In a music career spanning three decades there are many songs to choose, but I think to close out the week and the mini-tribute to George Michael I think this is a fitting song, “John and Elvis are Dead” off of the 2004 album Patience.
While this album was not as big of a hit as his previous releases it did showcase what type of music that George Michael wrote and performed from the smoky ballads to his funky dance beats with a bigger influence on electronic music in this album. He added a bit of political commentary with “Shoot the Dog” which also took a bit of music sampling from his previous hit “Fastlove”.
This was the last new album that George Michael said he would release for sale, but instead of giving up on music he promised fans that any new music would be available for download with an encouragement to give to charity. Rumors are that there are still three unreleased albums as well as other singles out there so hopefully this won’t be the last we hear from George Michael.
As for the song “John and Elvis are Dead” it remembers other past music greats who died too early. People who’s music spread such joy and happiness throughout the world, who were taken too early from us. It’s a melancholy song that reminds us how much music and musicians mean in our lives.
But the words that made me cry
The thing he softly said
It stayed with me, it keeps messing with my head
He said, “If Jesus Christ is alive and well
Then how come John and Elvis are dead?”
As I’ve been writing these quick excerpts about George Michael this week I wondered to myself why his death has affected me so much. 2016 was the year that we lost other pop music greats such as Prince and David Bowie, both artists who arguably were more skilled than George Michael with more albums, songs and possibly awards.
I love the music of Prince and David Bowie just as much as I do of George Michael, but listening to his albums again in order and looking at the dates made me realize just how much of an impact his music had on my life.
“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent”
― Victor Hugo
There are always times that we remember, the good and the bad and music plays a huge influence on both dealing with and enjoying those experiences. There is that one song that always reminds me of a certain love, a certain experience, a certain pain. Growing up and old you experience much in your life and can imagine a soundtrack to go along with it.
With George Michael I realized that his discography from his Wham! days till now were a story of my life. As he was young and full of energy and hope and happiness, I was as well listening to his debut album on an on record player at home. As I suffered through puberty and the start of a dating life the songs from his album “Listen Without Prejudice” got me through hard times. Songs such as “Fastlove”, “Outside”, and “Faith” powered me through my early twenties, letting me accept the ‘crazy’ part of me instead of conforming to what people expected of me.
As I grew and changed his music grew and changed with me. There are other songs, other artists for different stages and events of my life, some with more impact than the songs of George Michael, but I can’t think of anyone else that was with me step by step of my life and that’s why his loss had such a large impact on me. Knowing that that part of the soundtrack of my life is now over.