My beloved and I introduced musical evenings during the first lockdown and we’ve kept these going to take maximum advantage of his Apple Music subscription. Last weekend we listened to lots of George Michael albums reminding us of just how much we love whatever he sings. But which of his tracks to choose?
George Michael (1963 – 2016) was an English singer, songwriter and record producer, regarded as one of the leading artists of the late 20th century. George rose to fame as a member of the musical duo Wham! with Andrew Ridgeley in 1981 and later embarked on a solo career.
George’s first solo single, Careless Whisper, written years earlier with Ridgeley, reached number one in over 20 countries, including the UK and US. His debut solo album, Faith, was released in 1987, topping the UK Albums Chart and staying at number one on the Billboard 200 for 12 weeks. The album sold 25 million copies worldwide and remains one of the best selling albums of all time. Four singles from the album reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100. George became the best-selling music artist of 1988 and Faith was awarded Album of the Year at the 1989 Grammy Awards.
Michael released his second solo album Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 in 1990. The album was a UK number-one and included two Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles A duet with singer Elton John in 1991, “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”, was also a transatlantic number one. Michael went on to release two further multimillion-selling albums, Older (1996) and Patience (2004).
At the time of his death, Michael had sold over 115 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. He achieved seven number-one songs on the UK Singles Chart and eight number-one songs on the US Billboard Hot 100. Michael won various music awards, including two Grammy Awards, three Brit Awards, three American Music Awards, 12 Billboard Music Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, and six Ivor Novello Awards.
My dilemma here was which track to choose? So here’s a “live” version of You Have Been Loved.
Recorded for his third studio album, Older (1996). It was written by George Michael and David Austin and released in September 1997 as a double A-side single with The Strangest Thing ‘and reached number two in the UK, behind Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind 1997” charity record. The track was about George’s lover, Anselmo Feleppa who died of an AIDS-related illness in 1993. One of the Sunday newspapers said:
A beautiful ballad. Considering recent events, it strikes the perfect chord.