George Michael Sifts Through The Century For Covers Album

George Michael has apparently put the finishing touches on his first new record in over three years, and the album may find its way into stores before the end of the year.

According to MTV Europe, Michael recorded an album worth of cover songs during sessions held in New York City over the summer with producer Phil Ramone.

Perhaps taking a cue from Bryan Ferry's "Taxi" and "As Time Goes By" collections, Michael hasn't actually recorded new tunes, but rather new versions of some of his favorite songs from the past century.

While a U.K. representative for Michael indicated that the album looked as if it will be released in time for Christmas, the former Wham! frontman's American representatives were less sure.

A publicist for DreamWorks Records, Michael's U.S. label, told MTV News that they hadn't been notified that the singer planned on delivering a new album in the next two months, though they didn't rule out the possibility that he could "surprise us all with

a sudden release."

Last November, Michael's previous label, Epic Records, issued a double-disc greatest hits collection, "Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael," which debuted in the top 25 of the "Billboard" Album chart