Creation Records Founder Screws Up The Courage To Admit That George Michael Was Awesome (Well, Duh)

Jun 3rd, 2009 // 12 Comments

Apparently, the news that George Michael was a pop genius is so big, The Guardian‘s music blog had to let Alan McGee take time out from his usual My Bloody Valentine bashing to pen a 650-ish paean to his brilliance: “Faith (the album) was classic pop. It found Michael moving into Brian Wilson Pet Sounds territory. Seriously–Michael co-produced, wrote all the songs, played most of the instruments and sang backing vocals and harmonies.” So basically McGee is trying to placate the Guardian audience by appealing to their rockist tendencies, and getting into the semi-dicey “authenticity” argument (the piece ends with him nattering on about “manufactured pop” and Neil Young). I always feel weird about throwing down that particular line of justification with any album where I didn’t sit in on every tussle-filled corporate meeting, but hey, at least I have an excuse to share my four favorite songs from the album in one fell swoop. Videos after the jump!


4. “Kissing A Fool”



3. “Father Figure”



2. “Monkey”



1. “One More Try”



OK, so the album is only nine tracks. But it was really hard to choose between these four–the pathos of “Kissing A Fool,” the period-specific sheen of “Father Figure,” the rollerskate-jam flavor of “Monkey” (the synth-cowbell-filled Shep Pettibone remix is even better!), and the “using your time in church to pray for the old love to come back” vibe of “One More Try” run at least half of the gamut, sure, but they also all work well together as a whole.


It’s time we applauded the genius of George Michael [Guardian Music Blog]

  1. Great album of course, pretty much soundtracked my senior year of high school along with the local classic rock station. This all said I have the feeling McGee is honoring some obscure part of the contract he signed when he sold over Creation to Sony.

  2. I pity folks who pick up the CD of Faith and only hear Michael’s self-produced album version of “Monkey,” which he himself calls inferior to the Jimmy-and-Terry-produced rerecording/single. That version — heard in the video above — just cooks.

    In fact, Sony should do a proper remaster of Faith with the single version of “Monkey” thrown on and some of the contemporaneous B-sides, maybe even throw “A Different Corner” on there. (I know, unlikely, given the long war Michael fought against the old Columbia regime in the early ’90s, but a boy can dream.)

  3. Faith is an amazing album. I hate the whole “authenticity” argument. If some moves you, it’s doing its job as a piece of art.

  4. I will ride or die for this album. It’s the one thing on my iPod that my friends laugh at when they see, and I’m always like, “What’s wrong with you? You weren’t cooling out to “Father Figure” on the Jersey Shore? You don’t know what you were missing!”

  5. I agree, Faith is really good, but I’m still waiting for Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 2. No really, I loved that album.

  6. I – unlike the Guardian commentors – don’t think there’s anything wrong in admitting that was a great album, but let’s keep in mind that using McGee to validate our taste is kind of pointless, as this is the same guy who described 3 Colours Red as “the new Sex Pistols” and Bernard Butler as “the new Neil Young” (I love the latter to death and at this point would be more likely to pick up his version of Archives, but Neil Young he is not).

  7. @Thierry: So OTM. He signed a band called Cosmic Rough Riders, for Pete’s sake!

  8. @Thierry: I’m still waiting, too.

  9. McGee is a tool, but “The Creation Records Story: My Magpie Eyes Are Hungry for the Prize” is a great book with a too long title and Faith is one of the great 80s pop albums.

    So there’s that….

  10. Lots of love here. I’m kind of surprised. I’ll throw a wrench into the works by submitting a “thumbs down” to the notion that this album is stellar. And I now retreat to the shadows.

  11. @cheesebubble: *makes hissing Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1970s Phillip Kaufman version) noise*

  12. Only thing wrong with saying that “George Michael was awesome” is the verb tense: George Michael IS awesome. He continues to create masterful works of art time after time, both lyrically and musically, composing, arranging, producing, and then performing without peer. Most pop acts on the charts can’t even do ONE of those. It’s a cliché, but his music is the soundtrack to my life (I don’t know how he does that with his words), and the music is funky in all the right places, and haunting when it needs to be. Simply brilliant.

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