Westlife: Cowell picked our covers
Westlife have admitted they weren't sure about the two cover versions on their new album - but were persuaded by Simon Cowell to keep them on the record.
The Irish boy band deliver their own version of Athlete's Chances and The Reason by Hoobastank on their new offering Gravity, on which has the X Factor judge is an executive producer.
Shane Filan said: "It's Simon Cowell's doing. Every year he puts a couple of songs out there and says that we should do versions. After we thought we'd finished the album, we sat down with him and he said 'Guys, trust me, it'll be a big song for you'. We weren't sure at first, but we lived with them, and sure enough he was right. It's more a trust thing with Simon. He has worked with us and picked each of our No 1 singles, so we want to show that we trust him."
The boys added they were nervous about working with producer John Shanks.
Kian Egan confessed: "I think we were nervous not because we didn't think it was going to work, but because of his success rate and who he has worked with before - Jon Bon Jovi, Take That, Backstreet Boys, Sting, Sheryl Crow, you name them. He's a big producer and has had 45 No 1s in America."
But Mark Feehily revealed the recording of the album went better than they could have imagined thanks to Shanks.
"We met John Shanks, got on immediately, and the album was done, from not having one song written to being finished, inside three months," he explained. "We just went for it, and we think it's one of the best albums we've ever done. It's exciting getting the feedback that's coming in now."