Careless Whisper (5:10)

Cover of Make It Big

From Make It Big and 9 other releases

“Careless Whisper” is a 1984 single by George Michael (credited to Wham! featuring George Michael in the USA), released by Epic Records in the UK, Japan, and other countries; and by Columbia Records in North America. The song was George Michael’s first solo single although he was still performing in Wham! at the time (the song is included on Wham!’s album Make it Big). The song features a saxophone riff, and has been covered by a number of artists since its first release. It was released as a single and became a huge commercial success on both sides of the Atlantic. It reached number one in nearly 25 countries, selling about six million copies worldwide.

Unlike all the Wham! singles (except “Wham Rap!”), it was co-written by Andrew Ridgeley, the other member of the duo. The two had written it together as unknowns three years earlier, when Michael was working as a cinema usher in Watford, England. In a June 2006 interview on London radio station Magic 105.4, Michael said that he wrote it “in his head” during work and that he recalls coming up with the saxophone riff whilst boarding a number 32 bus on the way home. Originally the riff had words, but Michael declined to state them, saying that they were very poor lyrics.

The song went through at least two rounds of production. The first was during a trip Michael made to Muscle Shoals, Alabama, where he went to work with the legendary producer Jerry Wexler at the venerable Muscle Shoals Studio.

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