Here’s an example of a song and an artist that transcend the 80s… George Michael’s next album, Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1, came out in the early 90s and was even better than this one. That album represented his creative peak, however, and what followed was many years of silence and then a very public fall from grace.
And the wonderful Faith album holds up to this day, not as an 80s relic but as an involving, passionate work. If I were arranging this list strictly by the quality of these songs, this one would be near the top. But ‘Faith’ does crack my list of 80s favorites because I have strong memories of Michael’s transition from Wham! fairy to solo sex symbol.
I might have included one of those Wham! songs today, but I’ve already featured ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,’ the one that sticks with me the most.
So instead I’m going with the song (and video) that made it abundantly clear that this cute-guy makeover was going to work. ‘I Want Your Sex’ was the first video from the album but it’s this one that made the bigger impression. That jukebox, that pair of model’s legs, that guitar, that jacket, those jeans… that ass (my sister was particularly fond of the last item).
It’s no coincidence that Michael, wanting to be loved for his music and not his sex appeal, literally blew up this jukebox and jacket in the video for ‘Freedom (’90)’ several years later. In fact, I don’t believe he appeared in a single video from that album.
On a side note, watching the video just now, I’m struck by how not dated it is. I can totally see Kanye West in that jacket and those shades (though not the blue jeans, admittedly).
If I could touch your body
I know not everybody
Has got a body like you
But I’ve got to think twice
Before I give my heart away
And I know all the games you play
Because I play them too
Oh but I
Need some time off from that emotion
Time to pick my heart up off the floor
And when that love comes down
Well it takes a strong man baby
But I’m showing you the door
‘Cause I gotta have faith…
I know you’re asking me to stay
Say please, please, please, don’t go away
You say I’m giving you the blues
You mean every word you say
Can’t help but think of yesterday
And another who tied me down to loverboy rules
Before this river
Becomes an ocean
Before you throw my heart back on the floor
Oh baby I reconsider
My foolish notion
Well I need someone to hold me
But I’ll wait for something more
Yes I’ve gotta have faith…