“Listen Without Prejudice” was George Michael’s second solo album after his massive post-Wham! album Faith. While his image and videos helped propel his success, George wanted his songs to speak for themselves in this album. For “Listen Without Prejudice,” George refused to appear on the album cover and in the promotional singles’ videos.
In fact, he sent out this sparse, untypical press release when Listen Without Prejudice album was about to be launched:
The press release is based on a passage in his book “Bare,” co-written with Tony Parsons:
The George Michael in the videos doesn’t really exist. But the songwriter is real. And so are the songs. The only thing that really matters is making music that will still mean something to people in twenty or thirty years time.
The move came as a surprise to the music industry. While many artists and musicians complain about pressures at the top, few do something about it. After all, promotional videos and touring — two things that George said he did not enjoy — are considered essential elements in the success of an album. They are the price of fame.
When Listen Without Prejudice was released, George said in an interview with Los Angeles Times:
“I’m sure a lot of people are going to believe all this is just some sort of gimmick … just another way to stir interest …
But I’m sure that most people find it hard to believe that stardom can make you miserable. After all, everybody wants to be a star. I certainly did, and I worked hard to get it. But I was miserable, and I don’t want to feel that way again.”
- George Michael: The Reluctant Pop Star (Calendar Magazine, Sept 1990)
- George Michael Controversy After Winning the Favorite Male R&B Award
- George Michael: Artist or Airhead? (Musician, 1988)
- George Michael in Q Magazine Interview (October 1990)
- George Michael Interview on Q Magazine (June 1988)