Tuesday, January 24, 2017

George Michael – Fastlove (Virgin)

Classics: George Michael – Fastlove (Virgin/Dreamworks)

George Michael first rose to fame in the post-Disco days as the lead singer of Wham!. He then embarked on a solo career back in 1987.

Gifted with a distinctive voice, an undeniable sense of aesthetic in terms of visuals as shown on his video clips, he expressed his inclination for the groove on many of his songs. From ‘Young Guns and ‘Club Tropicana’ during the Wham! days. To cuts such as ‘Freedom 90’, ‘Too Funky’ / ‘Too Jazzy’ or ‘Fastlove’ among others. He eventually thought of doing a Dance album… The vol. 2 of ‘Listen Without Prejudice’ as a matter of fact! But it never saw the light, due to the chaotic relationship he had with his label (Epic/Sony) at the time.

The second offshot from his 1996 ‘Older’ album, the energetic ‘Fastlove’ is a brilliant showcase of his appetite for Dance Music vibes. Standing among his biggest classics ever, it embeds a sample of Patrice Rushen‘s signature cut ‘Forget Me Nots’…

Speaking of it, Jim Farber had the following words on Entertainment Weekly“‘Fastlove’ easily ranks as the best slow-groove Dance record since Lisa Stansfield’s ‘All Around The World.'”. As usual, we welcome your feedback about this…

Overview
Any of us will most likely remember George Michael for countless and/or different reasons. As one of of Pop duo Wham! by the first half of the 80’s. For his debut-single, ‘Careless Whisper’, back in 1984. If not for its brilliant unofficial remix by the likes of Abicah Soul (for the House fans of you). Not to mention ‘Too Funky’ or ‘Fastlove’ where he made a brilliant demonstration as to how he also had the groove in him.

How to ironically not think of his performance on the original Band Aid recording of ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ some 32 years ago?!? But also to his countless collaborations with other big names. From Aretha Franklin, on the Narada Michael Walden produced ‘I Knew You Were Waiting’ (1987). To Elton John, on ‘Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me’ (1991). Or Whitney Houston, on ‘If I Told You That’ which he co-produced with Rodney Jerkins.

George Michael, just like Michael Jackson, pretty much had a clear idea as to what he wanted to do. And therefore what had to be done to achieve his artistic goals. A strong temper, he sometimes had disagreements with the labels he’s been dealing with. He also exposed himself politically, fighting for different causes. But also went thru problems which have altered his career at times.

With thanks to his talents as a singer, songwriter and music producer, George has sold more than 100 million records worldwide in a career that spanned 4 decades.
He first got recognition with schoolfriend Andrew Ridgeley as Wham! But he most likely became famous in his own rights, starting with the release of ‘Careless Whisper’. He scored 7 number one singles in the UK and 8 number one hits Stateside.

On the health front, he had an alert in late 2011 when he nearly died from pneumonia. Doctors had performed a tracheotomy to keep his airways open in a Vienna hospital. After receiving treatment, he made a tearful appearance outside his London home. There he said it had been “touch and go” whether he lived.

In 2016, he announced a second documentary on his life entitled ‘Freedom’, set to be released in March 2017.

George Michael peacefully died at home on Dec. 25, 2016…

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