Saturday, January 21, 2017

George Michael (1963-2016)

" It's probably a generational thing, but the only white artist to ever make convincing R&B was not Dusty, not Van, not Joe Cocker, lord knows not Michael Bolton, not even default white soul mama, Teena Marie. It was George Michael. Mark Ronson is right. Michael was one of maybe 3 or 4 white artists you could play at a black club and not get pelted with bottles."
 Marlon James, 26 décembre 2016

1 comment:

Sonic Eric said...

"I bought Listen Without Prejudice the day it came out, which happened to be my 15th birthday. even when i put it on now, hearing the opening chords of “praying for time”—the opening tune, I can picture the exact shade of yellow paint that covered my teenage bedroom. it all comes back to me in pure technicolour. that’s how much of a mark that song left on me. i had never heard a musical language quite like that before. later, when i discovered the 70’s masterworks of Stevie Wonder, i started to understand where George got it from. but at that point, to my naive musical knowledge, it blew the doors open. it prepared me for Stevie in a way. later on, as a DJ in hip-hop clubs in New York City in the late 90’s, George/Wham’s “Everything She Wants” was one of maybe three or four tunes by white artists that you could follow MJ, Frankie Beverly or Roy Ayers with. the keyboard lick from “Father Figure” comprised the bones for the Jungle Bros.’ classic, underground club destroyer “J Beez Comin’ Through”. So while “Faith” and the like made George a global phenom, another side of his genius as singer, writer, producer and arranger made him a bonafide giant of soul music. as did most soul afficionados, George had a huge affinity for the music of Amy Winehouse. i imagine he felt more than a little kindred spiritness to some of the personal stuff too. Anyway, as a result of my ties to Amy, he called me once. i was on holiday exactly around this time 9 years ago. he told me he had a few soulful tunes left off of Faith that he never got to finish and asked if i would be interested in working on them. i remember one of the songs was absolutely flooring, as good as any pop/soul ballad of the era. i said of course i would be interested—all the while in complete disbelief that i was actually on the phone with GEORGE MICHAEL. I don’t know why, for some reason it never materialized. I hope one day i might get to, but i really dreamed of being in the room with him while i did. this is a tough day in a brutal year. but i'm so grateful for what he left us xxx" Mark Ronson