Wham! classic Last Christmas mixes a chirpy melody with a deep sadness within the lyrics.
They’re full of contradictions that centre on the lies we tell ourselves to deal with rejection… Merry Christmas!
Recorded in August 1984 at London’s Advision Studios, the song was written and produced by George Michael, who was 21 at the time. He also played every instrument thereon , a one-man project, with not even bandmate Andrew Ridgely allowed to interfere.
The studio was decorated to form it feel more Christmassy and it had been a painstaking effort, sound engineer Chris Porter recalled, as long as George couldn’t actually play most of the instruments. He aimed to form the vocals the foremost prominent a part of the song, keeping the melody running behind them simple.
On the topic of the song, Andrew Ridgely wrote in 2017: “We’d had a bite to eat and were sitting together relaxing with the tv on within the background when, almost unnoticed, George disappeared upstairs for an hour approximately . When he came backtrack , such was his excitement, it had been as if he had discovered gold which, during a sense, he had.
“We visited his old room, the space during which we had spent hours as kids recording pastiches of radio shows and jingles, the space where he kept a keyboard and something on which to record his sparks of inspiration, and he played me the introduction and therefore the beguiling, wistful chorus melody to ‘Last Christmas.’ it had been a flash of wonder.
“George had performed musical alchemy, distilling the essence of Christmas into music. Adding a lyric which told the story of betrayed love was a masterstroke and, as he did so often, he touched hearts.”
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