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Wham's 'Last Christmas' video given a fresh makeover

George Michael wrote many memorable songs, but Last Christmas might be the one that gets the most plays each year. It’s a Christmas favourite that is played in shops and on radio around the world each festive season.  They’ve even made a whole movie based around the song.

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Now the song’s original music video has been given a makeover and published as a crystal clear 4K offering.

The song was first released in 1984 at the height of Wham-mania, it appeared as a double A-side single alongside Everything She Wants, which was from the band’s second album Make It Big. 

The song was written by George Michael at his parent’s house, he sat in his teenage bedroom and wrote the song, while bandmate Andrew Ridgeley was reportedly downstairs watching TV.

The recording was a very simple one featuring only a drum machine, a keyboard, some sleigh bells, and George Michael’s vocals. Michael played all the instruments himself and is the only musician on the recording. Engineer Chris Porter has recalled that making the record was a tedious project

The Christmas number one ended up being Band Aid’s charity single Do They Know It’s Christmas? which also featured George Michael. Last Christmas came in at number two and Wham! donated their earnings from the single to the Ethiopian famine appeal.  

The video was shot in Switzerland featuring George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley. Model Kathy Hill plays their love interest. Also appearing in the clip are Wham! backing singers Pepsi DeMacque and Shirlie Holliman, who would go on to have their own pop career.

Shirlie Holliman’s boyfriend Martin Kemp also appears in the clip. Holliman married the Spandau Ballet bassist in 1988 and this year they released their first album together – a collection of romantic standards.

After the song was released it was accused of being too similar to several other songs such as Kool and the Gang’s Joanna and Barry Manilow’s Can’t Smile Without You. The publisher of Manilow’s music took George Michael to court over copyright infringement, but the case was thrown out when a musicologist presented 60 songs that use a similar chord structure.

The song has become a Christmas favourite and has been covered by Wigfield, Billie Piper, Cascada, Ashley Tisdale, Hilary Duff,  Alcazar, Carly Rae Jepsen, Taylor Swift, Rita Ora and Gwen Stefani.

OIP Staff


 

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