Showing posts with label George Michael. Show all posts
Showing posts with label George Michael. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

#62. "Everything She Wants" - Wham! (1985)

Although Wham! is often perceived as a sort of throwback 60s / teeny bopper band, George Michael was bang on when he said that "Everything She Wants" was the group's most "80s sounding" song. I also agree with him that it's Wham!'s finest.

The track has a killer groove thanks to its synth foundation and a very catchy bass line.

But it's much more than another throwaway hit: the lyrics describing disillusionment with his partner's material demands are surprisingly moving. 

Despite later bemoaning much of Wham!'s earlier material, George Michael continued to play "Everything She Wants" live when he became a solo artist.

Watch this performance from 1996's MTV Unplugged (above) and you'll hear and feel a totally different vibe from one of pop's most talented vocalists.

For comparison, check out the six-and-a-half minute original video, a version with two bridges:

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Bonus 20: the songs that just missed

Full disclosure: Picking 100 favourite songs from the 80s is not an easy task! 

After compiling the original list of over 200 awesome tracks over the Christmas holidays, the whittling process began. Following descents into neverending YouTube rabbit holes and gleaning over paper hard-copies, I unearthed several forgotten gems that barged their way onto the countdown, usurping a few classics. A reminder of my selection criteria: song had to be a single and or have a video. No deep album tracks. 

Although the order of the rest of the countdown is still changing, the next 80 songs are now entrenched. This brief interlude in the countdown is a good time to reveal these tunes since there is a noticeable gap in affection for the next batch of tunes to come.

Note that any of these 20 tunes could have easily replaced the first 20 songs already revealed in slots 80 to 100. 

The "bubbling under 100" are revealed below and ordered by year of release:

Whip It – Devo (1980)
Nerdy new wave tomfoolery

Ride Like The Wind – Christopher Cross (1980)
Epic classic from one of first albums I ever owned

Eye In the Sky – Alan Parsons Project (1982)
70s sound brings back childhood nostalgia

I Ran – A Flock Of Seagulls (1982)
A classic and one of the last to be cut.

Subdivisions – Rush (1982)
Brooding synths accompany lyrics of soulless suburbs

It’s A Mistake – Men At Work (1983)
A cold war classic, simple yet catchy chorus

Jeopardy - Greg Kiln Band (1983)
Infectious bass line

Modern Love – David Bowie (1983)
Rip-roaring and brash 

Photograph – Def Leppard (1983)
Big chorus hints at a new wave vibe 

Forever Young – Alphaville (1984)
Sweeping synths and a message of living in the moment

Smalltown Boy – Bronski Beat (1984)
Melancholic synths and haunting vocals

Smooth Operator - Sade (1984)
Soulful jazz-pop, but as a geographer I always winced at the "Coast to coast, LA to Chicago" lyric...

The Ghost In You - Psychedelic Furs (1984)
Shimmering and cerebral

Welcome To The Pleasure Dome – Frankie Goes To Hollywood (1984)
Shameless glam excess and supernovas and an ace bass line

Summer of ‘69 – Bryan Adams (1985)
I think everyone loved this one

Cities in Dust – Siouxsie and the Banshees (1986)
Punk group nails new wave 

La Isla Bonita - Madonna (1987)
Timeless Latin and pop fusion

Little Lies – Fleetwood Mac (1987)
Fave song from the Tango In the Night album with vocals by Christine, Lindsay and Stevie; "Everywhere" a close second...

Monkey - George Michael (1988)
Intense and funky groove

Suedehead - Morrissey (1988)
First solo effort with Marr-esque jangle guitar still better than most of The Smiths catalogue