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SDE’s 10 best George Michael songs

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I’m still in shock at the news of the untimely death of George Michael. However, while we mourn his passing, let’s remember how much fantastic music he produced. Below represents a personal list of my favourite George Michael songs (Wham! and solo) at this moment in time. Such was the quality of his output, it could easily be ten other songs, but these are ones I’ve always loved and returned to over the years and decades. Each selection comes withYouTube audio…

Blue (Armed With Love)

A rare non-album B-side, Blue (Armed With Love) backed up number four hit Club Tropicana in the summer of 1983. It was a semi-instrumental composition and the economic keyboard-y production was more in keeping with what would follow in 1984’s Make It Big. A different version was sung live, notably Blue (Live In China), although George also lip-synched to an unreleased studio version on UK TV’s The Russell Harty Show. Blue (Armed With Love) is only available on CD via the original Japanese CD single of Club Tropicana. Blue (Live In China) is on the CD of Music From The Edge Of Heaven, which was a US-only single-disc version of the 1986 double album career summary, The Final. In the UK, only the cassette and vinyl versions of The Final featured Blue (Armed With Love).


Careless Whisper

In later years, George was quick to dismiss Careless Whisper, probably because the song came so easily too him, so young, but it was a magical combination of a very commercial record, with a smart lyric that somehow didn’t (and doesn’t) get dulled by overfamiliarity. Also, George worked very hard on the song, rejecting the original recording, produced by Jerry Wexler, and re-recording it with himself in total control of the production. It’s that version that was a transatlantic number one single. The Wexler version (have a listen) did surface briefly on the Japanese 12-inch and a limited edition UK 12-inch. It has never been issued on CD.


Everything She Wants

George rarely embraced his Wham! recordings in later years, but clearly had a soft spot for Everything She Wants, for which he made an exception. It was the only Wham! song he performed on MTV’s Unplugged in 1996 (which is part of the bonus content in the forthcoming Listen Without Prejudice reissue). Everything She Wants was a double-A side with Last Christmas and so peaked at number two due to Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas? but it became the third number one from Make It Big in the USA. The six-and-a-half minute remix is far from superfluous, since it contains and added bridge and new vocal elements from George.


Battlestations

George was a songwriter from the top-drawer, but to say he was not prolific is an understatement. When you consider that all the recordings for Make It Big were in the bag by autumn 1984, in the following two years only four further Wham! recordings were made – I’m Your Man, The Edge Of Heaven, Where Did Your Heart Go? and Battlestations. Clearly Prince-influenced, Battlestations was the B-side to the last single The Edge Of Heaven, although slightly confusingly was the lead song on the UK 12-inch of the same single. This high quality extra track sign-posted the direction George would take on 1987’s solo album Faith. His ability to pull melodies out of thin air on this minimalistic track, still impresses.


Hand To Mouth

It’s interesting to reflect just how big Faith was in America, compared to the UK. None of the singles went to number one over here and Father Figure didn’t even make the top ten. In the USA four of the six singles hit the top spot which meant at the age of 25 George had had been responsible for SEVEN number one US singles (he would go on to have three more). There were few songs on Faith that didn’t end up on an A-side or a B-side and album track Hand To Mouth was selected as the B-side to Faith. The lyric concerns aspiration and the American Dream (“I believe in the gods of America / I believe in the land of the free”) and two disenfranchised characters for whom things don’t work out. It’s a very thoughtful work and lacks the bombast of some of the tracks on the album. Richard Marx’s 1991 hit Hazard has a remarkable similar verse melody and tone…


Father Figure

The third single from Faith is a superb composition. George’s breathy vocal delivers a fine melody which culminates in the gospel-infused chorus. The song ran for over five and a half minutes and wasn’t edited for the single release. The B-side was an instrumental version, which wasn’t included as a bonus track on the 2011 reissue of Faith. If you want that on CD you’ll need to dig deep for an original CD single.  There was no 12-inch extended version of this song.


Waiting For That Day

Praying For Time delivered George a top ten single, but that aside, none of the 45s from his second solo album, Listen Without Prejudice, Vol 1 were even top 20 hits in the UK. Second single Waiting For That Day deserved much better than peaking at number 23. The ‘funky drummer’ sample roots it to the era, but despite this, Waiting For That Day has a timeless vibe and benefits from a personal lyric of self-examination (“everybody’s talking about this new decade, like you say the magic numbers then just say goodbye to the stupid mistakes you made”). Segueing into You Can’t Always Get What You Want at the end brings the song to a perfect close.


