Pop legend George Michael's new album PATIENCE is being tipped to take him back to the top of the charts.

British critics are raving about the LP after being given an early taster yesterday (13JAN04), ahead of its release in March (04).

One newspaper said of the release - which features a tribute to JOHN LENNON and Elvis Presley, titled JOHN AND ELVIS - "George Michael is back - and he's better than ever" and another dubbed it "a dead cert for number one".

And record stores are already buzzing with interest from fans eager for Michael's first studio long player in four years (00).

HMV head of marketing MARK NOONAN says, "There's been a really strong vibe around the album for months now.

"The tracks are classic George Michael and a real return to form. I'm confident this is going to be one of the biggest albums of the year."

14/01/2004 08:35