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Ladies And Gentlemen: The Best Of George Michael - George Michael

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      24.03.2009 21:44
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      great

      This is a really fun double cd it has the more up beat songs on disc2 and the slower smooth songs on disc1 . I think the song i listen to most on disc 1 is possibly "praying for time"which is an absolute classic but doesn't get much radio airtime i think he wrote it for someone close to him who had a terminal illness but not sure,this goes with other well known classics like father figure,don't let the sun go down on me, careless whisper and more.
      On the second cd there is great up beat songs like"I knew you waiting for me" "freedom" and many more. I think "killer/papa was a rollin stone" is my favourite on that one probably because it doesn't get much airtime too,but it is real great up beat song.
      I think the most well known of George Michael's is "Faith" which is fantastic and if you listen to the organ at the beginning you will notice it plays "freedom" by Wham.
      This is a fantastic double cd full of great songs.

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      22.01.2009 14:13
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      Best of (until '98) George Michael.

      Ladies and Gentlemen, The best of George Michael

      1998

      Just over 10 years ago George Michael was at the top of the tree, or just getting out of it, depending on your point of view. So this album is really testimony of those ups and downs since the 'Wham days'.

      You may or may not remember 'A Different Corner' his first solo offering. At the time it blew me away not necessarily musically, but because of the sincerity in the lyrics and the vocal which whilst controlled is also full of feeling. I knew then that far from the frivolous pop that was Wham (nowt wrong with that by the way) we had a young singer/songwriter that was destined for bigger things. Then of course we had the classic 'Careless Whisper' which I have to say, I am well and truly sick of now, apart from the sax' intro. At the time however, it was huge.

      Some of GM's 'ballads' which folk love him for such as 'I can't make you love me' are just a little too twee for me, I much prefer his 'angsty songs and we get a few on this 'best of'.

      'One More Try' Is a wonderful song, very moving and has resonance with everyone that has felt vulnerable within a relationship. This song has added meaning I think, within the gay/bisexual community where many young men's first experience is with an older man, though I suppose it also has the same resonance to a degree within the heterosexual World. It is sung with heart, with feeling and the lyrics are very, very good. The music is melancholy and to me, though never a hit, this is one of GM's best songs. The last verse especially is haunting.

      'Waiting for that Day' is a classy number without doubt; I just love the guitar playing and the 'dreamy' nature of his vocals. Again, this is not such a well know tune, but generally with GM that seems to indicate some thought has gone into it, lol.

      We also get to see the 'clever' side of GM, 'Jesus to a Child' is a brilliant piece of work, touching, delicate and memorable.

      The 2nd disc (well not if you download) is for the most part more 'up'. 'Outside', his quick response to getting caught cottaging (sex in public toilets) is absolute class and drama, the video is great, the song captures that moment of his life brilliantly and is just spot on. 'Fast Love' and 'Too Funky' are great little club numbers that still get played today (occasionally).

      'As' his collaboration with Mary J Blige is quite a soulful offering and shows a more musical side of him, which I would personally like to see more of. He certainly develops this when he sings with Aretha Franklin on 'I knew you were waiting'. The very fact alone that he can duet and hold his own with these Diva's is testament to his voice, his 'soul' and his place in the music World. This is where I am going to end my reviews of the songs that I like (though I could talk about one or two others, particularly 'Faith'), and to stop at Aretha is good enough. This song is so uplifting it is almost spiritual and I think that was certainly the intention.

      Unfortunately there are one or two tracks here that do not cut the mustard, the Elton John duet is dire in my opinion, 'Kissing a fool' is a poor attempt at a jazz croon, 'Praying for Time' just sucks and though he actually gets Astrud Gilberto to duet on Desafinado with him, it is not good.


      ~~Finally~~

      A bit like many other vocalist/songwriters, people tend to think of George Michael in terms of his ups and down (think of Amy Winehouse), and like those others I choose to look past all that. What we have here is a double album of some cracking songs.

