Thursday, April 7, 2011

George Michael's "Faith"

George Michael is back in musical action with the intriguing charity single cover version of New Order's "True Faith." So it's a good time to remind everyone about the great deluxe reissue of his 1987 solo album "Faith," which came out earlier this year. A real pop classic of the era, it was in constant rotation in my car during freshman year of college. And it sounds even better now in remastered form.    

Read more about both releases below.

Written, produced and arranged by Michael, "Faith" spent 87 weeks on the Billboard 200 albums chart (including 12 weeks at #1 in 1988), got a RIAA diamond certification (for U.S. sales in excess of 10 million units; the biggest selling album of 1988), and a Grammy Award for Album Of The Year. Among the other accolades were three American Music Awards: Favorite Album (Soul/R&B), Favorite Male Vocalist (Soul/R&B) and Favorite Male Vocalist (Pop/Rock). “Father Figure” took home an MTV Award for Best Direction.  

It spawned six hit singles: “I Want Your Sex,” “Faith,” “Father Figure,” “One More Try,” “Monkey” and “Kissing A Fool..” Together, they maintained the artist's presence on the Hot 100 for a cumulative 85+ weeks, from 1987 to 1989. 

Out now on Columbia/Legacy, "Faith: Deluxe Edition" is a 12x12 commemo­r­ative box set with the remastered 10-song album on CD, another CD of remastered 7-inch and 12-inch singles and B-sides, and a 180-gram vinyl replica of the original LP. A DVD (running 100 minutes) features a BBC interview from 1987 with UK TV presenter  Jonathan Ross; an electronic press kit produced in 1988 by Epic Records; and all seven promotional videos (re-synched with the new remastered audio): “I Want Your Sex,” “I Want Your Sex (uncensored),” “Faith,” “Father Figure,” “One More Try,” “Monkey,” and “Kissing A Fool.” 

The collection includes a 60-page hard-bound book with a Michael interview by BBC Radio personality Mark Goodier, an essay, rare photos and memorabilia.  A separate memorabilia envelope contains five art prints, reproduction poster, tickets, and tour pass from the Faith tour.

"Faith: Special Edition" has the two CDs and the DVD described above. A standard remastered double-CD edition will also be released.  Both of these editions are available at all retail outlets. 

Diehard fans will be particularly interested in the Jonathan Ross interview with a then 23-year-old Michael, who discusses his feelings about "I Want Your Sex." The song was banished to late night hours by certain radio stations because it supposedly promoted promiscuity. "It's actually about monogamy," he said. When asked by Ross about earlier hit "Careless Whisper," he surprisingly admitted, "I can't relate to it because it was a very precocious lyric. It doesn't do anything for me emotionally." 

Michael also candidly discusses Wham! and how certain aspects became embarassing and boring, thoughts on being rich, AIDS and condom useage and rumors of a potential acting career.

The 1988 "Faith" tour EPK includes rehearsal footage (see Michael confer with choreographer Paula Abdul) and segments taken from an interview conducted by MTV's John Norris.  

Arranged and produced by Michael, the new “True Faith” single was originally penned by New Order members Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert, plus producer Stephen Hague. A portion of proceeds from UK and Ireland sales go to the Comic Relief organization. The writers are also donating their proceeds to Comic Relief, along with the publishers’ mechanical royalties.

The single (an instrumental is the B-side) is available digitally abroad. In America, retail outlets such as have it on physical CD via import. A new music video can be seen as well. 

In a press release, Comic Relief Vice Chairman Richard Curtis said:

"Over the years, George has been the most tremendous supporter of Comic Relief. Out of the blue one year he gave us all the cash from the release of “As”, his single with Mary J. Blige...It’s always so moving when people stick with us year after year – and we’re thrilled and delighted about the song, and the wonderful video that goes with it. We promise we’ll use every penny we make from it to save and change lives in Africa and all over the UK." 

For more information on "True Faith" and the "Faith" albums, go to or ("Faith" only).

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