I’m not looking forward to Christmas this year and the first, emotional listen of Last Christmas. It was already one of the greatest songs ever written but this year it will have an added poignance, as Christmas Day will mark the first anniversary of the death of its writer, Mr George Michael.
However, to take the edge off, there was a surprise announcement on Wednesday of a ‘new’ posthumous track that would be coming from the great man the next day. There’s always those duelling emotions when something like that is announced: excitement at a new tune from a much-missed master, and then fear, great fear: what if it’s rubbish?
Well, thankfully, fear no more. ‘Fantasy’, which features Chic legend Nile Rodgers, is absolutely brilliant.
However – there is a caveat, it’s not entirely new.
‘Fantasy’ was originally a B-side in 1990 (to ‘Freedom! ‘90’ in the US and ‘Waiting For That Day’ in the UK) and was featured on a 2016 reissue of Listen Without Prejudice. However, the original was a very ‘90s breakbeat-driven affair – and the new, fresh, funky Nile-assisted rework is, in our humble opinion, a lot better, showcasing George’s phenomenal vocals brilliantly.
Well done Nile, you absolute hero.
And bonus points for that weird vocal effect thing, which sounds like ‘Don’t Stop Movin’, the evergreen S Club 7 classic.
Oh, and while you’re here, a reminder to check out my half hour long version of ‘Fastlove’. You won’t regret it.