Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go

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"Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"
Single by Wham!
from the album Make It Big
Released5 May 1984
Format12", 7"
Recorded1984
GenreDance-pop, New Wave, post-disco
Length3:50
LabelCBS Records (US/Canada)
Epic Records
Writer(s)George Michael
ProducerGeorge Michael
Wham! singles chronology
"Club Fantastic Megamix"
(1983)
"Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"
(1984)
"Freedom"
(1984)
Make It Big track listing
"Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"
(1)
"Everything She Wants"
(2)
Twenty Five track listing
"Everything She Wants"
(1)
"Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"
(2)
"Freedom"
(3)
 
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"Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"
Single by Wham!
from the album Make It Big
Released5 May 1984
Format12", 7"
Recorded1984
GenreDance-pop, New Wave, post-disco
Length3:50
LabelCBS Records (US/Canada)
Epic Records
Writer(s)George Michael
ProducerGeorge Michael
Wham! singles chronology
"Club Fantastic Megamix"
(1983)
"Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"
(1984)
"Freedom"
(1984)
Make It Big track listing
"Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"
(1)
"Everything She Wants"
(2)
Twenty Five track listing
"Everything She Wants"
(1)
"Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"
(2)
"Freedom"
(3)

"Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" is a 1984 song by the English pop duo Wham! which became their first UK number one hit. It was written and produced by George Michael, one half of the duo. This song also appeared in soundtrack for the movie Zoolander.

Contents

History

Michael's inspiration for the song was a scribbled note left by his Wham! partner Andrew Ridgeley for Andrew's parents,[1] originally intended to read "wake me up before you go" but with "up" accidentally written twice, so Ridgeley wrote "go" twice on purpose. Released in May 1984, it heralded the beginning of a softer, sunnier image for Wham!, who had spent the previous year as a moodier, more politically themed duo, with songs about unemployment, young marriage, and battles of will between parents and their children. With the release of "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go", they re-emerged with wider smiles, more colourful clothing, and a more positive disposition in interviews.

In 1984, George Michael had this to say on the development of the song:

I just wanted to make a really energetic pop record that had all the best elements of Fifties and Sixties records, combined with our attitude and our approach, which is obviously more uptempo and a lot younger than some of those records. It's one of those tracks that gets rid of a lot of your own personal influences; it reminds me of so many different records that I couldn't actually nail them down. I'd done a demo at home that just had a bass line and a vocal on it. Usually, I write the record in my head; I know what all the parts are going to be and I sing them to all our musicians. And it was great. ... We actually did it as a rehearsal. We used a Linn drum because the drummer was late, and it was such a good track that we kept it."[2]

The song entered the UK singles chart at number four — after much hype from the duo claiming they would go straight in at number one, which was a rare occurrence then — and climbed to the top spot seven days later, staying there for two weeks.

Michael followed it up with a solo single, "Careless Whisper" and another Wham! hit, "Freedom", both of which were also UK number-one hits. The song also went to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States followed by the number-one singles "Careless Whisper" and "Everything She Wants" and the number-three "Freedom". The album, Make It Big, was an unqualified success. Wham! had three more UK number one singles and split at their height in 1986.

Music video

The music video, essentially the duo performing (it also introduced Ridgeley as a guitar player for the band) to a teenage audience, was memorable for the clothes, which became a lasting sartorial image for the 1980s as a decade. Michael and Ridgeley, plus backing singers Pepsi and Shirlie, along with motor trade Guru Peter (Froudy) Froud, were wearing Katharine Hamnett T-shirt designs which said "CHOOSE LIFE" (originally a slogan targeted at drug abuse and suicide[citation needed]) and "GO GO", which became much sought-after fashion items of the year. Michael was also seen in luminous gloves, which he later bemoaned as the clip of him always picked out by advertisers whenever "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" went on to a compilation album. The video was filmed at the Brixton Academy in South London.

Covers

Track listing

All songs written and composed by George Michael

7": Epic / A 4440 (UK)
No.TitleLength
1."Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"  3:51
2."Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" (Instrumental)4:03
12": Epic / TA 4440 (UK)
No.TitleLength
1."Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"  3:51
2."A Ray of Sunshine" (Specially recorded for The Tube)4:58
3."Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" (Instrumental)4:03

Chart performance

Chart (1984)Peak
position
Australian Singles Chart1
Austrian Singles Chart6
Canadian RPM Singles Chart1
French Singles Chart17
German Singles Chart2
Irish Singles Chart1
Dutch Singles Chart1[5]
Norwegian Singles Chart1
Swedish Singles Chart1
Swiss Singles Chart2
UK Singles Chart1
US Billboard Hot 1001

References

External links

Preceded by
"The Reflex" by Duran Duran
UK number-one single
2 June 1984 - 9 June 1984 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Two Tribes" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood
Irish Singles Chart number-one single
9 June 1984 - 16 June 1984 (2 weeks)
Preceded by
"It's Just Not Cricket" by The Twelfth Man
"When Doves Cry" by Prince
Australian Kent Music Report number-one single
16 July 1984 – 13 August 1984 (5 weeks)
27 August 1984 – 3 September 1984 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"When Doves Cry" by Prince
"What's Love Got to Do with It" by Tina Turner
Preceded by
"I Just Called to Say I Love You" by Stevie Wonder
Canadian RPM Singles Chart number-one single
10 November 1984 – 1 December 1984 (4 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Caribbean Queen" by Billy Ocean
Preceded by
"Caribbean Queen (No More Love on the Run)" by Billy Ocean
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
17 November 1984 – 1 December 1984 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Out of Touch" by Daryl Hall and John Oates