45 RPMs: George Michael Careless Whisper

I’m never gonna dance again
Guilty feet have got no rhythm

George-Michael-9-3-09It’s impossible to have a conversation about 80s pop music without including George Michael. Between his time with Wham! and his solo career, the man absolutely owned the decade and is one of the most successful recording artists of all time because of it.

Careless Whisper was the second single from Wham!’s second album, Make It Big, released in 1984. The song was a follow-up to Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, the duo’s first No. 1 hit in both the United States and the United Kingdom.make-it-big-52fb7f39d4039 (2) Even though it appeared on Make It Big and was credited to “Wham! featuring George Michael” in a handful of countries, including the U.S., Careless Whisper was George’s first solo effort. Unlike most Wham! singles, the song was co-written with the other half of Wham!, Andrew Ridgeley.

Careless Whisper slowed things down after Wake Me Up, which was the pop music equivalent of shaking up a bottle of Coke and taking the cap off to watch it explode. But it wasn’t just another love song filled with longing and unrequited emotions. All of us singing along in the car when it came on the radio who actually paid attention to the lyrics were hit with the realization … OMG, he cheated! And he totally regrets it!

careless picture sleeve ukAnd so all it took were a pair of guilty feet and a killer sax solo, and we were hooked. The song was a mega-hit, selling 6 million copies worldwide. It reached No. 1 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and about 20-some other countries.

Careless Whisper was release in July of 1984. The 7″ was released with an instrumental version of Careless Whisper as the B side. On the various picture sleeves, you can see the difference in how the song was credited depending on the country. For instance, the U.K. picture sleeve says George Michael, while the U.S. picture sleeve says Wham! Featuring George Michael. careless whisper us

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