A largely serious, sombre affair tinged with melancholic and sometimes jazzy notes, recorded in the wake of Michael's legal battle with his record company Sony and the death from AIDS of his lover Anselmo Feleppa, Older was released after a six-year wait and received relatively lukewarmly in North America. However it was a huge European commercial success and became the first — and still only — record in British chart history to contain six Top 3 singles: "Jesus To A Child" (#1), "Fastlove" (#1), "Spinning The Wheel" (#2), the double A-side "Older"/"I Can't Make You Love Me"note (#3), a remixed "Star People '97" (#2) and "You Have Been Loved" (#2). This long string, released over 20 months, helped it become his longest-charting (over 100 weeks) and highest-selling (6x platinum) studio album there.
- "Jesus To A Child"
- "Spinning The Wheel"
- "It Doesn't Really Matter"
- "The Strangest Thing"
- "To Be Forgiven"
- "Move On"
- "Star People"
- "You Have Been Loved"
In late 1997, 18 months after first release, came a 2-disc reissue packaged with the more upbeat mini-album Upper:
- "Fastlove (Part II)" [b-side to "Fastlove" single]
- "Spinning The Wheel (Forthright Mix)" [b-side to "Spinning The Wheel" single]
- "Star People '97" [single rerecording/remix]
- "The Strangest Thing '97" [rerecording/remix from "You Have Been Loved" EP single]
- "You Know That I Want To" [b-side to "Spinning The Wheel" single]
- "Safe" [b-side to "Spinning The Wheel" single]
Looking for fast tropes:
- Album Title Drop: "Strange, baby, don't you think I'm looking older?"
- Cool Chair: George sits on one outfitted with speakers in the video for "Fastlove".
- Deliberately Monochrome: The cover image, with the only hue being the iris of George's eye.
- Face on the Cover: Michael's face half-covered in shadow.
- Freudian Excuse: In "Star People":Maybe your momma gave you up, boy.Maybe your daddy didn't love you enough, girl.
- Grief Song: "Jesus To A Child" and "You Have Been Loved", which are both written for his lover Anselmo Feleppa, who died in March 1993. The latter song was unintentionally repurposed as one for Princess Diana of Wales at the time of her passing in 1997, when it charted at no.2 behind Elton John's rerecording of "Candle In The Wind".
- Hologram: A female with a remote control flicks through a bunch of them in the form of male and female sexual partners in the video for "Fastlove".
- Instrumentals: "Free", with the only line spoken at closing: "Feels good to be free."
- Intercourse with You: "Fastlove"
- Lyrical Cold Open: The album version of "Fastlove" begins with "Got to get up to get down" at the very start of the song. Also "Star People".
- Precision F-Strike
All that bullshit conversation, baby, can't you read the signs?
- In "Fastlove":
You know you love kissing that ass.
- In "Spinning The Wheel":
Who gives a fuck about your problems, darlin', 'cause you can pay the rent?
- In "Star People":
- Record Producer: George Michael, Jon Douglas.
- Shout-Out: To Patrice Rushen's "Forget Me Nots", which a female vocalist sings the chorus of at the latter half of "Fastlove".
- Take That!: The man in the video for "Fastlove" wearing headphones that are labeled FONY — a not-so-subtle jab at George's at-the-time former record label Sony.
- Title Track: "Older".