      Whilst I am not a George Michael 'fan' I do appreciate his talents and confess to having a few of these on my iPod.

      He was at his best during this period, and I am sad to say he has not done too much worthy of note since '98, which is a shame. So get this to appreciate his talents, but not his current situation.


      Disc 1
      1. Jesus to a Child
      2. Father Figure
      3. Careless Whisper
      4. Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me (with Elton John)
      5. You Have Been Loved
      6. Kissing a Fool
      7. I Can't Make You Love Me
      8. Heal the Pain
      9. A Moment with You
      10. Desafinado (with Astrud Gilberto)
      11. Cowboys and Angels
      12. Praying for Time
      13. One More Try
      14. A Different Corner

      Disc 2
      1. Outside
      2. As (with Mary J. Blige)
      3. Fastlove
      4. Too Funky
      5. Freedom! '90
      6. Star People '97
      7. Killer
      8. I Want Your Sex (Part II)
      9. The Strangest Thing '97
      10. Fantasy
      11. Spinning the Wheel
      12. Waiting for That Day/You Can't Always Get What You Want
      13. I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me) (with Aretha Franklin)
      14. Faith
      15. Somebody to Love (with Queen)

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        10.08.2008 02:32
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        You make the sun shine brighter than Doris Day. So sang George Michael when part of Wham! In their seminal classic Wake Me Up Before You GoGo. Somehow as a solo artist you cannot imagine him including lines like that any more. What happened to dear old fun-loving George. To listen to his Ladies and Gentlemen retrospective you see a very quick decline from strong commercial post-Wham! To some frankly dire boring songs devoid of anything remotely melodic.

        Indeed I would have to say that CD 1in this compilation is strictly for the fans, the big unquestioning fans at that. As half of Wham! George ploughed a deep furrow of sexuality based on teen idolatory. Whilst some of his solo work still had that ethic there was more subtlety and maturity to it. Songs like Careless Whisper and Father Figure had a certain sensuality about them. Others like Jesus To A Child have so little melody it is totally soporific. It meanders along aimlessly until George repeats the title with a little emphasis as if to wake the slumbering listener.
        Too many tracks on this CD seem aimed at the loyal insomniac. You Have Been Loved , I Can't Make You Love Me and A Moment With You are just sad offerings which seem to be devoid of emotion. This is feelings by numbers, a mope opera. As for Praying For Time was this really such a big hit, it sounds so dull now. This CD includes the live duet with Elton John of Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me which was passably good. George Michael at least proves he can sing live and with some feeling. It seems such a shame that the vast majority of his output is studio recorded where he seems to leave his passion at the door on the way in. I am not against ballads and slower numbers per se but if you are going to record them it really has to be special for it to work. With George Michael it rarely does.

        In my opinion the second CD is much better as it features some of Georges upbeat stuff. The problem I have with his slow stuff is exemplified by the value of the tracks here. George Michael even rediscovers a sense of humour for Outside. Rather forced on him I think as the only way from his lewd conduct behaviour charge was to brazen it out and laugh it off. The same applied to Too Funky and this begs the question of why should he not be happy with being a damned good popular entertainer. Why the pretentiousness of Listen Without Prejudice, why pursue court cases over his artistic integrity. Just get on the stage and wave your arse about man.
        The successful uptempo singles like Fastlove and I Want Your Sex are the ones which make this an album worth buying but I would suggest that the 2 CDs were bundled together because if they had been separate the second CD would have considerably outsold the first. If that had happened the pressure would have been for George to compromise his once vaunted integrity. An artist who can cover a song which is very firmly established like Killer by Adamski connect it to a true standard like Papa Was A Rolling Stone and come out with a brilliant track should do it more often.

