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George Michael / “Symphonica” deluxe edition and blu-ray audio

symphonica_deluxe

George Michael will issue Symphonica this March, a live album of the tour of the same name from 2011-12.

The 14-track release will be available in a book-style deluxe edition (pictured above) with three bonus tracks (Roxanne, Going To A Town, You Have Been Loved).

Interestingly, this is also being issue on the High Fidelity Pure Audio format. The Blu-ray Audio will not offer any video content, but will provide hi-resolution audio. We are assuming there will be a 5.1 option for this recent concert, but no confirmation as yet. The Blu-ray will contain the same 17-tracks as the deluxe CD.

Symphonica is released on 17 March 2014.


Deluxe Edition

symphonica_pureaudio

Pure Audio Blu-ray Audio (no video)


Track listing

  1. Through
  2. My Baby Just Cares For Me
  3. A Different Corner
  4. Praying For Time
  5. Let Her Down Easy
  6. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
  7. Feeling Good
  8. John And Elvis Are Dead
  9. Roxanne*
  10. One More Try
  11. Going To A Town*
  12. Cowboys and Angels
  13. Idol
  14. Brother Can You Spare A Dime
  15. You Have Been Loved*
  16. Wild Is The Wind
  17. You’ve Changed

*bonus tracks on deluxe and blu-ray audio

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33 responses to George Michael / “Symphonica” deluxe edition and blu-ray audio

  1. joe says:

    Excellent, thanks. Does anyone know if Blu Ray audio is Region free? If I buy this from the UK, will it play on my American Blu Ray player?

    Thanks.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I’m pretty sure all the Pure Audios are region free, so you should be fine.

    • Darren Beaumont says:

      I have just had my Blueray arrive and there is no video just audio why? I thought I was buying a Bluray DVD video of the concert. Anyone know if he is bringing one out?

  2. joe says:

    Thanks Paul!

  3. Mike Cox says:

    Thanks for the clairfication about the region free issue. I’ll now have to go see if Winehouse/Back to Black is Pure Audio!

  4. Koen says:

    no ‘Careless Whisper’? snif…

  5. Rob says:

    I recently got the Pure Audio BluRay of The Who’s Tommy and it is region free. Really looking forward to this. George didn’t bring this tour to North America so I didn’t get to see it so it will be nice to finally be able to hear it.

  6. Mick says:

    Well, the point is. Its not really a live album. the songs were recorded @ air studios, with audience background for live atmo. the free teaser of “praying for time” (with the new lyrics) sounds excellent, same as the 90 secs teaser of bowies “wild is the wind”. sad is that a few numbers are missed and no live video is on track. but there will be a symphonica documentary, which it seems will contains pictures from paris opera house gig.

  7. fred says:

    Oh my god “Let Her Down Easy”, my favorite song of my favorite artist : “TTDA aka Sananda Mayterya” !!! Great Great Grea

  8. Mick says:

    Shit, he did “wild is the wind” in the song of the last century version, and not hte bowie version, thats very very very disapointing!

  9. Catweazle says:

    Great to see that we finally get George’s cover of Rufus Wainwright’s excellent “Going to a Town”!

  10. daniel says:

    careless wisper??? i think Symphony version could had been perfect

  11. bob says:

    Was there ever an artist as huge as George Michael is who releases less material? He makes even Kate Bush look prolific. We wait 10 years for new material, and get this!!!! Recordings from his ancient tour with mostly yet more versions of the same old songs.
    According to George himself on his twitter page, this was ready to go 18 months ago, with CD booklets prepared. He decided to scrap this album and said he is working really hard on an album of new songs for release late 2012.
    It is now 2014 and we get this. Only 4 studio albums in his entire career (and the last one ‘patience’ not very good by his standards)
    For gods sake man, this is an insult to your huge talent and to your fans.
    A huge disappointment.

  12. Daran says:

    Bob, take a step back and think about this. First of all the Symphonica tour is not ‘ancient’ unless your idea of time is that 1 hour is the same as 1 week to most people! Secondly, GM has had very well publicised issues with substance abuse (usually mixed with him driving which is not very clever of him), plus add in his pneumonia which was very serious and you can see that his last year or two has been somewhat troubled. For all you or I know he may well not be feeling 100% and therefore not want to commit to a new album and all that that entails with promotion or touring again. His voice may be weak still after the illness, who knows? Not us that’s the main thing. He is not one for major cash-ins, and his lack of releases shows that. But he obviously feels there is some substance to releasing an album of such radically different versions of his material and I for one agree with that – I am totally looking forward to hearing a new arrangement of the magnificent Cowboys and Angels, John & Elvis… and You Have Been Loved. Oh, and Patience was not poor by his standards. It was very strong in fact with only one filler to my ears. Far superior and mature songwriting compared to some of the throwaway pop that was on Faith for example.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Daran, I have to side with Bob on this. GM has produced ONE studio album of new material in the last 18 years! As Bob says he is an immense talent, wasted. I remember around the time of Listen Without Prejudice he was talking about being like Elton John and Bowie in the 1970s and how he had plans to release an album a year. Since 1990 he has released two studio albums. He’s an amazing artist. “Older” was incredible. Six top 3 hits in the UK off one record. Faith, Prejudice, and Older are all quality.

