George Michael’s “Trojan Souls,” Greatest Hits In Progress

The long, long-delayed George Michael album “Trojan Souls” is still alive, according to a report in England’s “Dot Music.” The record, which a source close to Michael says features collaborations with 10 vocalists including Aretha Franklin, Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Anita Baker, was halted over Michael’s legal problems with his former label, Sony.

The R&B-oriented record was conceived in 1991 as a Michael project that saw the singer write and produce tracks for the guest artists, but apparently it evolved to include duets. It was originally planned as part of a production deal between Sony and Hardback, the label at the time run by Michael’s cousin Andreos Georgiou, but Sony rejected the deal and the project was given to Warner.

The record was initially scheduled to be released in 1993. Work was halted in 1992 when Michael and Sony began their legal battle (launched over creative and financial issues) which also apparently affected the Hardback contract. At that
time the record was said to be 50 percent complete. Georgiou, told “Dot” that it was still only 50 percent complete and that it would be out “early in the new millenium.” Georgiou also told the news service that the Hardback label is also being resurrected.

Meanwhile, Michael’s Greatest Hits album on Sony is tentatively scheduled to be released around Christmas with a new single likely to be issued in the fall. The record will include at least three new tracks including two new songs recorded in a North London studio last month as well as a Stevie Wonder cover.