♫ Careless Whisper ♫

A couple of nights ago, I played a song by British duo Wham!  I discovered from a few friends here that the song, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”, was not exactly their favourite George Michael song!  So, I asked them what their favourite was, and luckily, while there were numerous answers, they overwhelmingly agreed on “Careless Whisper”, which is also one of my favourites, though I already played it in January 2019.  Still, you can’t get enough of a good song, right?


I keep a list of songs I might want to post, sometimes of ones that readers have mentioned as being ones they like, or just ones that I think about and would like to post in the future.  So, tonight I went to the list and found “Careless Whisper — George Michael”.  Okay … Google that, and I come up with Careless Whisper by … WHAM!  Try again … still no version by ‘George Michael’.  Daughter Chris, my music expert, had just gone to bed, so I texted her:

“Is George Michael and WHAM the same thing?”

She responds:

“Sort of.  George Michael was the singer for WHAM!.  That was a funny question.” 

So then I had to trudge up the stairs to ‘splain why I asked.  Now that is straightened out, let’s get down to business.

This song, released in July 1984, was George Michael’s first solo single, although he was still performing in Wham! at the time (the song is included on Wham!’s album Make It Big).  It was released as a single and became a huge commercial success on both sides of the Atlantic and on both sides of the Pacific. It reached number one in nearly 25 countries, selling about 6 million copies worldwide—2 million of them in the United States.

The song was written by George Michael and the other half of WHAM!, Andrew Ridgeley when they were only seventeen!  According to George Michael’s autobiography …

“When I was twelve, thirteen, I used to have to chaperone my sister, who was two years older, to an ice rink at Queensway in London. There was a girl there with long blond hair whose name was Jane. I was a fat boy in glasses and I had a big crush on her – though I didn’t stand a chance. My sister used to go and do what she wanted when we got to the skating rink and I would spend the afternoon swooning over this girl Jane.

A few years later, when I was sixteen, I had my first relationship with a girl called Helen.

It had just started to cool off a bit when I discovered that the blonde girl from Queensway had moved in just around the corner from my school. She had moved in right next to where I used to stand and wait for my next-door neighbor, who used to give me a lift home from school. And one day I saw her walk down the path next to me and I thought – now where did SHE come from? She didn’t know it was me. It was a few years later and I looked a lot different. Then we played a school disco with The Executive and she saw me singing and decided she fancied me. By this time she was that much older and a big buxom thing – and eventually I started seeing her. She invited me in one day when I was waiting for my lift and I was … in heaven.”

Michael observed that after he stopped wearing glasses, he began getting invited to parties.

“And the girl who didn’t even see me when I was twelve invited me in. 

So I went out with her for a couple of months but I didn’t stop seeing Helen. I thought I was being smart – I had gone from being a total loser to being a two-timer. And I remember my sisters used to give me a hard time because they found out and they really liked the first girl. The whole idea of “Careless Whisper” was the first girl finding out about the second – which she never did. But I started another relationship with a girl called Alexis without finishing the one with Jane. It all got a bit complicated. Jane found out about her and got rid of me … The whole time I thought I was being cool, being this two-timer, but there really wasn’t that much emotion involved. I did feel guilty about the first girl – and I have seen her since – and the idea of the song was about her. “Careless Whisper” was us dancing, because we danced a lot, and the idea was – we are dancing … but she knows … and it’s finished.”

Interestingly, one source I checked said that the whole story related above was made up, but yet … it’s in his autobiography, so I’m confused.  But at any rate … it’s a good song, and I especially love the saxophone riff!

Careless Whisper
George Michael

I feel so unsure
As I take your hand and lead you to the dance floor
As the music dies, something in your eyes
Calls to mind the silver screen
And all its sad good-byes

I’m never gonna dance again
Guilty feet have got no rhythm
Though it’s easy to pretend
I know you’re not a fool

Should’ve known better than to cheat a friend
And waste the chance that I’ve been given
So I’m never gonna dance again
The way I danced with you

Time can never mend
The careless whispers of a good friend
To the heart and mind
Ignorance is kind
There’s no comfort in the truth
Pain is all you’ll find

I’m never gonna dance again
Guilty feet have got no rhythm
Though it’s easy to pretend
I know you’re not a fool

I should’ve known better than to cheat a friend
And waste the chance that I’ve been given
So I’m never gonna dance again
The way I danced with you

Never without your love

Tonight the music seems so loud
I wish that we could lose this crowd
Maybe it’s better this way
We’d hurt each other with the things we’d want to say

We could have been so good together
We could have lived this dance forever
But no one’s gonna dance with me
Please stay

And I’m never gonna dance again
Guilty feet have got no rhythm
Though it’s easy to pretend
I know you’re not a fool

Should’ve known better than to cheat a friend
And waste the chance that I’ve been given
So I’m never gonna dance again
The way I danced with you

Now that you’re gone
(Now that you’re gone) What I did’s so wrong, so wrong
That you had to leave me alone

Songwriters: Andrew J. Ridgeley / George Michael
Careless Whisper lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

22 thoughts on “♫ Careless Whisper ♫

  1. Another story surrounding this, is that a George Michael wrote it by himself, but included Andrew so that if things went south, he would always collect royalties off of the song. He had that much confidence that it would be a hit. Just a story I read after he died. Whether it’s true or not we’ll never know.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. George’s move from the Teenybppper sounds to the more serious side. I think he still needed a touch more self confidence but for me he was still heading to be the best singer of his generation at this point.
    cwtch

    Liked by 2 people

    • GM has serious musical talent, imagine writing that song at 17! Gorgeous melodic layering and rich tones, don’t forget the sax! Jazzy time signature and feel. I remember watching a videos of Quarterflash – Harden my heart and Hall and Oat’s Maneater, really admiring their catchy sax hooks! Careless whisper certainly was iconic for the 80’s.
      Another excellent choice for this evening. TY!! ❤

      Liked by 2 people

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