The article “Wham Keeps on Go Going” was written by Stuart Coupe in his column Rock Beat published in The Sydney Morning Herald on September 23, 1984.
During 1983 there was a Fantastic, which entered the English charts at num boom in catchy, danceable pop music performed by fresh-faced English duos and Wham (Andrew Ridgeley and George Michael) were typical of this trend.
Wham had two sizable hits with Wham! Rap! Enjoy What You Do and Young Guns (Go For It), both of which were included on their album, ber one and stayed there long enough to sell nearly a million copies.
Wham were certainly the right band at the right time, performing infectious and anthemic dance music that was ideally suited to the mood of the time in England.
Then, after this sudden success, things went quiet and most people were prepared to remember 1983 as Wham’s year and relegate them to a minor entry in the rock’n’roll history books.
The big problem for Wham had more to do with lawyers and the music business than with an ability to write great songs and that held Wham up for months until they burst back on to the world’s charts with Wake Me Up (Before You Go Go) which was a number one hit in England and Australia.
Then a few months later George Michael released his first solo single, Careless Whispers, which also went straight to the top of the charts.
Wham’s absence from the record scene after the release of Fantastic was, as Andrew Ridgeley told me in London earlier this year, something they had no control over.
“The break really was enforced because we were in the middle of a legal wrangle with our record, company until the end of last year,” Andrew said.
“We’d planned a tour and everything but instead we ended up just sitting around writing songs and doing nothing whilst the lawyers battled it out.”
Andrew went on and on to stress how naive he and George were in the early part of their recording career and how their record company took advantage of that.
But who can blame the Wham duo! Here they were, straight out of school, on the dole and suddenly they are being -courted by some of the biggest record companies in the world.
Both Andrew and George had gone to the same school and graduated more. through luck than hard work.
“I think we both stayed on at school so we’d have an excuse to stay at home and wouldn’t have to go out to work,” George said.
“We both knew that all we wanted to be was pop stars.
“We were both convinced that once our songs were heard by the right people we were going to make it.
“It was convincing other people of that like our parents that was the hard job.
“You’re surrounded by people who are trying hard and failing dismally, and you’ve got to convince your parents that you’re not one of those people.”
Now that both Wham and other people are making money from their songs, it seems odd for one of the duo to release a solo single especially immediately after Wham had a number-one hit
Naturally the release of Careless Whispers started Tumours that George had ended the group.
Apparently this is not so and Wham have already completed their second album.
“We’ve had to put up with split stories for a year,” George said.
“We are a duo, not a song-writing partnership.
“If I was on my own the songs wouldn’t sound the same. Everything I write usually goes through Andrew automatically.
“If I’m writing something as Wham we both have to like it”
Wham are so certain of their immediate future together that they are planning an Australian tour in February just as long as the lawyers don’t get involved.
- George Michael Interview with Capital FM Radio with Dr. Fox (Dec 1998)
- Wham! You’re On Your Own, George (Sunday Times, 1986)
- Last Wham! Interview: No. 1 Magazine (1986)
- George Michael Interview in Graffiti Magazine (1987)
- George Michael: Artist or Airhead? (Musician, 1988)