Wham! – Wake Me Up Before You Go Go

First Hit #1: November 17, 1984

My early childhood was in the late ’80s and early ’90s, a most unfortunate period of fashion that was ushered in by Wham! and their video for Wake Me Up Before You Go Go. Neon, unfortunate short shorts, lots of blacklights, chaotic patterns made of geometric patterns this is what my early memories look like. In spite of being on the cutting edge of fashion at the time, Wham instead made a song that’s a throwback, a catchy homage to ’60s dance music, complete with a disembodied voice saying “jitterbug” just in case you didn’t catch what they were going for. It’s very silly, as is the video of Wham! dancing like idiots in silly clothing, but silly is fun. It’s a goofy little song that manages to be enjoyable entirely because it’s so goofy. You can’t hate Wake Me Up, as much as you might want to or as much as you might want people to forget it so you can be taken seriously as an artist – the cover art and videos for Michael’s Listen Without Prejudice are likely inspired by a need to make people forget about his tiny short shorts here. It’s a goofy riff on old trends, but those old standards don’t go away for a reason, they’re just fun. I’m not going to suggest that Wham’s homage is quite as timeless, but it is a great time.

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2 Responses to Wham! – Wake Me Up Before You Go Go

  1. RBerman says:

    At the time, I thought Wham! weres an 80s duo But as you say, they’re really a 60s homage duo, specifically Motown. George Michael channels Smokey Robinson and Mary Wells and the whole Detroit crew. Just as Billy Joel led the charge for an early 60s revival in the couple of years previous to 1984, both Brtitish and American artists of the mid-80s would often resurrect girl group and Motown vibes. It’s quite a spry song, considering the lyric is basically a complaint to an unfaithful lover.

  2. Pingback: Wham – Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go | mad4disco

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