Writer(s): George Michael (see lyrics here)
Released: October 12, 1987
First Charted: October 23, 1987
Peak: 14 US, 15 CB, 15 GR, 13 RR, 5 AC, 2 UK, 14 CN, 11 AU, 8 DF (Click for codes to charts.)
Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.6 UK, 1.79 world (includes US + UK)
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 28.17 video, 396.95 streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
George Michael started his transition from half of the bubblegum-pop duo Wham! to a more serious artist in 1987. First, he dueted with Aretha Franklin on the #1 song “I Knew You Were Waiting for Me.” He followed that with the controversial “I Want Your Sex,” a #2 solo hit with a decidedly more adult message. The title cut from his first solo album, Faith, could arguably be viewed as Michael finally planting his flag in the “now I’m a serious artist” land for good.
“Faith” topped the charts at the end of 1987 and was followed to the #1 spot by “Father Figure,” “One More Try,” and “Monkey,” giving the album four chart-topping hits. This one, however, spent the longest time on top and was named the song of the year by Billboard magazine. The album went on to win the Grammy for Album of the Year.
The “rockabilly-tinged title track” AMG was supposedly written as a rock and roll pastiche, which is demonstrated by the incorporation of Bo Diddley’s classic rock and roll beat WK which is also present on Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away” and U2’s “Desire.” SF While the video depicted Michael playing guitar, he didn’t know how to play. SF Thank Scottish session player Hugh Burns for the guitar lick which harkened back to the ‘50s Sun Records-era and Bo Diddley. SF Michael worked with Burns for hours to synch the guitar sound to his vocals. SF
However, the song definitely had a modern touch as well. It was one of the first digital recordings, meaning he could write and record lyrics line-by-line and even word-by-word. Whie the process was tedious, it let Michael scrutinize every syllable to create the polished track he wanted. SF
First posted 11/26/2020; last updated 2/3/2023.