On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!
George Michael – Faith (1987)
” Faith” is a song written and performed by George Michael, from his 1987 debut solo album of the same name. It held the number-one position on Billboard Hot 100 chart for four weeks and, according to magazine, it was the number-one single of the year in the United States in 1988.
We’re continuing in the UK and revisiting with a singer who has appeared as part of Wham! i.e. George Michael. The duo disbanded in 1986 but such was Michael’s talent that it was inevitable a solo career would follow. He had already topped the UK charts with singles – Careless Whisper and A Different Corner – away from Wham! But it wasn’t until 1987 that Michael’s debut solo album – Faith – was released. 1001 Songs have gone with the title track, as they tend to do.
In Faith, George Michael sings about a love interest he is finding hard to resist but somehow he holds firm and manages to say no. As gorgeous as this love interest is, we are informed that they are also something of a heartbreaker and our narrator is wary of succumbing to their charms. He calls on the faith of the title as his form of self-reassurance that walking away and being alone is better than being with them and risking being hurt. It takes a strong heart and mind to walk away sometimes but our narrator has done it though he does seem to hold reservations.
George Michael’s debut album would be huge on both sides of the Atlantic and he truly was at the peak of his powers at this time. Faith remains a classic though not Michael’s best in my opinion. What wasn’t in doubt was he was a terrific singer in his lifetime though the years ahead would be blighted by controversies in his private life, the media always reporting on these rather than the charitable work that Michael also carried out. On Christmas Day 2016 George Michael died at the age of 53, sending shockwaves across the world. Tributes deservedly poured in for a truly talented singer.
Favourite songs so far: