The solo album that Michael Hutchence recorded prior to his death in November of 1997 finally has a label and a release target. Richard Branson's new record company, V2, says it will be issuing the 12-song CD in mid-1999.Hutchence's self-financed record was recorded in leisurely sessions at his home in the South of France and in various studios in London from 1995 to just days before his death. The almost-completed record was then finished and mixed by producer/co-writer Danny Saber. Saber, a member of Black Grape, has worked with artists ranging from U2 to the Rolling Stones. The album was expected out last year (see "Producer Says Hutchence Solo Release Set For April") but legal and other entanglements forced it onto a back burner until now. According to Australia's Daily Telegraph, V2 won a bidding war for the project. The paper reports that INXS had signed a deal with Mercury in 1995 reputed to be worth $40 million for
six new albums, but the contract was frozen following Hutchence's death. The paper also reports that the surviving bandmembers have re-signed a deal with Mercury Records in New York and that no replacement for Hutchence was discussed during negotiations. As Saber worked on the Hutchence solo album, INXS reportedly spent three weeks in a Sydney studio late last year remixing unreleased INXS material recorded with Hutchence.V2 also announced that it's planning to re-issue "Max Q," a collaboration between Hutchence and Aussie punk star Ollie Olsen that was first released with little fanfare in 1989. Meanwhile the producers of a soon to be released movie that features Hutchence are hoping the flick will make the cut at the Cannes Film Festival in France in May. The movie "Limp" features an appearance by Hutchence as a jaded A&R exec who eerily discusses the value of post-mortem stardom in more than one scene. The scenes were shot in Vancouver, Canada, in September of 1997.