Showing posts with label George Michael. Show all posts
Showing posts with label George Michael. Show all posts

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Star people '97 - George Michael

Taken from his third album 'Older', 'Star people '97' was the fifth single from that album. It was called 'Star people '97' because the single version is a remixed and re-recorded track. The lyrics make reference to the materialism and frivolity of certain (not specified) people in the show business, suggesting that those behaviors are derived from some insecurity or a bad childhood (parental neglect, being given up for adoption, etc.).The single peaked at number 2 in the UK singles chart.

The B-side of the single was taken from George's MTV Unplugged performance, recorded in New York on April 10, 1996.

My collection: 7" single 6186
Found: Discogs.com, received October 3, 2019
Cost: 5 pounds
Tracks: 'Star people '97' / 'Everything she wants (Unplugged)'

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Spinning the wheel - George Michael

You may have noticed a recent surge in my acquisition of George Michael singles. Truth is, I ordered this one online before I came across 'Older' and 'You have been loved' at the record fair last week. There's a few more I'd like to have, but that's something for another day.

'Spinning the wheel' was the third single from the album 'Older' and would have been the third number one hit in the UK, if it wasn't for the Spice Girls' debut single 'Wannabe' which kept it from the top spot. The song depicts the worry of a lover whose partner is sexually promiscuous during the period when AIDS was newly discovered and rampant in the West.

My collection: 7" single no. 6182
Found: Discogs.com, received September 26, 2019
Cost: 4 euro
Tracks: 'Spinning the wheel (radio edit)' / 'You know that I want you'

Sunday, 22 September 2019

You have been loved - George Michael

Released as the sixth and final single from George Michael's third album 'Older', 'You have been loved' is a remarkably beautiful song. Although he continued to record music for another two decades, nothing comes close to this track.

The song's lyrics are about his lover, Anselmo Feleppa, who died of an AIDS-related illness in 1993. It tells the story of Anselmo's mother, who visits his grave, while passing by the school he attended. The first chorus has Anselmo's mother saying goodbye, telling him 'You have been loved'. The ending chorus has Anselmo dying, telling George, 'You have been loved'. The line, 'If I was weak, forgive me; but I was terrified', refers to the trauma George felt during Anselmo's decline in health. The song also addresses a spiritual struggle: while Anselmo and his mother both say that God is not dead, George counters their comments, challenging God, 'What's the use in pressing palms, if you [God] won't keep such love from harm? It's a cruel world. You've so much to prove'.

The single peaked at number 2 in the UK singles chart, behind Elton John's tribute to the then recently deceased Lady Diana, Candle in the wind 1997

My collection: 7" single no. 6171
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, September 21, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'You have been loved' / 'The strangest thing '97'

Older - George Michael

These jukebox singles aren't very pretty to look at, but it never ceases to amaze me that so many of them were made long after vinyl singles had left the shops seemingly forever. 'Older' was the fourth single taken from George Michael's third album of the same name, and this single was produced for the UK jukebox market only.

The B-side is the real attraction of this single - it's a version of the Bonnie Raitt song 'I can't make you love me' and George Michael's interpretation of the track is a beautiful, soulful one. It was a few years before his ill-fated 'Songs of the century' album, on which his cover versions sounded a lot less inspired...

My collection: 7" single no. 6170
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, September 21, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Older' / 'I can't make you love me'

Monday, 20 May 2019

Heaven help me - Deon Estus (with additional vocals by George Michael)

Deon Estus was born in Detroit on July 4, 1956. As a teenager he joined the band Brainstorm and recorded two albums with them. During the early Eighties he moved to Europe, living in Belgium and Ireland before settling in London. Not long after that he was invited to join Wham! - he is featured prominently in the music videos for 'I'm your man' and 'The Edge of heaven'.

No wonder, then, that George Michael appeared on this track, recorded for Estus' solo album 'Spell'. The sleeve shown here is from the American edition of the single. Curiously enough, a European sleeve which I saw in the same record store last Saturday does not mention George Michael on the front sleeve at all. No wonder, then, that the single only reached number 41 in the UK, whereas it reached number 5 in the US Billboard Hot 100.

My collection: 7" single no. 6072
Found: Velvet Vinyl Outlet, Leiden, May 18, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Heaven help me' / 'It's a party'

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Killer / Papa was a rollin' stone - George Michael

After Freddie Mercury died in November 1991, the remaining members of Queen staged a charity concert at Wembley Stadium in London with several pop and rock icons taking the place of Freddie and performing his vocals. After the concert, the EP 'Five live' was released to further benefit the Mercury Phoenix Trust.

From this EP, only 'Somebody to love' and 'These are the days of our live' were performed during the tribute concert. The other three live tracks were recorded during George Michael's 'Cover to cover tour' from 1991. The medley of 'Killer' and 'Papa was a rollin' stone' was one of them, and it was remixed by PM Dawn for this 12" single.

My collection: 12" single no. 620
Found: Velvet Vinyl Outlet, Leiden, January 27, 2012
Cost: 2,5 euro
Tracks: 'Killer/Papa was a rollin' stone (PM Dawn remix)' / 'Killer/Papa was a rollin' stone (PM Dawn remix instrumental)'

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Jive talkin' - Boogie Box High

Boogie Box High were a musical project headed by Andros Georgiou in the late Eighties that featured a range of musical collaborations such as his cousin George Michael, guitarist Nick Heyward (of Haircut 100), keyboardist Mick Talbot (of Style Council), guitarist–songwriter David Austin, bassist Deon Estus and others.

Released in 1987, Boogie Box High's first single 'Jive talkin'' quickly reached number one in several countries. Part of this success was caused by the involvement of George Michael, who sang lead and backing vocals on the track. Due to contractual obligations to Epic Records, George was never credited on the original release, although fans quickly recognized his voice, making the song an instant hit.

My collection: 7" single no. 4841
Found: Record fair, Den Haag, May 8, 2010
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'Jive talkin'' / 'Rhythm talkin' (part 1)'

Saturday, 16 January 2010

I knew you were waiting (for me) - George Michael and Aretha Franklin

To say that two legendary artists recorded 'I knew you were waiting (for me)' in 1986 would be a little far-fetched, but I bet that's how this single will be perceived in a few decades from now. Aretha Franklin is often called the queen of soul, whereas George Michael was still working on his status as a songwriter and performer - but nowadays he can be considered quite the legend himself.

The single was a number 1 hit for the duo in the UK, the USA, the Netherlands and Australia. In Canada, 'I knew you were waiting (for me)' reached number 4. I bought the 12" single four years after I found this single.

My collection: 7" single no. 2440
Found: August 26, 1995
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'I knew you were waiting (for me)' / 'I knew you were waiting (for me) (instrumental)'

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Careless whisper - George Michael

I bought 'Careless whisper' when it came out, then went through two decades without ever playing this single. It became a number one hit in the summer of 1984, and appeared on television and radio so often, that I got very sick of this song. Nowadays, I can listen to it again, and that's quite nice, because it is actually a very good song.

'Careless whisper' reached number 1 all over Europe, including the UK and the Netherlands, and also topped the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. Although the band Wham! still existed when this single was released, this is the single that effectively launched George Michael's solo career.

My collection: 7" single no. 240
Found: Wouters, Den Haag, 1984
Cost: 6 guilders
Tracks: 'Careless whisper' / 'Careless whisper (instrumental)'

Friday, 11 December 2009

Fastlove - George Michael

'Fastlove' was the second single from George Michael's 1996 album 'Older'. The track contained a re-sung but otherwise identical chorus of the Patrice Rushen hit 'Forget me nots'. The track was an energetic tune about the need for gratification and fulfillment without concern for commitment.

