Saturday, November 17, 1984

Wham! hit #1 with “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”

First posted 11/28/2020.

Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go

Wham!

Writer(s): George Michael (see lyrics here)


Released: May 14, 1984


First Charted: May 26, 1984


Peak: 13 US, 12 CB, 12 RR, 4 AC, 12 UK, 14 CN, 17 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, 0.6 UK, 2.84 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 338.56 video, -- streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

The British pop duo Wham! was comprised of George Michael and Andrew Ridgely who met in 1975 in school when they were 12 years old. They first made music together in a ska-band called the Executives before forming Wham! in 1981. They achieved three top-10 hits in the UK from their debut album, Fantastic, but couldn’t crack the top 40 in the UK. However, their second album, Make It Big!, proved to be a prohetic title.

The album’s lead single, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” went to #1 in the U.K. in June 1984. It ended up being the crossover hit the group needed in America; five months later it topped the Billboard Hot 100. It also went on to reach the pinnacle in Australia, Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden.

The idea for the song came about when George and Andrew were teenagers and enjoyed going to the discos to party. One night when George came by Andrew’s house, he noticed a sign over the bed which he guessed Andrew put on the door for his mom to see before she left for work. It said “wake me up-up before you go-go.” George said it would make a great line in a song, or even as a title. Andrew explained he’d accidentally written “up” twice and the purposely compounded the error with “go-go. “ BR1

When George developed it into a song, he was aiming for “a really energetic pop record that had all the best elements of Fifties and Sixties records.” WK The song tells the story of a guy who’s upset when his girlfriend goes out dancing while he’s asleep. In the future, he asks that she wake him up before she goes.


Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Wham!
  • DMDB page for parent album Make It Big!
  • BR1 Fred Bronson (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (5th edition). New York, NY: Billboard Books. Page 598.
  • KL Jon Kutner/Spencer Leigh (2005). 1000 UK Number One Hits: The Stories Behind Every Number One Single Since 1952. London, Great Britain: Omnibus Press. Page 296.
  • SF Songfacts
  • WK Wikipedia

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