Tuesday, January 19, 2021

"Father Figure" by George Michael

#1 Alert!
Song#:  3379
Date:  01/16/1988
Debut:  49
Peak:  1 (2 weeks)
Weeks:  17
Genre:  Pop, Blue-Eyed Soul

Pop Bits:  The title track to Michael's first solo effort, Faith, became a major hit reaching #1 and staying there for four weeks. It was also a gold-selling single. For a follow-up, Michael changed the pace and pushed out this ballad. In his UK homeland, the song did okay peaking at #11. It was Michael's first single to not make the Top 10. The story was different in the US where the song scaled the chart to become his second #1 in a row. It also did very well at other formats getting to #3 AC and #6 R&B. The groovy ballad also made it to #13 at Dance, which was unusual because it was just the album version and not a dance-style remix. The hit would certainly push sales of the album, which would reach 4 million by May of '88.

ReduxReview:  This was a perfect follow-up to two pop/dance tracks. Michael always had a way to elicit every ounce of emotion from his ballads and this one was no exception. The delicate lilting groove of the tune was like a cloud you could float away on while the chorus gave the track a hooky punch. I've always like Michael's performance on the song and consider it one of his best.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  Triple Shot!  1) It was extra strange that this song made the Dance chart because Michael originally intended the tune to be a mid-tempo dance track. While working with the song in the studio, Michael took out the snare drum in order to hear something else in the mix. When he played the tune without the snare, it had a dream-like quality that he really dug. He ended up leaving the snare out and turned the track into a ballad instead.  2) This song's associated video was directed by Michael with Andy Morahan. It would win the pair an MTV Music Video Award for Best Direction in a Video. It also received a nomination for Best Cinematography.  3) This song has been sampled several times over the years, but perhaps the most well-known use of the song came in 1993. That was when the hip-hop/R&B duo P.M. Dawn sampled the tune for "Looking Through Patient Eyes," a track from their second disc The Bliss Album...? It served as the LP's second single and got to #6 Pop.


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