Wham! - Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go (1984)
- 80's score: 3.08
“Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” is a song by the English duo Wham!, first released as a single in the UK on 14 May ...
“Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” is a song by the English duo Wham!, first released as a single in the UK on 14 May 1984. It became their first UK and US number one hit. It was written and produced by George Michael. The single was certified Platinum in the US, which at the time commemorated sales of over two million copies. The music video features Michael and Ridgely wearing oversized message T-shirts (“CHOOSE LIFE”) created by Katharine Hamnett, starting a craze covered in the 2002 VH1 series I Love the 80s.
Michael’s inspiration for the song was a scribbled note that his (Wham!) partner Andrew Ridgeley had left for his parents, intended to read “wake me up before you go” but with “up” accidentally written twice, so Ridgeley wrote “go” twice on purpose.
In 1984, George Michael had this to say on the development of the song:
I just wanted to make a really energetic pop record that had all the best elements of Fifties and Sixties records, combined with our attitude and our approach, which is obviously more uptempo and a lot younger than some of those records. It’s one of those tracks that gets rid of a lot of your own personal influences; it reminds me of so many different records that I couldn’t actually nail them down. I’d done a demo at home that just had a bass line and a vocal on it. Usually, I write the record in my head; I know what all the parts are going to be and I sing them to all our musicians. And it was great. … We actually did it as a rehearsal. We used a LinnDrum because the drummer was late, and it was such a good track that we kept it.
The song entered the UK Singles Chart at number four – after much hype from the duo claiming they would go straight in at number one, which was a rare occurrence then – and climbed to the top spot seven days later, staying there for two weeks. The song also went to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, holding the top spot for three weeks.
The UK sleeve was designed by Peter Saville, with photography by Trevor Key.
The music video for the song was directed by Andy Morahan. It showcases the band performing for an audience of mostly teenagers at Brixton Academy in South London. The band was wearing Katharine Hamnett t-shirt designs that said “CHOOSE LIFE”.