Monday, June 1, 2020

"I Want Your Sex" by George Michael

Top 10 Alert!
Platinum Record Alert!
Song#:  3151
Date:  06/06/1987
Debut:  51
Peak:  2
Weeks:  20
Genre:  Dance-Pop, Electro-Funk

Pop Bits:  Although George Michael had a couple of singles credited to his name while with Wham! and a had supporting role on "I Knew You Were Waiting for Me," the #1 duet with Aretha Franklin, his solo career didn't get fully kicked off until this single was released. The track would do double duty; it would be the third single released from the Beverly Hills II soundtrack while also previewing Michael's debut solo album, Faith, which would get released later in October. The track, especially its title, would elicit controversy, which of course only helped to promote the song and it would end up reaching #2 at both Pop and Dance while getting to #43 at R&B. It would also be a big seller going platinum, a certification that was getting rare by this point in time (the RIAA would change rules for certification in 1989 to address this). It was quite the way to kick off a solo career and it would only go up from here.

ReduxReview:  Michael idolized Prince and this song certainly was a reflection of that adoration. While it certainly had shades of the Purple One, I thought Michael did a nice job incorporating what he'd learned over the years with Wham! and in the end he created something that was a definitive line in the sand between his Wham! days and his solo career. He had decisively moved from teeny-bopper pop to something more groovy and mature. I loved the song and like a lot of people I bought the single. However, I will say that over the years the tune has lost a little bit of its luster. It's not quite as enthralling now as when it was first released. It's still a fun track and a good listen, but the "wow" factor from back in the day has diminished.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Triple Shot!  1) This single was actually just the first part of a longer three-part song. Although all parts were under the "I Want Your Sex" title, each part had a subtitle: "Rhythm One: Lust," which was used for the single, "Rhythm Two: Brass in Love," and "Rhythm Three: A Last Request." Parts one and two would be included on the Faith album while part three would only be available on the 12" single of the song and as a bonus track on the CD versions of Faith. The full three-part song, which clocked in at over 13 minutes, would be tagged as the Monogamy Mix and as of this date is still only available on the 12" single.  2) Since this song was first featured in a film, it was eligible for movie-related awards and it did end up winning one trophy. Unfortunately, it was the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Original Song.  3) Hard to believe now, but back in the 80s just having a DJ announce a song called "I Want Your Sex" was a little shocking, especially after all the PMRC uproar concerning potentially offensive music. Even American Top 40 host Casey Kasem famously refused to say the song's title on the air. Instead, he would call it George Michael's "latest single". Some folks thought the song promoted promiscuity and that led some stations to banning the track. The BBC would only play it later in the evenings. Even the video had its share of issues with MTV initially refusing to air it. But as the song's popularity grew and folks got used to it, the reins loosened up a bit. Still, the controversy along with lack of airplay in some places helped sales of the single.


1 comment:

  1. Part 3 was the last thing on Side 2 of the cassette version of Faith (which I had), so it must have just been omitted from the vinyl LP.