on 3 January 2012
His 80s will be remembered for Wham! and Faith, his 90s for his legal battle with Sony, and this century he'll be remembered for his driving. 30 years on, George Michael is still tabloid fodder, but for all the wrong reasons.
Careless Whispers: The Life & Career of George Michael sets out from the start, (not to be controversial, or to contain ground-breaking exclusives) but to display all the facts through interviews and an in depth research with people who worked with him, and knew him.
The opening chapters take us back to his school days in London, meeting Andrew Ridgeley, forming his first band, stealing from shops, and gigging in various tube stations. While there's no doubt most of this information has been published before, author Robert Steele has to be complimented for his facts and consistency with information I've read in other books, whether it be how he choose the surname `Michael', or Wham! playing Top of The Pops (despite not being in the Top 40 that week).
On the negative side, this book doesn't really go into his music in any great detail. Okay, so the author has digested the album sleeve notes in great detail. Aside from the two Wham! albums and four solo albums there's little else. How did the Jody Watley duet come about? Who inspired his composition `Stephen'? Did he really sing on Infamy's version of `You Spin Me Round and what about his backing vocals on songs like `Wrap Her Up'? George must have hundreds of songs in the vaults, yet none are mentioned here, besides the casual mention of David Cassidy and Elton John.
But that aside, you will find out who originally owned the Triumph Black leather Jacket he wore, what famous female singer sang on `Fastlove' or where and when the cover photo for Listen Without Prejustice' was taken, so there's something for everyone in here.
There's even his secret trip to Church on Christmas Eve, the TV interview with Jonathon Ross that Simon Cowell wouldn't allow to be broadcast, and a nice selection of photos from all stages of his career sprinkled throughout this book so you're kept entertained throughout, including a bitching quote that George said about Elton John.
What this book does is gather up all the facts from the past, put it with all the recent publicity of his driving offences and brings it right up to the opening dates of his Symphonica Tour in 2011. (This book went to print before George's serious Pneumonia scare recently). It's all presented in chronological order along with important interview transcripts you may not have read before, which ensures this book is an adequate and essential filler while George (yet again) keeps us waiting for that day that his long signed biography deal comes to fruition. A great read.
on 9 January 2012
For the contents - as any unofficial biographies ever written, it's a good job and hard searches done to compile this, but for sure misses some truth here and there. As a true fan I of course see it, but I don't see the intention to write those "lies" and moreover - I don't see the wish to make a bad impression of him. As long as it's like this, it's ok with me. Genuinely true and heartfelt thing is possible only when George will take a pen and write it himself, after all.
For the pictures - not too little, not too much. Just good fit for the biography book. Nice fact that they all mostly are not too famous, joy for the eye.
Conclusion thought - for me as a fan, have no questions if I should have it or not. Are there too many books on George Michael at all? Or are there too much about him (and not in negative way!) in 2011? I don't think so. So it is a pleasure to have.