Shirley Bassey's new album – a farewell from the Grande Dame of pop?


By AGENCY

After a career spanning seven decades, singer Shirley Bassey releases her grand finale album. Photo: Instagram/dameshirleybassey

Shirley Bassey is as glamorous as ever, even at the age of 83.

Ahead of the release of her latest album (Nov 6), she was featured in fashion magazine Vogue and press material clad all in gold – face mask included.

The clear reference to the title song Goldfinger in the James Bond film that made Bassey famous in the 1960s was not lost on many fans.

'I Owe It All To You' is out this week. Photo: Handout'I Owe It All To You' is out this week. Photo: HandoutThe British diva, who was honoured with the title of dame two decades ago, is now bringing out a new album: I Owe It All To You is her first in five years and it's also gold.

Her record company has dubbed it a "grand finale" – does that mean Bassey may be leaving the music business after all these years?

The title would fit, if that's the case. She says the album is a big thank you to all her fans and celebrates "70 years in show business, 70 years of support from her fans and 70 years full of music."

In I Owe It All To You she presents a luxuriously orchestrated mixture of cover versions and new songs.

She plays the British Grande Dame of Pop with all of her usual verve, plenty of pomp and her own theatricality.

Her voice, which she temporarily lost in the mid-1980s after the shock of the death of her daughter Samantha, is still packed with power.

There's plenty of drama in her rendition of Who Wants To Live Forever by Queen. And there's an almost infectious melancholy in her version of the classic Always On My Mind, which brought Elvis Presley and the Pet Shop Boys great success.

And between all these, there's the big band number Look But Don't Touch.

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During the recordings, she couldn't stop dancing, says Bassey, now a grandmother and great-grandmother several times over. "We had our own little party in the studio."

The lyrics for the title song were written by Bassey's good friend and companion Don Black, a veteran songwriter who also penned the Bond song Diamonds Are Forever (1971), among others.

The music, meanwhile, was composed by British songwriter Jack McManus, who was born 20 years after Goldfinger was released.

When you hear Barry Manilow's uplifting ballad I Made It Through The Rain, it's as though there's never been any other version but Bassey's.

She knows what she's singing about, having experienced numerous ups and downs during her lengthy career, both professionally and personally.

The song's positive message brings it up to date, she says. "Its ever more important to know that things will be OK and we will make it through."

"The songs I've chosen all feel very personal and connected to my life," she says.

If I Owe It All To You is her final work, then Bassey has created a perfect farewell. – dpa

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Shirley Bassey , Goldfinger , James Bond

   

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