Legendary singer-songwriter Albert Hammond releases the 12-track ‘In Symphony’ today, a collection of his best-known tracks – plus a couple of surprises – re-recorded over five days at Abbey Road Studio.

With over 30 chart-topping hits and sales of 360 million records for himself as well as artists such as Leo Sayer, Diana Ross, The Hollies, Whitney Houston and Starship, it would be tempting for Albert to hang up the guitar and take it easy. But he’s still writing and gigging, and after one especially energetic televised live solo show in Berlin last year, label execs wanted to hear more from the London-born, Gibraltar-raised performer. “This is a record that’s not supposed to happen,” he laughs, “The BMG people came to see me after the show and said, ‘We want to do something.’ I said ‘Well, I don’t, unless I do my hits symphonically…’”

After five decades, Albert’s greatest melodies have now been re-scored with ensemble arrangements alongside his signature powerhouse vocal and guitar. The man responsible: acclaimed US producer/arranger Rob Mathes (Sting, Carly Simon, Bruce Springsteen, The Three Tenors), using key virtuosi from several British orchestras, the Trinity Boys Choir and the much sought-after London Voices. Albert’s best-known compositions have been redefined alongside two Latin tracks to reflect his bilingual upbringing: Alejete (the Spanish version of Just Walk Away, his hit song for Celine Dion,) and 1912 Mexican light classical tune Estrellita. “My uncle recorded me singing this aged 8, when I was a choir boy,” Albert says, “We made a 78 record that we sold in Gibraltar. I kept it for I don’t know what reason… now we’re recording it, so I’m singing with myself!”

‘In Symphony’ ’ is out today through BMG Records and a PIAS distribution.