The January 2017 Playlist

Peppered among my usual lot of new and old discoveries is an appreciation of the brilliant George Michael.

I was never a huge Wham! fan, though I did have my favorites from their brief bright time. (“Everything She Wants,” “Careless Whisper” or “Last Christmas,” anyone?) But when George emerged on his own, he demonstrated a masterful talent for pop song craftsmanship, writing, performing and producing his own material. His post ’80s output wasn’t necessarily prolific or platinum in its appreciation or sales, particularly compared to the massive success of his debut smash Faith, but it was a meaningful and often poignant catalog to the more “talented listener.”

His personal and professional challenges are stuff for other articles. (Read Aja Romano’s cutting piece in Vox on George and the cultural shaming that plagued him.) I will say that “Freedom ’90” from his underappreciated 1990 album Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1 was a liberation anthem that gave many closeted gay folk – myself included – the occasion and permission to say “fuck it.” I was so looking forward to more from him, but his path turned a different corner.

For now, let’s apppreciate the music. It was fantastic.

January 2017 Playlist

Click here to see all previous playlists.


  1. I think the Older album was highly underrated, or appreciated, and it seems to always comfort me, on long drives. Star People in particular was exactly how I felt about my time in Hollywood, working with the many new fangled celebrities, and disposable stars of the time. I left for greener pastures, moved to a smaller town, and only occasionally look back. Working with many top artists-vocalists over the years, I’ve heard how much of a true singer he was, how he incredible he was at interpreting a song, and how much he was adored, I certainly hope he knew this. Thanks for the post, he would appreciate I’m sure.

  2. Roscoe Kylam Reply

    George Michael’s “A moment with you” is a masterpiece!! Never heard anything so cool and classy!! He will be sorely missed!!!!

  3. When I hear “Praying for Time” I automatically stop & think about friends I’ve lost. I can’t believe people talk about his music without mentioning “Tonight” from the Elton John/Bernie Taupin “Two Rooms” album. It is hauntingly beautiful.

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