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Wham! Japanese Singles Collection

Wham! / Japanese Singles Collection: Greatest Hits CD+DVD

Forthcoming CD+DVD set features exclusive audio & video

Sony Music Japan will release a Wham! Japanese Singles Collection: Greatest Hits CD+DVD set next month that offers some interesting and exclusive content for the rarities-starved George Michael/Wham! fan.

This ‘Japan Singles Collection’ is a continuation of a series has also seen releases for artists such as Paul Young and Cyndi Lauper and the Wham! one looks to be well worth picking up.

It features all the singles issued by the band in Japan, in order, including ‘Where Did Your Heart Go?’ (which was a standalone single in some territories). At the end of the CD are some rarities including ‘Blue (Armed with Love)’ which has never been issued on a Wham! CD album or compilation (it was previously available on the Japanese CD single of ‘Club Tropicana’ and then more recently on Blank & Jones’ So80s 12). This disc ends with a instrumental of ‘Last Christmas’ which has never been released on CD and in fact only exists anywhere, physically, on the 2014 RSD coloured vinyl edition of ‘Last Christmas’.

The DVD provides all the videos for the singles and also offers some great nuggets, such as an ‘HD Remaster’ of the ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go Go’ video, and, even better, the 4K restoration of ‘Last Christmas’. Bear in mind the latter isn’t actually true 4K (because you need an HD blu-ray for that) but it should still look really good on DVD.

The DVD also offers a video for the ‘Extended Stimulation’ version of ‘I’m Your Man’, ‘A Ray of Sunshine’ from UK TV’s The Tube (very rare to get stuff from The Tube because the licensing is ridiculously expensive) and ‘Freedom’ from UK TV’s Wogan chat show.

Hilariously, they’ve somehow acquired the rights to include Wham!’s three Japanese TV commercials, for Maxell Cassette Tapes, which see George and Andrew shamelessly adapt the lyrics to their songs for the Japanese corporation. See one of those above!

Japanese Singles Collection has been “digitally remastered in 2020” and comes with a booklet which features all the single cover art. The DVD should follow similar releases and be an NTSC all-region affair [update: This has actually been confirmed as Region 2]. The CD is actually a Japanese ‘blu-spec CD2’ but this format is compatible with all CD players.

Hats off to Sony Music Japan. Yes, this is ultimately just a greatest hits, but having all the singles and videos together is excellent, there are no omissions, and it’s obvious that whoever has put this together has tried to make it interesting for collectors. If only the UK arm of the label could echo this approach. The rather dull white vinyl seven-inch of ‘Last Christmas’ from 2019, for the 35th anniversary – with no previously unreleased content –  suggests that trying to get interesting audio into the hands of fans isn’t a priority. We are approaching four years since George’s sad death and the Wham! back catalogue remains neglected.

Wham!’s Japanese Singles Collection: Greatest Hits CD+DVD set will be released on 11 November 2020.

Buying tips: As ever, you can choose to order this from the UK or go direct to Japan. Despite how it looks in the widget below, there’s not much difference in price, once you’ve factored in shipping from the Far East and import duties, although Amazon Japan have the ‘import fees deposit’ which means transparent upfront charges for import, with no hidden costs, or ‘surprises’ when the physical item arrives in the UK (or your destination). Use Google Chrome for automatic translation of the Japanese site and you can’t use your existing UK Amazon credentials. This should become available in other territories, like the USA soon.

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Wham! Japanese Singles Collection CD+DVD

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CD
01. Wham! Rap*
02. Young Guns
03. Club Tropicana
04. Bad Boys
05. Wake Me Up Before You Go Go
06. Careless Whisper
07. Freedom
08. Last Christmas
09. Everything She Wants
10. I’m Your Man
11. Edge of Heaven
12. Where Did Your Heart Go
13. Blue
14. Bad Boys (Extended Club Mix)
15. I’m Your Man (Extended Stimulation Mix)*
16. A Ray Of Sunshine*
17. Last Christmas (Instrumental)**

*Previously unreleased on CD in Japan
**Previously unreleased on CD

DVD
01. Wham! Rap
02. Young Guns*
03. Club Tropicana
04. Bad Boys*
05. Wake Me Up (HD Remaster Version)**
06. Careless Whisper
07. Freedom
08. Last Christmas (4K remastered version)**
09. Everything She Wants
10. I’m Your Man
11. Edge of Heaven
12. Where Did Your Heart Go?
13. I’m Your Man (Extended Stimulation Mix)**
14. A Ray Of Sunshine (Live From “The Tube” 1983)**
15. Freedom (Live on “Wogan” 1984)**