Soul Free

Freedom ’90 – aka ‘the fast song’ from Listen Without Prejudice – is undoubtedly an impressive piece of work but it’s something of a ‘jigsaw’ of a song and the mid-paced album-closer Soul Free is easily its match for me. This sounds AMAZING if you crank it up and George delivers an incredible vocal. Surely this dance track would have been a sizeable hit had it been released. A rare, promo-only radio edit of this track appears on the forthcoming super deluxe edition of Listen Without Prejudice.


Crazyman Dance

Crazyman Dance was the B-side to Too Funky. It’s a more interesting and slightly ‘darker’ song than the A-side and boasts an epic widescreen production.  You get the feeling George was letting loose a little bit and just having fun on a track that could be tucked away out of sight. Another number that will feature on the LWP reissue (SDE only).


Spinning The Wheel

Right slap bang in the middle of Britpop and the return of  ‘the guitar band’, George delivered his third solo album Older and was rewarded by six singles that all went top three in the UK (including two number ones). A remarkable achievement. Spinning The Wheel was the third 45 and the first from the album not to go to number one! It was also his first single to have a non-album B-side (You Know That I Want To) since Freedom ’90 (that was backed with Fantasy). This slinky, atmospheric track has a hypnotic quality and even a John Barry-esque feel in places.


That ends the SDE list. What would be in YOUR top ten? The pure pop of Wake Me Up Before Your Go Go, perhaps? Other maybe the political commentary of Praying For Time? Leave a comment with your personal favourites!

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90 responses to SDE’s 10 best George Michael songs

  1. Robert says:

    Good choices but I probably wouldve added ‘Freedom’ in there somewhere. A great song and easily one of my favorite music videos. George hit it huge when MTV became big and he was everywhere. To me he was the finest vocalist to emerge from the 1980’s

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Are you referring to the Wham! “Freedom” or “Freedom ’90″? Both are great.

      • David says:

        The Wham Version is incredible. ..
        And I haven’t even heard it played all the tributes?
        It’s Gordy-tastic.. plastic Motown shuffle
        It was an anthem in my local youthclub 1984

  2. vikerii says:

    For me, his absolute best vocal performance was his cover of Stevie Wonder’s “They Won’t Go When I Go”, from Listen Without Prejudice Vol 1. Perfect vocals, perfect dynamics.

  3. Trash says:

    Glad you added Battlestations – always loved that song. Must check that I have it somewhere still as I got rid of so much of my vinyl a while back.

    I would have added Cowboys and Angels – which I have always felt had a Classic Burt Bacharach feel to it (I listened to it 10 times in a row the rest time I played Listen Without Prejudice – I just couldn’t get past it).

  4. gb says:

    a different corner
    praying for time
    jesus to a child
    father figure
    careless whisper
    the edge of heaven
    where did your heart go
    last christmas
    too funky
    freedom 90

  5. bob says:

    Cowboys And Angels would be my no 1 for sure, followed by Waiting For That Day. That whole LWP album is sublime and it will quite rightly be reappraised when the deluxe edition is released next year.
    This is such a sad day for pop music.

  6. Daran says:

    Limiting to 10 is hard to do, but inc his covers and original songs: Cowboys and Angels / Last Xmas / December Song / Through / I Can’t Make You Love Me / One More Try / You Have Been Loved / True Faith / You And I / Those Were The Days Of Our Lives – I know lots of people hate his cover of True Faith but I adore what he did with the vocoder!

  7. Philip Guest says:

    It was a number one, sure, but I’ve always felt his superb A Different Corner has been overlooked over the years.

  8. Adrian Fernandes says:

    Last Christmas had to be there somewhere regardless of what happened yesterday. It’s a brilliant track.

  9. Steven C says:

    Love that you included “Blue (Armed with Love)” on your list…

    “Waiting Reprise” (final song on Listen Without Prejudice) would top my list. It’s the main reason I look forward to the re-issue…

  10. Mike Bushell says:

    I must admit I’m struggling with this. for a thirty year career there isn’t that much to show and the later stuff did nothing for me. True Faith? Why? Anyway I couldn’t do a top ten, but here’s a top three:

    Mother’s Pride -one of my favourite anti-war songs
    They won’t go when I go
    A Different Corner
    Last Christmas
    Waiting for that day

    As you can see, only one album floated my boat -wonder what will happen with the re-release?

