*Macy Gray is making some big moves in an attempt to revive her sluggish career.
The singer has officially remade the legendary Stevie Wonder’s “Talking Book” from the first song to the last, 40 years after it’s original release. She’s the first of her kind to take on a project of this magnitude.
“We were talking about ideas for cover songs and [Wilner] goes, ‘You know what you should do is a whole album. Everyone remakes movies, but no one remakes albums,’” Gray tells The Hollywood Reporter. “I thought that was a wild idea so I was like, ‘Yes!’ I picked Talking Book ’cause that’s one of my favorite records and I know it inside out.”
Gray, 45, has done other work before, covering songs and such, but this one she says was an intimidating enterprise and even after the finished product has been released, her nerves are getting the best of her sanity.
“I was just really nervous [about] if he was going to like it or not,” she confesses. “I don’t know how he feels about it yet. I’m scared to ask him.”
According to a rep for Gray, she has since reached out to Wonder’s camp but is still waiting for a response.
Meanwhile, in January, she’ll release yet another album – this time with all new original tracks.
“That will be out at the top of the year,” Gray tells THR. “It’s almost done already.”
The new “Talking Book” is on shelves now.
Macy Gray attends the “The Paperboy” photocall during the 65th Annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 24, 2012 in Cannes, France
*Macy Gray’s next project, a reinterpretation of Stevie Wonder’s 1972 album “Talking Book,” is due for release on Oct. 30 – which coincides with the 40th anniversary of the original recording.
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Following its release on Oct. 28, 1972, Wonder’s multi-platinum album peaked at No. 3 on the pop chart and No. 1 on the R&B albums chart. It also led to three Grammy Awards for Wonder, including best R&B song for “Superstition.”
The hits “Sunshine of My Life” and “Superstition” are among the 10 “Talking Book” tracks that Gray re-imagines for her 429 Records/Savoy Label Group release, with production from Hal Willner (Lou Reed, Metallica), reports Billboard.com.
Describing her “Talking Book” reinterpretation as a “love letter” rather than a tribute album, Gray tells Billboard: “It’s one of my favorite albums. I’ve never heard a whole album remake before. Thought I’d try one …”
Currently in Australia as she continues her 2012 worldwide tour, Gray appears in director Lee Daniels’ forthcoming film, “The Paperboy.” The movie stars John Cusack, Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey and Zac Efron.
Earlier this year, Gray released her 429 Records debut, “Covered,” featuring covers of such songs as Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up” and Radiohead’s “Creep.” The collection was the follow-up to the singer’s 2010 Concord album “The Sellout,” which peaked at No. 38 on the Billboard 200.