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George Michael - Twentyfive Review

by Sherrill Fulghum

For 25 years he has entertained the world, first as a member of a duo and then as a solo artist. His list of accomplishments are more than many artist could ever dream of achieving in a lifetime. He is the first white man to ever record a song with the legendary R&B artist Aretha Franklin, his debut solo album went Diamond which means it sold in excess of 10 million copies, his total album sales around the world top 75 million copies, in his homeland his album and singles consistently top the charts, he has been voted Songwriter of the Year three times and his trophy shelf is littered liberally with Grammy, MTV, and American Music Awards. Yet like fellow musician and star Barry Manilow he is treated harshly by the critics and seen as a shallow pop star.

He was born Georgios Kyraiacos Panayiotou on June 25, 1063 in London to a Greek father and an English mother, but to the world he is known simply as George Michael.

Michael began his musical career in the early eighties as a member of the British pop duo WHAM. In the mid eighties Michael became a solo act with his debut solo album selling multiple platinum and going Diamond in the US. In 2006 Michael released "Twentyfive"as a celebration of 25years in the music business. To accompany the release Michael toured Europe for the first time in 15 years. Eager fans snapped p the tickets and venues quickly sold out. Michael concluded the tour with a free concert for nurses as a thank you to those who cared for his mother prior to her death.

"Twentyfive" come is a two CD and a three CD format. Each set contains songs from Michaels's years with WHAM previous greatest hit collections and other compilations contained only songs from Michael's solo career. The CD set also includes duets with knightly musicians Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Elton John; as well as, some previously unreleased or new songs.

The first disc is titled "For Living" and includes faster paced pop tunes including the first three tracks of WHAM tunes, "As" the duet with Mary J. Blige, the controversial tune "Shoot the Dog", and the new song "An Easier Affair".

The second disc is called "For Loving" and contains slower romantic tunes which includes one WHAM piece and three duets, including the ones with Sir Paul and Sir Elton.

The third disc for those who are big George Michael fans is titled "For the Loyal" and contains only one song from his WHAM days and includes a few more new songs or those that have not appeared on an earlier George Michael release.

The collection spans the career of George Michael and has something to offer every fan. "Twentyfive" allows you to see George Michael's true talents as a musician and songwriter. While not everyone will always agree with the subject matter of his songs; Michael's talents for music and writing are on par with any musician who has been classically trained.

Even if you own all of George Michael's albums "Twentyfive" is well worth the trouble to find and purchase; not just because all the hits are there or because there will be a few songs that you haven't heard yet, but because it is a great piece of art. The album cover does not contain any fancy art work but simply a photo of a smiling George Michael in sunglasses inviting you to see what is inside and to celebrate with him a career most musicians can only dream of.

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George Michael - Twentyfive


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