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George Michael – Faith (1987)

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George Michael – Faith (1987)

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  1. Faith
  2. Father Figure
  3. I Want Your Sex
  4. One More Try
  5. Hard Day
  6. Hand to Mouth
  7. Look at Your Hands
  8. Monkey
  9. Kissing a Fool
  10. Hard Day
  11. A Last Request (I Want Your Sex)

Robert Ahwai - Guitar
John Altman - Horn
J.J. Belle - Guitar
Hugh Burns - Guitar
Chris Cameron - Keyboards, Organ, Piano, Vocals (Background)
Mark Chandler - Horn
Betsy Cook - Keyboards
Andy Duncan - Percussion
Deon Estus - Bass
Lee Fothergill - Guitar
Malcolm Griffiths - Horn
Shirley Lewis - Vocals (Background)
Roddy Matthews - Guitar
George Michael - Arranger, Bass, Composer, Keyboards, Multi Instruments, Vocals 
Lord Monty - Guitar
Danny Schogger - Keyboards
Steve Sidwell - Horn
Paul Spong - Horn
Jamie Talbot - Horn
Richard Taylor - Horn
Rick Taylor - Horn
Ian Thomas - Drums
Steve Waterman - Horn

 

A superbly crafted mainstream pop/rock masterpiece, Faith made George Michael an international solo star, selling over ten million copies in the U.S. alone as of 2000. Perhaps even more impressively, it also made him the first white solo artist to hit number one on the R&B album charts. Michael had already proven the soulful power of his pipes by singing a duet with Aretha Franklin on the 1987 smash "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)," but he went even farther when it came to crafting his own material, using sophisticated '70s soul as an indispensable part of his foundation. Of course, it's only a part. Faith's ingenuity lies in the way it straddles pop, adult contemporary, R&B, and dance music as though there were no distinctions between them. In addition to his basic repertoire of funky dance-pop and airy, shimmering ballads, Michael appropriates the Bo Diddley beat for the rockabilly-tinged title track, and proves himself a better-than-decent torch singer on the cocktail jazz of "Kissing a Fool." Michael arranged and produced the album himself, and the familiarity of many of these songs can obscure his skills in those departments -- close listening reveals his knack for shifting elements in and out of the mix and adding subtle embellishments when a little emphasis or variety is needed. Though Faith couldn't completely shake Michael's bubblegum image in some quarters, the album's themes were decidedly adult. "I Want Your Sex" was the most notorious example, of course, but even the love songs were strikingly personal and mature, grappling with complex adult desires and scarred by past heartbreak. All of it adds up to one of the finest pop albums of the '80s, setting a high-water mark that Michael was only able to reach in isolated moments afterward. ---Steve Huey, AllMusic Review

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