WITH a little black book like Gary Barlow’s, I fully expected a star-studded line-up for his solo album – and he has not disappointed.
I can reveal that a whole host of A-listers will feature on the record, with chat-show king James Corden the most eye-catching of them all.
Playing to the Gavin & Stacey star’s strengths, the Take That singer has got him to perform a hilarious duet typical of the “British humour . . . in a Northern way”.
Speaking as a self-proclaimed witty Scouser, I’ll be the judge of that, Gary.
He said that recording the song — The Kind Of Friend I Need — with Corden “was just fun from the beginning. It’s a warm, good-humoured, funny song that really celebrates British humour — in a Northern way.”
Gary will release his first solo album in seven years, Music Played By Humans, on November 27.
It will be his fifth without Take That bandmates Howard Donald and Mark Owen, and it will feature pop greats Alesha Dixon, Barry Manilow and Beverley Knight.
There is also a song with swing king Michael Buble, called Elita, which also features Colombian singer Sebastián Yatra.
Gary said: “My ambition was to create something really bright, a celebration of music and the wonderful musicians we have in the UK and around the world.
“Some of it is recorded with an orchestra, some with quartets, a Latin band, and some of the tracks have jazz and big band sections.
“It really is music played by people, hence the title of the album.
“This is the first album I have made that’s really given me the opportunity to collaborate with this calibre of musicians on my songs, and they’re all so different in their own right.”
He added: “Elita began as a duet with Michael until he suggested bringing Sebastian on to the record and that gave the song a whole new dynamic.
“Looking back, little did I realise how poignant this album would be in a time when orchestras can’t sit in a room together. We finished our last session ten weeks before lockdown and when I listen to the album now, it brings back some great memories.
“We have some of the best musicians in the world in London and they are on my recordings — I’m so lucky.”
The only thing missing on this new record is me delivering my dulcet tones.
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