Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1

Infobox Album |
Name = Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1
Type = Studio album
Artist = George Michael


Released = September 3 1990 (UK)
September 11 1990 (U.S.)
Recorded = December 1988 - July 1990
Genre = Pop
Length = 48:19
Label = Columbia (US), Epic
Producer = George Michael
Reviews = * [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:sjd8vwnva9xk "All Music Guide"] Rating|4|5
* [http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/georgemichael/albums/album/200600/rid/5940400/ "Rolling Stone"] Rating|4|5
*Slant Magazine Rating|5|5 [http://www.slantmagazine.com/music/music_review.asp?ID=341 link]
Last album = "Faith"
(1987)
This album = "Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1"
(1990)
Next album = "Five Live (EP)"
(with Queen and Lisa Stansfield (1992)----"Older"
(1996)

"Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1" is the second solo album from British pop star George Michael (on this album, it is spelled as "George Michæl"), released in September 1990. Following the massive worldwide commercial success of his first album, "Faith", this album found Michael trying to create a new image for himself as a serious-minded artist, while still generating sales. The title is a clear indication of his desire to be taken more seriously as a songwriter. However, the effort was considered by many as a commercial disappointment but critical acclaim of the album was generally good.

History

Michael refused to appear in many of the music videos that accompanied the singles released from this album. As a result, the little-seen video for "Praying for Time" simply consists of the song lyrics against a dark, ambient background, while the video for "Freedom '90" featured several famous supermodels lip-synching to the track instead of the absent Michael. It featured the literal destruction (by fire and explosions) of several icons from the artist's "Faith" period and was directed by David Fincher, an acclaimed promo director hot off the success of Madonna's "Vogue" video. Fincher would later go on to become a high-profile and critically acclaimed mainstream Hollywood film director.

Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 2

The expected following album, "Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 2", was scrapped for reasons unknown, although it could quite possibly be due to Michael's subsequent legal battles with Sony Music. Three of the tracks intended for the album appear on the charity album "Red Hot + Dance", while a fourth ("Crazyman Dance") turned up on the B-side of the single "Too Funky".

Chart Success

The album sold around 7 million copies, a weak number compared to the 20 million for "Faith". The reception was especially poor in the United States, where "Faith" became the best-selling album of 1988 and "Listen Without Prejudice" "only" managed to sell 2 million copies. The album debuted in the Billboard 200 list at #22 but the following week climbed to #5, then to #4 and finally reached its peak position of #2, being blocked from the top spot by MC Hammer's "Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em". From there, the album managed to spent the rest of 1990 inside the Top 10, and a total of 42 weeks inside the entire list; not even the half of the 87 weeks spent by the previous "Faith".

In the UK reaction was quite impressive, the album became a big seller, even bigger than "Faith". "Listen Without Prejudice" debuted there at #1, although only for just one week. The two following weeks the album was at #2. The album spent 34 consecutive weeks inside the Top 20, making in it's 24th week, an impressive sales increase with a #13-#3 movement. It spent a total of 88 weeks inside the UK albums charts, and was certified Platinum 4 times by the BPI, in January 2 1992.

The album produced 5 UK hit singles, which were released very quickly (all of them in an 8-month period). They were "Praying for Time" (which reached #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart - eventually was his last #1 hit as a solo artist), "Waiting For that Day", "Cowboys and Angels", "Freedom '90", and "Heal the Pain".

The track "Mother's Pride" gained significant airplay in the United States during the first Gulf War in 1991, often with radio stations mixing in callers' tributes to soldiers with the music. George recorded a cover of Stevie Wonder's "They Won't Go When I Go" that showcases his dynamic range and soul-influenced singing style. The cut "Waiting For That Day" is one of many pop usages of the Funky Drummer break (among the many examples is also Sinéad O'Connor's "I Am Stretched On Your Grave").

Track listing

All songs written by George Michael except where indicated
#"Praying For Time" – 4:41
#"Freedom! '90" – 6:30 (referred to in liner notes as simply "Freedom", the same title as a previous Wham! single)
#"They Won't Go When I Go" (cover of song originally performed by Stevie Wonder and Yvonne Wright) – 5:06
#"Something to Save" – 3:18
#"Cowboys And Angels" – 7:15
#"Waiting For That Day/You Can't Always Get What You Want" (written by George Michael with lyrics from "You Can't Get What You Want" by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards) – 4:49
#"Mother's Pride" – 3:59
#"Heal The Pain" – 4:41
#"Soul Free" – 5:29
#"Waiting (Reprise)" – 2:25

Singles

#Praying for Time: 1990
#Waiting for That Day: October 15, 1990
#Mother's Pride: 1990
#Freedom 90: 1990
#Heal the Pain: 1991
#Cowboys and Angels: 1991

Credits

*Produced By George Michael
*Mixed & Engineered By Chris Porter
*Drums, Percussion: George Michael, Danny Cummings, Ian Thomas
*Bass: George Michael, Deon Estus
*Guitars: George Michael, Phil Palmer
*Keyboards: Chris Cameron, George Michael, Anthony Patler
*Sax: Andy Hamilton
*Horn Arrangements By Chris Cameron & George Michael

ingles

*"Praying For Time" (August 13 1990) UK #6, US #1 (1 week)
*"Waiting For That Day" (October 15 1990) UK #23, US #27
*"Freedom 90" (December 15 1990) UK #28, US #8
*"Mother's Pride" (B-side for "Waiting For That Day", charted in the U.S. as an airplay-only hit) US #46
*"Heal the Pain" (February 4 1991) UK #31
*"Cowboys and Angels" (March 18 1991) UK #45

References

* [http://www.georgemichael.com George Michael - Official Website]


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