Symphonica (George Michael album)

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Symphonica
Symphonica.jpg
Live album with studio tracks by George Michael
Released 14 March 2014 (2014-03-14)
Recorded AIR Studios, London, England; Legacy Studios, New York City, New York; Royal Albert Hall, London, England
Genre Pop
Length 64:14
Label Aegean, Virgin EMI
Producer Phil Ramone, George Michael, David Austin (exec.)[1]
George Michael chronology
Twenty Five
(2006)
Symphonica
(2014)
Singles from Symphonica
  1. "Let Her Down Easy"
    Released: 4 February 2014[2]
  2. "Going to a Town"
    Released: 2014[3]
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 60/100[4]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[5]
The Daily Telegraph 4/5 stars[6]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[7]
PopMatters (6/10)[8]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[9]

Symphonica is a live album by the English singer-songwriter George Michael and the only live album released during his lifetime. Released on 14 March 2014 through Aegean and Virgin EMI Records, Symphonica was Michael's first album of new recordings since Patience (2004).[10] Michael's vocals were recorded at the Royal Albert Hall during his Symphonica Tour (2011–12) tour, while the string arrangements were recorded in a studio.[11]

Background[edit]

The album contains mostly live versions of songs from his 2011–12 Symphonica Tour, including six of his own compositions (the rest being covers). The album was the final work by both American producer Phil Ramone, who died in March 2013,[12] and by Michael himself, who died on Christmas Day (25 December) 2016. The lead single, a cover of the Terence Trent D'Arby song "Let Her Down Easy", debuted at number 53 on the UK Singles Chart in spite of little promotion. The album debuted at #1 on the UK Albums Chart and sold 49,989 in its first week. "Patience", a further song from the tour which does not appear on the final album track listing, was available as a free download for one week only from Amazon.com in the UK to coincide with the album release.

Track listing[edit]

Symphonica – Standard version[13]
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Through"   Georgios Panayiotou 5:09
2. "My Baby Just Cares for Me"   Walter Donaldson, Gustav Kahn 1:56
3. "A Different Corner"   Panayiotou 4:14
4. "Praying for Time"   Panayiotou 4:58
5. "Let Her Down Easy"   Sanandra Maitreya 3:50
6. "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face"   James Miller 5:24
7. "Feeling Good"   Anthony Newley, Leslie Bricusse 3:15
8. "John and Elvis Are Dead"   Panayiotou, David Austin 4:31
9. "One More Try"   Panayiotou 5:14
10. "Cowboys and Angels"   Panayiotou 7:24
11. "Idol"   Elton John, Bernard Taupin 4:29
12. "Brother Can You Spare a Dime"   Edgar Harburg, Jay Gorney 4:51
13. "Wild Is the Wind"   Dimitri Tiomkin, Ned Washington 4:15
14. "You've Changed"   Bill Carey, Carl Fischer 4:44

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from AllMusic.[15]

  • Laurence Anslow – assistant engineer
  • David Austin – executive producer, mastering
  • Tom Bailey – assistant engineer
  • Chris Barrett – assistant engineer
  • Mike Brown – guitar
  • Ben Butler – guitar
  • Chris Cameron – arranger, keyboards, musical direction
  • Fiona Cruickshank – assistant engineer
  • Danny Cummings – percussion
  • Frank Filipetti – engineer
  • David Finck – bass, double bass
  • Olga Fitzroy – assistant engineer
  • Niall Flynn – engineer, mastering, Pro Tools
  • Geoff Foster – engineer
  • Gordon Goodwin – arranger
  • Laurence Greed – assistant engineer
  • Gavin Greenaway – conductor
  • Simon Halfon – design
  • Andy Hamilton – EWI, keyboards, saxophone
  • E.Y. "Yip" Harburg –
  • Jay Henry – background vocals
  • Carlos Hercules – drums
  • Henry Hey – arranger, musical direction, piano
  • James Jackman – programming
  • Lincoln Jean-Marie – background vocals
  • Lucy Jules – background vocals
  • Graham Kearns – guitar
  • Shirley Lewis – background vocals
  • Mark McLean – drums
  • Rob Mathes – arranger, conductor
  • George Michael – design, lead vocals, producer
  • Adam Miller – assistant engineer, Pro Tools
  • Rob Mounsey – arranger
  • Lea Mullen – percussion
  • Phil Palmer – guitar
  • Lori Perry – background vocals
  • Sharon Perry – background vocals
  • John Prestage – assistant engineer
  • Phil Ramone – producer
  • Steve Sidwell – conductor
  • Luke Smith – keyboards
  • Ray Staff – mastering
  • Symphonica Air Orchestra – primary artist
  • Symphonica US Orchestra – primary artist
  • Caroline True – photography
  • Steve Walters – bass
  • Torrie Zito – arranger

