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George Michael: Listen Without Prejudice Vol.1 (30 Years Later)


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From Wiki:

Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 is the second solo studio album by the English singer-songwriter George Michael, released on 3 September 1990.

After the massive success of Michael's 1987 Faith album, the expectations for his follow-up album were also high. In September 1990, Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 was released, receiving mixed-to-positive reviews (with the more dance-oriented Vol. 2 ostensibly scheduled to follow in June 1991). The album was a stark departure from the previous LP, with largely acoustic instrumentation and a sombre intensity in many of the lyrics and melodies.

George Michael wanted to be taken more seriously as a songwriter,[citation needed] which resulted in a more thoughtful, often moody recording. The album peaked at number two on the US Billboard 200 chart. The first single released from the album was "Praying for Time", which reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The second single "Freedom '90" reached number 8 in the US, and in early spring 1991, "Waiting for That Day" peaked at number 27 in the US. "Mother's Pride" achieved top 40 success outside the US, but received considerable airplay in the States during the Gulf War, despite its not being released as a single.

Even though the album sold eight million copies worldwide,[2] it was viewed as a commercial disappointment in the US, with barely two million in sales, compared to the multi-platinum success of Faith (which had been certified 7× Platinum for seven million sales the year before).

The album is largely devoted to ballads and folk-styled rock songs, although there are a few dance tracks like "Freedom" and "Soul Free". There was also a remix of "Freedom" that incorporated elements of Soul II Soul's "Back to Life", which was released as a twelve-inch single and received a good deal of club play. Like Faith, each track was produced and arranged by Michael himself.

Michael refused to appear in many of the singles' videos for this album. Accordingly, the video for "Praying for Time" consists of the lyrics projected onto a dark background, while the video for "Freedom" featured several supermodels lip-syncing its lyrics. Directed by David Fincher, who directed Madonna's "Vogue" video, it featured the destruction by fire and explosion of several icons from Michael's recent Faith period.

The album sold approximately eight million copies,[2] a disappointing number compared to the 20 million copies of Faith. Sales were particularly poor in the United States, where Faith had been the best-selling album of 1988. At two million copies sold, Listen Without Prejudice was a commercial disappointment for a successful artist. The album entered the Billboard 200 at number 22 and finally reached number two, blocked from the top by MC Hammer's Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em. The album spent the rest of 1990 in the top ten, with a total of 42 weeks in the entire chart—fewer than half the 87 weeks spent by Faith.

In the UK, the album was a huge success, eclipsing sales of Faith. Listen Without Prejudice debuted there at number one, where it remained for a week. It stayed at number two for the following two weeks. It spent 34 consecutive weeks in the top 20, and jumped from number 13 to number three in its 24th week. It spent a total of 88 weeks in the UK Albums Chart, and was certified platinum four times by the BPI on 2 January 1992. The 2017 re-released edition peaked at #1 in the UK charts, and sold 56,088 copies in its first week there.[17]

The album produced five UK hit singles, all of which were released in quick succession, within an eight-month period. These were "Praying for Time" (which reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart—his final US number one hit as a solo artist), "Waiting for That Day", "Cowboys and Angels", "Freedom", and "Heal the Pain".

The album won the Best British Album award at the 1991 BRIT Awards.


Can you imagine an artist these days having guts to stop being a manufactured pop star at the height of their popularity and stop focusing on their celebrity fame but rather focus on their musicianship? 

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2 hours ago, GMFlop said:

It really showed how shallow the American market really is. Too bad, with this album underperforming in America which harmed George's relationship with Sony we could've gotten the Vol2 version of this album. 

I wish he had released it but at least we have a leaked version of it, I hope his estate releases it in high quality someday tho

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