George Michael Singles Rate - The Complete Popjustice Top 40.

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Welcome to the George Michael top 40 singles rate!

This is your chance to vote on 40 GM singles to hit the US/UK charts since 1984. These exclude any Wham! songs. I did consider their addition but wanted this to remain as much a solo affair as possible. It seemed only right, however, to include some of his more famous duets.

You may give each song a percentage score from zero to 100. Zero being the lowest possible score. If you prefer to score in the traditional way from zero to 10 that's fine but your scores will be converted as appropriate. A score of 1 = 10%, 2 = 20% and so on.

Please PM me your scores in the usual way in the original order given (you can cut and paste the list at the end of this post to make it easier). Voting is now open until 31 July 2011 at midnight.

If there is a song you do not know please mark as N/A rather than giving it a zero or scoring it based on one listen. Links are provided to refresh your memory though:

01. Careless Whisper
02. A Different Corner
03. I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me) with Aretha Franklin
04. I Want Your Sex
05. Faith
06. Father Figure
07. One More Try
08. Monkey
09. Kissing A Fool
10. Praying For Time
11. Waiting For That Day (unofficial video)
12. Freedom
13. Heal The Pain (audio)
14. Mother's Pride (audio)
15. Cowboys & Angels (audio)
16. Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me with Elton John
17. Too Funky
18. Somebody To Love with Queen
19. Killer / Papa Was A Rollin' Stone
20. Jesus To A Child
21. Fastlove
22. Spinning The Wheel
23. Older
24. I Can't Make You Love Me
25. Star People
26. Waltz Away Dreaming (audio) with Toby Bourke
27. You Have Been Loved
28. The Strangest Thing '97 (audio)
29. Outside
30. As with Mary J. Blige
31. If I Told You That with Whitney Houston
32. Freeek!
33. Shoot The Dog
34. Amazing
35. Flawless (Go To The City)
36. Round Here
37. An Easier Affair
38. This Is Not Real Love (audio) with Mutya
39. December Song (I Dreamed Of Christmas)
40. True Faith

Top 40
#01 Father Figure (1988) 91.1%
#02 Freedom (1990) 89.1%
#03 Fastlove (1996) 88.5%
#04 Too Funky (1992) 87.6%
#05 Jesus To A Child (1996) 87.5%
#06 Praying For Time (1990) 87.1%
#07 I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me) with Aretha Franklin (1987) 83.7%
#08 Careless Whisper (1984) 83.4%
#09 Outside (1998) 82.3%
#10 A Different Corner (1986) 81.6%
#11 Faith (1987) 80.2%
#12 As with Mary J Blige (1999) 77.1%
#13 Spinning The Wheel (1996) 77%
#14 The Strangest Thing '97 (1997) 75.7%
#15 Waiting For That Day (1990) 74.5%
#16 Cowboys & Angels (1991) 73.1%
#17 Kissing A Fool (1988) 72.8%
#18 Flawless (Go To The City) (2004) 71.9%
#19 Older (1997) 71.9%
#20 One More Try (1988) 70.6%
#21 You Have Been Loved (1997) 69.6%
#22 Freeek! (2002) 69.3%
#23 Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me with Elton John (1991) 68.4%
#24 Amazing (2004) 67.5%
#25 Star People (1997) 67.1%
#26 If I Told You That with Whitney Houston (2000) 66.9%
#27 I Can't Make You Love Me (1997) 66.9%
#28 I Want Your Sex (1987) 66.8%
#29 Monkey (1988) 66.6%
#30 Killer / Papa Was A Rollin Stone (1993) 64.6%
#31 Heal The Pain (1991) 63.1%
#32 Somebody To Love with Queen (1993) 62.1%
#33 Mother's Pride (1991) 61.6%
#34 This Is Not Real Love with Mutya (2006) 61.4%
#35 Shoot The Dog (2002) 55.3%
#36 Round Here (2004) 50.7%
#37 December Song (I Dreamed Of Christmas) (2009) 50%
#38 Waltz Away Dreaming with Toby Bourke (1997) 49%
#39 An Easier Affair (2006) 46.3%
#40 True Faith (2011) 25.4%
 
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Re: George Michael Singles Rate

WAHOO!!!

One I actually want to do.

They'll be lots of high marks and lots average marks but only one 10!!!
 
Re: George Michael Singles Rate

YES! I've been waiting for this one. I'll have to do my best and try not the give all the Faith singles a 10. Perfect era, as far as I'm concerned.
 
Re: George Michael Singles Rate

This is going to be a really good one for me, as it ticks all the boxes for a great singles rate - a proper back catalogue, covers a huge period of time, loads of different phases of a career, and (in terms of giving scores out) the most interesting kind of all because the quality control is all over the place (loads of gems and quite a few turkeys towards the end)!
 
Re: George Michael Singles Rate

Wow, I didn't realise that he had so many singles, considering that he only has four proper studio albums! I'll vote in this later, it's a great idea for a Singles Rate!

It's hard to say which song should win, but surely the loser is a no-brainer?
 
Re: George Michael Singles Rate

marie_05 said:
Wow, I didn't realise that he had so many singles, considering that he only has four proper studio albums! I'll vote in this later, it's a great idea for a Singles Rate!

