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Music video by Seether performing Careless Whisper. (C) 2009 Wind-up Recors, LLC

Retrieved from Wikipedia:
Careless Whisper on Wikipedia
"Careless Whisper"
Careless Whisper UK single.jpg
Single by George Michael
from the album Make It Big
Released24 July 1984 (1984-07-24)
  • 3" CD
  • 7"
  • 12"
  • cassette
  • CD
GenreBlue-eyed soul, smooth jazz, synthpop
  • 6:30
  • 5:04
  • Epic
  • Columbia
  • George Michael
  • Andrew Ridgeley
Producer(s)George Michael
Wham! singles chronology

"Careless Whisper" is a song by English singer-songwriter George Michael (sometimes credited to "Wham! featuring George Michael" in Japan, Canada and the United States). It was released on 24 July 1984, by Epic Records in the United Kingdom, Japan and other countries, and by Columbia Records in North America. The song was George Michael's first solo single, although he was still performing in Wham! at the time (the song is included on Wham!'s album Make It Big).

The song features a prominent saxophone riff, and has been covered by a number of artists since its first release. It was released as a single and became a huge commercial success on both sides of the Atlantic and on both sides of the Pacific. It reached number one in nearly 25 countries, selling about six million copies worldwide – two million of them in the United States.[1]


  • 1 Background
  • 2 Music video
  • 3 Track listing
  • 4 Credits and personnel
  • 5 Charts
    • 5.1 Weekly charts
    • 5.2 Year-end charts
  • 6 Certifications
  • 7 Cover versions
  • 8 In other media
  • 9 See also
  • 10 References
  • 11 External links


Unlike most of the other Wham! singles (except "Wham Rap! (Enjoy What You Do)" and "Club Tropicana"), it was co-written by Andrew Ridgeley, the other member of the duo. The two had written it together as developing artists three years earlier in Watford, England.[2]

The song went through at least two rounds of production. The first was during a trip Michael made to Muscle Shoals, Alabama, where he went to work with producer Jerry Wexler at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio. Michael was unhappy with the version that was originally produced and decided to re-record and produce the song himself, this time coming up with the version that was finally released. The version Wexler produced, was released later in the year, as a (4:41) B-side "Special Version" on 12" in the UK and Japan.

The record label Innervision were going to put out the Jerry Wexler version of "Careless Whisper" after the Club Fantastic Megamix as far back as 1983. Dick Leahy stated in George Michael's autobiography[3] that while he couldn't stop the release of the Club Fantastic Megamix, he could stop the release of this single on the basis that as a publisher they "have the right to grant the first license of the recording of a tune of which he controls the copyright".[3] He couldn't do anything about the Club Fantastic Megamix because it was already released material. He said: "We knew how big that song could be so it was necessary to upset a few people to stop it."[3]

The officially released single, a mid-tempo sentimental ballad with a saxophone solo by Steve Gregory, was issued in August 1984, entering the UK Singles Chart at number 12. Within two weeks, it was at number one, ending a nine-week run at the top for "Two Tribes" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood. It stayed at number one for three weeks, going on to become the fifth best-selling single of 1984 in the United Kingdom; it was outsold only by the two Frankie Goes to Hollywood tracks "Two Tribes" and "Relax," Stevie Wonder with "I Just Called to Say I Love You," and Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?" The song also topped the charts in 25 other countries, including the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States in February 1985 under the credit "Wham! featuring George Michael." Spending three weeks at the top in America, the song was later named Billboard's number-one song of 1985.

On the subject of his personal opinion of the song, Michael said in 1991 that it "was not an integral part of my emotional development"[4] which he found sad because of the song meaning so much to so many people. He went on to say: "It disappoints me that you can write a lyric very flippantly—and not a particularly good lyric—and it can mean so much to so many people. That's disillusioning for a writer."[4]

Music video

The official music video (which uses the shorter single version) shows the guilt felt by a man (portrayed by Michael) over an affair, and his acknowledgement that his partner (Lisa Stahl) is going to find out. It was filmed on location in Miami, Florida, in 1984 and features such locales as Coconut Grove and Watson Island. The final part of the video shows Michael leaning out of a balcony at the last floor of Miami's Grove Towers.[5] The Wexler production of the song has a rarer music video using some of the same footage as the official release, as well as a brief appearance by Andrew Ridgeley playing a taxi driver.

Track listing

All tracks written by George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley.

  • Note: The Extended Mix is identical to the album version from Make It Big.

Credits and personnel

  • Vocals – George Michael
  • Saxophone – Steve Gregory
  • Bass – Deon Estus
  • Drums – Trevor Morrell
  • Electric piano – Anne Dudley
  • Guitar – Hugh Burns
  • Keyboards – Chris Cameron, Andy Richards
  • Percussion – Danny Cummings
  • Photography – Tony McGee
  • Producer and arranger – George Michael
  • Composer – Andrew Ridgeley, George Michael

Cover versions

"Careless Whisper" has been covered by many other artists. A selection of those are presented here in chronological order:

  • Gloria Gaynor on her The Power of Gloria Gaynor album (1986).
  • Instrumental group Pieces of a Dream on their Joyride album (1986).[43]
  • The Shadows on their Simply Shadows album (1987).
  • Dave Koz featuring Montell Jordan from 1999's The Dance.
  • Sarah Washington on a dance version that peaked at number 45 on the UK Singles Chart (1993).[citation needed]
  • Bananarama on their 2001 album Exotica.
  • Pan Pipes on their Play More Great Love Songs album (2003).[44]
  • Kenny G featuring Brian McKnight on the album At Last...The Duets Album (2004).
  • 2Play in a dancehall version (2004).
  • Del on his Go All Night album (2007).[45]
  • Irish singer Edward J. Valentine released a version that reached number 47 for one week on the Irish Singles Chart in 2008.[46]
  • Seether on their album Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces (2007).
  • Carlos Mojica on his album Crime Payz (2010).
  • Brian McKnight on his Just Me album (2011).

