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Lisa St. Regis

Behind the Grooves- Wham! featuring George Michael

 
Behind the Grooves- Wham! featuring George Michael
Posted February 16th, 2014 @ 6:03pm

There is a great blog called "Behind the Grooves" written by Jeff Harris. He writes purely for the love of music.   I got his permission to post some of his writing on my page.  I love the stories he tells about how the music was created.

Reprinted with permission of Jeff Harris -Behind the Grooves 2014 http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com/

On this day in music history: February 16, 1985 - “Careless Whisper” by Wham! Featuring George Michael hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 3 weeks, also peaking at #8 on the R&B singles chart on March 16, 1985. Written by George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley, it is the second consecutive US chart topper for the British pop music duo from Bushey, Hertsfordshire, UK. Michael will come up with the initial idea for the song while working as a movie usher at a local theater in Bushey, with the songs’ signature saxophone riff coming to him first. Michael will show Ridgeley what he has come up with, and Andrew will come up with the main chord progression that runs through the song. Michael will finish up the song by writing the lyrics. The duo will rent a four track Tascam Portastudio, and will be one of the first demos that they record. The song will get them signed to CBS UK label Innervision Records in 1982. Two versions of the song will be recorded, the first with veteran R&B producer Jerry Wexler, with Michael traveling to Muscle Shoals, AL to record it. When he is not satisfied with the original version, he will record it a second time in Studio Two at Sarm West Studios in Notting Hill, North London with members of Wham’s band including Deon Estus (bass), Hugh Burns and Andrew Ridgeley (guitars), Tommy Eyre (keyboards), Trevor Morrell (drums), and Steve Gregory (saxophone). Initially released as a solo single by George Michael in the UK (and other territories) in August of 1984, “Careless Whisper” will reach number one in twenty five countries, selling over six million copies worldwide, becoming the first million selling single for the UK division of Epic Records. Released in the US in late November 1984, right on the heels of Wham’s first chart topper “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go”, it will be an immediate smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #37 on December 22, 1984, it will climb to the top of the chart eight weeks later. The single will also become a major airplay favorite on R&B radio stations in the US, establishing a fan base with that audience that will be instrumental in the major R&B crossover success George Michael will have “Faith” in 1987. “Careless Whisper” is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

 

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