[12] Wham!, ‘Last Christmas’/’Everything She Wants’

‘Everything She Wants’ is the song on the tape. Still a stuff-strutter now, it had Junior beaming and doing the David Gray head-wobble, even though George doesn’t sound sold on the whole baby thing himself.

Continues a theme, this: George’s fear of commitment. He ridiculed it in ‘Young Guns’ and clung on to the lads-together life in ‘Bad Boys’, now he thinks he’s stuck and, hey, maybe he’s wrestling with his sexuality too. Anyway, here’s a boy trying to break free. He claimed he wasn’t “planning on going solo” on an earlier 1984 song, then promptly released ‘Careless Whisper’. After this single, Wham! were on the way out, their next single put out with a simultaneous announcement that the following single would be the last. Now he’s spent the last decade wrangling with the record industry. George doesn’t like to feel restricted.

1984 was a bumper year for sales. This was one of SIX million-selling singles in the calendar year, second only to Band Aid. The others were ‘Careless Whisper’, ‘I Just Called To Say I Love You’ and, erm, two records still to come.

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Band Aid/Band Aid 20, ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’

As a globally conscious 12-year-old, I spent my hard-won cash on the single like millions of others. I was struck by how much one of the Ethiopian children on the cover looked like Bob Geldof. Yesterday morning, Junior was subjected to the original and the recent remake – she was lucky that I couldn’t find the awful Stock Aitken Waterman version, or I would’ve carried out my threat to play one a day ‘til Christmas.

I’m one of the few who admits to liking the 1984 song. I’m one of the even fewer who can see value in 2004’s edition. I like Thom Yorke’s piano. The Darkness guitars are dreadful, though, and it goes on way too long. Also, don’t we get proper heavyweight pop stars any more? There’s hardly anyone on the later record to compete in terms of fame, glamour, ego and interest with the likes of Simon Le Bon, George Michael, Boy George, even Sting. I bet Status Quo weren’t plying Will Young and Jamelia with Class A drugs.

Junior can’t see what any of the fuss is about. She manages to laugh near the Dizzee Rascal bit, and I can see her wondering who Glenn Gregory is. Or was.