It's been almost a month since we heard the sad news of George Michael's passing and I've been trying to write this dang post ever since. It's a little bit cray cray to mourn for a celebrity we've never met, but every now and then we lose an icon that strikes a chord with us personally and we find it a little hard to believe that they're actually gone.
For me, George Michael is one of those celebs. As one-half of everyone's favourite poptastic go-go team - Wham! - he was a breath of fresh air on the pop music scene from as far back as 1983. Wham! gave us numerous solid gold '80s tunes like Wake Me Up Before You Go Go, Freedom, I'm Your Man and who could forget the emotionally-charged strains of Careless Whisper!?
I don't know about you, but when I think of George Michael I think of that iconic image of his Levis-covered ass shaking it like it aint no big thang, all the while strumming his trusty sidekick guitar (that's not a euphemism by the way, unless it is...). He was also one of the first to jump on the aviator sunglasses bandwagon alongside Tom Cruise in Top Gun. The guy knew style is what I'm getting at here.
Oh Wham! Wherefore art thou Wham!?
Wham! | Wham! Rap (Enjoy What You Do) (1983)
Wham! | Wake Me Up Before You Go Go (1984)
Wham! | Careless Whisper (1984)
Wham! | Everything She Wants (1984)
Wham! | I'm Your Man (1985)
I especially love that each and every Christmas we get to remember fondly the Wham! guys in all their glory when radio stations, elevators and shopping malls around the world are obliged to put Last Christmas on their high rotation lists. For as many years as I can remember I've had a little superstitious 'thing' with Last Christmas. Until I hear that song I quite simply refuse to believe the holiday season exists. There have been years where Christmas for me has started as early as September, and sadly there has also been a couple of years where Christmas just never came for me. It's not something I can explain, it just is.
Wham! | Last Christmas (1984)
George Michael | A Different Corner (1986)
George Michael | I Want Your Sex (1987)
George Michael | Faith (1987)
George Michael | Father Figure (1987)
George Michael | Monkey (1988)
George Michael | Praying For Time (1990)
George Michael understood pop music and he understood pop culture. His music videos were always on point and his songs always had something to say. Directed by David Fincher and featuring five of the most sought after supermodels of the time - Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlingto, Tatjana Patitz and Naomi Campbell - Freedom! '90 remains one of my favourite music videos of all time.
George Michael | Freedom! 90 (1990)
A follow-up single Too Funky again capitalised on the supermodel phenomenon with a mod squad including Linda Evangelista, Estelle Halliday, Tyra Banks, Nadja Auermann, Eva Herzigova, Shana Zadrick & Emma Sjöberg strutting their stuff in ahh-maa-zing Thierry Mugler designs. Nothing says '90s haute couture quite like Mugler's famous motorbike corset.
George Michael | Too Funky (1992)
George Michael also gave us some of the best duets of the '80s & '90s. Whether it be joining forces with soul queen Aretha Franklin, a guest spot with Queen, or belting out a rock ballad with the one & only Elton John, George Michael proved he had the chops for this entertainment malarky time & time again.
George Michael & Aretha Franklin | I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me) (1987)
George Michael & Elton John | Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me (1991)
George Michael & Queen | Somebody To Love (1993)
I still can't believe he's actually gone. George Michael left this world far too soon and with so much talent yet to offer the world. At the end of the day, it is his many great songs that that will live on for a very long time. So many GREAT GREAT SONGS!!!
Stay cool George Michael! Stay cool.