Tuesday, May 16, 2017

"Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" by Wham!

#1 Alert!
Platinum Record Alert!
Song#:  2041
Date:  09/08/1984
Debut:  80
Peak:  1 (3 weeks)
Weeks:  24
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley were already stars in their UK homeland. Their debut LP Fantastic went to #1 and four of its song were Top 10 hits. In the States, they didn't have the same luck. Only one single was able to chart, "Bad Boys" (#60), and the album wasn't selling well. That would all change with their second album, Make It Big. This time out, the duo changed up their sound and image to be more pop friendly with a little blue-eyed soul sophistication thrown in. Gone were their carefree, playboy images along with their social commentary lyrics and quirky songs. The change made them worldwide stars and this first single got things kicked off. The retro pop sound of the song combined with a fun video was irresistible candy for pop listeners and they ate it up in droves. The song found its way to #1 and went platinum in the process. It would also get to #4 at AC and #27 Dance. It would also be their first #1 in the UK. The album would be a mainstay in the Top 10 and eventually spend three weeks at #1 later in March of '85.

ReduxReview:  Yes, I was a total sucker for this song. It was well-written, catchy, and undeniably fun. It's one of those tunes that just makes you smile. After one "jitterbug" and a couple of finger snaps, you are hooked. This was far and away better than anything on their debut album and it showed that these guys were the real deal. It's also one of those songs that when played folks go "oh, god, no," but before long they are boppin' and singing along.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) This song was inspired by a note left by Andrew Ridgeley. When the duo first hit in the UK, Ridgeley was still living with his parents. Since he seemed to always be gone for tours or other career-related things, keeping a room at home seemed more logical that trying to take care of his own place. During one stay at his parents, Ridgeley needed to be woken up after catching some sleep and he decided to leave a note on his door as a reminder to his parents. He wrote "wake me up up" with a second "up" by mistake, so he just left it and finished by writing "before you go go." George Michael happened to see the note and thought it was funny. He then decided to turn it into a song.  2) The beginning of this song had a voice that says "jitterbug." The Jitterbug was a popular swing-style dance that developed in the late 30s. It became very popular in the WWII era and lasted through to the early 50s. The dance has morphed into various forms over the years and it is now more or less referred to as a type of swing dance. Calling out this dance seemed to fit well with the retro sound of  this song as was the lyrical reference to movie star Doris Day.


No comments:

Post a Comment