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Wham! – The Final

Wham!, The Final

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

DO WE really need another Wham re-issue? The answer has got to be ‘no’ even though this re-issued compendium of George Michael and Andrew Ridgley’s greatest hits represents the guiltiest of guilty pleasures.

Wham! are one of the most curious of pop acts. They are hopelessly cheesy and their songs do sound dated. But they can’t help but put a smile on your face at the best of times even though you may hate yourself for saying so.

Hence, The Final boasts 14 of their tracks and is a sing-along of epic proportions, whether it’s the kitsch macho bravado of Bad Boys, Young Guns (Go For It) and Wham Rap!, or the slushily romantic overkill of Last Christmas, Where Did Your Heart Go? and Careless Whisper.

Admittedly, it’s in those moments that the groundwork was clearly being laid for George Michael’s solo career – the intense balladry and emotions of his later work also in abundance here.

But Wham! were always more focused on the pure pop pleasures and tracks like Freedom, I’m Your Man and The Edge of Heaven have an energy and a nostalgia attached to them that make it begrudgingly easy to enjoy them over and over again.

Even when all that’s said and done, though, did we really need another greatest hits re-issue?

Download picks: I’m Your Man, Club Tropicana, Where Did Your Heart Go?

Track listing:

  1. Wham Rap! (Enjoy What You Do?)
  2. Young Guns (Go For It!)
  3. Bad Boys
  4. Club Tropicana
  5. Wake Me Up Before You Go Go
  6. Careless Whisper
  7. Freedom
  8. Last Christmas (Pudding Mix)
  9. Everything She Wants (Remix)
  10. I’m Your Man
  11. A Different Corner
  12. Battlestations
  13. Where Did Your Heart Go?
  14. The Edge of Heaven