MICHAEL BALL, the award-winning musical theatre star, multi-platinum recording artist and chat show host, releases a brand new album on March 14th.
'HEROES’ features 15 solid gold, classic songs which were originally big hits for legendary artists such as Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Frank Sinatra, Neil Diamond, Billy Joel and more.
‘HEROES’ is a lush, romantic, late night album featuring torch songs, ballads, love songs and beautiful string and brass arrangements.
“I’ve wanted to record a late-night collection of timeless, romantic songs sung by some of my own musical heroes for ages,” explains Michael.
"It’s a tribute to the singers I grew up listening to, whose records I bought when I was a teenager and who, over the years, have taught me so much about singing and performing. I’m talking about legendary performers who have entertained millions of people all over the world and whose work simply never dates.”
The songs featured on ‘HEROES’ were hits in the 1950s, 60s and 70s and have stood the test of time with their universal themes of love and understanding.
‘Summer Wind’ by Frank Sinatra sums up a reflective mood while walking in the cool desert sands of Las Vegas; Johnny Mathis’ ‘Misty’ is from one of Michael’s favourite films, ‘Play Misty For Me’; the brilliant, dramatic ‘Joanna’ was a massive hit for Scott Walker in 1968; the beautiful ‘Play Me’ was written by Neil Diamond, one of Michael’s favourite songwriters and ‘Weekend In New England’, written by Randy Edeman was an American No.1 for Barry Manilow in 1976.
And there’s more…”Most people think of Stevie Wonder’s ‘For Once In My Life’ as the definitive recording,” continues Michael, “but Tony Bennett’s ballad version inspired me even more. I love it when you give a great song to a great singer with unique style. If ever there was a hero it’s Tony Bennett – he’s one of the most admired performers in the world – I hope I’m still working at 80 like Tony!”
Billy Joel’s classic ‘New York State of Mind’ opens with the first few bars of Gershwin’s ‘Rhapsody In Blue’: “When I think of New York I think of Broadway, Central Park, Woody Allen’s ‘Manhattan’,” says Michael, taking his inspiration from the film’s soundtrack.
There’s also a bonus track…“I just had to record ’Avenues & Alleyways’ by Tony Christie…with Tony Christie! When I was ten I used to watch the TV series ‘The Protectors’ starring Robert Vaughn; ‘Avenues’ was the theme tune and it’s stuck with me ever since. Tony Christie is charming, stylish, very cool and I’m honoured that he agreed to record it as a duet with me for this album.”
‘HEROES’ track listing:
Track: Sung by/hit for:
1. Let The Heartaches Begin Long John Baldry (1967)
2. I’ll Never Fall in Love Again Tom Jones (1969)
3. Play Me Neil Diamond (1972)
4. Summer Wind Frank Sinatra (1966)
5. For The Good Times Perry Como (1973)
6. Misty Johnny Mathis (1959,
7. When I Fall In Love Nat ‘King’ Cole (1956)
8. You Don’t Know Me Ray Charles (1962)
9. Weekend in New England Barry Manilow (1976)
10. New York State of Mind Billy Joel (1976)
11. Joanna Scott Walker (1968)
12. I Can’t Help Falling In Love Elvis Presley (1962)
13. He’ll Have To Go Jim Reeves (1960)
14. For Once In My Life Tony Bennett (1967)
Bonus: Avenues and Alleyways Michael Ball and Tony Christie duet
In May Michael will take to the road with the ‘HEROES’ concert tour and will be performing many of the songs from his new album as well as favourite songs from some of the many West End and Broadway shows in which he’s starred such as Les Miserables, Aspects of Love, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Woman In White, Hairspray and more. All the dates:
May 24th Dublin Grand Canal Theatre
May 25th Belfast Waterfront
May 27th Edinburgh Usher Hall
May 28th Glasgow Clyde Auditorium
May 30th Newcastle City Hall
June 1st Manchester Apollo
June 2nd Sheffield City Hall
June 4th Liverpool Empire
June 5th Blackpool Opera House
June 7th Nottingham Royal Centre
June 10th Birmingham Symphony Hall
June 12th Cardiff Millennium Centre
June 14th Oxford New Theatre
June 15th Ipswich Regent Theatre
June 17th Portsmouth Guildhall
June 18th Bristol Colston Hall
June 19th Southampton Mayflower
June 21st London Royal Albert Hall
June 22nd London Royal Albert Hall
June 24th Plymouth Pavilions
June 25th Bournemouth BIC
June 26th Brighton Centre