Music: George Michael

Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou (born 25 June 1963), better known as George Michael, is an English singer and former lead singer of Wham!. Most successful during the 1980s. Known for taking a long time to make albums (five albums so far in 26 years), and media controversy due to his drug use and alleged solicitation of a police officer (which was actually a sting operation).

Michael's band Wham! are covered here also.

Wham! Albums:

  • 1983: Fantastic
  • 1984: Make It Big
  • 1986: Music from the Edge of Heaven

Solo Albums:

  • 1987: Faith
  • 1990: Listen Without Prejudice (Volume 1)
  • 1996: Older
  • 1999: Songs From The Last Century (Cover Album)
  • 2004: Patience

Compilations:

  • 1986: The Final
  • 1988: 12" Singles
  • 1997: The Best of Wham!: If You Were There...

Notable Singles:

  • 1984: "Careless Whisper"
  • 1986: "A Different Corner"
  • 1987: "Faith"
  • 1987: "Father Figure"
  • 1990: "Praying For Time"
  • 1998: "Outside"

'Cause I gotta have tropes:

  • Breakup Breakout: When George Michael left Wham! he got even more successful. Andrew Ridgeley on the other hand released one album, to minimal success, and then retired.
  • Breakup Song: A few, most notably "Faith" and "Freedom '90".
  • Canon Discontinuity: In 1983, Wham's label Inner Vision had already put out four out of eight songs as singles from Fantastic, and couldn't decide on a fifth, so mixed three songs together to become the Club Fantastic Megamix, which was released as a 12" and 7". This was put out without consulting the band members, who disliked the mix and don't count it as part of their discography.
    • The band's only original B Side, "Blue (Armed With Love)" has never appeared on CD outside of a hard to get Club Tropicana 3 inch single from Japan. The band also did a live version, which is on CD as part of Music From The Edge Of Heaven, a US/Canada/Japan album which came out instead of The Final over there. However the two versions are quite different with the live version having more lyrics, and having crowd noise and a spoken intro, in which Michael describes the song as a song that is very personal to him. This makes it particularly unusual the studio version isn't on CD, because Michael has been known to prefer his mature Wham! songs over the more poppy ones.
  • Cover Version: As well as his Cover Album (below) Many, often released as B Sides. A lesser known one is Freedom '90 (Back To Reality Mix), which is actually a cover of Soul II Soul's Back To Life, with a few of the lyrics from Freedom '90 thrown in to give Michael a co-writing credit.
    • Wham did three, one per album - Love Machine (The Miracles cover on Fantastic), If You Were There (Isley Brothers cover on Make It Big), and Where Did Your Heart Go? (Was Not Was cover on Music From The Edge Of Heaven) respectively. There is also a brief, backstage singalong to Del Shannon's Runaway on the Foreign Skies: Live In China VHS, which is listed as a separate track despite not being one. In the case of the Love Machine cover, it was a last minute replacement for Careless Whisper, which the band were convinced to save for their next album due to it being seen as too mature for their image at the time (Careless Whisper had appeared on the demo tape that got them signed). The cover of If You Were There lent its name to a Wham compilation and featured on it, and is one of George Michael's favorite Wham recordings. Where Did Your Heart Go has the distinction of being the last Wham single.
  • Cover Album: Songs From The Last Century, which was largely recorded as a contractual obligation.
  • Distinct Double Album: His compilation Ladies And Gentlemen with a first disc of ballads, and second one of pop and dance tracks.
    • He planned this for Listen Without Prejudice, but the proposed Volume 2 never happened due to record company disputes.
  • Estuary accent, NW London subgroup. His speaking voice is in noticeable contrast to his soulful trans-Atlamtic singing style.
  • Expository Theme Tune: Wham Rap! explains the band's philosophy of having a good time, explaining that working is for losers.
  • Gold Digger: "Everything She Wants" by Wham!, with George Michael singing as a husband who married a woman with an insatiable appetite for all the things she can get out of him.
  • Greatest Hits Album: Ladies and Gentlemen and Twenty Five, both double disc sets. In the case of Twenty Five there was a limited three CD version available as well. His previous band Wham! have The Final, and the more widely available (but less thorough) The Best Of Wham!
  • Intercourse with You: "I Want Your Sex", "Too Funky", and "Fastlove" are notable examples.
  • Lighter and Softer: His album Patience was more upbeat than the previous Older.
  • Precision F-Strike: In "Star People" from Older: "Who gives a fuck about your problems, darlin', 'cause you can pay the rent."
    • Also "all that bullshit conversation" from "Fastlove".
    • From "Battlestations" from Music From The Edge Of Heaven: "Why lie to my face? When you can have a tape machine that gives me bullshit in your place?"
    • The original 'Unsocial' mix of "Wham Rap" is full of the stuff:'You don't take no shit from the benefit', 'Cut the radio bullshit, this is how it be', 'Well i don't give a shit man can't you see'. Wham Rap '86 also includes the first of these lines. The Unsocial Mix has been mostly covered up by the Social Mix US Remix, which was the one included on Fantastic and The Final, and hasn't appeared on CD. Both variations of the song have "Come on everybody, don't need this crap" and "Give a wham give a bam but don't give a damn". Wham! styled themselves as rebellious young men who didn't want to work, thus the use of the lyrics. Pretty obvious that George really likes the words 'shit' and 'bullshit'.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Two Wham! songs deal with cheating in various ways "Last Christmas" features a protagonist who's just broken up with his partner because his partner cheated on him, but "this year to save" the protagonist "from tears" on Christmas, he'll give his heart "to someone special". Then there's "Careless Whisper", a song where the protagonist is the cheater and is feeling extremely guilty about having done so. ("Guilty feet have got no rhythm", "Should've known better than to cheat a friend/The wasted chance that I've been given", etc.)