        The album finishes with 3 excellent tracks,firstly his duet with Aretha Franklin , I Knew You Were Waiting For Me, which comes out pretty well. George does seem to be straining a little due to the song key but overall its quite good. Then comes Faith which in the video showed George still willing, at that time, to play it for the ladies. Symbolic is the almost complete absence of sustained facial shots in the video because he wanted the fans left wanting more. Contrast that with the video for Outside when George made absolutely certain he was seen because he wished to be seen and not hiding. Last and not least is the Somebody To Love recording with Queen from the Tribute to Freddie Mercury. What could have ended up as karaoke with Roger, Brian and John ends up a pretty passable track and again proves that George Michael can cut it live.

        I do actually like George Michael. His attempts though at serious musician status have been destroyed by events in his personal life. Not that his chosen lifestyle bars him from that ambition but more the manner of it becoming public knowledge. Tabloids can be cruel. Perhaps though this should not be such a disaster. For me George Michael was far more entertaining before those pretensions took over.

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        08.11.2003 21:48
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        Sometimes when I want to sit and read a lot of music I like does not create the right atmosphere to relax and get lost in the latest novel of choice, so last night I had a really good rake through my CD collection and came across this double CD which I had criminally overlooked for probably as long as I have owned it. I put it on, and I have to say that it is a complete change from the rock based music I prefer, but I forgot just how good this album is, and just how talented George Michael is, and unlike a lot of 'Best Of' albums, every single song on here is worthy of it's place in the collection, and I think it just shows again how he managed to progress from being the chubby popster who carried Andrew Ridgeley to fame, to a world famous, and musically respected artist. Many people talk about how Madonna reinvents herself, but I think that George Michael has done this many times over, and even had to work hard to regain people's respect after the unfortunate incident which led to his arrest. Released in 1998, the 2 discs contain 29 tracks and whole album is dedicated to his late mother Lesley. The first CD is entitled 'For The Heart', which slightly gives away the tone of the songs, as does the title of the second CD, which is 'For The Feet'. The first disc is the perfect chillout disc, and I know that my wife listens to it a lot when she is in the bath after a stressful week at work. The mood initially is quite low, as the opening song is 'Jesus To A Child', which he wrote in tribute to a friend who died, although many people have claimed they were lovers, and this song is George's tribute to man he loved and lost, and I have to say that the lyrics do make me believe the latter, but whichever way you look at it, this hauting song is a fitting tribute to anyone who shared his life. There are many high points, and none higher than the magnificent live version of his duet with Elton John on 'Don't
        Let The Sun Go Down On Me' and the amazing 'Father Figure', which as I was never a fan of Wham!, was the first song which really made me sit up and take notice of him. Lyrically, I am not sure he has written many better than this, and the musical arrangement just makes me sit up and take notice everytime. 'Careless Whisper' is the song that George used to test out the market for his solo material whilst he was still in Wham!, and it is now one of the best known songs around, and one that not many people are brave enough to try and cover. I think that thing that makes him so successful is the fact that he writes for his market, and changes his style to suit his changing fanbase, and when he wrote this song, it stood out from the rock power ballads that seemed to be around every corner, and I think until he wrote 'You Have Been Loved', he did not truly capture that kind of magic again. It is such an understated song that it is ignored by many people, and that is something that including it on this collection may have remedied. A lot of songs give me a mental picture of the artist singing it, and 'Kissing A Fool' sounds like one of those songs that would be right at home in a smoky jazz club, with a bass player at George's side. It is a nice song, nothing amazing, but in the company it is, it is very difficult for every song to shine, especially when it precedes a classic song such as 'I Can't Make You Love Me', which although it is a cover version, it has the George Michael stamp firmly upon it. He sings the words with such passion, and you know that each word comes right from the heart. 'Heal The Pain' is a song that I remember liking when it was released, but it is quickly forgettable. It is nice enough to listen to, but it just not have that certain something that makes it stay in your head. Although this is a greatest hits collection, there are some lesser known tracks, and the
        first is 'A Moment In Time'. Now, I am not sure if it is because I have not heard this much, but it is an uninspiring song which seems to lack the magic that the other tracks have in abundance, and I have to say the same about 'Desafinado', a duet with Astrud Gilberto. The foreign language song has a comedy/Doris Day type feel to it, and it is just not what I expect from George Michael, and whilst I am all for a change of direction, this would not be it, but he quickly redeems himself with 'Cowboys and Angels', which is a clever song using jazz influence and fusing it with pop to give a unique sounding song. When he released the album 'Listen Without Prejudice', a lot of critics said that he had become to serious, and forgotten his roots, but with songs such as 'Praying For Time', I just think this was the album where he really wrote from the heart, and did not care about the commercial success, as he some things to say. Angst is word which seems to be bandied about a lot at the moment, and I hate to use that word to describe this song, but his vocals, the lyrics, the music all portray the angst he must have been feeling at the time, and it must have been strong if it made him abandon his pop roots and make a brave move, which luckily paid off, as his fans liked the album, and it did not ruin his career as many predicted it would. Two excellent ballads finish off the first CD. First up is 'One More Try', a powerful song which is all about the lyrics where George tells a story, and in my mind it is about an older lover who has hurt him, and made him protect himself against this pain, so he is scared to love again, and this sentiment is carried on with the track 'Different Corner' seems to a favourite amongst many of the reality TV auditions, and I have not heard anyone do a respectable version yet. The second disc has so many uses (and none of them are to stand drinks on....I thought I would
