Wham – Fantastic (1983) – Lp
Label: Epic Records
Catalog# EPC 25328
Fantastic is the debut studio album by British pop duo Wham! Released on 9 July 1983, it reached No. 1 in the UK Albums Chart. It included the previously released singles “Young Guns“, “Wham! Rap” and “Bad Boys“. “Club Tropicana” was also released as a single, as was “Club Fantastic Megamix“. The album also features a hidden track (played on a honky tonk-style piano), which is included in the final 20 seconds of “Young Guns (Go for It!)”.
Fantastic is the misguided 1983 debut release from the U.K. duo Wham. With Fantastic, George Michael and partner Andrew Ridgeley introduced themselves as leather jacket-clad, street-smart “rebels.” This approach proved wildly popular in the U.K., where Fantastic was a Top Ten hit, but the album went largely unnoticed in the States. While Fantastic showcases the ability of the young (20 at the time of the album’s release) George Michael to craft engaging, hook-filled melodies, much of the material on Fantastic suffers from the duo’s pretentious, tough-guy posturing.
The empty funk of the U.K. hits “Bad Boys,” “Young Guns (Go for It),” and the embarrassing “Wham Rap” barely registers, and Michael‘s smart-aleck, self-conscious lyrics are often unintentionally hilarious. Although Michael eventually became well-known as a reasonably successful emulator of R&B trends, neither these tunes nor Fantastic‘s stupefying remake of the Miracles‘ “Love Machine” give any indication of his abilities. At best, Fantastic can be viewed as a testament to George Michael‘s maturity. “Nothing Looks the Same in the Light” and “Club Tropicana,” two of Fantastic‘s best tunes, lean toward the lush, adult pop of Michael‘s later solo work.
1. Bad Boys (3:19)
2. Ray of Sunshine (4:43)
3. Love Machine (3:19)
4. Wham! Rap (Enjoy What You Do) (6:41)
1. Club Tropicana (4:28)
2. Nothing Looks The Same In The Light (5:53)
3. Come On (4:24)
4. Young Guns (Go for It!) (3:55)