I still miss our George so much. I think I was in some kind of shock when I found out he died right at the end of a fuckery of a year for celebrity deaths, sandwiched between the news of Carrie Fisher becoming gravely ill and then her death followed by her mother’s equally heartbreaking death, it all seemed quite unbelievable. George was local to my where my parents’ live, his house only down the road from them. I was staying at my parents’ for Christmas when he died, so it took on a slightly surreal feeling that it happened not far from where I was. However, let’s not mull on the sad times now. George Michael was a phenomenal talent, the perfect popstar not to mention a beautiful person who was generous with both his time and money for people less fortunate than himself. Today, would have been his 55th Birthday, so to celebrate both him and his music, I’ve put together a list of my top 15 George Michael songs (it was going to be a top 10, but I just couldn’t narrow it down to that). Whilst, I do love the Older album, somehow not one track from it made my top 15. They’re just sitting on the outside of it in my top 20 (if I’d done one). As per, there’s a Spotify list at the end.
15. Amazing (from the album Patience, 2004, reached no.4)
14. Kissing a Fool (from the album Faith, 1998, reached no.18)
13. Too Funky (from the album Red Hot + Dance, 1992, reached no.4)
12. One More Try (from the album Faith, 1998, reached no.8)
11. Waiting for the Day (from the album Listen Without Prejudice Vol. I, 1990, reached no.23)
10. Heal the Pain (from the album Listen Without Prejudice Vol. I, 1991, reached no.31)
9. I Knew You Were Waiting (from the album Aretha, 1987, reached no.1)
8. As (from the album Ladies & Gentleman: The Best of George Michael, 1999, reached no.4)
7. A Different Corner (from the album Music from the Edge of Heaven, 1986, reached no.1)
6. Father Figure (from the album Faith, 1988, reached no.11)
5. Careless Whisper (from the album Make It Big, 1984, reached no.1)
4. Praying for Time (from the album Listen Without Prejudice Vol. I, 1990, reached no.6)
3. Faith (from the album Faith, 1987, reached no.1)
2. Freedom ’90 (from the album Listen Without Prejudice Vol. I, 1990, reached no. 28)
1. They Won’t Go When I Go (from the album Listen Without Prejudice Vol. I, 1990, wasn’t released as a single). The most perfect cover version. This song show cases George’s vocals like no other song does. I still get chills every time I listen to this song. Whilst it’s originally a Stevie Wonder song, George absolutely (to borrow a phrase from Simon Cowell) makes it his own. Breathtaking.
The one that almost made it: Mothers Pride (from the album Listen Without Prejudice Vol. I, 1991, didn’t chart in the UK, but got to no.46 in the US)
I absolutely love George’s cover of Queen’s Somebody to Love that he performed at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in 1992. Here is a video clip of him rehearsing it (with another great British talent that we lost in 2016- David Bowie watching). I think the video nicely demonstrates George’s sensational talent as a singer and performer. He makes it all look effortless. It is worth watching from beginning to end. It never fails to make me feel emotional. It was released as part of the Five Live EP (a collection of his performances from the concert) and reached no.1 in 1993.
George had a sense of humour too. Here’s a clip of him sending himself up for Comic Relief:
And here’s a clip of him mocking himself again for Extras:
I’d love to know which George Michael track is your favourite, so let me know in the comments section below.