Tuesday, August 10, 2021

"Monkey" by George Michael

#1 Alert!
Song#:  3578
Date:  07/09/1988
Debut:  42
Peak:  1 (2 week)
Weeks:  16
Genre:  Pop, Dance

Pop Bits:  The ballad "One More Try" was the fourth single from George Michael's debut solo album Faith. Like the two singles that preceded it, the tune would reach #1 on the Pop chart. A follow-up was definitely called for, so this dance-oriented tune was issued out as the LP's fifth single. It was the right choice with the song debuting near the Top 40 and then making its way to #1. It was Michael's fourth consecutive #1 and his ninth overall, which including his chart toppers with Wham! and a duet with Aretha Franklin. The track would become Michael's first to reach #1 on the Dance chart and his fourth Top 10 at R&B (#8). The week after this song first hit the chart, the album would be certified for five million in sales. Two months later it would hit the 6 million mark.

ReduxReview:  This was certainly a solid album track, but I wasn't sure if it was worthy of being a single and had doubts it could even make the Top 10. But then Jam & Lewis came on board (see below) and I think their remix was what took the song to the top of the chart. Not only did they beef up the track to make it more radio friendly and exciting, but because the new version was not on the album it prompted fans to run out and buy the single. I did like the remix, but I like it now more as an extra track. The new mix/production by Jam & Lewis doesn't fit alongside the original album track that Michael produced, which makes it sound a little out of place. So if I'm listening to the album, I want the original. If not, the remix is pretty cool to bring up.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) For the single release, Michael asked Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis to do a remix. Apparently, Michael loved what the team did for the remix of Janet Jackson's hit "Nasty" and wanted something similar. Jam & Lewis revamped the tune adding some of their signature flourishes and even got Michael to record a new vocal. The full mix was available on 12" vinyl while for the 45 RPM release it was edited down. Jam & Lewis' update did the trick with the song making it to #1 at both Pop and Dance.  2) This song put Michael in an elite group. He became one of only three artists to achieve four #1 songs from one album. The two others were Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. What is odd about the feat is that all three artists did it in 1988. Jackson accomplished it first when "Man in the Mirror" reached the top on March 26. Then Houston joined the club just a few weeks later on April 23 with "Where Do Broken Hearts Go." Mickael soon followed with "Monkey." Over the next two years, two other artists would join the club; Paula Abdul and Janet Jackson. However, they would all be left behind by Michael Jackson when "Dirty Diana" became the fifth #1 from "Bad." He still holds the record for most #1s from one album, but in 2011 Katy Perry tied him with singles from her it album Teenage Dream.


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