This is George Michael's masterpiece. That's not us saying it, that's George Michael.
An excellent George Michael (created by him) documentary this week on Showtime/Channel 4 called 'Freedom', reminded us just how great he was. You need to see it.
George died on Christmas morning, 2016.
'Older' was only his third Album (after 'Faith' his debut and 'Listen without Predujice' blogged earlier here) in 1996 through Virgin. A nearly 6 year gap between records, was caused by his honourable dispute with Sony (which he lost).
This Album was a tribute to his partner Anselmo who had died of HIV and 'Spinning the Wheel' is a track about that Aids game of roulette. You often find that records based on a deep personal experience are best and true - this is one.
'Jesus to a child' which opens the Album is stunning and an Anselmo tribute too, but 'Fastlove' is for us anyway, the standout George Michael track. Fabulous harmonies.
It's a great Album from a great artist and having seen him several times live, was a great live performer too. And an all-round nice bloke.
He was Georgios Panayiotou, Greek descent (obviously) and rose to fame as 'Wham!'. One of the biggest selling artists of all time, his debut 'Faith' was a huge hit. Not just because of the music but because of one of the greatest MTV Videos 'Freedom', featuring the stunning Linda Evangelista.
See what I mean?
There's so much you can say about this man. He was extraordinarily gifted (a white man winning a black soul award which is what 'Listen without Predujice' means), hugely charitable but quiet about it and intelligent. He used music cleverly like this as the greatest answer to bad PR.
But here's something from 'Older'. Fastlove. Go get it and get more. It's hard not to like a George Michael record.
Previous "listen to's" you'll also find on this blog (you can search them in the Search top left on the Blog)......Rolling Stones 'Sticky Fingers': Miles Davis 'Kind of Blue': Mink Willy De Ville 'Backstreets of Desire': Ten Years After 'Undead': The Beat 'Just can't stop it': George Thorogood/The Destoyers '2120 Michigan Avenue': Tom Waits 'Franks Wild Years'; Glen Campbell 'Rhinestone Cowboy': Rory Gallagher 'Live in Europe': Michael Jackson 'Thriller': Daft Punk 'Discovery': DJ Dimitri 'Disco Forever': John Martyn 'Grace & Danger': Peter Gabriel 'So': Crowded House 'Woodface': Springsteen 'Born to Run': ACDC 'Back in Black': Grace Jones 'Nighclubbing': Stevie Wonder 'Songs in the key of life': The Cars 'The Cars': Billy Joel '52nd Street': Beatles 'Sgt Pepper': Tom Petty 'Damn the Torpedoes': World Party 'Bang': Eric Clapton 'Slowhand': John Mayer 'Room for Squares': Ry Cooder 'Bop til you drop': Jon&Vangelis 'Friends of Mr. Cairo': Mary Chapin 'Come on, Come on': Frank Zappa 'Joe's Garage': Joni Mitchell 'Blue': Steve Gibbons 'Caught in the Act': Elton John 'Tumbleweed Connection': Elton John 'Honky Chateau': Gallagher & Lyle 'Breakaway': Warren Zevon 'Excitable Boy': Donald Fagen 'The Nightfly': Supertramp 'Breakfast in America': George Michael 'Listen without Predujice': Radiohead 'The Bends': Beyonce 'Lemonade' Album of the year 2016: Oddisee 'The mix Tape': Soul 11 Soul 'Club Classics': Jennifer Warnes 'Famous Blue Raincoat':Art Garfunkel 'Watermark': REM 'Out of Time': Van 'Keep me Singing': Frank Sinatra 'Songs for Swinging Lovers': Al Stewart 'Year of the Cat': Stevie Ray Vaughan 'Texas Flood':Frank Ocean 'Blond': Jimmy Buffett 'Son of a Sailor': Marc Cohn 'Marc Cohn': Bill Withers 'Complete Sussex and Columbia': Hendrix 'Electric Ladyland': ABC 'Lexicon of Love': Rickie Lee Jones 'Rickie Lee Jones': Billy Joel "Glass Houses": Rodriguez "Cold Fact": Prefab Sprout 'Steve McQueen'; Chet Baker 'Live 64-79'; The Stone Roses 'Stone Roses'; Joe Jackson 'I'm the Man'; Oasis 'Morning Glory'; Bob Dylan 'At The Budokan'; Van "It's too late to stop now Volume 2/3/4"; Air 'Moon Safari'; Talking Heads 'Stop Making Sense'; Lynyrd Skynyrd 'One for the road'; Marvin Gaye 'Whats Goin on'; Mercury Rev 'Deserters Songs'; Dave Matthews 'Crash'; Beyonce 'Lemonade'; Prince 'Sign O the times'; Daft Punk 'Random Access Memories'; Amy Winehouse 'Back to Black';Police 'Outlandos D'Amour'; Michael Jackson 'Off the Wall'; Carole King 'Tapestry'; Beatles 'Red Album'; Sex Pistols 'Never mind the Bollocks'; Sam Cooke 'Live at Harlem Square'; The Doors 'LA Woman'; Thin Lizzy 'Live & Dangerous'; Kendrick Lamarr 'Butterfly'; Aretha Franklin 'Amazing Grace'; Clapton '461'; Massive Attack 'Blue Lines'; The Clash 'London Calling'; Chris Isaak 'At The Filmore'; Bob Dylan 'Street Legal'; Bad Company 'Straight Shooter'; Jackson Browne 'Love is Strange'; Lou Reed 'Transformer'; Steely Dan 'AJA'; Stones 'Black+Blue'; Stephen Bishop 'Careless'; Nils Lofgren 'Night after Night'; Mike Oldfield 'Tubular Bells'; Neil Young 'Harvest'; Led Zep '4'; David Bowie 'David Live'; Van Morrison 'It's too late to stop now'; Wings 'Band on the Run'; Rod Stewart 'Atlantic Crossing'; Ryan Adams 'Heartbreaker'; Santana 'Essential'; Bob Dylan 'Desire'; Roxy Music 'For your pleasure'; Bob Marley 'Legend'; Stephen Fretwell 'Magpie'; James Taylor 'Sweet Baby James'; Deep Purple 'Machine Head'; Springsteen 'Darkness on the edge of town'; Leon Bridges 'Coming Home'; Eagles 'Hotel California'; Jungle; Aretha 'Soul Queen'; Neil Young 'After the Goldrush' ; Zappa 'Overnite Sensation'; Fleetwood Mac 'Rumours'; Keith Jarrett 'Koln Concert'; Doobies 'Southbound'; Stevie Earle 'I feel Alright'; Tom Waits 'Closing Time'; Pink Floyd 'Dark Side'; Van Morrison 'Moondance'; Eric Church 'Caught in the Act'; Randy Newman 'Little Criminals'; Elton John 'Madman across the water'; Patti Smith 'Horses'; Doobies 'Captain and Me'; Steely Dan 'Can't Buy a Thrill