George Michael interview on the Dutch music program Countdown televised in 1988.
Hello George, let’s start talking about your album.. new album first, Faith. Where did you record it and which musicians did you use?
I recorded most of it in Denmark and some of it in London. And some of the musicians were people who were previously on Wham! albums, namely Deon Estus who’s a bass player and Hugh Burns who’s a guitar player. And most of the rest of the album I played myself, with the exception of some keyboard parts who were played by a new player called Chris Cameron. He’s very good.
What about touring?
I’m touring.. as of next February I start the tour in Japan and I work my way from Japan to Australia. Then here to Europe. Where I’ll be playing here in Holland and surrounding countries. And then England and then finally America.
When Wham! stopped you wanted to shake off your teenage image. Do you think that you are more professional now?
I would hope so. I mean one of the.. one of the things that I can’t do anything about is that I’m still only 24, you know. I’m still quite young so if.. I would never try to get rid of anybody who’s appreciated my music or for any reason.. if I’ve been appreciated for any reason, I would never say that I wanted to get rid of any kind of recognition. I’m very pleased.. for all the people that been loyal to me the last four or five years. But I want to add to that. Obviously, as a musical challenge I want to widen my audience. And I think a lot of the people that started out as Wham! fans have grown up with me, you know. And there are definitely things on this album that would appeal to a totally different audience. But it’s really not a conscious decision to try and get rid of one thing and gain another. I think the thing that was most frustrating about Wham! was not the attachment of some kind of image to me. It was more the musical restrictions that I felt I imposed on myself with the band.
In an interview I read that when you get makeup on your face, that it’s quite erotic. And that you fall in love with the makeup girls for about 30 minutes. What’s true on that?
Well I have my makeup.. this week I’ve been getting it down a lot, but it’s of course – my girlfriend is a makeup artist so that’s all very above board. It’s very true, I mean I always used to talk about this with Andrew. If the makeup artist on hand was, you know, anything like presentable, you’d automatically found it very sexy when she’d been touching your face gently for half an hour, you know. It’s a very.. I mean, I think most people.. actually most men as well, if you actually get them to admit it, really enjoy having makeup done. Because regardless of what they look like at the end, you have this sensation.. very kind of sensual sensation while it’s going on.
Is it correct that you will lose weight for the upcoming tour?
Not really, no. I mean I’m pretty much the same weight I have been for quite a while. I do tend to photograph pretty fat, so they’ve always got a nice fat photograph of me so they can say.. because I mean, some photos I look really fat and all the other photos I look pretty much as I am and.. so they always got a photo to say “he’s just lost two stone,” you know. ‘Cause they got one with me like.. (he’s making a face)
No I haven’t really.. I’m working out for the tour. I’m trying to get fit. But the papers said there I was 13 stone. I’m actually 11 stone, I’ve been 11 stone for quite a long time.
Is it difficult for you to write songs and how long does it take to write a hit song?
I rewrite some things, some compositions, and usually the best ones I think tend to happen very, very quickly. Some of the biggest, most successful records I’ve had, have been recorded incredibly quickly. I mean A Different Corner took me about 14 hours – writing and recording – from beginning to end. And Go Go took two days, which was pretty quick. And then on the other hand things like Careless Whisper was written.. even though it was written when I was a lot younger, that was written over the course of a couple of months. There are some.. there are some records on the new album that have been written over the last two years. But for instance, there’s a track on the album called One More Try – which is my favorite track on the album – which was recorded and finished within eight hours. And that was written as it was recorded, you know. So sometimes I can write something very deliberately and slowly and it will be successful. And sometimes I can write something that really just comes, and before I know it I finished it. And it can be some of my best work.
Is it true that Faith was never mentioned to be a single?
Faith was never actually intended as a single when I first recorded it. And then I listened to it more and more and.. ‘cause in fact, originally it was only two minutes long. Originally there was no guitar solo. There was no real guitar sound on it or anything. And everyone said it’s great, it’s great, but it’s too short, you know. And everyone kept saying that I love Faith, I love Faith. So I thought, well maybe I should put it out as a single when it came to that. I said, I think a two minute long single is a bit, you know… so I went in and extended it. But it was originally never intended as a single. It was just gonna be like a small track on the album, a really short track.
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