Following neo-soul chanteuse Amy Winehouse’s death in July, it was only a matter of time before the posthumous recordings began making their way to the marketplace.
After all, the Grammy-winning Brit released just two albums, “Frank” and “Back to Black,” in her short 27 years, but those two albums have been incredibly influential.
This week, Winehouse’s team announced that her posthumous third album, “Lioness: Hidden Treasures,” will be released Dec. 5 in the United Kingdom, and a day later in America.
For Oklahoma music fans, the album will include a special treat: A cover of Tulsa Sound pioneer and Lawton native Leon Russell’s wrenching signature ballad, “A Song for You.” Winehouse’s version of “A Song for You” will close “Lioness: Hidden Treasures.”
On Wednesday, producer Salaam Remi hosted a press listening this week for the forthcoming album, which consists of 12 tracks including covers and stripped-down versions of previously released Winehouse songs, with some completed in one take.
Remi said the soul singer had written all the songs she was planning to put on her third album, but she was not rushing to release that new material, instead planning to drop a jazz album first with a “supergroup” including ?uestlove of the Roots, reports the Associated Press.
Only two of the tracks Winehouse wrote were recorded and appear on “Lioness: Hidden Treasures,” according to the AP.
“She was taking her time with it, and at the end of the day all of her songs are somewhat autobiographical, so she had to live through something, then get out of it and then look back at it to be able to write about it,” Remi said.
“Who knows what will happen in the future with that,” he said of the songs she wrote.
Winehouse died from accidental alcohol poisoning at age 27. Her body was found at her London home July 23.
Here’s the album announcement, from AmyWinehouse.com:
Following her tragic passing in July, some of the producers and musicians who worked closely with Amy Winehouse, among them Mark Ronson and Salaam Remi, spent time listening over the many recordings that Amy had made, before, during, and after the release of “Frank” and “Back To Black.” It was said by all who worked with Amy that she never sang or played a song the same way twice. It quickly became apparent to Salaam and Mark that they had a collection of songs that deserved to be heard, a collection of songs that were a fitting testament to Amy the artist and, as importantly, Amy their friend.
The 12-track collection features previously unreleased tracks, alternate versions of existing classics as well as a couple of brand-new Amy compositions, and has been compiled by longtime musical partners Salaam Remi and Mark Ronson in close association with Amy’s family, management and record label Island Records. “Lioness : Hidden Treasures” proves a fitting tribute to the artist, the talent and the woman and serves as a reminder of Amy’s extraordinary powers as a songwriter, a singer and an interpreter of classics.
See the album tracklist, with descriptions, after the break.
Full tracklist for “Lioness: Hidden Treasures”:
“Our Day Will Come (Reggae Version)” – reggae re-working of classic 60’s 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” – originally written by Amy as a ballad, this is the original version she recorded in November 2005 in Miami with Salaam. The later uptempo 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” – Amy’s beautiful reading of the Carole King-written Shirelles classic. Produced by Mark Ronson and featuring the Dap Kings with string arrangements by Chris Elliott who did all the strings for Mark’s tracks on “Back To Black”. Recorded in September 2004.
“Valerie” – one of Amy’s jukebox favourites. This is 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 really good friends after Amy name checked the New York rapper on “Back To Black’s” “Me & Mr Jones.” “Like Smoke” is finally Amy doing a song with one of her favourite artists. Produced by Salaam Remi. Recorded in May 2008.
“The Girl From Ipanema” – the first song the 18-year-old Amy sang when she first went to Miami to record with Salaam. Salaam remarked that “the way she re-interpreted this bossa nova classic made me realise that I was dealing with a very special talent. Her approach to the song was so young and fresh, it really inspired the rest of our sessions.” Recorded in May 2002.
“Halftime” – Amy had talked to Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson of the Roots about working together. “Halftime” is a song that Amy and Salaam had worked on 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 30’s 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 Leon Russell classic made famous by Donny Hathaway. Hathaway was Amy’s all-time favourite artist and the song was recorded in one take, just Amy and her guitar, at her home in London during the spring of 2009 as she battled her demons. Produced by Salaam Remi.