Press release issued by the Virgin Music Group in November 1999 announcing the signing of George Michael to a North American recording contract and the release of his album Songs From The Last Century
Virgin Music Group Signs George Michael to a North American Recording Agreement
Deal brings artist fully into the Virgin Music Group Worldwide
November 22, 1999 – Virgin Music Group proudly announces that it has signed George Michael to a North American recording agreement. As a result of the agreement, Virgin Music Group will release the music of George Michael on a worldwide basis, including the Virgin Records America in the United States and Virgin Records Canada in that country.
The agreement complements an agreement entered into between George Michael and Virgin Music Group Worldwide in July, 1995. Michael released his first album under that agreement Older in May, 1996. Older has since sold over seven million units worldwide (exc. the US and Canada).
The first album from George Michael to be released under this new agreement by the Virgin Music Group will be Songs From The Last Century, his fourth solo record since leaving Wham! The album will be released internationally (exec. North America) on December 6, Canada will follow on December 7 and the US will release one week later on December 14. This is Michael’s second record to be handled by Virgin Music Group Worldwide outside of North America, and the first to be handled by the company here in the US and Canada.
Songs From The Last Century features songs written by some of the greatest composers of the twentieth century, including Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hart, Johnny Mercer and Ewan MacColl (to name but a few) and features some of the finest contemporary musicians. The album was coproduced in New York this summer by the legendary Phil Ramone (Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Billy Joel and Paul Simon) and George Michael, and recorded by three time Grammy winner Frank Filipetti. Among the ten tracks on the album are “You’ve Changed,” originally recorded by Billie Holiday, “My Baby Just Cares For Me ,” initially performed by Nina Simone, and “Wild Is The Wind,” made famous by Frank Sinatra. The first single in North America will be “Miss Sarajevo,” a song first recorded for the Passengers soundtrack by U2’s Bono and world famous tenor Luciano Pavarotti.
Comments Nancy Berry, vice chairman, Virgin Music Group Worldwide:
“George Michael is the quintessential pop star. His illustrious career both as part of Wham! and as a solo artist has reached tremendous international proportions. We are thrilled to be able to expand our relationship with George to include our North American companies, thereby providing him with the full worldwide efforts of the Virgin Music Group. As we ready for Songs From The Last Century , we aim to duplicate the success we had internationally with Older and move into the next century as one worldwide team.
- George Michael Interview on CNN Defending ‘Shoot the Dog’
- George Michael Interview on Q Magazine (December 1998)
- Yahoo Music Interview with George Michael at 25 Live Tour Kickoff (2008)
- Andrew Ridgeley on Life With and After Wham! (Hello!, 1997)
- George Michael: The Reluctant Pop Star (Calendar Magazine, Sept 1990)