So why is George Michael’s Faith on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?
This is an album that I (and most everyone who was around back in the waning days of the Reagan Administration) was exposed to a lot. Which is to say it was big. I then probably went multiple decades without hearing it or even thinking about it much, save perhaps when I heard that George Michael had sadly passed away in 2016 at the age of 53.
Faith is an album that, upon revisiting, I realized was really good, probably much better than I recognized back in the day as a much younger person. It’s the kind of album that has lots of big hits, and even some of the deeper cuts feel like they could have been pop hits in the late 1980s.
But it’s the title track, “Faith,” and also “I Want Your Sex” and “Father Figure” that are the smashers and most worth spending your time on.
What’s interesting about “Faith” is that it’s a relatively restrained song in feel – a swinging, breezy pop song backed by George Michael’s acoustic guitar – that became the monster smash hit song from the solo artist that had previously fronted the pop act, Wham! “Faith” works most of all though because it’s catchy and meticulously produced. It also doesn’t hurt that the music video, which again is simple but effective, became one of the most iconic of the decade.
“I Want Your Sex” is a different kind of song, as the title implies. It’s bigger in sound, more complex, and much more ‘80s sounding, really, with its keyboards and synth-y production. And, of course, its lyrical content is much steamier versus “You gotta have faith, faith, faith.”
“Father Figure” starts off quietly and then builds into something like a pop-gospel tune, showing off Michael’s considerable vocal talents.
Pop culture stuff that’s somehow related to George Michael’s Faith
Comedic pop cultural thing, Part I: On Saturday Night Live, Dana Carvey emerged as a star thanks to his impressions and the hilarious Church Lady sketches. Back in 1987 or 1988, Carvey brilliantly connected with the zeitgeist of the moment by appearing as George Michael on SNL’s Weekend Update, helmed by Dennis Miller at the time.
I could only find a short clip of it, but you’ll get the general idea, which boils down to, “Look at my butt, Dennis!” One of my favorite lines is not included in the clip, in which Carvey-as-Michael refers to his butt as perfectly spherical. Good times.
Comedic pop cultural thing, Part II: It never failed to amuse me that Michael Cera’s character on Arrested Development was named George Michael Bluth, and was often referred to as George Michael.
Some stats & info about George Michael – Faith
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Dance Music, Pop Music, Contemporary Pop
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – #151
- All Music’s rating – 5 out of 5 stars
- When was Faith released? 1987
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #625 out of 1,000
George Michael’s Faith on Spotify
A lyrical snippet from George Michael’s Faith that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe
But I gotta think twice before I give my heart away. And I know all the games you play because I played them, too.
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.