  11. Mike says:

    Blue and Battlestations: wow!
    Back in the day I made my own top 100’s, and these two tracks made my top 10 numerous times!

  12. Rough cut says:

    From the top of my head:
    Everything she wants
    A different corner
    Kissing a fool
    Father figure
    Cowboys & angels
    Praying for time
    Spinning the wheel
    Safe
    Amazing
    Precious box

  13. Paul Edwards says:

    Totally gutted. As much natural talent as anyone but unable to get many projects over the finishing line.

    Incredibly generous.

    If I had to add an unusual but fantastic cut it would be Edith and Kingpin- wonderful vocal

  14. Istvan says:

    It seems impossible to compile a 10-track list that I wouldn’t want to change completely the next day but here’s a list of the GM songs I most frequently revisited at certain points in my life for different reasons:

    Father Figure
    Praying for Time
    Freedom’90
    Soul Free
    These Are the Days of Our Lives
    Crazyman Dance
    Jesus to a Child
    The Strangest Thing
    I Can’t Make You Love Me
    Precious Box

  15. JackC says:

    There are a few covers here but they still make my top 10.

    Blue
    Like A Baby
    Edge of Heaven
    Do You Really Want To Know
    If You Were My Woman (Live)
    Fast Love
    Precious Box
    Idol (Live)
    Amazing
    John and Elvis Are Dead

  16. Nuno Bento says:

    Great list! Glad to see the awesome “Crazyman Dance” in there. It’s really hard, but these are my picks for the All time George Top 10, in chronological order of release:

    “Everything She Wants”
    “The Edge Of Heaven”
    “Where Did Your Heart Go?”
    “A Different Corner”
    “Cowboys And Angels”
    “Too Funky”
    “To Be Forgiven”
    “You Have Been Loved”
    “Safe”
    “December Song”

  17. -SG- says:

    I think it is difficult to really make a top ten for GM, As his music had a real range and spanned a lot of time. A fantastic songwriter, he had a great gift of interpretation, his ability to perform was undeniable. He could take a song and make it his own. I have always felt that his trouble with Listen Without Prejudice II was part of his undoing. One has to wonder how things may have turned out differently had he had more freedom. Truly gone too soon.

  18. Alan says:

    I’d definitely choose Cowboys and Angels as my favourite George Michael song. Others for my top 10 would be Freedom 90, They Won’t Go When I Go, Mother’s Pride, Jesus to a Child, The Strangest Thing (version on Older, NOT the single version), You Have Been Loved, Shoot The Dog (ignoring the politics that spoil it, it’s a great use of a sample – Human League’s Love Action), Wham’s Like A Baby and Everything She Wants. I’m not that keen on the Faith album, was a bit too American for my tastes.

  19. Jason says:

    gb had a very good list. Not very prolific all things considered BUT he made almost every song COUNT. What a loss. Too hard to choose. Mine at the moment…

    favorites:
    praying for time
    something to save
    different corner
    i’m your man
    jesus to a child
    do you really want to know
    freedom
    freedom 90
    too funky
    father figure

    and for fun:
    freeek!
    young guns
    wham rap

    fave collaboration:
    i knew you were waiting for me (aretha)

    fave cover:
    they won’t go when i go
    somebody to love (tie)

    What a choice…

  20. Lee Williams says:

    A choice a bit different to others on here:-

    Everything She Wants
    For me Wham were great when they first came out and I remember their first time on ToTP – which is just being shown on TV now. The next day they were all we talked about in school. Then, with Club Tropicana the next summer and the bizarreness of the Wham Megamix (‘Please don’t buy it’, said Wham!) and Wake Me Up and the shuttlecocks, I thought they’d gone all ‘pop’ on me. Only when I saw the ‘Everything She Wants’ video from China did I look at them/him on a different level.

    Flawless (Go to the City)
    One thing George did through his career was take another artist’s track and blatantly use it as a base for his own track and after the ‘Waiting for that Day’ legal difficulties, always credited the original performers. This was one that took a great song and added loads of value to it. The message was quite apt for me where I was in my life then. Clever video too.

    Amazing
    Again a great song for me at my time of life then. An upbeat intro into a quite downbeat album, but also with a video that pushed the boundaries.

