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George – where did your songs go?

Unheard George Michael material could yet see the light of day. The late star only released five solo albums, but lifelong friend and occasional songwriting partner David Austin confirmed more music is in existence: “There are recordings, I won’t go into it too much, but there are a few recordings that are extraordinary pieces of writing. Extraordinary. They are finished, mastered, mixed and sitting there.”

However, Austin poured scorn on a number of mythical Michael albums that fans hoped may materialise. One is Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 2 — originally planned to include Too Funky and Fantasy, among others. “That was an early thought back in the day that didn’t materialise and got lost into the ether.”

The same goes for an album called The Trojan Souls – featuring artists such as Elton John, Seal and Sade recording new George songs. “Trojan Souls doesn’t exist; it never existed. It was a recording made back in the day. We had copies of the multi-tracks, but the masters went missing, which is why they always leak on the internet. The Trojan Souls thing will never happen. It was an idea after the Sony court case – George went on the Cover To Cover Tour, he decided he wasn’t going to write for himself, he was going to write for other people.”

What does exist, though, are live recordings from the aforementioned 1991 tour, which saw George sing songs like Victims by Culture Club and Leonard Cohen classic, Suzanne. “There are 22 or 23 live tracks from the Cover To Cover Tour that are simply amazing, finished and mixed and have never been heard before,” he says.

But the most likely candidate for release is a standalone album featuring George Michael’s 10 finest duets – including Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston and Elton John hook-ups.

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About Classic Pop

Issue 46 of Classic Pop magazine is on sale now! In the latest issue we have an exclusive chat with the new line-up of Spandau Ballet – their first major group interview as they relaunch themselves with new frontman Ross William Wild. We also have a must-read interview with Vince Clarke and Alison Moyet who look back on their fractious past life in Yazoo. The legends just keep on coming, too, as we speak to Nile Rodgers about his 40 years of classic tracks as a billion-dollar hitmaker and Chic's hotly-anticipated new album, It's About Time. Elsewhere, we look back at the 80s heyday of Top Of The Pops through the eyes of those who were there – DJ Janice Long and a whole host of TV insiders. Our classic album is the Stone Roses' imperious debut and we also meet Stephen Hague, the producer behind hits by Pet Shop Boys, New Order, Robbie Williams and many more besides. Need a buyer's guide to Michael Jackson? We look at the King of Pop's complete career in our Lowdown feature. As we delve into David Bowie's 80s boxset Loving The Alien, Classic Pop catches up with his closest collaborators who tell us how the legend's most divisive decade made him a global star. New albums from Boy George And Culture Club, Chic, Robyn, and The Prodigy get the once-over alongside reissues including OMD, Bronski Beat, Ultravox, The Police and Massive Attack. We also review Soft Cell's celebratory farewell O2 show plus Kylie Minogue's Golden Tour and more.. Enjoy the issue! Steve