The tragic death of George Michael on Christmas Day can't go unnoticed. The fact that he was such a super, decent guy by everyone's account, only serves more, to mark it.
He was very typecast in Wham! so this 'Listen without prejudice' Album (and the clue is in the title and you should) from 1990, was intended to mark that transition. Or at least, bury it once and for all.
He's one of the very few who was able to make that change and having seen him live a couple times, he was genuinely strong on stage.
This was his second solo Album (it followed his debut 'Faith' from 1987 which was huge) and what really made it was of course, the Freedom! (and again, note the title) video. A sensational very 'MTV' video in its time and looking at it now, it still remarkably, is.
David Fincher directed ('Seven', 'House of cards', 'Gone Girl', 'Social Network' etc).
This Album is Michael as a songwriter really, so it's more ballady and he produced/arranged the record.
'Praying for time' was the first single and of course 'Freedom!' was huge but for Streamabout, the best track is 'Cowboys and Angels'. The Album cover is part of a 1940 Fellig (weegee) 'Coney Island Crowd' pic.
It's a really well produced record, with a small, tight band that's so worth the listen. Of course, there's arguments about what is his best record, but this has to be the one that really marked him out.
Georgios Panayiotou was born in London and busked on the London Underground to start before forming Wham! in 1983 ("Club Tropicana").
He died at 53. Great soul, great decency, great live and produced some great work.
If that wasn't enough, you just have to take your hat off to him for the way he let music deal with issues such as this following. Almost a protest song in the best way music can be used to communicate.
Too young to go.
I think I'm done with the sofa....
Previous "listen to's" you'll also find on this blog (you can search them in the Search top left on the Blog)......Radiohead 'The Bends': Beyonce 'Lemonade' Album of the year 2016: Oddisee 'The mix Tape': Soul 11 Soul 'Club Classics': Jennifer Warnes 'Famous Blue Raincoat':Art Garfunkel 'Watermark': REM 'Out of Time': Van 'Keep me Singing': Frank Sinatra 'Songs for Swinging Lovers': Al Stewart 'Year of the Cat': Stevie Ray Vaughan 'Texas Flood':Frank Ocean 'Blond': Jimmy Buffett 'Son of a Sailor': Marc Cohn 'Marc Cohn': Bill Withers 'Complete Sussex and Columbia': Hendrix 'Electric Ladyland': ABC 'Lexicon of Love': Rickie Lee Jones 'Rickie Lee Jones': Billy Joel "Glass Houses": Rodriguez "Cold Fact": Prefab Sprout 'Steve McQueen'; Chet Baker 'Live 64-79'; The Stone Roses 'Stone Roses'; Joe Jackson 'I'm the Man'; Oasis 'Morning Glory'; Bob Dylan 'At The Budokan'; Van "It's too late to stop now Volume 2/3/4"; Air 'Moon Safari'; Talking Heads 'Stop Making Sense'; Lynyrd Skynyrd 'One for the road'; Marvin Gaye 'Whats Goin on'; Mercury Rev 'Deserters Songs'; Dave Matthews 'Crash'; Beyonce 'Lemonade'; Prince 'Sign O the times'; Daft Punk 'Random Access Memories'; Amy Winehouse 'Back to Black';Police 'Outlandos D'Amour'; Michael Jackson 'Off the Wall'; Carole King 'Tapestry'; Beatles 'Red Album'; Sex Pistols 'Never mind the Bollocks'; Sam Cooke 'Live at Harlem Square'; The Doors 'LA Woman'; Thin Lizzy 'Live & Dangerous'; Kendrick Lamarr 'Butterfly'; Aretha Franklin 'Amazing Grace'; Clapton '461'; Massive Attack 'Blue Lines'; The Clash 'London Calling'; Chris Isaak 'At The Filmore'; Bob Dylan 'Street Legal'; Bad Company 'Straight Shooter'; Jackson Browne 'Love is Strange'; Lou Reed 'Transformer'; Steely Dan 'AJA'; Stones 'Black+Blue'; Stephen Bishop 'Careless'; Nils Lofgren 'Night after Night'; Mike Oldfield 'Tubular Bells'; Neil Young 'Harvest'; Led Zep '4'; David Bowie 'David Live'; Van Morrison 'It's too late to stop now'; Wings 'Band on the Run'; Rod Stewart 'Atlantic Crossing'; Ryan Adams 'Heartbreaker'; Santana 'Essential'; Bob Dylan 'Desire'; Roxy Music 'For your pleasure'; Bob Marley 'Legend'; Stephen Fretwell 'Magpie'; James Taylor 'Sweet Baby James'; Deep Purple 'Machine Head'; Springsteen 'Darkness on the edge of town'; Leon Bridges 'Coming Home'; Eagles 'Hotel California'; Jungle; Aretha 'Soul Queen'; Neil Young 'After the Goldrush' ; Zappa 'Overnite Sensation'; Fleetwood Mac 'Rumours'; Keith Jarrett 'Koln Concert'; Doobies 'Southbound'; Stevie Earle 'I feel Alright'; Tom Waits 'Closing Time'; Pink Floyd 'Dark Side'; Van Morrison 'Moondance'; Eric Church 'Caught in the Act'; Randy Newman 'Little Criminals'; Elton John 'Madman across the water'; Patti Smith 'Horses'; Doobies 'Captain and Me'; Steely Dan 'Can't Buy a Thrill'.