    Spinning That Wheel
    Haunting for personal reasons – as was the whole album

    Too Funky
    Another glamorous video for those of us who were suffering from Duran Duran producing less visually inspiring videos. A great song with samples at the beginning and end from cultural icons of previous generations; Anne Bancroft and a Tony Hancock sketch ‘The Radio Ham’

    Freeek!
    Brilliant on so many levels. Great sounds including a flashback to a dial up modem. Such a part of everyones life pre ‘always on’ broadband. A narrative for the development of internet access and the dating world together with another stunning video full of visual delights

    Shoot the Dog
    A political commentary on the Gulf War II together with a sample based on Human League’s Love Action ( I Believe in Love) together with ABC’s Be Near Me. Famous for supporting the accusation that Blair was Bush’s poodle.

    Fastlove
    Samples Patrice Rushen’s ‘Forget me nots’ as well as substituting Sony for Fony on a set of headphones. The video also launched the late 90s craze for Oakley wrap around sunglasses

    Outside
    After the incident in the Will Rogers Memorial Park, this was a great response for someone who felt he has nothing to be ashamed of – and was a complete antidote to other stars who would vanish from public life until everything had run its course. A strong dance record that was being sung by everyone for 6 months.

    John and Elvis are Dead
    A haunting track that reminded people that George had recorded most of the Patience album using John Lennon’s piano that Lennon himself had recorded Imagine on (not the white one – that was a prop for the Imagine video).

  21. Gary Clutterbuck says:

    I love Mother’s Pride, mentioned also by Mike Bushell, The longer remixed versions of Hard Day and Monkey, but my all time favourite has to be the cover of Elton John’s Tonight. His voice and the emotion in that are outstanding.

  22. Mikael says:

    My undisputed no. 1 is Battlestation followed by Flawless (cool video if you haven’t seen it).
    I still love the early Wham singles so Wham Rap, young Guns and Club Tropicana makes my top 5.
    6 to 10 in no particular order:
    Praying for Time.
    Different Corner.
    Wild Is The Wind.
    John And Elvis Are Dead.
    Where Did Your Heart Go?

  23. Kiki says:

    I think we nevere really heard the orginal version of “Father figure” which was supposed to be a dance track( !?) but GM wasn’t happy with it and removed all the beats…

    Blue (Armed with Love) was also one of my favs on the Final LP, I was very disappointed to find it wasn’t on the CD…

    Battlestations has french lyrics in it , isn’t it?

    The “Listen without prejudice” had something special for me, it’s difficult to choose only one song it it, because I can’t find any song to reject in it… It’s also a more melancholic album than “Faith”… I Still wonder why the Vol.2 never saw the light of day … “Crazyman Dance” would have sureley took a great place in it !

    I would be totally unable to choose only 10 songs in GM ‘s discography, there would probably be 10 only for Wham!
    The only thing about him is the end of his carrier which was not as good as the 1st 3 solo albums (Faith, Listen, Older) The cover album, patience and Symphonica were just deceptions to me, I’d only save “freeek” and “Shoot the dog” from that era (totally personal point of view! ;-)

  24. Fred says:

    Mother’s Pride

  25. mike says:

    The interesting thing is whether LWP volume 2 was ever finished, I think five ended up released?

    Too funky
    fantasy
    crazy man dance
    do you really want to know
    happy

    Good list, would add the strangest thing, kissing a fool and last Christmas for me today. The Everything She Wants 12 is one of the finest records made I think, the ad libs and bridge are just amazing.

  26. Ant says:

    I still can’t believe the news that he’s gone. Such a talent. What a voice. So desperately sad to see those headlines of his passing, I simply cannot believe it. I have too many favorites to list…..but ‘Father Figure’ & ‘John And Elvis Are Dead’ will always be my own personal standout tracks from a simply incredible body of work. Was lucky enough to see him a few times live. “Amazing” just doesn’t come close.

    Gone way too soon. God bless you George.

  27. Stephen E Cohen says:

    When I first heard Wham!’s cover of “Where Did Your Heart Go?” so many years ago, it touched me profoundly that I had to play it over and over. Such a beautiful delivery from George Michael, and the arrangement was so gorgeous… That would be my number one!