  13. bob says:

    Thanks Paul. Daren, the interview I am referring to was George talking on the radio AFTER his time in rehab and months after his pneumonia.
    I too remember George saying in 1990 that he wanted to release an album a year.
    I agree with what Elton John said 10 years ago, Patience is a poor album and George has wasted his talent/career. Sorry, but ‘George and Elvis are dead’ and ‘My brother had a lover’ and others on Patience are howlers. None of these songs would have made the cut on the sublime Prejudice or Older.

  14. Daran says:

    Try again – that 1st post got trashed! Too much of my waffle for it to handle :)

    “Sorry, but ‘George and Elvis are dead’ and ‘My brother had a lover’ and others on Patience are howlers”

    LOL Bob, I like a man who states his opinions as fact without backing it up with comparisons and facts. They are howlers compared to what exactely? The hugely discredited olympic middler ‘White Light’, the bombastic shock nonsense of ‘I Want Your Sex’ or the laboured ‘An Easier Affair’ ! Sorry Bob, but you’ve snookered yourself with that comment. All three of those songs are well regarded and well received by GM fans, and can hold up with most tracks on his studio albums notwithstanding his famous A+ grade material (which must represent less than 10 percent of his output across the years).

    GM’s output quality is, and has always been, highly variable. Look at the last four singles: the brilliant December Song, the sonically interesting vocoder heavy True Faith cover, the merely ok You & I and the much maligned White Light.

    I’m sorry Paul but I don’t think Older was really that great across the entire album either. It was not reviewed in musci press much better than Patience. I have the Older & Upper Ltd edition version, and to be honest some of the tracks are not stonkers although I do like it generally. Star People for example, whilst a very honest deconstruction of his wealthy pop bretherin it is highly indulgent and a tad false. Nobody believes it when a multi millionaire pretends to be an everyday man on the street no matter how generous he is at times. But I digress, and I think you’ve both missed the point here with regards his output quantity.

    First of all it’s his choice to record and release anything. He does do lots of ‘small’ things like duets and ep’s and such like to cover in the gaps, but even so his studio album release schedule is not that bad when you factor in tthat he has had a very troubled solo career since Faith. Put some flesh on the bones of his release timelime and you can easily see how we get to where we are:

    Faith – Oct 1987
    LWP – Sep 1990
    ******About two years were lost 92-94 for the Sony litigation
    Older – May 1996
    *******Period of four years with writers block starts
    Ladies and Gentlemen Greatest Hits – Nov 1998
    Songs From The Last Century – Dec 1999
    Patience – Mar 2004 (two years to record)
    ***** Time out and says it will be his last ever studio album
    Twenty Five Greatest Hits – Nov 2006
    25 Live Tour – 2008 – 2010
    *******Illness / drug issues
    ********Symphonica Tour + Illness – Aug 2011 – Oct 2012

    Which brings us close to today. You see, the time can easily be accounted for. You are not dealing with an album/tour/album …. artist. Would you prefer if he released really bad albums just to satisfy your belief that he should have been more prolific? I can’t see where you would be going with that path… And lastly, as for GM’s statements on his future plans, well any GM follower will know that they are at best his best intentions but must be taking with a bid dollop of salt. He said that Patience was going to be his last album. Was it? No. He said that the two Earls Court shows were going to be his last ever. Were they? No. Can you see where I am going with this? He changes his mind, and maybe that is what he has done with the studio album. Maybe he has writers block again, or just thinks that there is a a body of work that has enough substance to deserve a release in it’s own right (and a previous poster said that it is in effect a studio recording and not a live concert tape so doubtless would have taking a fair while to record and polish to George’s high standards.

    Remember, being a GM fan means accepting the gaps between work. As the great man says himself on the sleeve notes of Patience – “Thanks for waiting”.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Hi Daran… there are two things here. One is opinion about how good the material is. That’s always going to vary. For me Patience is the least interesting album George has made, but other people will have other opinions. Fair enough.

      But the other aspect is how prolific George has been (or not). You do a good job at ‘justifying’ GM’s gaps between releases (court case, writer’s block, illness…) but whatever the reasons, one studio album of original material in the last 18 years is a fact. A talented songwriter between the ages of 33 and 50 can only put out one album. Basically half his entire adult life so far.

