Last Christmas Wham
Song Title: Last Christmas
Date of release: 10th of December 1984
Description: ” Last Christmas ” is by Wham, the English musical duo consisting of George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley. The pair formed Wham in Hertfordshire, England in the early 1980s.
The song was written and produced by George Michael. The single was released on the 10th of December 1984 by record label Epic Records and taken from Wham’s third and last Album, Music from the Edge of Heaven.
The Album was only released in North America and Japan; elsewhere a compilation Album was released called The Final. Both the Albums contained similar tracks, but it is considered that the Album The Final is more of a greatest hits compilation.
” Last Christmas ” was released as a double A-side, the other being ” Everything She Wants “, also written and produced by George Michael.
The point of having a non-festive double A-side single was to give radio stations something else to play once the festive season was over, this ensured that Wham would get continued airplay long after Christmas was over.
Once Michael began a solo career he expressed discontent over past Wham songs. However, Michael was proud of ” Everything She Wants “, and during an interview, he said it was his favourite Wham song.
” Last Christmas ” was written by George upstairs at his parent’s house while fellow Wham member Andrew Ridgley sat downstairs watching football on TV. George spent the night finishing the song and showed Andrew the next day the result of his night’s work.
The Synthpop song is about heartbreak George had over a past love, the music video reflects this too. The video shows George and Andrew with their friends and girlfriends at a ski resort. The video was filmed at Saas-Fee in Switzerland. The resort was also used for ski chase scenes in the 1969 James Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
The video was directed by Andy Morahan; the English director has worked with many artists including AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses Simply Red, Bon Jovi and Wham. Starring alongside George and Andrew were Wham backing singers Helen “Pepsi” DeMacque and Shirlie Holliman and Spandau Ballet bassist Martin Kemp, who later became Shirlie Holliman’s husband.
The love interest was played by model Kathy Hill. Kathy had done modelling work for commercials and modelled in Milan, Paris, Tokyo and London for a Manchester agency; she heard auditions were being held for the video and applied.
The video was the last time George appeared clean-shaven, from 1985 onwards he has sported a beard.
” Last Christmas ” was a commercial success for Wham. Once they had announced that they were releasing a Christmas single, many assumed the battle for Christmas Number One would be between them and Frankie Goes To Hollywood, another significant act in the 80s.
Both Wham and Frankie Goes To Hollywood was beaten to the coveted Number One spot by the release of Bob Geldof and Midge Ure’s Band Aid single ” Do They Know It’s Christmas? “.
Wham had to settle for a UK number two and has become the biggest selling single in UK chart history not to reach the Number One spot. As of June 2016, the song has sold 1.8 Million copies.
According to Spotify ” Last Christmas ” was the most streamed single on Christmas Day 2013 in the UK.
Wham donated the royalties to the Ethiopian famine appeal. Even today the song makes about £300,000 in royalties from radio plays and other sales.
BillBoard Highest Chart Position: N/A
UK Highest Chart Position: 2
Other Countries Highest Chart Positions: Australian KMR Singles Chart 3, Austrian Singles Chart 4, Danish Singles Chart 3, Dutch Singles Chart 2, Finnish Singles Chart 3, German Singles Chart 4, Greek Singles Chart 3, Hungarian Singles Chart 2, Irish Singles Chart 2, Norwegian Singles Chart 2, Poland (Polish Airplay Top 100) 8, Poland (Dance Top 50) 42, Spanish Singles Chart 9, Swedish Singles Chart 2, Swiss Singles Chart 6
Official Website: Georgemichael.com
FaceBook Page: Facebook.com/Wham
Wikipedia Page: Wikipedia.org/Wham!