Wednesday 7 December 2011

The 12 Gays of Christmas 2

George Michael

You can’t go anywhere in the shops this month without having Christmas music in your ears. It started any centuries ago, of course, with religious music and popular folk carols. But you’re more likely to hear modern pop songs than Gregorian chant.

Last Christmas, “Last Christmas” was, according to the Performing Rights Society who licence and monitor the broadcasting and transmission of music, was the 2nd most often played Christmas song (behind Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You”). “Last Christmas” was written and performed by Wham! Founder George Michael, and he is my 2nd Gay of Christmas.

First released in December 1984 “Last Christmas” was set to become the Christmas No.1 that year, but the phenomenal success of Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” put all other contenders in the shade. However, “Last Christmas” did make it to No.2 behind Band Aid, and since he appeared in both singles George Michael became the only artist to be at No.1 and No.2 with 2 different singles on the same Christmas Day chart.

It became the biggest selling single in the UK not to reach No.1. In Germany it holds the distinction of being the most successful Christmas single of all time.

The royalties raised by “Last Christmas” during 1984-5 were donated to the Ethiopian famine appeal, exceeding the many millions raised by the Band Aid single. However, this isn’t quite as charitable as it first appears, because the donation was made as part of out-of-court settlement between George Michael and the writers of the song “Can’t Smile Without You”, Chris Arnold, David Martin and Geoff Morrow. They had accused Michael of plagiarism because of several similar melodic sequences in “Last Christmas” were, they claimed, copied from their song.

Unfortunately, George Michael is recovering from pneumonia at the moment and has cancelled his concerts for the time being. We all hope that he recovers soon.

This year a new cover version of “Last Christmas” will be released by gay singer Joe McElderry on 19th December.

No comments:

Post a Comment