In other media

  • "Careless Whisper" plays during the end of the 2016 film Deadpool.[47]

See also

  • List of best-selling singles
  • List of best-selling singles in the United Kingdom
  • List of number-one singles in Australia during the 1980s
  • List of Dutch Top 40 number-one singles of 1984
  • List of number-one singles of 1984 (Ireland)
  • List of number-one hits of 1984 (Switzerland)
  • List of number-one singles from the 1980s (UK)
  • List of RPM number-one singles of 1985
  • List of Hot 100 number-one singles of 1985 (U.S.)
  • List of number-one adult contemporary singles of 1985 (U.S.)


  1. ^ "George Michael: 50 years in numbers". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. 25 June 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2016. 
  2. ^ The Complete Guide to the Music of George Michael & Wham! L Ellis… - 1998 - Music Sales Group
  3. ^ a b c Bare by George Michael and Tony Parsons, Penguin Books, 1991. Page 112 ISBN 0-14-013235-X
  4. ^ a b Bare by George Michael and Tony Parsons, Penguin Books, 1991. Page 166 ISBN 0-14-013235-X
  5. ^ "Google Maps". 
  6. ^ "Australian Top 50 Chart Week Ending 23rd September, 1984". ARIA. Retrieved 6 February 2016. 
  7. ^ "Careless Whisper", Austrian Singles Chart Archived 4 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine. (Retrieved 11 December 2007)
  8. ^ "De Nederlandse Top 40, week 36, 1984". Retrieved 27 February 2008. 
  9. ^ "Careless Whisper", French SNEP Singles Chart (Retrieved 11 December 2007)
  10. ^ German Singles Chart Archived 17 June 2009 at WebCite (Retrieved 30 July 2008)
  11. ^ Irish Singles Chart Archived 3 June 2009 at WebCite (Retrieved 17 April 2008)
  12. ^ Hit parade Italia (Retrieved 31 May 2008)
  13. ^ Japanese Oricon Year-end Singles Chart of 1985 Archived 22 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine. (Retrieved 1 August 2008)
  14. ^ List of number-one singles on the Japanese Oricon International Chart (1968-2000) Archived 21 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 March 2015. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  16. ^ "Careless Whisper", Norwegian Singles Chart Archived 13 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine. (Retrieved 11 December 2007)
  17. ^ "Careless Whisper", South African Chart [1] (Retrieved 11 December 2007)
  18. ^ "Careless Whisper", Swedish Singles Chart (Retrieved 11 December 2007)
  19. ^ "Careless Whisper", Swiss Singles Chart Archived 22 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine. (Retrieved 11 December 2007)
  20. ^ "Careless Whisper", UK Singles Chart (Retrieved 11 December 2007)
  21. ^ Lwin, Nanda. Top 40 Hits: The Essential Chart Guide (2000). Mississauga, Ont.: Music Data Canada
  22. ^ a b Billboard (Retrieved 11 December 2007)
  23. ^ "Le Top de la semaine : Top Singles Téléchargés - SNEP (Week 52, 2016)" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 8 January 2017. 
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Chart Track: Week 52, 2016". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  26. ^ "Media Forest weekly chart (year 2016 week 52)". Retrieved 1 January 2017. 
  27. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 53, 2016" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  28. ^ " – George Michael – Careless Whisper". AFP Top 100 Singles. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  29. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts – 1980s". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 December 2016. 
  30. ^ "The Official New Zealand Music Chart". Retrieved 27 December 2016. 
  31. ^ "Top 100 1984 - UK Music Charts". Retrieved 27 December 2016. 
  32. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1985/Top 100 Songs of 1985". Retrieved 27 December 2016. 
  33. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2016 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 13 January 2017. 
  34. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Wham – Careless Whisper". Music Canada. Retrieved 27 June 2012. 
  35. ^ "French single certifications – George Michael – Careless Whisper" (in French). InfoDisc.  Select GEORGE MICHAEL and click OK
  36. ^ "Les Singles en Argent :" (in French). Archived from the original on 24 February 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2012. 
  37. ^ "Italian single certifications – George Michael – Careless Whisper" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 12 January 2015.  Select Online in the field Sezione. Enter George Michael in the field Filtra. Select 1984 in the field Anno. The certification will load automatically
  38. ^ "List of best-selling international singles in Japan". JP&KIYO. 2002. 
  39. ^ "Dutch single certifications – George Michael – Careless Whisper" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved 27 June 2012. 
  40. ^ "British single certifications – George Michael – Careless Whisper". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Careless Whisper in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  41. ^ "George Michael on the charts". Music Week. Intent Media. 11 January 2017. Retrieved 12 January 2017. 
  42. ^ "American single certifications – Wham – Careless Whisper". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 27 June 2012.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  43. ^ "Joyride overview". 
  44. ^ "Pan Pipes - Careless Whisper". Retrieved 11 November 2016. 
  45. ^ "Del - Go All Night". Retrieved 16 November 2016. 
  46. ^ "Edward Valentine - Careless Whisper - Music Charts". Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  47. ^ "One 'Deadpool' Soundtrack Song Stands Out By Perfectly Capturing The Spirit Of The Character". Bustle. Retrieved 2 May 2017. 

External links

  • Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics

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