I knew what makes success, I'd bottle it. That's the magic of this business -- you don't know why you're successful. Those critics who say it's an all-gay audience ... not at all. There's mums and dads, and their children bring their children, so it's a family audience.
Billboard: Do you have a favorite song on the album? Continued...
View article on single page
GE Puts Wind Converter to Work for Solar
also on reuters
Chicago Cubs' new owners to be thoughtful on change
Video: Thousands line up for last Big Mac in Iceland
Music legends rock the Hall of Fame
More Entertainment News
Judge orders trial in Anna Nicole Smith's death
Seacrest stalker with knife arrested at E! offices
With new confidence, Underwood eager to "Play On"
Music legends rock the Hall of Fame
Actor Dennis Hopper battling prostate cancer
More Entertainment News...
A selection of our best photos from the past 24 hours. Slideshow
Most Popular on Reuters
Nine U.S. banks seized in largest one-day haul
Thousands line up for last Big Mac in Iceland | Video
Somali pirates ask $7 mln to free UK couple-report
UPDATE 1-Too few in U.S. seek flu treatment, CDC says
Wall St Week Ahead: Goodbye to all that stimulus?
Too few in U.S. seek flu treatment, CDC says
Simple Afghan mission turns deadly for U.S. soldiers | Video
Game is up for health insurers
Olympics-Greek officials red-faced after Vancouver torch blunder
Madoff to SEC watchdog: Agency held me in awe
Most Popular Articles RSS Feed
McDonald's closes in Iceland
Clinton:Afghan decision after polls
Sony slump continues
Mafia shooting caught on CCTV
White House touts 'saved' jobs
Russians flock to see 'miracle' baby
Inventor makes water out of air
Business Update: Asia up on US GDP
China TV shows child-parent reunion
Obama not a focus of 2009 races
Most Popular Videos RSS Feed
Help and Contact Us |
Advertise With Us |
Journalism Handbook |
Site Index |
Thomson Reuters Corporate:
Professional Products |
Professional Products Support |
About Thomson Reuters |
Latin America |
United Kingdom |
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.