It's hard to say which song should win, but surely the loser is a no-brainer?

He did milk those albums a bit but I guess when you are averaging an album every 6 years it is understandable. He did race through the singles for the second album - I guess as a reaction to its performance compared to "Faith"
 
Re: George Michael Singles Rate

Sweet Music said:
Surely John And Elvis Are Dead counts as a single??

I know what I'd include in my top 5.

I did consider its inclusion, along with some others like "Roxanne" and promo single "Hard Day" but despite video/single releases i'm not aware of any of those songs charting in UK/US. I wanted to stick to a top 40 which seemed about right and considered dropping the AA sides from the "Older" era but I ended up with 39 or 41 depending on what rule I took.

This way it is a top 40 of UK or US charting songs at least.
 
Re: George Michael Singles Rate

phoenix123 said:
He did race through the singles for the second album - I guess as a reaction to its performance compared to "Faith"

I'm pretty certain it sold more in the UK than 'Faith' did but overall it was definitely something of a disappointment. The thing I've never understood is why 'Freedom' did so badly. It's one of his classic songs and the video is iconic but it stalled outside the Top 20 if I'm not mistaken.
 
Re: George Michael Singles Rate

Baby Clyde said:
phoenix123 said:
He did race through the singles for the second album - I guess as a reaction to its performance compared to "Faith"

I'm pretty certain it sold more in the UK than 'Faith' did but overall it was definitely something of a disappointment. The thing I've never understood is why 'Freedom' did so badly. It's one of his classic songs and the video is iconic but it stalled outside the Top 20 if I'm not mistaken.

You are right. He sold more with each successuve album from "Faith" to "Older" and then the greatest hits sold moreso again. The singles for the second album seriously underperformed but at least seemed to impact on album sales with it rebounding back up the charts each time, except for "Cowboys & Angels" which most people probably didn't even know was released!

I could never fathom the failure of "Freedom" either. I adore the song and video. As he himself said, what better consolation than having all those beautiful models in his absence?

I can only justify it by suggesting it was a period of adjustment in public perception of him away from poppy pop star releasing pop singles, towards singer songwriter releasing cohesive albums. Although having said all that, he didn't then become more of an album act like Paul Weller or Sting because the "Older" singles all made top 3!
 
Re: George Michael Singles Rate

I Knew You Were Waiting For Me is my tip for the top. I associate this and What Have I Done To Deserve This with each other - both big name 80s stars performing with big name 60s stars and making massive tunes!
 
Re: George Michael Singles Rate

Thanks for the votes so far keep them coming!!

Very interesting to see the songs out in front at this point. I don't think the bottom few songs will be too surprising but wasn't expecting them to be getting quite the unanimous kicking they have had so far....
 
Re: George Michael Singles Rate

I don't think it's hard to guess the bottom few, haha!

I never knew that Freedom did so badly in the UK. I always thought it was a big hit, but that's probably because it did go to number 8 over here.

Tip for the top, no idea. He had many outstanding singles, so it's very hard to guess the winner. There are about 4 or 5 worthy winners as far as I'm concerned.
 
Re: George Michael Singles Rate

marie_05 said:
I don't think it's hard to guess the bottom few, haha!

I never knew that Freedom did so badly in the UK. I always thought it was a big hit, but that's probably because it did go to number 8 over here.

Tip for the top, no idea. He had many outstanding singles, so it's very hard to guess the winner. There are about 4 or 5 worthy winners as far as I'm concerned.

Indeed, even at this early stage there are 5 songs already drawing away from the pack but it's very close.
 
Re: George Michael Singles Rate

As great a songwriter as he is there's a lot of piss poor elevator muzak in his back catalogue.
 
Re: George Michael Singles Rate

Baby Clyde said:
As great a songwriter as he is there's a lot of piss poor elevator muzak in his back catalogue.

Hmmm I think certainly from "Older" onwards he has had a lot more chilled out / laid back stuff that sometimes suffers from a slightly dated production style (his own at least). Annie Lennox, who I similarly love, also had quite dated production on "Bare" but I still love the songs. Maybe just the early 2000s was a difficult time for more established acts to sound fresh? "Freeek!" and "Shining Light" proved to me that they can both pull it out of the bag when required.

Obviouslt the drug taking has had an effect and I do wonder how amazing things could be if he collaborated with another producer. You get the sense with the vocodered reworking of "True Faith" he is at least willing to do something different to what he's done before.
 
Re: George Michael Singles Rate

phoenix123 said:
Baby Clyde said:
As great a songwriter as he is there's a lot of piss poor elevator muzak in his back catalogue.

Hmmm I think certainly from "Older" onwards he has had a lot more chilled out / laid back stuff that sometimes suffers from a slightly dated production style (his own at least).

It's not just 'Older' there's an awful lot on 'Listen Without Prejudice' as well. 'Mother's Pride', 'Cowboys and Angels' etc.
 
Re: George Michael Singles Rate

Oi, Cowboys & Angels is gorgeous...(but I see where you're coming from).

LWP did amazingly enough outsell Faith in Britain; Faith wasn't quite the massive success here that it was in the US. It debuted at #1, sure, and hung around for a year, but it never had that grip on the charts that it did Stateside. Plus the singles did pretty averagely aside from the title track.
 

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