Irish boyband Boyzone have spoken about the emotional experience of recording a track for their new album which features the vocals of late group member Stephen Gately.
The band’s forthcoming record Thank You & Goodnight is billed as their last.
Among its 12 tracks is a song called I Can Dream, a tribute to Gately, who died in 2009 aged 33.
The track is based on a demo he made for a solo album in 2002 and has been reworked to feature the remaining four members’ voices.
The band, who formed in Dublin 25 years ago, said they felt it was right to be able to finish their recording career with the posthumous involvement of Gately.
Shane Lynch told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “Do you know, I think when it comes to this being our final album, it’s amazing to be able to wrap it up with Stephen on there too.
“I think that was important for us. But it came to us. It actually dropped on our laps as a producer got in touch with us guys, or the record company, saying they have this stuff.
“He was moving his studio and he goes ‘I’ve got Stephen’s vocals on this record from ’03 or ’02.’ He said ‘Look, do you guys want it?’ and as it so happens we were making an album and we said ‘100% we’d love to have it’.”
On the process of recording the track, Mikey Graham said: “It was an unusual experience, kind of bittersweet, the song was presented to us and it was about 20 years old or so, so the production style was kind of dated on it.
“So we took it into the studio, stripped it down, built a whole new song about it, changing the sentiment from a love song to a nostalgia song, more about our journey through the last 25 years, and it’s great to have Stephen, his vocal, as the pinnacle, the core of that song.”
As well as a farewell album. Boyzone are set to say goodbye to fans with a tour next year across the UK and Ireland.
The group have chalked up six number one singles in the UK and as of 2013 had sold more than 25 million records worldwide.
They split in 1999 to pursue solo careers, but reunited in 2007.
Asked if their forthcoming sixth album and tour truly represented an end for the band, Ronan Keating said: “Basically we’ve had 25 brilliant years, it’s been amazing, we’ve been blessed.
“There’s not a lot of bands that have been able to stay together this long. We want to go out on a high, it’s the right thing to do, it feels right for us.”