|Album||Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1|
|Year of release||1990|
I had planned my year in review for today, but the news that arrived shortly after midnight, made me decide to postpone publishing that story to December 30th. Instead I wanted to write and publish a tribute to the great album Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 by George Michael, who sadly passed away yesterday, just 53 years old; way too young.
Leading up to Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1
In 1986 Wham! disbanded. One of the main reasons being Michael’s frustration that Wham! was cast aside as just another teenybopper band, despite the ever more serious nature of their music. Careless Whisper and A Different Corner were Michael’s introduction to solo-outings and that felt right. After disbanding the band Michael started work on his first solo-album: Faith. The main part of 1987 consisted of work on the album, which was released at the end of the year. It was hugely successful: it was sold over 14 million times. It contained the hits Faith, (Prince pastiche) I Want Your Sex, Father Figure en Monkey. The album clearly marked a new beginning and had nothing to do with his Wham! past.
After the major success of Faith expectations were high for the sequel. In September 1990 the sequel, Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1, was released. It was (once again) nothing like what came before this album. A lot of acoustic instrumentation and somewhat somber lyrics and melodies. He wanted to be taken seriously as a composer and singer (just look at the album’s title). And he succeeded! It’s a beautiful album.
Michael refused to appear in the clips accompanying the singles taken off the album. The video to Praying For Time contained the lyrics set to a grey background and the (iconic) Freedom 90 video contained topmodels playbacking to the song and contained images of Faith icons and clothing in flames.
Songs like Praying For Time, Freedom 90, Cowboys And Angels, Waiting For That Day and Heal The Pain were fine examples of what Michael was capable of at composing, lyric-writing and musicality. Beautiful songs on a great record. Essential listening!
In the following year Listen Without Prejudice 25 will be released: a remastered version containing lots of extra’s, among which the beautiful MTV Unplugged 1996 broadcast, which I bought as a bootleg. Now finally officially released!
Good also: Older.
Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 album image: fashion+lifestyle.wordpress.com
Freedom 90 clip image: lepakway.blogspot.nl