Blake have teamed up with Dame Shirley Bassey for Christmas single The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire).
The collaborations marks the first time Bassey has recorded a Christmas song in her legendary career. The song is a firm favourite to nab the Christmas number one with William Hill slashing the odds from 25/1 to 10/1 before the single was even announced.
“I would love to have a Christmas number one,” she revealed at the recording of the single’s video in a North London studio, alongside Blake’s Ollie Baines, Humphrey Berney and Stephen Bowman.
Talking about how the collaboration came about Dame Shirley explains, “Blake sang Moon River at my 70th birthday party, and then we met again at the reception of [the charity] Variety’s 70th anniversary six months ago. Ollie mentioned singing a Christmas song together, and I said I’ve never done a Christmas song before!”
Originally Blake considered writing a brand new original song but decided that only a classic would do Bassey’s voice justice.
“We listened to Dame Shirley’s most recent recordings, as well as her past albums, watched a lot of YouTube clips from dozens of live shows, then started to compile a short list of about five songs” recalls Ollie. “We felt sure that Dame Shirley could make a hit out of any of the songs on our list, so we sent it over and let her choose the one that she liked best – which was The Christmas Song.”
The Christmas Song will appear on Blake’s new album A Classic Christmas, due for release on 20th November 2015. The album has been funded through PledgeMusic and part of the money raised will go to charity Variety.
Explaining why they picked Variety Stephen says, “We are ambassadors of Variety, The Children’s Charity, and were reunited with Dame Shirley at Variety’s gala event this year, so it is fitting that a sizeable donation is being made from the funding of the album to the charity. The work that they do for disadvantaged children in the UK is absolutely essential, and we are very proud to be associated with them.”
Dame Shirley is also supporting a children’s charity with the release of the single “It’s so lovely to finally get to release a Christmas song, and my royalties will go to Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital, in Cardiff.”
Blake will embark on an extensive UK tour in November and December. Pre-order A Classic Christmas by going to http://po.st/ChristmasClassics