I'm still in shock that George Michael is no longer with us (yes, I know it was almost two years ago now). Prince and David Bowie and Tom Petty were bad enough. But George Michael, too? It's just crazy the amount of talent we've lost in the last few years. Alas, he is gone and we have to content ourselves with the material he produced during his far-too-short career. But it's magnificent material, isn't it?
Like many, I knew of George Michael's work with Andrew Ridgeley in Wham! But I knew of them as a duo, not as individuals. In fact, I owned George Michael's solo debut Faith for at least a year before I realized he was one half of Wham! I was 12. Sue me.
As everyone knows, tons of controversy swirled around the track "I Want Your Sex," and while that was a great song, there were other songs from his career that were my favorites.
"Faith" was always my first exposure to him and the look he established still sells well. Except for maybe the feathered hair.
[image courtesy of the New York Times]
But he even shaved that down to stubble to match his beard after a while. Anyway, I loved the beat and the fast pace and the video was so cool in its simplicity. That song made a fan of me.
"Father Figure" is amazing because of how much complexity there is to the vocals. Each time you sing it, you can perform a totally different part. It's such a dynamic song.
"Freedom! '90," and all of Listen Without Prejudice, proved that he was more than just Faith and was not subject to the proverbial "Sophomore Slump."
If you're going to force me to pick one of the above as an ultimate favorite, I think I have to go with "Freedom! '90." I always loved the message in this song. It still resonates today.