ReviewOctober, 21st 2016
Monkey, despite its shortcomings, has become the number 1 hit in Billboard in 1988 in the late summer, just after two weeks after its release. The album ‘Faith’, released also in 1988, has become one of the most songs-numbers-one generating albums of Mr. Michael. It had at least 4 songs that reached the 1st position in the charts in a row. This 4:47-lasting song was mixed several times over the original version and it also allowed George Michael to become one of the pop elite, whose 4 and more songs became number ones (with currently deceased ones Michael Jackson & Whitney Houston). Here we could also tell about the unenviable fate of late years of Whitney Houston (deceased 2012) and her daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown (deceased 2015), but let’s better mention that Whitney was associated with Mr. George Michael in songs and other singing activities.
Monkey song received 9 official interpretations by Mr. Michael, since he released it as the individual recording. They all vary in lengths from 3:30 to 8:06 in the extended version and one even has the acapella version, recorded on CD by Columbia. Canada and US rated this piece at #1 positions, while the baddest one was in Japan, where it managed to reach only #90.
Yet, for the sake of fairness, it is worth mentioning that other 53 songs have reached the top-1 position in 1988 when this song has attained its glory. Amongst the loud names of their performers were Madonna, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Pet Shop Boys, Vanessa Williams (who is an actress mostly) if to mention the individual performers, and ‘Duran Duran’ with ‘Earth, Wind & Fire’ if to mention the bands.
The Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’s clip was one of the creations of a person named Andy Morahan, who later very closely cooperated with ex-Wham!‘s soloist George Michael (the given name at birth is Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou). Their mutually beneficial work began years before and continued till at least 2005, when there was the last official mentioning of the mutual work of these two ones named people (on the song called “Round Here”). They worked together on this song, too.
So, what is this rock-dance song about? There are various opinions about it. The official site of the singer says it is about drug abuse. The fanpics go even more and describe a song as the obsessive desire to eliminate the diabolism by drugs, which Michael had at the time of working on this song. Someone even considers it is about reiganomics, but it was just an opinion of some fan. Moreover, the theory about drugs and the desire to break free is backed by the fact that the concept of ‘monkey on the back’ was already used by other band – Aerosmith, a year later this single arrived, in the same hue. So, as the final output, the tellers reveal an opinion that Mr. Michael was dating a drug addict person and he was asking his partner – do you love me or do you want to stay with your addiction and a big void without me? Although, there are more opinions exist about the issue. Thus, some people say that monkey is a childbirth organ of a body and someone loved to ‘spank’ the one. That is why a singer was dissatisfied with the fact and decided to leave his partner, not willing to play in this filthy game anymore.
In the lines, there is much sense to the drug-addiction version, if you know what it is about. Furthermore, he says he hates the friends of the partner, as they are, supposedly, the same bad people with addiction, but he doesn’t have a chance to tell about it to his beloved. Then, his lover seems like isn’t a love to singer anymore, as the addiction won’t be left, obviously, and the monkey is always on the back, even when the partner is dancing (whilst lying on the floor, which is pretty incompatible with the normal state). So, as we think, they break up, as it is obvious from these two lines:
I tried my best but your head is such a mess
So I guess that I don't want you anymore
Not mentioning the fact that there is a lot of text underneath these lines, they are basic for the understanding of what he is intended to do next.
This song has largely contributed to the tremendous popularity of the album ‘Faith’, which was sold 10 million copies that allowed it to become a diamond in the US, and eventually, it turned into 25 million sells worldwide since the moment of the output. The high-end success was followed by the world tour a year later and Monkey song was the highlight of the 1980ies, despite the soothing character of the song’s sound itself. Reference: Read about "Monkey", US number-one hit song by George Michael. More info on Songfacts.com
Monkey lyrics - George Michael
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