Monday, December 26, 2016

RIP George Michael

Some thoughts about GM in chronological order:

1985: "Freedom" ultimately became my pre-solo Wham! jam. Make It Big was one of the first vinyl LPs that I made my parents buy for me from Caldor.

1986: My mom lost her shit over "I'm Your Man" and included it on at least 2 of her driving mixtapes. I somehow acquired "The Edge Of Heaven" 45. The aforementioned was basically my Wham! canon. I had no knowledge of "Last Christmas" until probably high school, and (incorrectly as I'd discover) no other Wham! singles registered on my radar as canon.

1987: God, what a year for blockbusters. Hysteria, Kick, Bad, Appetite. As far as immediate artistic cred is concerned, the only other late-'80s blockbuster besides Faith to claim an "Album Of The Year" Grammy was U2's The Joshua Tree, but only Faith managed all of this PLUS being named SPIN's 14th greatest album of all time in April 1989.

With all this mind mind, it's surprising his peak only lasted throughout the Faith cycle. But still, he was among the giants - enough that his poster made it through several seasons in the kids' bedroom on Full House.

1990: "Freedom '90" initially felt like he was officially a career artist. The "Unplugged" version of this song was arguably the best out of the 4 pre-taped live videos for the MTV10 special in August 1991.

In retrospect, as a casual George fan, "Freedom '90" feels more like his final huge artistic statement, although I know diehards will hugely disagree with this. But from this perspective, that doesn't necessarily feel like a bad thing.

1990 was fucking weird though. In a year with such huge event video premieres as "Vogue," "Janie's Got A Gun" and "Escapade," "Freedom '90" only made it to #41 on MTV's year-end countdown.

"Too Funky" was '92 and his inescapable Elton John collab dominated Top 40 stations in early '93. By this point, he was still only 29 years old.

Sadly, we didn't keep up as much after that.

There's a few old George Michael posts from the more exciting years of TMK, but pretty much everything we wrote about him is really embarrassing.

Here, we wrote about a similarity that we noticed between Kanye's production in Drake's "Find Your Love" and Wham's "Everything She Wants."

Here's when "Freedom '90" was named our #11 Guilty Pleasure song of the '90s.

And perhaps most embarrassingly, here's a review of the original "Freedom" where we mistake its ultra-sugariness for a proud declaration of gay sexuality:

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