The best George Michael songs
This is all about my, rather than the, best George Michael songs. They may not be everyone’s idea of George Michael’s best songs, but they are mine, for various reasons…
What a documentary George Michael: Freedom was. I am a bit of a fidget, and can be very flighty when watching films; I just can’t stay still for long. Neither can I, normally, stay up past about 10 o’clock. Yet there I was, wide awake and transfixed. Utterly compelling viewing from start to finish and completely heartbreaking. How could a man of such talent not be absolutely brimming over with happiness?
I followed #georgemichaelfreedom on social media very closely after the documentary was aired. One thing is for certain – he made millions of other people very happy in creating and performing his music. Not only that, he made us think. George, you have been loved and I really hope you knew it.
These are my top picks from his impressive discography, the music he made that has truly spoken to my soul. Followed by my favourite line or lines from each of these top George Michael songs.
It’s just so joyous, isn’t it? Club Tropicana drinks are free, fun and sunshine, enough for everyone. The opening notes really give me that holiday feeling, and for a few minutes, as it plays, I am transported into youthful, carefree mode. Hearing this song is like having a little mini break from real life.
“Where strangers take you by the hand, and welcome you to wonderland”
See or sample Club Tropicana here
Every winter, I play Last Christmas as I decorate the festive tree. It’s become a tradition of over a decade’s standing. This song greeted me every year, as I returned home to the family fold after studying or travelling during my late teens and early twenties. It heralded good times ahead, yet the message was a bit more brutal…
“I’m hiding from you, and your soul of ice”
See or sample Last Christmas here
There’s no mistaking the opening bars of Careless Whisper. A beautiful ballad, and to hear it fills me with delight. I don’t think anyone will ever tire of this tune, surely the song that, most deservedly, sent George’s career into orbit. (I can’t really believe anyone had the cheek to cover this song, frankly!)
“Maybe it’s better this way, we’d hurt each other with the things we’d want to say”
See or sample Careless Whisper here
A Different Corner would not have been one of my super seven – until the Brits were broadcast in February. What a moment. I’m sorry, Chris Martin, but your voice was more or less inaudible to me once George’s deep, rich vocals kicked in. I really identify with the message too – if I’d done some really small things in my life differently, it might not be anything like it is today.
“Cause I’ve never come close in all of these years, you are the only one to stop my tears”
See or sample A Different Corner here
This is another that I might not previously have picked, but since hearing about George’s lost lover I’ve found it so heart-rending. Supremely sad, yet somehow just magical. My favourite line sums up the tragic story. George finally found real love, after waiting so very long, only to have it quickly snatched away by a cruel twist of fate.
“When you’ve been loved, when you know it holds such bliss”
See or sample Jesus to a Child here
To me, Freedom ’90 is George’s definitive coming-out song. (Not that, in my book, it was anyone’s business but his own.) The lyrics are very clear – he wants to tell us what he’s been keeping secret, it’s something he needs to do and someone he’s just ‘got to be’. He fervently hopes that we will still love him for it. Even more for it, George.
“I just hope you understand, sometimes the clothes do not make the man”
See or sample Freedom ’90 here
I love a bit of tongue-in-cheek and Outside definitely has this in spades. Why shouldn’t the guy do what he wants – he’s a grown-up, after all, and all’s fair between consenting adults, right?
“I’d service the community, but I already have you see”
See or sample Outside here
My piece on Missing George Michael is still, to date, one of my most popular posts.
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