Stevie Wonder reworking hits for new orchestral album

Soul star STEVIE WONDER is revamping his classic tunes for a new orchestral album he is working on with songwriting pal DAVID FOSTER.

The singer is hoping to release When the World Began next year (14) after recording tracks with a symphony orchestra in London.

The project will feature revamped hits, rarities and new songs.

Wonder tells RollingStone.com, "We got together (on) New Year's Eve and we worked out some things. I played some things in a different way and he (Foster) did some arrangements, and there's some new stuff that I wrote that never was released.

"One song that I wrote when I was 13 - Tony Bennett did it a long, long time ago, called This Town - I'm gonna do it on this album. And there's a song I wrote recently, called When the World Began. I wrote the words, like, last week.

"It is a lot of things that I have done, old material, but doing it a different way. I'm going to do about three or four new songs as well. We did Isn't She Lovely with the orchestra and I wrote another verse to it. And we did I Just Called to Say I Love You."

And the soul man is also working on a gospel album tribute to his late mother.

He adds, "(It's called) Gospel Inspired By Lula... I promised her I would do it. She always wanted me to do it before she passed away... We've been working on some songs and some ideas. So we're going to complete that as well.

"We're going to do some traditional gospel stuff, but I'm thinking about doing a gospel song in Arabic. I'm going to twist it all up in different ways, because I think everyone needs to hear the word of the gospel."

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