Thursday, September 1, 2011

Wham! - "The Edge of Heaven"

The Edge of Heaven - Music from the Edge of Heaven

(Debuted July 5, 1986, Peaked #10, 13 Weeks on the Chart)

In the Spring of 1986, George Michael and Andrew Ridgely announced that they would be ending their partnership as Wham! and milked the news by staging a farewell concert, recording a final album and issuing a farewell single. In the U.S., that last single appeared as "The Edge of Heaven," a four-and-a-half minute shot of pop-fueled sweetness. Let's call it the aural equivalent of Pez: it's satisfying in a small dose, gives a quick rush but is soon forgotten.

To anybody who was paying attention, it was pretty obvious that the duo were diverging musically. While always billed as a duo, George Michael was definitely the focal point of the act. He handled most of the lyrics, took up most of the screen time in the videos and was even getting credit in the songs ("Careless Whisper" was credited to Wham! featuring George Michael). As for Andrew Ridgely, he seemed to hop in to the video shots from time to time to show that, yes, he was still hanging around. It really shouldn't have come as a surprise that after the split, George Michael went on to become a big star for the next several years, and Ridgely focused on activities such as race car driving, surfing and other non-musical pursuits. When he did come up with a solo record, it sank from view quickly.

In fact, the group's bass player Deon Estus managed to enjoy a bigger solo hit (1989's "Heaven Help Me") than Andrew Ridgely ever did.

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