New Amy Winehouse album to be released


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The Independent Culture

An album of unreleased tracks by Amy Winehouse is to go on sale just months after the singer's death.

The album features outtakes, two completely new songs and a demo recorded at her Camden flat while she played guitar.

Winehouse's father Mitch said the songs on Amy Winehouse Lioness: Hidden Treasures "took my breath away".

The release will help raise money for the charity set up in her name in September.

The collection contains original tracks as well as covers, including her stark version of A Song For You, written by Leon Russell, and recorded at home in the spring. Her recording of jazz standard Body and Soul with Tony Bennett, is also included.

Producers Salaam Remi and Mark Ronson pulled the album together after listening to thousands of hours of vocals by the star, many of them from sessions for her two studio albums Frank and Back To Black.

Mitch Winehouse said the tracks on the album, to be released on December 5, were on a par with her other releases.

"If the family had felt that this album wasn't up to the standard of Frank and Back To Black, we would never have agreed to release it and we believe it will stand as a fitting tribute to Amy's musical legacy," he 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 Amy's talent, from jazz standards to hip hop songs, it really took my breath away.

Mr Winehouse said he had not heard one of the new songs, called Halftime, before he listened to the collection.

Retailers are expecting huge sales of the album and it is being tipped as a Christmas number one. There was a renewed wave of interest in her songs following her death.

Gennaro Castaldo of HMV said: "A lot of people felt there simply had to be some new material from Amy, and that it was only a matter of time before it got released.

"We're expecting huge interest in this album, which is already being pre-ordered by fans, and with its December timing I'd say we're looking at the Christmas number one."

The star was found dead in bed in her Camden flat in north London on July 23.

Last week an inquest heard she was more than five times the legal drink-drive limit when she died at 27. She was clear of illegal drugs when she died.

Money from the album will go to the Amy Winehouse Foundation, which was set up by Mitch Winehouse.