"Careless Whisper" was released on the 1984 Wham! album "Make It Big" and unlike most other Wham! songs at the time, was also written by both George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley. So why were the single releases touting it as a George Michael solo record, or even stranger, "Wham! featuring George Michael"?

What was the reason behind this? Was this to push an eventual solo career?

  • I'm not sure I understand. Performing artists often record and release songs written by others, or co-written by themselves with others. Whether the performer of a given recording is "Wham!" or "Wham! featuring George Michael" or "George Michael" is independent of the song's composer. The song could have been written by Andrew Ridgeley without George Michael, or indeed by someone else completely different such as Duke Ellington or Carole King; it would have no bearing on the credit given to the performers.
    – phoog
    Jun 23, 2020 at 15:32
  • @phoog Yes, the composer and the artist can of course have nothing to do with each other. I just find this song curious since it was first released as a Wham! song on "Make it Big" and then as a George Michael single despite being basically the same!
    – TheJanzap
    Jun 24, 2020 at 16:10

1 Answer 1


The song was written before Wham even had a name, way back in '81. George took over the writing by the time the band were recording, so everything after that tends to only have his name attached to it.

The one thing you have to bear in mind above all else is that George's ego was the biggest thing in Wham. Bigger than Andrew, bigger than the name, bigger than their earlier, 'cheaper' hits.

By 84/85 George was almost embarrassed by the earlier material. He thought he was better than that & deserved better recognition. Meeting him in person, you'd think he owned any theatre he was playing at.

I had the misfortune to meet him once at the Lyceum in London, right as this record was being plugged, before it was a hit. He took the stage alone, dissociating himself from the earlier Wham incarnation. [The video had intercuts of another recording from there, idk whether that was recorded before or after this event.] George, even at the time, treated anyone else even performing the same stage as inferior. He was constantly surrounded by bodyguards [totally for show, as we were all in a secure, non-public area], & wouldn't speak to anyone. I spent the day instead with most of Culture Club & other lesser-known acts on that day. We all ignored George's ego & antics.
I did have the pleasure of working on another project with the guitarist & sax player from Careless Whisper, Robert Ahwai & Steve Gregory. Lovely chaps, great players.

George wanted adoration above all else.

That's why it's listed as being George Michael… ego.

See Wikipedia Careless Whisper for something closer to the 'official' story.

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