For as long as I can remember I have been a fan of Hazell Dean, in fact I remember buying her single "Whatever I Do (Wherever I Go)" and playing it to death on my stereo. So when I heard the news at the end of 2016 that she was going to releasing an album of Abba tracks titled "Re:Visited" I thought I must try and get an interview with her.
As luck would have it I managed (via her record company Energise Records) to get in touch with Hazell and here is the results of the interview with the lady herself...
Where did the idea come from to record an album of Abba tracks and did you have any concerns about re-recording such iconic records ?
I have to confess it was not originally my idea. I was approached by Carlton Records with the concept that eventually became the 1996 “The Winner Takes It All” album. I really enjoyed recording this album with my dear friend and co-producer, Pete Ware. It became a fan favorite, and one that was quite difficult to get hold of, so re:recording, re:mixing and re:visiting the album felt right for a 2017 release.
How did you go about selecting the songs to include on the album ?
Basically trawling through all of my ABBA albums and creating a shortlist. It’s as simple as that. I listened to a lot of ABBA during the selection process. There were discussions and suggestions, I played with some of the ideas and eventually narrowed it down to the selection that was on “The Winner Takes It All”. For “RE:VISITED” I dropped a couple of tracks and added some new ones to keep it fresh.
You included a couple of album tracks, "Andante, Andante" and "The King Has Lost His Crown", was there any particular reason for choosing those songs ?
I chose all of the tracks because I like them, and more importantly they suit my vocal style, and I knew I would make a good job of interpreting them. ABBA are such wonderful writers/musicians and their original versions so definitive, selecting songs was never going to be an easy mission.They were chosen with love and the deepest respect.
I bought the CD single of "Happy New Year" when it was released at the end of last year - are there any plans to release more singles from the album ?
Oh, without doubt there will be at least one more single release from RE:VISITED.