    “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”… This happy, peppy song, of which I bought the 45 rpm single, introduced me to this talent (Wham!’s first album got very little airplay in the US).
    “Careless Whisper”… A perfect pop song. No explanation necessary.
    “Everything She Wants (Remix)”… It HAS to be the remix version of this song every time.
    “If You Were There”… Breezy and snappy number that sounds like late 1960’s/early 1970’s (The Fifth Dimension, Carpenters, or a solo Davy Jones)
    “I’m Your Man”… Such fun, especially the remix with George saying “He’s brave, he’s tough… Mr. Ridgely do your stuff!”
    “I Want Your Sex (Part 1)… A dynamic dance track trying to tear down the walls of our repressed sexual society.
    “Kissing A Fool”… George could even brilliantly channel the “sophisti-pop” that was coming from the likes of Danny Wilson, Swing Out Sister, Basia, and Johnny Hates Jazz.
    “Freedom 90″… Another dynamic track hotter than just about anything else on the radio in a new decade where our 80’s new wave and/or pop heroes were drifting from the airwaves one by one.
    “Waiting For That Day”… Personal college memories for me. REALLY personal.

    Thanks for doing this, Paul… It helps to grieve together and remember the great music.

  28. RJSWinchester says:

    Freedom ’90 and Last Christmas.

  29. Craig Hedges says:

    1) Like a baby
    2) Last Christmas
    3) I can’t make you love me
    4) Monkey
    5) Praying for time
    6) Someone to love
    7) Heal the pain (with Macca)
    8) I want your sex
    9) Freedom 90
    10) Freedom

  30. graham says:

    Always liked Elvis and John after seeing a 25Live show at Home Park, Plymouth in 07

  31. Kevin says:

    The only way I could limit my list to 10 was to leave out the Wham!-era material (that would require a second list), so, in chronological order:

    I Want Your Sex
    Hard Day
    Learn to Say No
    Praying for Time
    Cowboys and Angels
    Fantasy
    Too Funky
    Star People (MTV Unplugged)
    Shoot the Dog
    John and Elvis Are Dead

    ‘Learn to Say No’ is a duet from Jody Watley’s 1987 debut album. It never got released as a single, so it has always been overlooked.

    Album-wise, I still consider Living Without Prejudice to be his best. Not only is it one of those rare albums that perfectly captures the era in which it was released, but there’s no filler.

    My Wham!-era list would be (again, in chronological order):

    Young Guns
    Club Tropicana
    Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go
    Like a Baby
    Careless Whisper
    Last Christmas (pudding mix)
    I’m Your Man (single)
    The Edge of Heaven
    Battlestations
    Wham! Rap ’86

    • AnthonyC says:

      I used to play to death Learn To Say No.

      The Jody Watley album at the time was a massive hit, so I don’t think it was totally overlooked.

      :-(

  32. Otto says:

    I just love the 12″ of Monkey.

    • gb says:

      nice one. how could I forget Monkey!?! love that song. just remembered how
      I was real disappointed that it wasn’t played at the NEC gig I saw (according to
      wikipedia wasn’t played at all on the second – european – leg of the tour)

      *and* (no idea how!) I somehow managed to forget I’d seen a cover to
      cover gig?!! earlier today I was like ‘hang on the Faith gig wasn’t the last time
      I saw him’ … at the time I was a bit disappointed it had so many covers
      and wasn’t a LWP tour per se. that said, it was a great gig and we were
      right near the front. I took some photos … now where are those negs?!!

      and I agree with the person who mentioned about the ESW 12″ (song
      structure) … just stunning. been watching wham ‘Final youtube footage.
      (great) memories coming back (george getting us to sing the woah woah
      woah bits in Edge of heaven) makes you feel good for a second and then
      sad straight after.

  33. Inge Kjetil Bratset says:

    My favourite has always been “A different corner”

  34. Enrico G. says:

    My personal favs:
    – A different corner;
    – Spinning the wheel;
    – John and Elvis are dead.
    R.I.P., Genius.

  35. Chris says:

    Hard to order them, but…
    Kissing a Fool
    Last Christmas
    Somebody to Love (w/Queen)
    Freedom
    Father Figure
    A Different Corner
    I’m Your Man
    Where Did Your Heart Go
    Freedom ’90
    Fastlove

  36. Eric says:

    My absolute favourites would have to include:

    Cowboys & Angels
    Hand To Mouth
    Precious Box
    Hard Day
    Everything She Wants
    Praying For Time
    Older
    Spinning The Wheel
    Club Tropicana
    I’m Your Man

    ..with honourable mentions to Heal The Pain, Freedom 90, Battlestations, I Want You Sex, A Different Corner and John & Elvis Are Dead.

    A magnificent singer and songwriter, whose latter artistic decline shouldn’t obscure what a brilliant catalogue of work he amassed in the time he was here.

