I love George Michael. If there are any artists who define the sound of the 80s for me, it’s got to be Madonna, George Michael (and Wham!) … and the music from the Footloose soundtrack.
The reason is pretty simple: I didn’t have a stereo, but my sister did, and the cassettes I mostly remember her having were Madonna’s True Blue (which started my love for Madonna), a Wham! album and George Michael’s Faith, and the sweet sweet sounds of Kevin Bacon finding love and shaking his ass and running through a warehouse in the Bible belt.
We must have played them a billion times, and by the time I was buying my own music, it was pretty much a sure thing that I’d pick up the next Madonna/George Michael album (which may say a lot about my views on sexuality). So George is one of the few artists I’ve followed since I was a kid — and except for his last album, every single one has hit me exactly right. The music he did in Wham! and the Faith album not as much anymore (Missy would kill me for saying that) but I still love them.
Okay, first there’s Wake Me Up (Before You Go-Go), also known as “Jitterbug” (and forever immortalized in the Zoolander gasoline fight.) God, what an awful video. But it’s so catchy! And I don’t know HOW anyone watching this couldn’t have foreseen his eventual jump out of the closet. Or was everything in the 80s just this gay?
Then there’s Careless Whisper. I have no idea what this is about, but I love it for the pure cheese/nostalgia factor.
(This one is for Jen, who made me wait near the stereo with the radio on and a blank tape cued and ready, in case this song came on so that I could record it) — Last Christmas
Then there was the Faith album. God, even as young as Missy, I thought his stubble and his tight Levi’s were the sexiest thing in the universe. And that cross earring, too. But, again — what a terrible video. What were they thinking? Yikes.
It was also around this time that I began reading Harlequins, so s-e-x was always on my mind. Not in a gross way, because I was just a kid — so this song was like “OMG HE’S TALKING ABOUT SEX!!!” Now, I totally recognize the porn twang — and it’s been a long time since I’ve seen this video — I didn’t realize how AIDS-aware it was. And that chick is kind of hot.
Father Figure is one of the earlier songs that still works for me. It’s so freaking sexy, in a dirty, guilty kind of way. That part where he’s like “Oh baby / I’d love to be your daddy / it would make me very happy / please let me” … god, I love that. Gives me little shivers. I’ve never seen this video before, though — ugh. I like it better without the video and the shoulder pads.
Okay, I can’t put every video from the Faith album on here, like the Monkey one, but this is one I loved — still do, even though, once again, I have no idea what’s going one. And his voice just gets me every time. *sob sob* This video is WAY out of sync, which gives it a lovely comedic aspect that I’m sure isn’t supposed to be there.
Then he had a complete reversal in his Freedom ’90 — and this is a video/song that I still love with all my heart. If I recall correctly, this was also about the time that he came out (in America … I’m pretty sure he’d been out for a while in Europe) and I LOVE the burning coat from the Faith years, and the exploding jukebox from that video. And all of these people are so damn pretty. I think this was Linda Evangelista’s best look.
Praying for Time came is another one I just can play over and over. I’ve never seen this video, either. Quite simplistic, if a bit preachy.
Oh! I’ve forgotten his duets and stuff.
Somebody to Love (Queen)
I Knew You Were Waiting (Aretha Franklin)
Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me (Elton John) … I don’t even want to talk about how many bad jokes Bobby and I make about the title of this song.
Then, around 1996, he released his Older album, and it contains what is still my absolute favorite GM song (and is on my DEMON MOON soundtrack): Fastlove. Love the video, love the song, love the slick look a million times more than the jeans and stubble, love everything here. (Warning: very brief nudity)
Okay, this is running long so I won’t go on … but I’d be remiss if I didn’t put in Outside, which he released after the Infamous Bathroom Incident. The part where the public bathroom changes into a disco cracks me up. It’s not really a good song, and he’s got a definite creepy factor going here, but … heh, it’s fun.