Bonus video
16. Maxell Cassette Tape “UD II” Introducing High Beam Sound 30 Seconds TV-CM (1984)**
17. Maxell cassette tape “UD II” dancing “Ehen, high position” 30 seconds TV-CM (1984)**
18. Maxell cassette tape “UD I / UD II” illustration “Ears are thank you!” 30 seconds TV-CM (1985)**

*Previously unreleased on DVD in Japan
**Previously unreleased on DVD

63 responses to Wham! Japanese Singles Collection

  1. Vic says:

    So annoyed by the frequently idiotic amazon. Preordered through amazon U.S. on October 19, then yesterday got the message that it would be delivered today. Yay! I looked at the item listing again to see what the current price was out of curiosity, (I preordered for $51.99) and it was currently listed as being available only through an amazon marketplace seller now ($67).
    Today I get up looking forward to getting it, and see a message from the dolts at amazon asking me to approve a delay in getting it between late December and early January!!
    Did they oversell and my preorder doesn’t mean crap now or what? If they didn’t have it to sell, why would they send out a message yesterday saying it was arriving today, then 24 hours later change their story? I don’t get it.

  2. AdamW says:

    So this US-based person just got his today in the mail, and guess what? THE DVD IS REGION 2, NOT ALL REGIONS.

    Looking through Amazon Japan, it looks like there is no consistency on this series, of which there are about a dozen entries or so. Some are all-region DVDs, some are region 2, so caveat emptor.

    You may want to update this article.

  3. Griffin says:

    Thanks Paul, pre-ordered from Amazon UK with above link. Also TFF Seeds Box with your link Amazon FR.

    The long(er) 12” mix of Young Guns was on this CD single https://www.discogs.com/Wham-Young-Guns-Go-For-It-Bad-Boys/release/1166648 the short(er) mix on The Final I used to call it “The Party Mix” hahaha…it’s like they were having a party.

    I don’t remember which Japanese (re)issue I have (all in the moving house boxes at the storage). https://www.discogs.com/Wham-ワム-The-Best-Remixes-ベストリミックス/master/281735 The 6:43~6:45 mix on the Japanese CD is different to all others like on the original album, The Final & Twelve Inch Mixes/The 12” Mixes. Call it what you want: (Un)social Mix. If the one on album/Final/12” Mixes is Social then this is Unsocial and the other way around.

    I just hope they will release all b-sides instrumental versions of the singles and the original “plain” mix of the single Last Christmas and perhaps the longer original mix (which wasn’t cut into the single mix & 4:45 on some 12” single). So not the Pudding Mix.

    • Kiefer2 says:

      No-don’t “call it what you want”-the Unsocial mix is a specific title for a specific mix. The first verse of the rap has George proclaiming “Hey, everybody, now listen to me
      Cut the radio bulls**t, this is side B”. TTBoMK the Unsocial mix has never been released on cd and ANY cd claiming to have it actually features a mis-labeled “Social Mix”. The Japanese cd that you list above features the Social Mix and it is even labeled as that. The other cds you list do not contain The Unsocial mix either.

    • Ramzoo says:

      Indeed Careless Whisper (Intrumental) would have been appreiciated. Happy though 4 this release.

  4. Larry Davis says:

    Ordered…from Amazon UK & they are shipping to the US…this was the first of the series that caught my interest…the a-ha, Paul Young & Cyndi Lauper no…but this looks like a new improved remastered “The Final”, and been craving some George stuff lately, and the only thing I currently have is that “Last Christmas” soundtrack…however, I’m not sure why no one else has brought it up, BUT there is a 12″ mix (never before on CD at that point) of “Bad Boys” on Blank & Jones so80s Vol 7, Ibiza…not sure which mix it is but it’s awesome…

  5. Seweryn says:

    I bought A-ha and Cyndi from the same series. It’s expensive but I will buy Wham as well. Fantastic quality and a must for a fan in collection.

  6. Donnie Biscuits says:

    I was listening to the 3 albums a few weeks ago as I’m reading Andrew’s book and although I’m not a ‘fan’ I’m always reminded just how good they were at such an early age. ‘Fantastic’ is just that, almost perfect. Make It Big has a bit of filler but the singles more than make up for it. ‘The Final’ is a greatest hits with bonus tracks, again brilliant. In many of the songs you can spot the George superstar that was to be. This is an essential to completists and new comers.
    Would love to know the story behind those Maxwell re-recordings , where did the yhappen and did they do the whole songs? Bad Boys is brilliant with the ‘Monkey’ style wire work high-five.