The single reached number 14 in the Dutch Top 40 and number 1 on the UK singles chart. This 7" single was made in the USA, the only country where a 7" single was even released. 'Fastlove' reached number 8 in the US Billboard Hot 100.

My collection: 7" single no. 3994
Found: eBay.com, received August 6, 2009
Cost: $4
Tracks: 'Fastlove' / 'I'm your man '96'

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Jesus to a child - George Michael

'Jesus to a child' was the first single release from George Michael's 1996 album 'Older'. The song was a melancholy tribute to Michael's Brazilian friend and lover Anselmo Feleppa, whom he met when performing in Rio de Janeiro in 1991. Feleppa died two years later from an AIDS-related brain haemorrhage. Michael had been unable to write for the next 18 months as a consequence of his grief, but then penned the words to 'Jesus to a child' in little more than an hour, indicating that the time was right to move on with his life. Michael consistently dedicates the song to Feleppa before performing it live.

The single reached number 1 in the UK and number 3 in the Dutch Top 40. As far as I know, this American pressing of the 7", without a picture sleeve, was the only 7" single release of 'Jesus to a child'.

My collection: 7" single no. 3993
Found: eBay.com, received August 6, 2009
Cost: $4
Tracks: 'Jesus to a child' / 'One more try'

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Too funky - George Michael

'Too funky' was George Michael's final single for Sony Music before he started legal action against his record company to be freed from his contract. Although the track was intended for his album 'Listen without prejudice vol. 2', George shelved that idea and donated this song along with two others for the project 'Red Hot & Dance', an album to raise money for AIDS awareness.

Lyrically, the song was a basic, animalistic plea from George Michael for sexual activity with an individual. The track featured a sound clip from the movie 'The graduate': Anne Bancroft's line of 'Would you like me to seduce you? Is that what you're trying to tell me?'. The single reached number 4 in the UK singles chart and number 3 in the Dutch Top 40.

My collection: 7" single no. 2480
Found: London, October 29, 1995
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'Too funky' / 'Crazyman dance'

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Five Live EP - George Michael

After the death of Freddie Mercury, the remaining members organised a concert featuring the songs of Queen, performed by them and various guest vocalists. Arguably the best of them was George Michael. His performance of 'Somebody to love' and 'These are the days of our lives' (the latter together with Lisa Stansfield), augmented with some other live tracks from other performances were put together on the 'Five Live' mini album. This EP represent four of the five tracks.

The EP reached number 1 in the UK singles chart and number 5 in the Dutch Top 40.

My collection: 7" single no. 1912
Found: Record fair, May 22, 1990
Cost: 8 guilders
Tracks: 'Somebody to love', 'Killer/Papa was a rolling stone' / 'These are the days of our lives', 'Calling you'

Friday, 23 October 2009

Don't let the sun go down on me - George Michael and Elton John

'Don't let the sun go down on me' was originally a hit for Elton John in 1974. The single peaked at number 16 in the UK singles chart. However, it was this live version, performed together with George Michael, that made the song even more popular.

The track was recorded live at a concert in Wembley Arena on March 25, 1991, where Elton appeared as a surprise guest star of George Michael, the duet became a massive hit. It reached number 1 in the USA, the UK and the Netherlands. The proceeds from the single were divided among 10 different charities for children, AIDS and education.

The B-side of this single is a live performance of the Stevie Wonder song 'I believe (when I fall in love it will be forever)'. The first verse sounds a lot like Mel & Kim's 'Who's gonna catch you'. Or rather, I think it's the other way around...

My collection: 7" single no. 3256
Found: House of Rhythm, London, October 20, 2000
Cost: 60p
Tracks: 'Don't let the sun go down on me' / 'I believe (when I fall in love it will be forever)'

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Heal the pain - George Michael

'Heal the pain' was the fourth single taken from George Michael's 1991 album 'Listen without prejudice vol. 1'. The guitar-based love song was a moderate success, reaching number 31 in the UK singles chart and number 16 in the Dutch Top 40.

