Father Figure (song)

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"Father Figure"
Single by George Michael
from the album Faith
ReleasedJanuary 2, 1988
Format7" single, 12" single
Recorded1987
GenrePop, R&B
Length5:40
LabelColumbia
Writer(s)George Michael
Producer(s)George Michael
George Michael singles chronology
"Faith"
(1987)
"Father Figure"
(1988)
"One More Try"
(1988)
 
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"Father Figure"
Single by George Michael
from the album Faith
ReleasedJanuary 2, 1988
Format7" single, 12" single
Recorded1987
GenrePop, R&B
Length5:40
LabelColumbia
Writer(s)George Michael
Producer(s)George Michael
George Michael singles chronology
"Faith"
(1987)
"Father Figure"
(1988)
"One More Try"
(1988)

"Father Figure" is the U.S. number-one song written and performed by George Michael and released on Columbia Records in 1988 as the third single from the album Faith.

Chart performance[edit]

Released in the United Kingdom in January 1988, "Father Figure" reached number eleven on the UK Singles Chart - the first time Michael had failed to reach the top ten in his home country. The song remained a live favourite at Michael's concerts for many years and is also one of his most frequently aired songs on the radio in the UK.

In the US, "Father Figure" became George Michael's sixth number one single (counting #1 singles garnered as half of Wham!). "Father Figure" debuted at #49 on January 16, 1988, while "Faith" was still prominent (at #9) in the top tier of the chart. In the subsequent weeks, "Father Figure" was a surefire hit, reaching #1 by its seventh week, February 27, 1988, staying at the top for two weeks. Altogether, the single spent 6 weeks in the Top 10, 9 weeks in the Top 20, and 14 weeks in the Top 40.

Charts[edit]

Chart (1988)Peak
position
Austrian Singles Chart[1]17
Canadian RPM Top Singles[2]2
Dutch Singles Chart[3]2
French Singles Chart[1]37
German Singles Chart[4]18
Irish Singles Chart[5]2
Italian Singles Chart[6]14
New Zealand Singles Chart[1]7
Norwegian Singles Chart[1]10
Spanish Singles Chart[7]4
Swiss Singles Chart[1]13
UK Singles Chart[8]11
US Billboard Hot 100[9]1
US Billboard Adult Contemporary[9]3
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs[9]13
US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs[9]6
Preceded by
"Seasons Change" by Exposé
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
February 27, 1988 – March 5, 1988
Succeeded by
"Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley

Music video[edit]

The music video depicts a relationship between a cab driver (George Michael) and a high fashion model (Tania Coleridge). Various intercut flashbacks tell a backstory that, like the song, can be interpreted in various ways.

One possible interpretation is that it depicts the breakdown of a relationship. At some point in the past a cab driver and model began an unlikely but passionate relationship. The model, however, had an affair with her photographer, which she quickly regretted. The cab driver suspected the affair, followed her, and discovered the truth. At some point in the future—perhaps the next day, perhaps months later—he appears at a runway show in which she is performing, either to forgive her or to let her know he is aware of the affair.

Another interpretation is similar to the first, except that the cab driver is the one with whom she is cheating, but he is unaware of it and his discovery of it ends the relationship.

A completely different interpretation is that the cab driver is a stalker. In this interpretation, there was never a relationship between the cab driver and model in the first place, except in the cab driver's imagination. The cab driver was obsessed with the model (cutting out pictures of her in magazines and putting them on his wall, following her, etc.) and discovered that she was in a relationship with her photographer. In his mind, the cab driver substituted himself in place of her real lover, and convinced himself that they were in love. The stress of this obsession took its toll on the model. The final scene with the cab driver in the audience thus takes on a far more disturbing connotation.

George Michael and Andy Morahan won "Best Direction of a Video" at the 1988 MTV Video Music Awards for "Father Figure".

Track listings[edit]

  1. "Father Figure" – 5:40
  2. "Look at Your Hands" – 6:43
  1. "Father Figure" – 5:28
  2. "Love's in Need of Love Today (Live)" – 4:42
  3. "Father Figure" (Instrumental version) – 5:28

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e George Michael - Father Figure (song). Retrieved May 6, 2011.
  2. ^ Top Singles - Volume 47, No. 22, March 19 1988. Retrieved May 6, 2011.
  3. ^ Nederlandse Top 40. Retrieved May 6, 2011.
  4. ^ Single-Chartverfolgung. Retrieved May 6, 2011.
  5. ^ The Irish Charts. Retrieved May 6, 2011.
  6. ^ Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved May 6, 2011.
  7. ^ Listas de Afyve. Retrieved May 6, 2011.
  8. ^ Top 75 Releases. Retrieved May 6, 2011.
  9. ^ a b c d Father Figure - George Michael. Retrieved May 6, 2011.

External links[edit]