        say it before all of the George Michael haters got there first!), but it is real solid CD to have at a party, but it can be enjoyed more sedately if you wish. It is here that we are shown George's humourous side with the first track 'Outside', a disco influenced track which refers to his arrest and lewd conduct charge, which was worldwide news at the time, and rather than run away and hide, he decided to tough it out, and even get a dig in at the police who he feels set him up, whilst also trying to camp his music up a little back, and people laughed with him....he was back on form. Many thought he would be an industry leper after all of the negative publicity, but this was disproved when R&B diva Mary J Blige dueted with him on their cover of Stevie Wonder's 'As'. George shows how he can still be a good pop singer, but can just as easily slip into R&B and sound as comfortable. There are 2 or 3 songs which make this album a must, and 'Fastlove' is one of those songs, along with the highly entertaining 'Too Funky'. Both of these songs were released at stages in his career when he was making a mini comeback, and he had to test out whether or not his fans had stuck with him. The majority had, and along the way he picked up some more with these catchy pop tunes, which had very clever videos attached to them, especially 'Too Funky' which featured some up and coming supermodels amongst a cast of other very interesting characters to watch, which was a similar concept used for the video to 'Freedom 90', although this is probably now better known as the song Robbie Williams covered when he was still just 'the fat dancer from Take That' trying to carve out the kind of career George managed to after leaving a band, but I still prefer the original version, and the opening few chords have never dated, but then neither has the song come to think of it! A lot of new fans were attracted to George and
        his music after his MTV Unplugged appearance, and one of the high points of that performance was 'Star People' which sounded excellent live. This is a song about hangers on, and people who are jealous of his success without releasing how much hard work he had to put in. It is a great upbeat pop/R&B tune, a combination which always works well for him as he can take songs and just put his own mark on them, although many people thought he had bitten off more than he could chew when he released 'Killer/Papa Was A Rolling Stone'. The critics were up in arms, crying that those two songs could not be put together, but George proved them wrong...again, and showed them how innovative and versatile he is as an artist. I can remember the furore which surrounded the release of 'I Want Your Sex' and the accompanying video, and looking at it now, the whole things seems so tame, but then we could say the same about 'Relax' by Frankie Goes To Hollywood. Anyway, the song is another that has stood the test of time, and still sounds really good, but turn it up loud to get the full effect, but turn it down in time for 'The Strangest Thing' which is my least favourite track on the album. There are techo pop influences on this track, but I find it quite bland and not up to his usual standard, and when I heard the opening bars to 'Fantasy', I was convinced that I was going to feel the same, but this is actually a very clever song, which will have all of the die hard Wham! fans reminiscing, whilst he new breed of fans will be introduced to a new side of George with this really catchy pop song. 'Spinning The Wheel' has a dark feel to it, and it is all about having a lover that you do not trust completely, and you cannot understand why they want to hurt you, so you decide to go it alone than chance that they will hurt you. It is another track which has a jazz feel to it, and it works very well. 'Waiting For That Da
        y' is one of my all time favourite tracks by George Michael. Again, it is a song about longing for a love that does not seem to come your way. As the album comes to a close, we get to witness the true genius that is George Michael, and his duet with Aretha Franklin on 'I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)' is one of the high points in his successful career, and that is quickly followed up by his signature tune 'Faith'. This was released at a time when women still saw him as a sex symbol, as he had not yet come out, and the video portrayed him as a bit of rough. The song itself is another classic, and one that is instantly recognisable, as is the final track, which is the cover of 'Somebody To Love', which he performed with the remaining members of Queen, and it sparked many rumours from excitable journalists at the time that he was the replacement for Freddie Mercury. Now I like George Michael, but he could never replace the enigma that was Mercury, and I am sure he knows that although his performance on this song is outstanding, he could never replace him. This is an album which is full of emotion and differing styles which all compliment each other to provide what I feel is a timeless classic, and one which will remain in my CD collection for many years, although after being reminded of it, I will endeavour to listen to it a lot more than I have. Who knows....I might be starting to mellow, in fact when I read this back I sound like a right wuss!! Oh, who cares, I really like this CD, and does make me think more about emotions, purely because of the subject matter. Highly recommended from me, but then you guessed that!

