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SDEtv looks back / Wham! The Final box

A very early example of a ‘super deluxe edition’ box set

Wham!‘s 1986 career summary The Final was issued as a 2LP vinyl set, a double cassette package and on a single CD. However there was also a special box set edition, limited to 25,000 units! SDE ‘looks back’ and opens the lid with this SDEtv unboxing video…

The Final was reissued in 2011 on CD and as a special CD+DVD edition. Read the SDE track-by-track analysis of the package. Also, in 2014 Sony Music in Japan issued a remastered edition of The Final as a ‘K2HD’ mastered CD. Read the SDE review of that version. Finally, if you are looking for the studio version of Blue (Armed With Love) on CD it doesn’t exist on any Wham! release (groan) but can be found on Blank and Jones‘ So80s 12 compilation which was issued last September.

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Blank & Jones

So80s 12 featuring Blue Armed With Love

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Wham

The Final - K2HD mastering

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Wham!

The Final - CD+DVD edition

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Wham!

The Final - CD edition

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Wham! The Final 2LP edition

Side one

Wham Rap! (Enjoy What You Do) (Special US Re-Mix) – 6:43
Young Guns (Go for It!) (12″ Version) – 5:09
Bad Boys (12″ version) – 4:52
“Club Tropicana” – 4:25

Side two

“Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” – 3:51
“Careless Whisper” (12″ version) – 6:30
“Freedom” (7″ Version) – 5:20
“Last Christmas” (Pudding Mix) – 6:47

Side three

Everything She Wants (Long Remix) – 6:34
I’m Your Man” (Extended Stimulation) – 6:50
Blue (Armed with Love) – 3:50

Side four

A Different Corner – 3:59
Battlestations – 5:27
Where Did Your Heart Go? – 5:45
The Edge of Heaven – 4:37

Note: The Cassette version was the same as the 2LP set. On the CD version ‘Bad Boys’, ‘I’m Your Man’ and ‘Careless Whisper’ were all the seven-inch versions. Blue (Armed With Love) doesn’t feature at all, not even the live version.

39 responses to SDEtv looks back / Wham! The Final box

  1. Andrew says:

    I brought this from Woolworths around 1987 for £1.99 in a sale still have it, all brand new. The box is slightly damaged when I brought, guessing still a bargain.

  2. Alex says:

    Hello,I have all the Japanese vinyl releases of Wham! and George Michael,promo and commercial in my collection . The Sound Shower is real,it’s a weird remix: the instrumental with noises and Japanese talk and it’s on the B side of the record. There are other promo with extended versions of Club Tropicana and WakeMe Up Before You Go Go as well. The clip on YouTube of the Sound Shower is a fake one.Japan had beautiful and exclusive releases,for example I have a promo tape that contains a funny message from Wham! and a snippet of WakeMe Up.. I have two of these boxes as well,one bought in 1986 and another one bought last year that I kept sealed.

  3. Shane says:

    Well that discogs entry seems quite artificial: the scans are spotless, there is no indication of the version on which side is which and the labels make no reference to it, unless Chris Porter is Sound Shower.
    There are 7 owners, but, doens’t really mean much.

  4. Nuno Bento says:

    Love this. One of my most prized possessions. And the records don’t sound too bad either.

  5. MüllerMüller says:

    Hallo Paul – what did you know about the „Battlestations Extended Edit 6.36“?
    It´s by Steven Bourasa – from Hot Tracks Series 5-11 / 1988

  6. Guy says:

    My first box set was Spandau Ballet “Diamond” 4 x 12″ release with extended versions and a poster.

  7. Barnaby Dickenson says:

    So nostalgic to watch. I wanted it. Couldn’t afford it. My mate got it for Christmas. Still a bit gutted. Thanks for doing that, Paul!

  8. Michael says:

    I was speaking to a Wham!/George Michael collector. He has all the promo’s etc. Interestingly in Japan on promotional 12″ they released an extended version of Wake Me Up Before You Go Go, a sound shower version of Carless Whisper, 2 extended versions of Club Tropicana. (One from a Spanish 12″ promo). I am not sure who did the remixing whether George Michael was involved or not. And Japan released also an exclusive version of Last Christmas. Which unlike the other ones mentioned was commercially available & is online.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1I0Q2WfkrKc

    • -SG- says:

      Yes, I’ve read about this so-called sound shower remix, of careless whisper, but have never actually seen or heard it, at the very least by now if this did exist a sound sample would have emerged on youtube or somewhere over the last 20 years, even an auction for the promo. So besides hearing a collector talk about it, have you actually seen or heard these records, as I don’t belive such promos actually exist from 1984 beyond someone entering the information on discogs, or someone making a bootleg remix later and trying to pass it off as something official and ultra rare. Not unlike the fabled japanese Tears For Fears 3″ CD single of the hurting (high tension mix) which also does not exist outside of imagination.