  15. bob says:

    Daren, being a GM fan does not mean having to accept a long time between work. I for one find one studio album in 18 years unacceptable. The Beatles entire recording career lasted only 8 years!
    For me GM has released only one really good song in the last decade, December Song. I have heard his cover of True Faith described as many things, but sonically interesting is a 1st! I was aghast when I heard it and so to were other GM fans that I know. Even with a mega budget video featuring Kate Moss and gods know how many millions watching on TV when he performed it at the Olympics, White Light made hardly an impression.
    I really believe that up until Older GM was an amazing artist releasing amazing albums. But that was in 1996. I am now wondering if maybe he has no good songs left to give us, or maybe he is just not interested anymore?
    GM had a massive fan base, he was the envy of most other artists in the way he moved his career forward after the ‘boyband’ years of Wham. When he does finally start thinking of taking his career seriously again and gives the fans what they want, a new studio album, he may just find that after so long, many of them have moved on.
    If this is the case then it will be a huge shame. But really, George Michael will have nobody to blame but himself.

  16. Kevin says:

    I am excited to hear this CD, but 1 studio album in 18 years is definitely unacceptable. I have enjoyed everything he has released except for the dreaded True Faith and the just okay White Light. I want a new album with all new songs and a couple remakes thrown in. I haven’t been excited about a album so much since my first listen to “Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1″ to me one of the greatest album of all time. Thankfully i was able to see him on the 25 Live tour in Chicago, IL and was about 2 feet from him, that was one of the best concerts ever and i hope he comes back to the USA sometime.

  17. bob says:

    I agree Kevin, “Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1″ is one of my all time favourite albums, and for sure my favourite GM album. I just heard the new single, his voice is still amazing, hardly changed at all. Such a shame that after 10 years we still have no new songs of his on the album.

  18. Kevin K says:

    I agree with Bob to a certain extent. He has lost atleast 30% of his voice and I think he knows it. His voice really peaked around 2006 or so. He has lost the ability to hold notes and his breath control isn’t what it used to be. Too much hash I’m afraid. Don’t get me wrong his voice is still remarkable given he’s 50 but not the same. I read where he has been in the studio working on finishing up another album of all new material and it could be his gay collaborative duets? His handlers have been tweeting that 2014 will be the year of GM so…let’s just sit back and wait. The problem with GM is that he’s a severe perfectionist and my guess is that he has at least 2 full albums of material recorded now sitting for years and he might feel the music doesn’t fit the time anymore…who knows.

  19. bob says:

    But this is not even a proper live album! The producer added the strings in the studio. Also he was sent tapes of George’s vocals after every concert so that he could select the best take for the album. This is according to David Austin, George’s oldest friend.
    This seems neither one thing nor the other. Apparently, after promising his fans a new album of new songs in 2012, it will now be released in 2015! What’s another 3 years anyway when we had already waited for 8 years!!!!

  20. mino says:

    We are talking about George’s length in releasing new material but what about Michael Jackson? Or Freddy Mercury? They had a very short discography as well. C’mon guys we’ll have a new CD…someday…..

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      To be fair George Michael has had the considerable advantage over Freddie Mercury of not being dead for the last 23 years…

  21. Mickey says:

    Does anybody know if there is a vinyl edtion out too and where i could get one? i right lost the focus on vinyl and now on these day i have no idea where are good places to get ones.

  22. Daran says:

    Great packaging, good tracklisting and sound quality. George’s vocal quality not as good as it used to be to my ears. But I feel vindicated in my comments hearing this on arrival yesterday – it is a worthy and substantial release in it’s own right, with great new songs and arrangements of some of the old songs that make them seem totally new and fresh.

    Shame there is no inclusion of Ms Winehouse’s ‘Love Is A Losing Game’.

  23. James says:

    I grabbed the Deluxe Edition of this but I have held off ordering the Blu-Ray Audio. For those that have purchase the BR-Audio, can anyone tell me if it is 5.1 surround or just 2.0?

  24. Andyb says:

    I was also very disappointed that the DVD was not him in concert. Having downloaded the album, I cannot see any point in producing a DVD with just audio. Surely that is a CD.

  25. Pingback:George Michael / Symphonica vinyl | superdeluxeedition

  26. BearUK says:

    I’m with Bob on this one. I’m increasingly defining myself as ‘was once a fan of…’ I was once a fan of Kate Bush, and Peter Gabriel, and George Michael. But when a decade or more passes and the best you can hope for to fill the void is a greatest hits collection…hmmm. I won’t say that the music isn’t as good (although in the case of George Michael I thought Patience wallowed in mediocrity) but my tastes and the direction of the artist tends to significantly diverge in ten years or so.

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