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          09.05.2002 06:49

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          • "some fillers"

          This double CD of George Michael’s greatest hits is split into two sections: one CD is a collection of ballads; the other CD is contains dance and pop songs. In the ballads CD, standout tracks include ‘Jesus To A Child’, Michael’s first big solo hit ‘Careless Whisper’ and the tender ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’. The only flat moments come with the duet with Elton John and in ‘Praying For Time’. In the dance CD, standout are the funky disco ‘Outside’, the ‘Fastlove’, ‘Star People 97’ and the dramatic ‘Killer/Papa Was A Rolling Stone’, with capable collaborations with Mary J Blige, Aretha Franklin and Queen providing more interest. This album showcases Michael’s extraordinary and unique voice. I’d say three quarters of the songs are excellent, which puts this pop greatest hits collection above Michael Jackson’s ‘HIStory’ and second only to Madonna’s ‘Immaculate Collection’ (which of course benefits from being a single CD, so no fillers).

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          11.12.2001 23:38
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          I have loved George Michael ever since his days in Wham. I worshipped both him and Andrew Ridgeley, of course, never realising for one moment that beautiful Georgie was gay. But now that he’s come out, I respect him even more and I must say being gay suits him right down to the ground!! I have a number of his old albums, which are now sadly knackered due to being overplayed on a bad eighties cassette recorder. So when Ladies and Gentlemen (the best of George Michael) was released a couple of years ago, I went straight out and purchased it. The album, in one word, is brilliant. All his best songs are featured and are divided into two CDs: 1) The first CD is “for the heart” and contains all the classics such as Careless Whisper, Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me, Cowboys and Angels and One More Try. This is ideal for playing as background music at a dinner party or for a cosy night in with your partner, or simply for relaxation. I sometimes play it to help me sleep at night, and not because it’s boring, but because it’s quite mellow and soothing. 2) The second CD is “for the feet” and as you’d expect is a collection of all the great dance tracks from his more recent songs Outside and Fast Love, to oldies such as Freedom, I Want Your Sex (Part II) and Faith. A great CD to play before a night out or at parties. Ladies and Gentlemen also features some of George’s best duets: - Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me with Elton John - Desafinado with Astrud Gilberto - As with Mary J. Blige - I Knew You Were Waiting For Me with Aretha Franklin - Somebody To Love with Queen Some of my favourite all time songs are present on the album. One of these is Careless Whisper, a fantastic eighties song (written by George and Andrew Ridgeley) and is all about how guilty he feels about cheating a friend. The main point of the song is that George feels he can never da
          nce again the way he did when he danced with the person that he cheated: “Tonight the music seems so loud I wish that we could lose this crowd Maybe it’s better this way We’d hurt each other with the things we want to say We could have been so good together We could have lived this dance forever But now who’s gonna dance with me Please stay…” I also love A Different Corner and One More Try, from the first CD. And on the second disc, my favourites are Freedom, which surprise surprise is all about Freedom (Robbie Williams covered this as his first solo hit when he left Take That) and also Too Funky, which is actually quite rude: “Hey you’re just too funky for me I gotta get inside of you And I’ll show you heaven if you let me… … I watch your fingers working overtime I got to thinking that they should be mine…” The little leaflets that come inside the