  37. Dave says:

    Father Figure for me. Lush production and tremendous singing.

  38. lee bowler says:

    1) Freeek!
    2) Monkey (Jam and Lewis Remix)
    3) Everything She Wants (Remix)
    4) Fastlove
    5) Father Figure
    6) Blue (live)
    7) Jesus to a child
    8) Waiting for that day
    9) Too Funky
    10) Battle stations

    I adore George and it’s so sad that he is no longer with us. Always came across as a genuine, warm and intelligent man. Such an a talent – probably one of the UKs best male singer/song writers

  39. Jakob says:

    I would definitely include his 2012 single “White Light” which I felt was somewhat criminally ignored.

  40. AnthonyC says:

    It’s impossible to list George Michael’s songs as they are all of such high quality and get more sophisticated as his song writing talent developed.

    However any list should include December Song which personified the quality of direction he was moving into.

    I just desperately hope, the new album that was finished, does get a posthumous release!

    I’m going to miss him deeply!

    :-(

  41. alex says:

    I like all the covers he made !
    he was the perfect man+voice for the Queen after Freddie died !

  42. Catweazle says:

    Wasn’t really a fan but saw him live at the Freddie Tribute and was well impressed.
    ‘Heal the Pain’ is one song of his I really love. When I first heard it I remember thinking ‘Macca would kill for a song like this’ – great that the two of them later got to record the song together!

  43. baward says:

    They contunually change from for me, such is the quality of his songs, but ‘Amazing’ is er, amazing!

  44. Gareth says:

    The 2 which really do it for me are ‘Precious Box’ (could listen to it for hours and hours) and his version of ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ (my favourite version of that song). Such a talent. Hopefully he is at peace now.

  45. Jason Brown says:

    Personal favourites, from what I’ve heard over the years…

    1) Wham! Rap (Wham!)
    2) Outside
    3) I’m Your Man (Wham!)
    4) Flawless
    5) Spinning The Wheel
    6) A Different Corner
    7) Round Here
    8) Too Funky
    9) Jive Talkin’ (Boogie Box High)
    10) Monkey

  46. R.Naud says:

    Faith
    Killer (Papa was a rolling stone)
    Everything She Wants (Remix)
    Careless Whisper
    Heal the pain (with McCartney)
    The Edge of Heaven
    A Different Corner
    Father Figure
    Last Christmas
    You Have Been Loved

  47. Jon says:

    The beautiful “Jesus to a Child” will always be my favorite song of his…so many brilliant tracks to mention…definitely love Battlestations, Wham Rap ’86, Father Figure, I Want Your Sex, I Can’t Make You Love Me…s

  48. SimonP says:

    I think there was an extended version of Father Figure. No idea how official it was, but there was Philippino 12″ that had a duration of 8:45. Allegedly…

  49. TouchMyBoosh says:

    Difficult, but right off the top of my head:

    Praying For Time
    Cowboys & Angels
    Freedom 90
    Father Figure
    Spinning The Wheel
    Waiting For That Day
    Heal The Pain
    Too Funky
    Something To Save
    Waiting (Reprise)

    … tried to ignore the bigger hits and Wham! stuff, also loved some of the layer stuff he did.

    … and his version of Somebody To Love with Queen was truly earth-shaking (up there with the likes of Lorde’s tribute to Bowie, actually perhaps the best live tribute I’ve ever seen).

    RIP old friend, you were magical.

  50. Gord says:

    Devastating loss. Such an incredible talent as performer; musician and songwriter. Gone too too soon.

    My top 10 could also change to a completely different set based on time and mood, but for now and fairly consistently favourites (in no particular order) are…

    Kissing A Fool
    Precious Box
    Too Funky
    Edge of Heaven
    Praying For Time
    Tonight*
    Freeek!
    Freedom ’90
    A Different Corner
    Cowboys & Angels

    Four (FOUR!) of my top 10 artists of all time (Bowie, Pete Burns, Prince and now George Michael) have all died within a year. Too few icons left, so the likes of Madonna, Alison Moyet and Annie Lennox need to be taken to a hermetically sealed bunker until mid 2017 at the earliest.

    * My favourite cover of George’s though with covers of This Mortal Coil; Bonnie Raitt; Elton John; Dead Or Alive and the Bee Gees in amongst his choices of other artists songs, the guy not only wrote incredible music himself, but had a fantastic ear for the works of others too.

