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Wham! & "Up All Day" - Happy Holidays 2019!

Welcome to WEEK 181 of 4T! (Video Episode #7) Wham! – Music from the Edge of Heaven (1986)

Music & nostalgia are SO closely linked. You can hear a song and it immediately takes you back to when you first heard it. You feel what you felt then, or a slightly bittersweet/painful echo laced with fondness. For you, that song is classic, and will always mean something. Christmas season is the best time of year to get nostalgic. It’s when all the old chestnuts get dusted off and played everywhere and all the time. I have a killer Spotify Christmas playlist, and it has everything from old classics to obscure but awesome to left-filed funkiness to new classics. One thing I love best about Xmas, and music in general, is that everyone is always looking for classics – for those songs that feel good every time you hear them. And the great thing about that is that there are ALWAYS MORE.

When I was a kid, Rankin Bass songs and Ella and Elvis and all those were classic Christmas to me. Then along came “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer”, and little did we all know a new classic was born. It’s played every year, somewhere, for better or worse. Everyone these days probably also knows John Lennon’s AND Paul McCartney’s Xmas hits. They’re now both classics. Mariah Carey takes the cake on this one, with an INSTANT classic released in the almost-as-ancient year of 1994. Along with all those and way more is a track from this week’s album, “Last Christmas”. It’s been remade & even turned into a movie, but no doubt we’ll always prefer & love the original. It’s a modern era classic.

We had no idea then how soaring George Michael’s career would be – what a genius he was, and how tragic the rest of his life would become. But Wham! was beloved from the very beginning. Music from the Edge of Heaven was their third album, and by then they’d already had several hit singles, ALL of which would be left in the dust by George Michael’s string of solo successes. I loved Wham!, but I REALLY loved his solo work. Faith was the first CD I ever bought, and it was gigantically influential. It showed me you could be a singer/songwriter without having to sound like one – you could craft dynamic pop music with multiple influences, built on well written & heartfelt songs. That’s pretty much my entire career.

You can hear a pretty heavy Wham! – or at least George Michael – influence on the track below. A soulful pop ballad with solid writing & somewhat quirky production.

Favorites are Tracks 1, 3, 4 & of course 8. What songs do you consider modern day classics? Are there songs RIGHT NOW that you think will become classics? Discuss dammit!

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