CD are also pretty good. All of the lyrics are printed down, which I always like so you can sing along and be sure you’re getting the words right! And there are some great pics of George, both recent ones and some from his younger days, which are good for a giggle. There are some fantastic pornstar poses and his quiff is simply unbelievable!! I’d highly recommend this album to anyone, male or female, old or young. It’d be great to give anyone as a present, but I know I wouldn’t want to give it away!! Ladies and Gentlemen is brilliant as background music or simply to chill out to. GO AND BUY IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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            02.05.2001 01:08

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            OK he may have had is share of the press in this part of the century but one thing for sure is he knows how to write music and to sing music. First of all what a voice he has got, right from the start of the album with careless whisper to near the end with one i had never hard before but still sends a shiver done me spine when i hear it. It is the song "One more try", his voice just glides up to the high notes like it was the easiest thing in the world, but being a singer I can assure you it isn't. All throughout the album, it is so easy to listen to, you can just fall asleep and go in a daze and also in every song it seems like he has been there and in the words of somebody singing about ole blue eyes , "when he sang about love, he seemed to know!" Also the queen cover of Somebody to love, i thought would sound awful with him but he excutes it amazingly! So start spreading the news (did you like that link, frankie boy, Frank sin..oh never mind) This album is great

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            30.11.2000 22:03
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            Two CDs in this amazing best of - for the heart and for the feet. Both are stunning, a mix of old and new George Michael songs with some pretty decent covers thrown in for good measure. Most of the big singles are on there including Faith, Careless Whisper and Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me. Also included are some of George's recent duets with artists such as Mary J Blige. If you've ever sang along to George at a disco then you'll love for the feet, if you've got a romantic bone in your body you'll adore for the heart. Something for everyone and a real winner.

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          • Product Details

            Disc #1 Tracklisting
            1 Jesus To A Child
            2 Father Figure
            3 Careless Whisper
            4 Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me
            5 You Have Been Loved
            6 Kissing A Fool
            7 I Can't Make You Love Me
            8 Heal The Pain
            9 Moment With You
            10 Desafinado
            11 Cowboys And Angels
            12 Praying For Time
            13 One more try
            14 Different Corner
            15 Outside
            16 As
            17 Fastlove
            18 Too Funky
            19 Freedom 90
            20 Star People
            21 Killer/Papa Was A Rollin' Stone
            22 I Want Your Sex
            23 Strangest Thing 97
            24 Fantasy
            25 Spinning The Wheel
            26 Waiting For The Day
            27 I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)
            28 Faith
            29 Somebody To Love

            Disc #2 Tracklisting
            1 Outside
            2 As
            3 Fastlove
            4 Too Funky
            5 Freedom 90
            6 Star People
            7 Killer/Papa Was A Rollin' Stone
            8 I Want Your Sex
            9 Strangest Thing 97
            10 Fantasy
            11 Spinning The Wheel
            12 Waiting For The Day
            13 I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)
            14 Faith
            15 Somebody To Love (1)