  51. Phil Fogel says:

    I still can’t accept that he is gone, it was way too soon, his career was cut too short. I still want another album and tour :(

    A top ten is so hard but here.

    Praying For Time
    Freedom 90
    A Different Corner
    Blue Armed With Love
    Careless Whisper
    Something To Save
    Heal The Pain
    I’m Your Man
    Freedom (Wham!)
    Waiting For That Day

  52. ChrisGa says:

    Monkey
    Waiting For That Day
    I Knew Your Were Waiting (For Me)
    Fastlove
    Too Funky
    Kissing a Fool
    I Want Your Sex
    Praying For Time
    Freeek!
    Outside

  53. Steve Marine says:

    WAITING (REPRISE) is my favorite George Michael song, by far. It’s absolutely perfect.

    Other favorites include (in random order):
    Precious Box
    Freedom ’90
    They Won’t Go When I Go
    A Different Corner
    Hard Day
    Battlestations
    Last Christmas
    Everything She Wants
    Careless Whisper

    I’ve always wished he had been more prolific, but I feel so very grateful for what he’s given us. Hopefully there’s a few songs in the vault that will see the light of day.

  54. Teunis says:

    His version of the Song to the Siren is amazing too. Het had the perfect voice for it and didn’t overdo it.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDIvTCweoCw

  55. Lon Pinkerton says:

    1. Cowboys & Angels
    2. Waiting For That Day
    3. A Different Corner
    4. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
    5. Kissing A Fool
    6. Where Did Your Heart Go?
    7. This Is Not Real Love
    8. Safe
    9. Hand To Mouth
    10. Hard Day

  56. Jim says:

    so great to see the love for Battlestations and Blue (Armed With Love)!

    another hidden gem must surely be Nothing Looks The Same In the Light

    very difficult list to compile, but:

    1. A Ray of Sunshine
    2. Soul Free
    3. Freedom
    4. Freedom ’90
    5. I’m Your Man
    6. Hard Day
    7. Monkey
    8. Praying for Time
    9. Waiting for That Day
    10. Where Did Your Heart Go?

    RIP George

  57. Hans says:

    “I can’t make you love me” is such a beautiful song. Just heard Bonnie Raitt’s version on the radio but George’s version is better.
    My other favorite track is “Jesus to a child”

    RIP

    Hans

  58. Ern says:

    One More Try – Great vocal control, always loved that track.
    We will miss a great artist who wrote some memorable tunes that come out of him as natural as his amazing voice.

  59. Armin says:

    My favourite non-single tracks by my favourite singer. RIP!

    1. Something To Save: Underrated Song, very strong melody and beautiful arrangement.
    2. Star People: One of his best uptempo songs with great lyrics.
    3. Fantasy: Incredibly catchy track. Should have been a single.
    4. Cars And Trains: Moody Song with strange lyrics. Is it about suicide?
    5. Look At Your Hands: Sounding a bit more aggresive than usual, similar to The Edge Of Heaven.

  60. Michael khalsa says:

    Nothing looks the same in the light
    Like a baby
    Last Christmas
    Blue
    Everything she Wants
    A last request
    Cowboys and angels
    Desafinado
    Where or when
    If you were there

  61. Michael khalsa says:

    Father figure as well. Great song.

  62. Todd R. says:

    Only five solo albums……:(
    trivia here…”Crazyman Dance” first had its drum sequence hinted at in a diet coke commercial feat. GM during the FAITH tour…..
    lets hope Andrew will help lace together the Wham! reissues…….

  63. Daniel says:

    Praying for Time will always be a favorite. This week I’ve been shocked at all the GREAT covers of Last Christmas that I never heard! James Dean Bradfield, Paul Dempsey,..even Darren Hayes! Fitting tributes but done years ago.

  64. Christopher says:

    Wrap Her Up. Thanks for the list. Enjoyed it!

  65. tom says:

    I know it’s a bit of a throwaway track but I love Ray of Sunshine from the 1st Wham LP. Agree about Blue, a brilliant track which I only heard on the B side to Club Tropicana(another superb single). In fact I loved Wham. George’s solo stuff wasn’t really my thing though.

  66. aubrey says:

    Nice list Paul. Real shame about George. But his songs will still be heard long after the tabloid infamy fades. Here’s my top ‘ten’…

    1. Jesus To A Child
    2. Everything She Wants
    3. Heal The Pain
    4. A Different Corner
    5. Freedom ’90
    6. Faith
    7. Wake Me Up Before You Go Go
    8. Careless Whisper
    9. My Mother Had A Brother
    =10. The Edge Of Heaven
    =10. Last Christmas
    =10. Battlestations
    =10. Club Tropicana

  67. MARK LEVY says:

    I’m just wondering if Sony will be thinking about releasing an all new compilation of tracks by both WHAM and GEORGE MICHAEL perhaps as part of the Essential series of albums.