  7. Rich A. says:

    On that Maxwell advert did they just sing “Your the fish-face I adore”???!!!

  8. Ray says:

    Outstanding!

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE… Dead or Alive and Adam Ant/& The Ants CD/DVD collections would make excellent additions to this series!!!

  9. Shane says:

    This was an instant purchase for me days ago. I already have the Cyndi Lauper collection and I was pretty pleased with it.
    I’m not too pleased with the front artwork, it’s too messy, and definitely unlike any artwork ever used on releases before this one. I wasn’t too keen on Cyndi’s or Paul, even though it’s clear is very tightly linked to the concept of the collection

  10. Nathan Dodd says:

    Dear Sony Music Japan

    Please also release a Singles Collection compilation Blu-Spec disc by the GREATEST voice of our time – Miss Barbra Streisand.

  11. adam west says:

    an interesting find i got on cd a few years ago was the 12 inch mixes from japan with a make it big era photo on the sleeve which included the proper unsocial mix from 82 and bad boys remix non of which are on cd in the uk… the 12 mixes were realeased in the uk on cassette and cd and the cassette had the unsocial mix but the cd was the social mix (wham the final) even tho it says unsocial mix to confuse us all and was realeased in a grey silver sleeve but had freedom long mix so the only ones not on cd that i know of is the original young guns 12 and club tropicana and wake me up extendeds then we have the whole shabang and did you know that wham rap has an explicit lyric in an early version of the unsocial mix ive lost count but it makes great hunting. id love to see soul boy demo remastered its amazing and a vocal version of blue from 1983 then with golden soul its complete as far as i know…..whooosh!

  12. Michael says:

    Great. Ordered. I also would like the George Michael estate to reissue expanded editions of Fantastic, Make It Big & The Final with the 7”, 12” & B sides. Plus the Wham! documentary Foreign Skies & some of the UK TV performances would be also be welcome. Thank you.

  13. Omar says:

    The fact that Sony has allowed this release in Japan may indicate thawing of the ice in Wham’s much neglected back catalogue. Fingers crossed for future stuff!

  14. Peter Delclef says:

    I asked Andrew last year of there will be a vinyl release/releases from the Wham!-stuff?! He answered that he didn ‘t know… !!! That’ a topic for the GM-estate….Andrew isn ‘t involved in that estate…

  15. Chris Balfour says:

    Was hoping to read somewhere here about the mix of Everything She Wants that I am still looking for. I am sure I had it on vinyl but gave my vinyl to a collector when I left the Uk to work abroad. It’s a version with a load of syn drums in the middle bashing away. Can’t find it anywhere! Maybe it was a radio mix after all and never owned it!! If anyone can help I would appreciate it

  16. Phil Fogel says:

    It’s so frustrating being a George Michael fan. After getting so many fabulous re-releases recently like Prince’s Sign O The Times, why can’t George’s estate sign off on some projects. Interesting that Sony Japan can work independently, without the artist’s estate or approval? This begs the question could Sony US or Canada do such a release? I’m assuming trying to order this from Canada will cost a fortune :(

  17. Martin Rawles says:

    Im sure there was a different 12″ Mix in France for Young Guns. My mate brought it back from Le Harve, and it was on Epic. It was like a re edit. Any other Wham connoisseurs ever hear it, our was I dreaming?

    • Sam Lowry says:

      There are two 12 inch versions. The one in Europe was 5:10 and the one in the U.S. was 6:53. The U.S Mix was later released in Europe as well. It does sound mostly as an edit incorporating the B-side Going for It!, with some effects added in parts. It has also been sped up from 116 to 118 BPM.

      • Alex says:

        There is a Mexican 12” red vinyl,limited edition with titles in Spanish ( Pistoleros Jovenes Intentalo), 7: 15 remix as well,not available anywhere else’.

  18. David Hannah says:

    Thanks for the head’s up! Ordered it from Amazon Japan as it will arrive sooner than if i had ordered from Amazon UK.

