It was bound to happen, but this soon? A posthumous Amy Winehouse album will be released in time for the holidays, comprising 12 tracks and including new material.
A select handful of journalists were recently granted an advance listen to most of the record, entitled Lioness, in the company of executives from Winehouse's label, Island Records, her manager Raye Cosbert and producer Salaam Remi . Remi worked with the singer on her two albums Frank and Back to Black and was slated to produce her third.
Remi introduced and played seven songs, several of which seemed to be somewhat incomplete – sketches of what would've been a finished product had the starlet survived and finished the material on her own.
Remi said the following about the release: "Lots of people are going to want to remember other aspects of her life, but what we have here highlights that musically and creatively, she was the tops. She was a great musician and a great songwriter as well. She wasn't a musical fluke."
According to Amy’s official website, Lioness: Hidden Treasures will contain 12 tracks, including unreleased songs, alternative versions of previous ones, and two “brand new Amy compositions”. As the press release states, “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.”
Listen to 'Like Smoke' featuring Nas – a soulful, sweet performance:
The detailed tracklisting is below:
1. Our Day Will Come (Reggae Version): Reggae re-working of classic 60’s doo wop song produced by Salaam Remi. Recorded May 2002. Listen via Sky News:
2. Between The Cheats: New Amy composition recorded in London in May 2008 for potential inclusion on album three produced by Salaam Remi.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow: Amy’s 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.
6. Valerie: The original slower tempo version of the Mark Ronson produced post-Back To Black single. Recorded in December 2006.
7. Like Smoke: Amy and Nas became good friends after Amy name checked the New York rapper on “Me & Mr Jones”. Produced by Salaam Remi. Recorded in May 2008.
8. 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.
9. 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. Recorded in August 2002.
10. Best Friends: A 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.
11. Body & Soul: Cover of 30’s jazz standard featuring Tony Bennett. Recorded at Abbey Road Studios London in March 2011 and produced by Phil Ramone. Amy’s final studio recording.
12. 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.
Lioness: Hidden Treasures will be released on December 5.