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George Michael’s last interview to be broadcast in full on BBC Radio 2

George Michael‘s last interview, with Kirsty Young, will next month be broadcast in almost all its entirety, on BBC Radio 2.

George had asked Kirsty to interview him in December last year and some of his answers to her questions can be heard as part of the narration to the recently aired Freedom documentary (see the SDE review).

The intention was to cover only a few specific areas, but apparently the conversation ran on for over two hours and led to a “frank and informal” discussion about George’s life and career.

The plan was never to broadcast the whole thing, but this is now going to happen. As they parted, George apparently said to Kirsty: “You should turn this into a radio programme.”

George Michael: The Red Line will be broadcast on BBC Radio 2 in the UK across two one-hour programmes on Wednesday 1 and Wednesday 8 November at 10pm. Scroll down for some detail around the content.

The Freedom documentary has created incredible demand for George Michael and Wham! albums. Listen Without Prejudice is finally issued tomorrow, 13 months after being originally announced.

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George Michael

Listen Without Prejudice: 3CD+DVD super deluxe

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Amazon uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 28.49
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George Michael

Listen Without Prejudice: 2CD edition

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George Michael

Listen Without Prejudice: remastered vinyl

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Amazon uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 14.82
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Amazon fr 6LP coloured vinyl box 16.85
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The BBC have published highlights from the programmes, which are as follows:

Programme One

George remembering the beginning of his career and teaming up with his school friend, Andrew Ridgley to form Wham!: “What a wonderful joy ride for two 18 year olds… what an amazing adventure… Wham! itself was an absolute joy. It was joyous as it sounded you know.”

How his decision to pursue a solo career almost felt pre-destined for him: “There’s always been this red line, I see it like a red line, which goes through everything. Like a staircase to whatever you’re about to do next. And I could feel that at the final concert. I already had one foot in my solo career during Wham! the final.”

On putting music before his personal life: “I had a feeling that I couldn’t have both. I felt that I couldn’t come out and, and live a full gay life and still have my devotion to what I did.”

Becoming wary of using his appearance to promote his music: “The real crux of what happened between Faith and Listen Without Prejudice. A young man who was adored by millions but couldn’t work out why, said: ‘If I take away the image, if I take away this face, I’ll see whether they still love me’.”

Meeting Anselmo and entering into his first long-term relationship: “I was happier than I’d ever been in my entire life. Fame, money… everything else just kind of, paled by comparison to finally at 27 years old, waking up in bed with someone who loves you.”

How he felt after losing his court case against Sony Music: “I feel I took three years out of my career, I spent 7 million dollars and I got nothing for artists. Nothing. And then 10 years later it’s a different generation… that never looks at what they’re doing to their fellow man you know. Let alone fellow artists.”

Programme Two

His performance of Somebody to Love which was dedicated to his partner Anselmo (who had at that point been diagnosed with HIV) at the Freddie Mercury tribute concert in 1992: “I went for five days to rehearse. Everyone else went for an afternoon, I went for five days because it had to be perfect. And I think it’s probably my most famous performance… It’s not an accident that the performance probably most well known in my career was sung to my lover who was dying.”

Going back to the studio after Anselmo’s death and making his third solo studio album, Older: “Older’ is my greatest moment, in my opinion… I don’t ever want to be that inspired again.

“I wrote Older within about I suppose 8-10 months. I think I wrote the best, most healing piece of music that I’ve ever written in my life with that album.”

His optimism towards the future of his recording career: “Even when I’ve lost control, even when I’ve really hit rock bottom, I believe, that the red line is still there. And that this period of down time will result in something spectacular.”

George Michael: The Red Line will be broadcast for the first time on BBC Radio 2 on Wednesday 1 and Wednesday 8 of November at 10pm. The programme was produced by TBI Media, and executive produced by David Austin.

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41 responses to George Michael’s last interview to be broadcast in full on BBC Radio 2

  1. Chris Squires says:

    Would love a Wham! SDE. The question whether to do one super Super Deluxe like The Final on Steroids or take one album at a time.

    Personally I would welcome one giant box with as much as they can gather from the whole experience. The Executive demo(s) exist(s), we know that now. From there to the Video for the last concert 6 CD, 1 DVD, 1 Blu-Ray (or 6 LP) plus 148 page book would do me fine. They could easily mirror The Joshua Tree set and “Make it Super”

    But sadly, like most these days, they will probably half-ass it. 2 x 2CD sets with loads missing and only 75 minutes content across the 2 disc sets…..

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Not sure there’s much point at taking it one a time – I agree that one massive box makes most sense.

      • Michael Khalsa says:

        I would prefer if the 3 Wham! albums were reissued as expanded editions individually. The 7″ mixes, 12″ mixes & b sides. I would also love to see ‘Foreign Skies’ released on dvd or blu ray on one of them. Also as they were very much a visual band; performances from shows like Top Of The Pops, Razzmatazz & The Tube would be great to include.