  68. Michael says:

    1. The Strangest Thing
    2. Cowboys & Angels
    3. Hand To Mouth
    4. Jesus To A Child
    5. Mother’s Pride
    6. A Different Corner
    7. Freedom ’90
    8. Father Figure
    9. White Light
    10. Nothing Looks The Same In The Light

  69. Eightiesaddict says:

    1. Bad Boys
    2. A Different Corner
    3. Monkey
    4. Everything She Wants
    4. Fastlove
    5. Amazing
    6. Outside
    7. I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)
    8. Killer/Papa Was Rolling Stone
    9. Someone To Love
    10. Freedom

    Paul, I hope you do one of those posts that has all the rare or collectors items throughout the years. I love those posts.

  70. Paul Kent says:

    Listen Without Prejudice… that’s my top 10! As close to perfect as an album can get.

    An honourable mention to Round Here, though. I grew up in George’s neck of the woods, in a place called Burnt Oak. The song and video are particularly poignant for me, as they bring back memories of places I knew so well. Like George, I played in Kingsbury Park. I went to Roe Green Primary School (as seen in the video). I also went to see Star Wars at Colindale cinema which was subsequently converted into a snooker hall (also seen in the video). Thanks for the memories, George.

  71. pinkfloyd says:

    In the midst of GM sad passing, & the delayed LWP v1 reissue (incomplete & incoherent, I must add) isn’t it time for Faith 30?
    This time, stuff everything into 3cd+2dvd?
    We miss George, we want more…
    & speaking of that, how about that overdue Wham! complete box set in memoriam…
    Over to you, Mr Ridgeley

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I can’t see them doing Faith 30. Faith 25 was so recent and a clear statement of what George did and didn’t want reissued.

  72. AnthonyC says:

    It’s too painful and inappropriate to be discussing George Michael re-issues as at this time as it feels like grave robbing.

    For those desperate for re-issues, don’t hold your breath.

    George owned the vast majority of his masters and licensed out his music. Whoever is appointed in his will to control his estate will have the final say.

    So don’t expect record labels any time soon to be digging into vaults for demos and unreleased tracks.

    :-(

  73. Derek says:

    Tough to pick but here goes ( in no specific order)

    Heartbeat (from Make it Big)
    Everything she wants
    Praying for Time
    Mother’s Pride
    Tonight ( cover of Elton John song)
    Monkey
    Outside
    Cowboys and Angels
    I knew you were waiting for me
    Freedom (Wham)

  74. David Hannah says:

    The Final included the single version of Blue, not the live version. Battlestations is definitely up there as one of the best Wham! songs

  75. Pete Miles says:

    No “Last Christmas”?

    Incidentally, the RSD coloured 12″ of that has been going for up to £100 on eBay over the last 3 days. That’s a lot of money for an unplayable pressing…

    George was an angel.

  76. Steven Pickup says:

    My vote goes to Shoot The Dog, oh and maybe Flawless, oh George.

  77. Paul W says:

    Not one mention for Nothing Looks The Same In The Light? Always been a favourite of mine, but to be honest there were very few mis-steps over his first 5 albums.

    Funnily enough, the kids (11 and 6) both decided a few weeks ago that their favourite Christmas song is Last Christmas, which has been my favourite for years. Only Mrs W differs, favouring Fairytale Of New York.

  78. Chris Balfour says:

    Hi all….hoping someone can help me. I believe i had a vinyl version of Everything She Wants once (no longer since giving away my vinyl) and it had a remix that i haven’t been able to find since. It had what i can only describe as some electronic drums splashes in the middle, as well as the echoey “tell me” bits from George that are in the extended mix that’s easy to find

    If someone knows what i am talking about then please tell me what this version is called.

  79. HS says:

    Excellent list Paul.
    Mine would be (if I stick only to solo singles):

    December Song
    Jesus To A Child
    You Have Been Loved
    Amazing
    Cowboys And Angels
    Careless Whisper
    Too Funky
    Fast Love
    A Different Corner
    Praying For Time

    His body of work, especially up to the 00’s really was excellent.

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