Be Opened By The Wonderful
About this deal
It contains orchestral reworkings of the band's songs from the Orca 22 orchestra led by Andra Vornici, also accompanied by the eight-person Manchester Inspirational Voices gospel choir,  along with the new song and lead single "Love Make a Fool". Be Opened By The Wonderful is a 20 track (19 Vinyl) of some of their most loved and rare tracks, re-imagined with a 22 piece orchestra and 8 piece choir.
Rob Johnson of Total Ntertainment felt that the album "defies definition" and "acts as a sonic compendium of the band's entire career", also commenting that "for a band celebrating their 40th anniversary, it is striking how relevant they still sound". Released on 2nd June 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. Be Opened by the Wonderful is the 17th studio album by English rock band James, released through Nothing but Love Music on 9 June 2023.
It would be easy to whip up a best of from but a portion of their discography but here we get new versions of their classic tracks, spanning four decades, beautifully orchestrated and produced. Opened By The Wonderful is a 20 track (19 Vinyl) of some of their most loved and rare tracks, re-imagined with a 22 piece orchestra and 8 piece choir. Iam Burn of XS Noize described it as "an alternative version of a greatest hits album – though there are several lesser-known tracks here too" and found that the presence of the orchestra and choir "allows James to find a new sound that works well". Royle remarked that "there are so many layers and details to these songs and I am still discovering more after numerous listens".