  2. mick lynch says:

    Yeah theres the final concert on cd and dvd, and the Foreign Skies film on dvd, before we even consider the two albums. There must be a mountain of material unreleased. They need to release it. Make It Bigger!

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Thanks a good idea for a title ;)

      • Scott says:

        Agree. And “More Fantastic” for the first one. And maybe “The Absolute Final” for the last one.
        Or maybe do “Music from the Edge of Heaven and Beyond” if they wanted to avoid all of the repetition on “The Final” from the other two albums.

  3. Alan says:

    If that photo with Kirsty Young really was taken in December last year then he doesn’t look ill, or bloated. He looks very well in fact. And that line, “And that this period of down time will result in something spectacular” is hearbreaking, considering what happened within weeks of the interview.

  4. Kauwgompie says:

    Does anyone know if there will be a podcast or something so that we can also hear it in the USA?

  5. elliott buckingham says:

    id like to know why wham the final cd versions never mirror the dbl lp version for track listing

  6. Ivan says:

    This is the kinda stuff I ever wanted to hear from the man’s himself lips. George’s own expectations for the future really breaks my heart in pieces :-(

    • Naj hysn says:

      Gm had a habit of saying he was working on this or that- but then nothing would come of it
      So the archives must have lots of material or he was not pleased with the end product and would shelve it.

      • CJ says:

        I wonder if he wasn’t pleased with them, or if it was like Prince and he was pleased to have it done and didn’t see the same pleasure in releasing it. Prince had tons of material that he was satisfied with t hat still went into the vault because putting onto a record and promoting it took away from the time he had to keep creating it.

        While it doesn’t seem like George was as prolific as Prince, he did seem to be much more shy. As an artist, perhaps he was just happy to have had the creation under his belt and have the sense of accomplishment from having made it, but the thought of then having to do the promotional wheel and go through all that exposure seemed like too much to contend with.

  7. Todd R. says:

    On the Wham! SDE ideas –
    Already a few versions of FANTASTIC with alternate instrumental mixes etc. Get that sorted with all the demos (if any) 12″ mixes (several…just how many “Wham Rap” versions are there again?…how many 12″ of “Young Guns”?) and non-CD instrumentals (“Bad Boys” etc). Add “Blue” and bam. (Ha! I made a pun there….)

    MAKE IT BIG(GER)
    Ok, the instrumentals are fine, but of course the remix of “Everything She Wants”… the single version of “Freedom” (with trumpet coda) , the 12″ long version (two different versions, none with trumpet coda!) and the live version of “A Ray Of Sunshine”, a UK B-side. Oh yes, that pesky early version of “Careless Whisper”…

    THE FINAL EDGE OF HEAVEN.
    Most of those “I’m Your Man” elements (A Capella, instrumental – aka ‘Do It Right’) have never seen CD. Live recordings (The Final? hmmm) obviously “Battlestations”, “The Edge Of Heaven” (performed live long before the single was released) “Where Did Your Heart Go?”… “This Christmas” (how about the RSD 12″ b-side instrumental!!! Holiday singalong!)….

    How’m I doing Paul?
    just saying.
    Mr. Ridgely – time to oversee production.

    TR

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Whatever the format, I think the chances of us getting EVERY variation of Wham Rap, and I’m Your Man are probably minimal. There’s that version of Blue (Armed With Love) that they performed on the Russel Harty Show that has extra lyrics. Because George is no longer with us, maybe we might get some demos etc. Probably unlikely. I’d love to do a Paul Young “CBS Years” type set for Wham! – that would be the dream!

  8. elliott buckingham says:

    reading the reviews for lwp 25 and the haven’t been good. a lot of people saying the mtv unplugged isn’t the correct version with people saying 1 track is the album version with crowd noise dubbed onto the track. people moaning about the book being printed baldly as well

    • Graham Turner says:

      It’s ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’ that is the studio rather (with crowd overdubs) than live version. Given this is a cover I wonder if there was some kind of copyright/licensing problem to include the ‘unplugged’ version?

      Regardless, Sony really should have been upfront if this was the case.

    • Michael Khalsa says:

      Hi Elliot,

      I got it yesterday just the 2 CD (the 4 disc is in the post). Album sounds great. And it does sound way better than the original CD. I have nothing to compare the MTV unplugged to but i thought it sounded very good. I found Purple Rain to be too loud a remaster but the George Michael’s for both Listen & Faith are very well done.

