If Everyone Was Listening ...

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    1. Bad Things
    2. Simple Love
    3. I Won't Give Up
    4. Jessie
    5. Still The Same
    6. You Needed Me
    7. Stuck Like Glue
    8. The Climb
    9. Need You Now
    10. May You Never
    11. What We Ain't Got
    12. If Everyone Was Listening
    13. Let It Be Me (Michael Ball & The Overtones)
    14. Angel
    15. Falling Slowly


MICHAEL BALL, double Olivier Award winner and multi-platinum recording artist, is delighted to announce the release of 'If Everyone Was Listening...', his 19th studio album.

His most personal record to date, the album contains 15 hand-picked tracks that Michael chose to record himself. A mix of individual classics, award winners and chart toppers spanning the last 40 years, the collection is a snapshot of the music he plays on his Radio 2 show, 'Sunday Night With Michael Ball'.

Taking its name from the 1974 Supertramp song (a favourite of Michael's growing up) the album includes the Everly Brothers' classic 'Let It Be Me', which Michael recorded - to stunning effect - with vocal group The Overtones. Bob Seger's 'Still The Same', Anne Murray's Grammy-winning 'You Needed Me' and John Martyn's enduring 'May You Never' all receive sensitive interpretations, while Michael indulges his sassy side with a rollicking reworking of 'Bad Things', the theme song to the TV vampire drama, True Blood.

Some of the song choices were inspired by Michael's love of country music and its current stars, including Alison Krauss, whose sublime 'Simple Love' is one of Michael's favourite songs. Another little known song to get the MB treatment is Jake Owen's 'What We Ain't Got' which sits alongside a solo rendering of Lady Antebellum's duet 'Need You Now' and the quirky 'Stuck Like Glue', originally by Sugarland.

Other tracks include the Joshua Kadison song, 'Jessie' on which Michael sings all the harmonies himself, the powerful and almost spiritual 'Angel' by Sarah McLachlan, 'The Climb' (previously performed by Miley Cyrus and Joe McElderry) and of course a musicals number; in this case the Oscar winning 'Falling Slowly' from Once, the album's closing track.

Michael's description of each track:

Bad Things - Written and sung by country music artist Jace Everett, this is the theme song for the TV show 'True Blood'. I'm a huge fan of the show and when I first heard 'Bad Things', I thought it's a bit like the show itself - tongue in cheek, sexy, funny, and it's got a great rhythm.

Simple Love - Originally sung by Alison Krauss, this tells a very personal story and has one of the best hooks of any song. It looks back to a time when life was simpler.

I Won't Give Up - It's lovely when you hear a contemporary song by a singer songwriter - in this case Jason Mraz - that's a classic, that speaks to you in the same way a song you've known for 30 years does. On this album I was keen to mix the old and the new to show that great songs are being written today, just as much as they were yesterday.

Jessie - My stepdaughter Emma has been asking me to record this for years. I sat down at the piano and worked out the arrangement; I wanted to concentrate on the words rather than bring in guitar and drums too early. I've used my own voice to do all the harmonies because no one knows how to phrase a song for me better than me!

Still The Same - Cathy suggested I record this one as I'm a massive Bob Seger fan and this is great, driving, simple rock 'n' roll that I can't wait to do in concert next year.

You Needed Me - I grew up loving this song by Anne Murray and remember it being a bit of sanity right in the middle of the punk era.

Stuck Like Glue - I loved this song by Sugarland from the moment I heard it - it became my getting ready song for both Hairspray and Sweeney Todd and everyone would come into the dressing room to have a dance!

The Climb - Everybody loves a bit of Gorgonzola...

Need You Now - The multi-Grammy award winning Lady Antebellum are one of my favourite groups at the moment, who are changing the face of American country music; this is another song you can just relate to.

May You Never - One of my favourite songs from one of my favourite albums: Solid Air by John Martyn. The words say it all.

What We Ain't Got - This is an interesting one. It was actually suggested by the artist Kim Sears. I hadn't heard of the singer - country artist Jake Owen - and I listened to this and thought what a perfect song. It sums up the era we live in: we all want what we ain't got and we're always looking at what everyone else has.

If Everyone Was Listening - This is in my Desert Island Discs; it opened and closed an evening of two plays I was in when I was at the Surrey Youth Theatre and it always resonated with me because of the lyrics. I love Supertramp and when I bought Crime Of The Century in 1979, I thought it was the best album I'd ever heard.

Let It Be Me (Michael Ball & The Overtones) - This Everly Brothers song is a classic that I've always loved and I thought it would be great to have a really well known track among tracks that are less so. But who to sing with? The only group of guys who I ever considered for this one: they're funny, they work hard and they sing brilliantly - they're my mates, the Overtones...their harmonies are stunning.

Angel - Written and performed by the sublime Sarah McLachlan who's got the most beautiful, pure voice. I know many people who have recorded this brilliant song; it's so powerful and has a spiritual feel to it. I think it's one of those songs that inspires the listener and encourages us to read whatever we want into it.

Falling Slowly - I first heard this (Oscar winning) song from the film Once when I saw the movie, which I loved; I subsequently saw the stage show in London - twice - and have heard it done a few times as a duet. In studying the structure of the song, I realised you could be so busy listening to the voices, that you miss the importance of the words, so I decided to strip it down and record it as a solo. It's got such an extraordinary message that I wanted to concentrate on that and do it as one person's consciousness.

Source: T4C

Last updated: 10/12/2014 15:52

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