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Poland (ZPAV)[45] Platinum 20,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[46] Gold 100,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ Release Date. "GeorgeMichael.com. Symphonica [Deluxe]". Store.georgemichael.com. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  2. ^ "George Michael unveils new single 'Let Her Down Easy' music video – Music News". Digital Spy. 4 February 2014. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  3. ^ http://www.ampya.com/news/Aktuell/George-Michael-mit-neuer-Single-Going-To-A-Town-SN108053/
  4. ^ "Symphonica Reviews". Metacritic.com. Retrieved 18 March 2014. 
  5. ^ Erlewine, Stephen. "Symphonica – George Michael". AllMusic. All Media Network, LLC. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  6. ^ McCormick, Neil (13 March 2014). "Kyle Minogue and George Michael: does age matter in pop?". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 18 March 2014. 
  7. ^ Sullivan, Caroline. "George Michael: Symphonica review – 'Glides through songs like a pop swan'". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  8. ^ James, Matt. "George Michael: Symphonica". PopMatters. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  9. ^ Sheffield, Rob. "George Michael Symphonica". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  10. ^ "George Michael Releases Piano Ballad 'Let Her Down Easy': Listen". Billboard. 3 February 2014. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  11. ^ Cragg, Michael (4 March 2014). "George Michael's Symphonica: five things we learned". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 December 2016. 
  12. ^ "George Michael Returns With SYMPHONICA, First Album In Seven Years, Featuring Live... – NEW YORK, Feb. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/". Prnewswire.com. 25 February 2014. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  13. ^ "iTunes – Music – Symphonica by George Michael". Itunes.apple.com. 25 June 1963. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  14. ^ "iTunes – Music – Symphonica (Deluxe Version) by George Michael". Itunes.apple.com. 25 June 1963. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  15. ^ "Symphonica – George Michael Credits". AllMusic. All Media Network, LLC. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  16. ^ "Australiancharts.com – George Michael – Symphonica". Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  17. ^ "Austriancharts.at – George Michael – Symphonica" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  18. ^ "Ultratop.be – George Michael – Symphonica" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  19. ^ "Ultratop.be – George Michael – Symphonica" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  20. ^ "Top Stranih [Top Foreign]" (in Croatian). Top Foreign Albums. Hrvatska diskografska udruga. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  21. ^ "Czech Albums – Top 100". ČNS IFPI. Note: On the chart page, select 201412 on the field besides the word "Zobrazit", and then click over the word to retrieve the correct chart data. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  22. ^ "Danishcharts.com – George Michael – Symphonica". Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  23. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – George Michael – Symphonica" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  24. ^ "Lescharts.com – George Michael – Symphonica". Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
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  26. ^ "Top 40 album DVD és válogatáslemez-lista – 2014. 12. hét" (in Hungarian). MAHASZ. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  27. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 13, 2014". Chart-Track. IRMA. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  28. ^ "Italiancharts.com – George Michael – Symphonica". Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  29. ^ "Charts.org.nz – George Michael – Symphonica". Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  30. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – George Michael – Symphonica". Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
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  32. ^ "Portuguesecharts.com – George Michael – Symphonica". Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  33. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  34. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – George Michael – Symphonica". Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  35. ^ "Swisscharts.com – George Michael – Symphonica". Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  36. ^ "George Michael | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  37. ^ "George Michael – Chart history" Billboard 200 for George Michael. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  38. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 2014" (in Dutch). Ultratop & Hung Medien. Retrieved 6 May 2016. 
  39. ^ "Rapports Annuels 2014" (in French). Ultratop & Hung Medien. Retrieved 6 May 2016. 
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  42. ^ "FIMI – Classifiche Annuali 2014 "TOP OF THE MUSIC" FIMI-GfK: un anno di musica italiana" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Archived from the original on 13 January 2015. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
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  45. ^ "Polish album certifications – George Michael – Symphonica" (in Polish). Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 13 January 2016. 
  46. ^ "British album certifications – George Michael – Symphonica". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Symphonica in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Gold in the field By Award. Click Search