Wham! - Last Christmas (1984)
- 80's score: 4.15
"Last Christmas" is a song by English pop duo Wham!, released on Epic Records, and internationally on MCA Records in December ...
"Last Christmas" is a song by English pop duo Wham!, released on Epic Records, and internationally on MCA Records in December 1984, on a double A-side with "Everything She Wants". It was written and produced by George Michael, and has been covered by many artists since its original release.
The song reached No. 1 in Denmark, Slovenia, and Sweden and No. 2 in nine countries: Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Norway, New Zealand and United Kingdom. Wham! donated all of their royalties to relief efforts for the Ethiopian famine. In a UK-wide poll in December 2012, it was voted eighth on the ITV television special The Nation's Favourite Christmas Song. It was the most-played Christmas song of the 21st century in the UK until it was overtaken by "Fairytale of New York" in 2015.
"Last Christmas" had its beginnings in 1984, while George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley were visiting Michael's parents. It was written by Michael in his childhood bedroom. Michael played Ridgeley the introduction and chorus melody to "Last Christmas", which Ridgeley later called "a moment of wonder".
The video to "Last Christmas" shows Wham! members George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley accompanying girlfriends to see friends at an unspecified ski resort cottage: the cable-car that can be seen in two shots is from Saas-Fee, Switzerland, where the video was filmed. It becomes clear early on that the character of Ridgeley's girlfriend (played by model Kathy Hill) was previously in a relationship with Michael and that the song is aimed at her. She can be spotted throughout the video by the fact that she is usually wearing red, but everyone else is wearing more muted colors.
There is a brief flashback to "Last Christmas", showing Michael's character presenting her with a jewelled brooch. In the present time, Ridgeley is wearing the brooch, suggesting that the girl gave the same gift (perhaps by regifting it) to her new love after she and Michael parted ways. When the girl wears the brooch from Michael's character, it is "right side up", and when Ridgeley's character wears it, he wears it "upside down". On numerous occasions, Michael presents a thoughtful expression, suggesting his conflicting emotions. As Michael is decorating the Christmas tree some decoration falls to the floor where Michael's ex-girlfriend is sitting and the ex-couple shares a few seconds of a knowing look at each other.
Her seeming indifference to Ridgeley's open displays of affection makes the viewer wonder if Ridgeley's heart is the next to be broken. At the end of the video, everyone leaves the cottage and when the group get out of the cable-car, they are all properly "paired off" with Michael and his new girlfriend looking happy.
The video also featured the duo's erstwhile backing singers Pepsi and Shirlie and Spandau Ballet bassist Martin Kemp, the boyfriend and future husband of Shirlie Holliman.
As of November 2020, the music video has received over 500 million views on the official Wham! YouTube channel. The second official music video "Last Christmas (Pudding Mix)" on Wham!’s official channel has 34 million views (as of November 2020). The music video, originally shot on movie film, was released on 13 December 2019 in 4K Ultra HD resolution and has over 512 million views (as of October 2020). In order to achieve the exceptional clarity, the music video's original film director Andy Morahan found the original 35mm rushes and worked closely with teams at Cinelab London and VFX artist Russ Shaw at Nice Biscuits post production to recreate the video using the higher-resolution film. Some tapes were lost so they had to use the original clips and upscale them the best they can to blend in with the video.