Rant Of The Day THIS RANT 15/10/97

Rant Of The Day is where I get to mouth off about whatever I feel like for however long I like. Theoretically, I'll update my whinge/opinion piece every weekday; in practice, maybe not so often.

Why Wham! rule and Celine sucks

While I get invited to a lot of press conferences in my working life as a journalist, most of them don't involve getting free access to an open bar and getting to hear about record company release plans. So when I got an invite to an event to hear about what a major record company is planning over the next few months, I put my 'Yes!' hat on.

For that reason, I (along with well-known Gusworld correspondent Spanky The Naughty Little Monkey) last night attended a Sony Music event, designed to showcase the company's Christmas catalogue.

Let's get the horrible stuff out of the way first. Being exposed to video footage of Mariah Carey is bad enough. But the real torment was sitting through a 15 minute schlockumentary on the making of Celine Dion's new album, Let's Talk About Love. I have had more enjoyable bouts of bronchitis. Not only did we get to hear the screeching one on a selection of bland ballads which sound like the bland ballads she has released in the past, we also got to hear the screeching one with Barbra Streisand on a remarkably bland ballad I suspect I will loathe by Christmas. And then, as an added bonus, we got a live performance by CDB, the Australian harmony act that really proves that Boyz II Men have a lot to answer for.

But enough whingeing. On the positive side, we got to hear all about the new Wham! greatest hits album, If You Were There . . . The Best of Wham! which I got all excited about a few days back. Not only that, we got to hear a smidgeon of the remix of 'Everything She Wants' which will be released as a single to promote the album. And I have to say, as an acknowledged remix loather, it was quite tolerable (if quite unnecessary next to the brilliance of the original).

The album is due for release in Australia on November 17, and will contain the following tracks:

  1. If You Were There
  2. I'm Your Man
  3. Everything She Wants
  4. Club Tropicana
  5. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go
  6. Like A Baby
  7. Freedom
  8. Edge Of Heaven
  9. Wham! Rap (Enjoy What You Do?)
  10. Young Guns (Go For It!)
  11. Last Christmas
  12. A Ray Of Sunshine (cassette and minidisc only)
  13. Where Did Your Heart Go?
  14. Everything She Wants '97
  15. I'm Your Man '96

There are a few surprises in this list. Neither of the George Michael solo singles he released during the Wham! days, 'Careless Whisper' or 'A Different Corner' are included, even though both featured on Wham! albums at the time. Presumably they'll appear on the George Michael's Greatest Hits album Sony is planning for next year. This also perhaps explains why 'Like A Baby' from Make It Big is included; ballads were a feature of the Wham! repertoire, but omitting George's solo material doesn't make that especially obvious.

The other album track included, 'If You Were There', is obvious enough given the title. The major omission is the band's 1983 hit, 'Bad Boys'. George Michael has long been on the record as saying he hates this song; even now he has left Sony, obviously his influence is strong enough to keep it away. A shame, really; it's far from the worst thing he ever recorded, and deserves a place in any real Wham! best-of (it does appear on 1986's The Final).

To conclude this rant, we present a top ten list of why Wham! are better than Celine Dion, if it isn't already obvious enough:

  1. Celine never sang 'I'm Your Man' or 'The Edge Of Heaven'
  2. Simon Le Bon has never sang on stage with Celine
  3. Celine sang 'The Power of Love', Wham sang 'Careless Whisper'; I know which one I'd rather snog to
  4. Celine never wore fluoro board shorts
  5. Celine never appeared on Countdown or Countdown Revolution
  6. Celine is not currently shacked up with a member of Bananarama
  7. Celine did not appear on 'Do They Know It's Christmas?'
  8. Celine has never established a generation-defining trend in T-shirts
  9. George Michael didn't marry a man forty years older than him
  10. Wham! aren't total crap

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