Monday, December 26, 2016

December 26 - Cowboys And Angels

2016 is not done kicking us in our teeth yet. Yesterday the news came that George Michael had passed away. If you had met me 30 years ago, while Wham! was on top of the charts, I wouldn't give you the time of day if you wanted to talk about George Michael.  And that was despite the fact that Careless Whisper was the ultimate last song on pretty much any party I went to, official or not, in my teenage years.  I was way too into the hairbands and heavy-metal to give the lightweight pop music George Michael was emblematic of at this point in his career. However, all that changed when I was tasked with reviewing the aptly named album Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1 in 1990. in order to give it a proper review, I really needed to do just what he asked, to listen without any of the prejudice that I had carried with me when I first heard his solo debut album, Faith from 1987. I was blown away. His artistic vision was never clearer then it was on his sophomore album.  He released solo albums after this as well, but I was never as drawn to any of them as I was to Listen Without PrejudiceVol1. 

After Freddie Mercury's death, I was really hoping that Queen would carry-on with George Michael on vocals. His performance of Somebody To Love with the remainder of queen was absolutely mind blowing. His duet with longtime friend Elton John on the classic Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me is another stellar George Michael performance.  So today I mourn the loss of a great voice, an artist who was a lot deeper than I ever gave him credit for, especially during his early years,  and a very gifted songwriter. George Michael will be missed, and I choose to remember him by the track Cowboys And Angels from Listen Without PrejudiceVol1.

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