In the USA, the sides were flipped and 'Soul free' was released as the A-side. That single did not chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 2569
Found: Record fair, December 2, 1995
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'Heal the pain' / 'Soul free'

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Cowboys and angels - George Michael

'Cowboys and angels' was released as the fifth single from George Michael's 1990 album 'Listen without prejudice vol. 1'. The song was written, arranged and produced by George Michael and was the first single in his career not to reach the top 40 in the UK: it peaked at number 45 in March 1991. It did better in the Dutch Top 40, reaching number 15.

Although the album version of 'Cowboys and angels' is over 7 minutes long, the single version was edited to four and a half minutes, amongst other things removing the beautiful piano intro from the track.

My collection: 7" single no. 2451
Found: Record fair, September 2, 1995
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'Cowboys and angels (edit)' / 'Something to save'

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Freedom - George Michael

A long time before I bought the UK edition of the single 'Freedom' by George Michael, I bought the European one. It had a different B-side, the one that was used as the B-side of 'Waiting for that day' in the UK. The front sleeve was the same, however, which may have been confusing to some.

This single reached number 8 in the Dutch Top 40, which was 20 places higher than the UK. I wonder if the B-side helped it do so well?

My collection: 7" single no. 1347
Found: Melody Maker, October 27, 1990
Cost: 6 guilders
Tracks: 'Freedom' / 'Fantasy'

Monday, 21 September 2009

Freedom - George Michael

George Michael wrote the song 'Freedom '90' almost as a small autobiography. It described his fame and fortune in the early days with Wham!. The song was initially perceived to be describing Michael's effort to break free from his publishing contract with Sony Music. However, as Michael's sexuality came to light a few years later, the song became equally recognized as a one that describes the struggles of being a homosexual in the closet. The ''90' added to the end of the title is to prevent confusion with a Wham! song also titled 'Freedom'.

While still refusing to appear in music videos, a music video was directed by David Fincher, featuring a number of supermodels, including Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford, who mouthed the words. It also featured the destruction of various symbols of Michael's past, including the famous guitar, jukebox, and leather jacket of the 'Faith' era. The single was rewarded with a number 1 in Japan, peaking at number 28 in the UK singles chart and number 8 in the Dutch Top 40.

My collection: 7" single no. 3257
Found: House of Rhythm, London, October 20, 2000
Cost: 40p
Tracks: 'Freedom '90' / 'Freedom '90 (Back to reality mix)'

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Waiting for that day - George Michael

'Waiting for that day' was a track from George Michael's 1990 album 'Listen without prejudice'. Although Michael wrote the song, the chords and rhythm are very similar to Rolling Stones' 'You can't always get what you want'. George Michael actually sings this title near the end of the song. A co-writer credit was given to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

The track was released as the second single from the album in the USA, the UK, Ireland and Australia, but it was not released in Europe. The single peaked at number 27, 23, 11 and 50 respectively.

My collection: 7" single no. 1315
Found: HMV, London, October 15, 1990
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Waiting for that day' / 'Fantasy'

Friday, 11 September 2009

Praying for time - George Michael

'Praying for time', released in August 1990, was George Michael's first single in almost two years. The song was a dark and sombre reflection on social ills and injustice. George used an echoey vocal effect and put the melody in a low enough key to take away the sunny nature of his regular singing voice.

While George Michael refused to appear in videos to support the album, a music video was released featuring only the words of the song with a blue and black background that, at the end of the clip, reveals itself to be the image on the cover of the album 'Listen without prejudice', from which the song was taken. The single reached number 6 in the UK, number 10 in the Netherlands and number 1 in the USA.

My collection: 7" single no. 1312
Found: HMV, London, October 15, 1990
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Praying for time' / 'If you were my woman'

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