    I echo the sentiment about Foreign Skies being released again. I asked Andrew the question last year about that and If You Were There being released on DVD/Blu ray. He wasn’t keen on the latter being released at all. It’s a more honest depiction of the tour than Foreign Skies was though

  19. David Regan says:

    Would have been nice if they added the first rarer video version of Careless Whisper…its on YouTube..but in bad quality..and Wham’s performance of Blue (armed with love) from the Russel Harty Show

  20. Don says:

    Paul, I read through the article and the comments, but I didn’t see an answer to this question:

    Is the DVD all-region (Region 0), or is it Region 2 (Europe and Japan)? I live in the US, but I actually have a region-free player, so it’s not that big a deal. But some other non-Region-2 fans might not be able to enjoy this new release to its fullest.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      “The DVD should follow similar releases and be an NTSC all-region affair.”

      • Don says:

        Whoops! Completely missed that. That’ll teach me to try to comprehend stuff five minutes after waking up… Thanks for the clarification!

        • Christian says:

          Alas, this one was Region 2 only. I received it today and excitedly put it in my computer with no luck of playing it. Dang it!

  21. Rob Carter says:

    How much do amazon japan charge for shipping to UK?

  22. Marc says:

    Hopefully Sony Japan will put together a comprehensive George Michael solo singles collection at some point.

  23. Stephen K says:

    Looks like it has all of the UK singles on it as well, except for “Club Fantastic Megamix”, which I can overlook as it is more of a medley remix than a proper single (I think only Duran Duran’s “Burning the Ground” qualifies as a medley remix that “works” as a proper single. Is it because it has a music video? Is it because it has its own song title? I wonder if the band was involved in its creation or if the song was wholly a record label endeavor?). I guess otherwise Japan got everything the UK did and then some.

    Will it have the original (and much rarer to find digitally) version of “Last Christmas” (’84) or the more common remixed version (’85)? It doesn’t matter too much to me, as the original sounds a bit anemic and jarring compared to Wham’s other music.

    I was really looking forward to the Cyndi Lauper release, but my hopes sank when it didn’t have the “Boy Blue” single version (among other missing single versions).

    This Wham release looks pretty great no matter what curveballs might pop up.

    • Alex says:

      Hi,no music video for the Club Fantastic Megamix and Wham! were not involved at all. It was a way to cash more with their music.They had royalties problems with Innervision, that’s why CBS offered a contract with Epic. I remember George telling the fans to don’t buy the single before a tv performance. There’s no 85 remix of Last Christmas,only different mixing and a different Pudding Mix released in Japan and on the the Dutch 12″ of Everything She Wants. I think the Sound Shower Mix of Careless Whisper will be released . It was a version just for the Japanese market and released as a promo 12″ only.

  24. Barnaby Dickenson says:

    We are coming up on four years since George died and, so far, the only major reissue we’ve had was the Listen Without Prejudice/MTV Unplugged release. The Symphonica vinyl keeps getting put back, and I’d more or less assumed that we would see a reissue of Older for next year’s 25th anniversary. However, it seems to take the GM Estate a year or more to get anything together, so if we haven’t heard anything yet then that may not happen.

    Anyway, this looks great. Can’t we put Sony Japan in charge of all George Michael reissues?

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Bear in mind the LWP reissue was all but done while George was still alive, so ‘new’ reissue projects amount to a Last Christmas 7″ and bunging a new song on the soundtrack to that film. Underwhelmed.

      • Barnaby Dickenson says:

        Well, exactly. It was due to be released in the spring and ended up coming out in October. Endless delays.

  25. Paul B says:

    Worth it just for the studio version of ‘Blue’.

  26. madman says:

    Love that Maxell commercial! Someone should put together a super deluxe edition of all the Japan-only commercials and/or releases one day!

  27. Simon says:

    The Cyndi Lauper equivalent came out at £30 when the time came, so hopefully the same will be true here.

  28. Alan B says:

    Paul you mentioned that licensing from The Tube is ridiculously expensive. Do you know the reason why? There is an absolute treasure trove of material from that show and I believe there has only ever been one compilation DVD issued. I would love a compilation of all The Smiths items that appeared on the show from their live performances to band features that were shown (Margi Clarke interview with the band amongst others) So many great artists from era appeared live in the studio. It’s criminal that so little of it is officially out there.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Greed, presumably. All I know is that reissue consultants that I talk to always abandon trying to get Tube clips for any DVDs because the economics simply don’t support it.

      • Dave H says:

        Isn’t the Demon Music Group owned by the BBC? It’ll explain why their deluxe box sets have access to TOTP and other BBC footage.

