Polydor talks up Gary Barlow's new solo record as it heads for No.1

Polydor talks up Gary Barlow's new solo record as it heads for No.1

Polydor co-presidents Tom March and Ben Mortimer have revealed their expectations for Gary Barlow's new solo album Music Played By Humans.

The Take That hitmaker's fourth solo effort is heading for No.1, having built up a commanding lead over Steps' What The Future Holds according to the latest Official Charts Company midweeks

And with an ITV special, Gary Barlow’s Night At The Museum, lined up and the star’s latest single Incredible landing the sync spot for Argos' Christmas ad, Mortimer is hopeful the record can become a firm festive favourite.

He's one of the greatest songwriters of our generation and he keeps getting better

Tom March, Polydor

"It's no coincidence the date that it came out on!" Mortimer told Music Week. “Working with Gary is the most incredible experience because he just makes stuff happen; he’s an absolute force of nature."

"He's one of the greatest songwriters of our generation and he keeps on getting better," agreed March. "He's a brilliant guy to deal with: he's infectious, he's constantly creative and is constantly pushing you, but in a good way, so we're thrilled to be able to work alongside him at Polydor. Obviously, he's been a massive part of the label's success over the last decade so we're very fortunate to have him and for him to be in such a rich creative space."

The album launched with the Latin-infused first single Elita, which features Michael Bublé and Colombian artist Sebastián Yatra.

“It’s almost not Christmas without a No.1 album from Take That or Gary Barlow," laughed March. “Secondly, I don’t know if anything screams, ‘Hello Christmas’ more than launching an album with Michael Bublé and Gary Barlow on the lead single!

"I'm expecting some healthy streaming numbers for Incredible and we've seen some really good pick up from Elita, especially from the Latin markets with Sebastian Yatra's involvement. So we are hopefully hitting lots of new audiences."

Other guest stars on the big band-heavy LP, which was recorded with an 80-piece orchestra, include James Corden, Barry Manilow, Alesha Dixon and Beverley Knight.

March added: "It's a very different sound to the last few Take That records, he wanted to rip up the formula a little bit  and approach this record differently right from the beginning. He wanted to create an album that felt very musical, with real instrumentation and a huge orchestra.

"His love of artists like Frank Sinatra, who he saw when he was younger, and some of the great musicals all around the world have inspired him. He wanted to capture some of that energy on this album."

Music Played By Humans is Barlow's first solo record since 2013's double-platinum Since I Saw You Last (723,359 sales).

"The last Gary solo album was such a huge success," said Mortimer. "So if we get even halfway towards that, we’ll be over the moon.”

Click here to read the full Music Week Gary Barlow cover story.

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