Information about the Album:
Songs from the Last Century is the fourth studio album by George Michael, released on 13 December 1999 by Aegean and Virgin Records. It is his only album of cover versions, such as old jazz standards and interpretations of popular songs such as “Roxanne” (originally by The Police) and “Miss Sarajevo” (originally by U2 and Brian Eno with Luciano Pavarotti).
Producer Phil Ramone wrote:
“The song is the survivor. The melody is ageless and the lyric is of its time. Put all this together and you emerge with a clear understanding of what ths album is all about. George Michael came to the forefront because of his passion for song and its performance. Hiss cross-references and influences arrive at different times in his career. A surprise call came and we were conversing as true fans of Jobim, Mercer and Gershwin. Immediately we agreed a pastiche or tribute misses what he wanted to accomplish. He not only wanted to tip his hat to each decade’s technology for the recording. Knowing up to now that George had produced all of his previous work, I was flattered to bring a unique group of talent to collaborate, much like a show or movie. The experience leaves no doubt that the respect with which George’s eagerness and performance carry the banner forward. The tip of the hat comes from above and from all of us who loved making his music.”Phil Ramone
AllMusic.com says that it is a “cohesive, enjoyable diversion:”
George Michael has crafted a warm, intimate album built around a small combo of piano, guitar, bass, and drums. Orchestras, big bands, harps, and on one occasion, a rock band augment the basic combo, yet the flourishes never change the essential, close-knit nature of the group. For the first time ever, Michael sounds relaxed. He’s lying back, singing songs he loves, not worrying about chart success, and the end result is quite fetching, even if it isn’t perfect.
- Number of weeks in chart: 26 weeks
- Peak Position: #2
- Number of weeks in chart: 7 weeks
- Peak Position: #157
This ad was published in the National Post paper in Toronto, Canada on December 18, 1999. The ad uses the first lines from the statement of producer Phil Ramone:
“The song is the survivor. The melody is ageless, and the lyric is of its time.”
Featuring songs by some of the great composers of the last 100 years and made famous by world class performers including Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Sting, Bono, Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone.
Songs from the Last Century
$16.99 Chapter l” Club member price $15.29
Brother can you spare a dime? George Michael has never shied away from controversy. So when he decided that his next album would be dedicated to the musical style of the old standards few were surprised. When he brought in the legendary producer Phil Ramone, no one raised an eyebrow. And no one should be surprised that he’s created some of the sweetest music this side of heaven. Songs like You to Changed, My Baby Just Cares For Me, I Remember You, Miss Sarajevo and the sweetest version of Roxarme you’ll ever hear. How good is it? Sometimes you’ve just gotta have faith. Come in. Go anywhere.
“Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?”
“My Baby Just Cares for Me”
“The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”
“I Remember You”
“Wild Is the Wind”
“Where or When”
- George Michael Interview with Capital FM Radio with Dr. Fox (Dec 1998)
- Press Release for George Michael’s ‘Songs from the Last Century’ Album
- George Michael on ‘Listen Without Prejudice’ (1990)
- 12 Things You Need to Know About Wham!’s “Last Christmas” Song
- George Michael Voices Hope, Ham & High (2014)