        That Tube DVD that Alan mentions was withdrawn because it wasn’t cleared with U2. A new version was issued without U2 performing New Year’s Day and a very cringe worthy interview between Bono and Eddie the Eagle.

    • Metal Mickey says:

      I can’t speak for The Tube, but years ago I was involved in preliminary attempts to try and bring “Revolver” (the 1978 music show with Peter Cook) to DVD, and the legal fees alone we’re going to be *astronomical* because none of the artists signed waivers allowing their performances to be used for “ancillary” purposes, and we’d have had to do individual deals for every track… Maybe The Tube is similar, and the fees are more for the lawyers than the music?

  29. Michel Banen says:

    Ordered this immediately. The Japanese always make such amazing releases ! I received the KISS 2020 CD re-issues of “Killers” and “Best of solo albums” and they are amazing ! Note that the “Make it big” blu spec CD2 actually mentions “stereo 360″ and the discs that have that sound amazing on my set-up [Dead or Alive – Youthquake” and Ozzy Osbourne – Blizzard of Oz]. There’s lots of debate if blu spec CD2 discs sound better than regular CD’s. Well, the few that have the “stereo 360” indeed sound mindblowingly good. The ble spec CD2 discs that do not have the “stereo 360” do not sound better than regular CD’s.

  30. Chris Squires says:

    Ah man this takes me back, looking at those Japanese sleeves. Living in Birmingham and working in Smiths we had a massive Virgin Megastore right around the corner, a one minute walk up the ramp. When you are 16 or 17 and into music the lure of the Japanese import was very, very strong. Having quite a few Oldfield, Bush, Japan and Paul Young Japanese imports already I didn’t need much persuading when the Wham! ones appeared.
    The internet and global economy seems to have dulled the feeling a little but back in the early 1980s to have a Japanese (in many cases unique) issue felt like something to be cherished.
    I think of the Paul Young “The Live Edition” 12″ EP with “I close my eyes and count to ten” or The Oldfield “The singles” 12″ EP with the massive centre label. Pretty much every single penny I earned went on music.

    I find it hard to imagine that the amount of joy I had collecting and listening to all this stuff as a mid-teen is something this generation know absolutely nothing of. Too busy swiping right… or is it left, oh I don’t know…. I am sure they are not bothered either way what with our gramophones…….

  31. Frank Piehler says:

    Everytime I read something on here about a new WHAM! release, I have to double-check if it´s April Fool´s Day again – I fell for the shuttlecocks and the teeth whitener! Or is it just me?

  32. Simonf says:

    Whilst the price is a bit on the heavy side, this is an amazing collection. How do Japanese labels always leave their Western counterparts floundering in the dust when it comes to collections like this?
    Not out until December so should be able to afford it by then. I know Amazon don’t take the money until stuff is sent out so I think we’ll be fine on this one. The only slight worry is what if Sony UK suddenly decide to bung out a similar set early next year….!!!
    But still a great set.

  33. Nuno Bento says:

    This is ridiculously expensive for us in the UK, but I still might jump on it. Some great nuggets here after all.
    Paul, any news on some sort of George release this year? We were supposed to get the reissue of Symphonica on vinyl and the first time release of Ladies & Gentlemen on vinyl this year, but both seem to be postponed indefinitely.

  34. What? Wham!? Worry? says:

    Would of been the time to add the rare Careless Whisper Shower mix only released in Japan.

  35. RobC says:

    This set looks fantastic! I think we’ve finally got our definitive Wham comp – certainly looking to replace my recent copy of The Final CD/DVD set (or not as that issue features mainly the 12″ versions of many of the hits)

    I wonder if the audio content fills all 80 minutes? Would have loved for Club Fantastic Megamix (perhaps legal reasons this is left off?) and possibly A Different Corner (though it wasn’t released as a single) on here…but the fact this is remastered and has expanded video content makes this set a winner.

  36. David Simon says:

    Previously released or previously unreleased?

  37. CJ Feeney says:

    This Japanese Singles Collection series is really intriguing. I’ve ignored them so far, but the Earth Wind and Fire caught my eye, then this one pops up. My collection doesn’t have any George or Wham, but this might just be what I need to fill the gap.

    It looks so well put together.

  38. Enrico G. says:

    Awesome.

  39. Rob says:

    This is great. As you allude to Paul, it’s absolute madness that they still haven’t reissued the Wham! catalogue in some collectible form since George’s death. Vinyl, a vinyl box set, expanded CDs or a CD box set… all would seem like no-brainers!

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