James To Celebrate 40th Anniversary With New Orchestral Album

‘Be Opened By The Wonderful’ – featuring the band’s classic tracks reimagined by an orchestra and choir – will be out on June 9.

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James - Photo: Mariano Regidor/Redferns

James will release a new album in celebration of their 40th Anniversary. Be Opened By The Wonderful is a 20 track (19 Vinyl) of some of the enduring Manchester band’s most loved and rare tracks, re-imagined with a 22 piece orchestra and 8 piece choir. Released on June 9 via Virgin Music and available on DSPs, CD and Vinyl the double-album also includes one brand new track, “Love Make A Fool,” to be released in April.

Be Opened By The Wonderful was recorded at Blueprint Studios in Manchester, orchestrated and conducted by Joe Duddell with the ORCA22 Orchestra lead by Andra Vornicu featuring the Manchester Inspirational Voices choir, directed by Wayne Ellington.

In further celebration of their 40th Anniversary, the band will play a the South Facing Festival and also a headline set at Latitude Festival, performing as Special Guests on the Sunday afternoon at Midday, a slot especially created for James to honor their Anniversary. This performance will see them backed with orchestra and choir.

Frontman Tim Booth says “Life begins at 40. For our midlife euphoria we recorded a double orchestral album of some of our deepest cuts. If you already have a golden ticket, you’ll be catching this on tour and at Latitude festival. Bring your wings and come ready to fly.”

Joe Duddell says “Having attended the first 6 years of Latitude Festival, I’m excited to be involved in James’ special Main Stage Show this year in a UK Festival exclusive. James have always been a great band at Festivals, mixing their extensive well-loved back catalogue with newer songs which immediately sounds as they too have been around forever.”

As previously announced, the band will be headlining venues across the UK, April through to May on their ‘James Lasted’ tour, calling at Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall and Birmingham Symphony Hall, concluding at The Royal Albert Hall, London on May 17. Tickets for the tour sold out in a record time of 6 hours.

One of Britain’s most enduring success stories, James has released 16 studio albums, selling over 25 million copies with a recent run of Top 5 albums proving to be a golden era for the band. All The Colours Of You released in 2021 was James’ most critically acclaimed in years, preceded by Living in Extraordinary Times and Girl at the End of the World which narrowly missed out on the top spot in 2016 to Adele.

Listen to the best of James on Apple Music and Spotify.

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