      • Terence says:

        I think I believe you about the sound shower mix as I never heard it, also does anyone know if the sound on B&J is better than the 3″ Club Tropicana CD? thanks

      • Michael says:

        Here it is.

        https://www.discogs.com/Wham-Careless-Whisper-Sound-Shower-Mix/release/7963088

        There is a clip on you tube which states it’s the sound shower mix on you tube. But it is fake. It was on eBay recently. I am collector of George Michael & Wham!. The person I am referring to is also a collector. I have seen pictures of all the others & he would have no reason to lie. And read & heard about most of them from other collectors as well.

        And to answer the previous question from another person about Hot Tracks mix of Battlestations. Hot Tracks was a DJ subscription service where they would make remixes of songs. They are not official.

        • -SG- says:

          Well, I’m not out to call anyone a liar, but this item just has all the hallmars of a fake. Even having a mix called sound shower makes me wonder if it is just the instrumental mix that you can use while singing in the shower. I just find it hard to believe that no one has heard this mix anywhere, especially since it was supposed to be used to promote the song…. not very good promotion if no one has heard it or it must be so terrible that no one wants anyone to hear it and ruin the mystique.

          • Alex says:

            Sound Shower Mix is a special Re-Mix by “Sound Shower”
            Sound Shower Mix
            Produced By Chico Shibata
            Co-Produced By Shunsuke Maeda (Epic/Sony)
            Mixed At L-Studio FM-Aichi, Nagoya City
            Mixing Engineer: Koichi Miyashita
            These are part of the credits…
            The side A is the original Careless Whisper ,the side used to promote the song… Some Japanese releases are really strange but very nice and interesting for the collectors and now very hard to find even in Japan.. I payed my copy a lot of money and honestly, my last wish, is to see the mp3 on YouTube.

          • -SG- says:

            Yes Japanese promos are very rare as they were often sent back and destroyed. So I am curious, what is the foundation of the mix, is it even Wham or essentially a cover version, as I’ve only read about an instrumental…. I would love to hear more about this.

          • Alex says:

            It’s an instrumental with noises and Japanese talk. Sound Shower were popular in Japan, they had some compilations and releases. Together with Maxell advertising and competitions,it was a great way to promote Wham! in Japan. It would be nice a cd box set with all the Wham! 12”,Duran style.. it’s nice to dream,LOL.

          • -SG- says:

            Thanks Alex, that is really interesting and one of the things that makes thes site so magic, such a wealth of information shared by a worldwide cross section of music lovers. It is also nice that it is still so rare. It would do Wham! justice if they got a CD 12″ box like Bananarama got a few years ago, I think that would be the only proper way to round up all of the odd variants released at the time, it is really surprising how much material has only seen a vinyl release.

          • Alex says:

            My pleasure and yes, a box would be awesome. Some incredible versions released on vinyl only…. And some of them exclusive for some countries only as well ,like the remix of Young Guns on Mexican red vinyl (7:41) or Freedom! Remix 91 on Mexican translucent vinyl.

  9. Chris Squires says:

    My first box set was Never For Ever, which was a bootleg on the UFO label. It was really well done. CD, T-shirt and a rather glossy and beautiful book. This made me get the same thing for Lionheart. It was quite stirring for a 15 year old lad as Kate was quite photogenic.

  10. Dan says:

    Great idea! I don’t suppose you have Madonna’s Royal Box edition of The Immaculate Collection?

  11. Branny says:

    My first box set was also one of my first albums. My Dad bought me Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds for Xmas (78 or 79). It contained the double album, a 12″ single of the eve of the war, the Hg Wells novel and a large poster, all housed in a black box with “War of the Worlds” embossed in silver on the front.