  9. Deborah says:

    I was underwhelmed with my copy of the deluxe 3CD+DVD version when I opened it yesterday. The book is printed on glossy white paper with hard to see pale grey print throughout. I was highly disappointed to find the original album tracks sounded no louder or better than those I already owned on the original CD from the 90’s, this was one of the main reasons I had been looking forward to this release for the last two years.

  10. Ben Williams says:

    Looking forward to this. Listening to the new Unplugged album as I type – really amazing show.

    Paul – will you be doing an un-boxing of the new Listen Without Prejudice sets?

  11. Omar says:

    Wham! reissues have been in demand for years now, even way before George died. He knew it and so did Sony. It would make perfect sense now to put out a boxset with everything dug up from the archives!

  12. elliott buckingham says:

    fantasy nile rogers mix is included on the 2nd cd in the boxset. it is an awful version though

    • elliott buckingham says:

      err my mistake I was reading the write up of what was included in the download. they missed a trick in not including the 5 live tracks and I wont let the sun go down surely more inline year wise than mtv unplugged

  13. Craig says:

    Wham! SDEs would be…er…fantastic!

    Especially Fantastic.

    Needs to have both original UK and US versions of Wham Rap and of course all the various 12″ versions they can find.

    Would also like nice clean CD versions of the Ben Liebrand megamix and the Club Fantastic Megamix.

    • elliott buckingham says:

      I doubt club fantastic would be issued as it was not an official release and wham were against its release.

      • Craig says:

        I get that at the time – they were against it because it didn’t make them any $$$$.

        But at this point, why not? People want it and it if it helps sell more product – who cares?

        At this point it’s just all about making $$$$.

  14. Nick Flanagan says:

    Hi Paul your website is fantastic. I’ve been listening to the MTV unplugged session today which sounds great. I’m disappointed that my favourite track – I can’t make you love me is not the version that was transmitted and instead is the single version that was released around that time. I can’t understand why this version has been included do you know why?

  15. Daran says:

    Paul, lots of people are receiving really bad quality print on the booklets. Can you poke around your contacts to see if there will be any reprints coming, or if they are aware of it?

    • Chris Squires says:

      I wonder why so many current sets are falling short, quality wise.
      Buying an album in 1984 from WHSmiths didn’t seem to hold such terrors.
      Is it because we expect more now? Is it down to the internet so we get to hear about it, whereas we would have been blissful in our ignorance with only the NME for enlightenment. Or is it that quality control has just gone right down the crapper ( sorry watching Game of Thrones and it’s catching).
      My guess is a bit of all three but mostly the last one, there are just too many mistakes and if there is something wrong with this set it is even more shocking as it has been made for over a year and you’d have thought someone might have noticed, but maybe they did and no one cared enough to do anything about it. As Paul said above, get into the compiler’s chair and make a proper job of Make it Bigger. You know what there is, and you know the right questions to ask to find the stuff you don’t know about….yet.

    • Gareth Pugh says:

      Daran, do you mean the very pale grey print for the lyrics etc? I’m just unpacking my copy now and I had assumed that (pale grey print colour but black titles for the songs) was an intentional creative decision (albeit a questionable one- it looks a bit of an eyesore) but not a printing mistake as such?

      • Daran says:

        People are saying they can’t read it. Can that really be deliberate? I was just about to pull the trigger from Amazon when I saw the complaints and some pictures put up. It does look unreadable. Does yours look the same as the pictures on Amazon UK?

  16. Neil says:

    They might have at least remastered the original album.

  17. Rob Iles says:

    Daran,
    The quality of the book itself s fine for me – other than markings on the outside of the book (white backing).
    Silver font on a white page is not very easy on the eye though!

    elliott buckingham says:
    fantasy nile rogers mix is included on the 2nd cd in the boxset. it is an awful version though

    ^ It’s not on my Deluxe CD/DVD set

  18. elliott buckingham says:

    I think the book is meant to look like that it all depends on the light as to how faint the ink looks they are not a very good match colourwise though a bit much on the eyes.

  19. Alan says:

    Is it just me that dislikes the fact that the stickers are on the cellophane packaging rather than the item itself? This is a general complaint as many releases are like this, but the deluxe 3CD and DVD of this has two. What is the point? Often I try and get them off undamaged, but if the stickiness starts pulling away, I have to concede defeat and cut round the sticker. I then put the stickers – complete with the cut cellophane – somewhere inside the item.

    I’d prefer it if they were stuck to the item inside and then I could just discard the cellophane completely without having to pull it off carefully to avoid ripping through the sticker.

    I agree the lyrics are faint. Part of the design and not really an issue as I can just google them if I need to.

  20. Mickey says:

    Hoping the remastered LWPV1 is good as there seems to be mixed reviews. The faith remaster was good to me.

    I just want an Older reissue remastered properly with all the b sides and remixes along with unreleased things from that era but I think that’s a bit away yet. I’m guessing it will be Older 25.

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