  12. Craig Hedges says:

    This was my Christmas present in 1986 when I was 14, the t-shirt (which was baggy at the time) got worn all through the summer of 1987 and eventually became a duster :(
    The sound quality of the picture disc is atrocious, really quiet so when you turn it up there’s loads of background noise. One of my discs is faulty where the gold paper inside is wrinkled.
    There are a couple of other 12” boxes from the early 80s, ABBAs Super Trouper and The Singles in 1980 and 1982.. As well as Silver by Cliff Richard in 1983

  13. OMG thank you so much Paul for doing this. I never knew that box set existed. I have to hunt down that studio version of Blue Armed With Love, it’s still one of my favorite George Michael tracks. To this day “Music From The Edge Of Heaven” is my favorite Wham! album, its so strange to know it never existed in that form in the UK. My one big disappointment with Andrew’s book is that he kind of skips the album and that era and goes straight too the Final concert, I don’t think he even mentions I’m Your Man being released which is weird considering how huge that song was. Thanks again.

  14. Soren says:

    I can strongly recommend so80s volume 12

  15. What? Wham!? Worry? says:

    It’s been said before, and I’ll say it this time. Do the f#$%ing SDEs of Fantastic and Make It Big before the intended fan base buyers pop their clogs (same to Duran)

  16. Anthony Oxley says:

    thanks for that, I enjoyed that, interesting, and a nice box set, did You get the 2 Dead Or Alive box sets?, I’d love to see You do an unboxing of one of those? the CD one with the signed print was very nice,

  17. Erwin says:

    I really love these retro SDE reviews. Looking forward to more!

    What is the intro music to your video’s? It sounds so familiar but I can ‘t place it.

  18. JK says:

    No shuttlecock?!

  19. bertielego says:

    I am a happy middle aged owner of the box set. The T-shirt certainly doesn’t fit for quite some time… But I wouldn’t want to wear it anyway; it is part of the box set, and I have always intended to keep it in the best possible condition. That said, I enjoyed played the gold looking vinyl record a few times of course…

    The CD+DVD set from 2011 was a great package! I got hold of it as soon as it was released, and am incidentally the original submitter of the UK/EU version on Discogs: https://www.discogs.com/Wham-The-Final/release/3513767

    I didn’t go for the 2014 K2HD CD, as next to the CD+DVD set, I already owned the Japanese reissue from 2004: https://www.discogs.com/Wham-The-Final/release/937675

    To those who doubt about buying so80s volume 12 to get Blue (Armed With Love) on CD, consider the following:
    – it is still cheaper than getting than getting a copy of the Club Tropicana 3inch CD single.
    – there are plenty of great tracks on the compilation, such as: Sade’s Smooth Operator / Red Eye (12″ Version), Talk Talk’s Why Is It So Hard (12″ U.S. Remix), New Order’s True Dub, Philip Bailey & Phil Collins’ Easy Lover (Extended Dance Remix), or Al Jarreau’s Boogie Down (Long Version).

  20. Stephen says:

    I picked up the Japanese cd single with Blue a few years ago and was cheaper than the blank and jones comp. I’ve never been a fan of the blank and jones comps. Sound quality of the few I purchased wasn’t up to scratch. Would be nice if The Final (LP/Tape version) was issued on double CD.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      The Blank & Jones comp didn’t exist a few years ago, so you had no choice.

      • Stephen says:

        I guess what I’m trying to say is, given what I’ve heard of previous blank and jones comps and knowing how much I paid for the cd single. If you can get the cd single at a decent price then I’d opt for that, if you haven’t done one or the other already

        • Paul Sinclair says:

          If you are referring to the mastering they are fine these days, although I think even they admit the early ones were rather compressed (they remastered them a few years back)

  21. Shawn C. says:

    As a huge George Michael fan, I found this a very interesting video. I feel your pain on the t-shirt. I’ve bought a few boxes with t-shirts and they’re always so small – not sure who they think the market is!

    I’d love to get hold of the studio version of Blue, but can’t bring myself to spend $30 on the So80s release as there really isn’t all that much else on there that I’m interested in. I would be interested in the vinyl of “The Final,” but not if it’s picture disc quality, which is l likely pretty terrible.

    • RJS says:

      “I’ve bought a few boxes with t-shirts and they’re always so small – not sure who they think the market is!”

      I doubt the market for a Wham! box set would’ve been middle aged blokes!

    • James says:

      Should have been a Frankie fan, Shawn!

      By nostalgic coincidence, I wore my Frankie Says t-shirt when I was forced to take my younger sister to see Wham! (her first concert). My prize? Tears for Fears tickets, playing a few months later.

      What days…

  22. David says:

    Blue (Armed with Love) can also be found on the Japanese 3” CD single of Club Tropicana

    https://www.discogs.com/Wham-Club-Tropicana/release/1457703

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Indeed. Forgot to mention that. The point is that that is long out of print whereas so80s 12 isn’t.

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