Faith (George Michael song)

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"Faith"
Single by George Michael
from the album Faith
Released 12 October 1987
Format CD single, 7" single
Recorded 1987
Genre Pop rock
Length 3:16
Label Columbia
Writer(s) George Michael
Producer(s) George Michael
George Michael singles chronology
"Hard Day"
(1987)
"Faith"
(1987)
"Father Figure"
(1987)

"Faith" is a song written and performed by George Michael, from his 1987 Faith album. It reached number one in the United States and, according to Billboard magazine, was the top-selling single of the year in the United States in 1988.

History[edit]

Having disbanded Wham! the previous year, there was a keen expectation for Michael's solo career and "Faith" would go on to become one of his most popular and enduring songs, as well as being the most simplistic in its production. It was the second of six singles released from the well-received album.

As with the rest of the album, the track was written, arranged, and produced by Michael.[1] it is claimed that the idea came from producer Dick Leahy's suggestion that Michael write a rock and roll pastiche.[2] The song incorporates the famous Bo Diddley beat, a classic rock and roll rhythm.[3] It begins with organ played by Chris Cameron, referencing Wham's song Freedom, followed by guitar strumming, finger clicking, hand-claps, tambourine and hi-hat.[2]

Music video[edit]

A famous video was made, which provided some definitive images of the 1980s music industry in the process - Michael in shades, designer stubble, a leather jacket & a particularly memorable pair of tight Levi's blue jeans & cowboy boots, playing a guitar near a classic-design Wurlitzer jukebox. The famous leather jacket seen in the video was purchased at a shop in Melrose called Leathers and Treasures. The guitar was purchased at a nearby pawn shop. Back on the set of the video, George added pearls to the jacket. Bob Batchelor and Scott Stoddart say the music video positions him as a "masculine sex object", breaking him up into individual body parts such as stubbled chin and butt.[4]

The music video also features parts of two other songs by George Michael. The jukebox starts by playing "I Want Your Sex", and then is interrupted by a pipe organ version of Wham!'s "Freedom" before starting into the song.

Michael later resented the 'bad boy' image the video gave him. In response, the video for "Freedom! '90", released three years later, used some of the elements used in the "Faith" video, from the guitar, jeans, jacket all the way to the jukebox, depicting them being lit up in flames and exploding.

Chart performance[edit]

The song reached number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and number two on the UK Singles Chart.

On the Hot 100 chart, "Faith" rocketed from number 54 to number 37, the week of 31 October 1987, reaching number 1 on 12 December 1987 and remaining there for 4 consecutive weeks, easily becoming the longest running chart topper of 1987. Altogether, "Faith" lingered in the Top 10 for 9 weeks, the Top 20 for 11 weeks & the Top 40 for 15 weeks.

Track listing[edit]

7": UK / Epic EMU 2

  1. "Faith" – 3:14
  2. "Hand To Mouth" – 4:36

12": UK / Epic EMU T2

  1. "Faith" – 3:14
  2. "Faith" (Instrumental) – 3:08
  3. "Hand to Mouth" – 4:36

Mixes[edit]

  1. Album version – 3:16
  2. Instrumental – 3:08

Charts and certifications[edit]

Preceded by
"Beds Are Burning" by Midnight Oil
New Zealand RIANZ number-one single
4 December 1987 – 15 January 1988
Succeeded by
"I Think We're Alone Now" by Tiffany
Preceded by
"Heaven Is a Place on Earth" by Belinda Carlisle
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
12 December 1987 – 2 January 1988
Succeeded by
"So Emotional" by Whitney Houston
Preceded by
"Walk Like An Egyptian" by The Bangles
Billboard Hot 100 Year-End number-one single
1988
Succeeded by
"Look Away" by Chicago
Preceded by
"(I've Had) The Time of My Life" by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes
Canadian RPM Singles Chart number-one single
19 December 1987 - 9 January 1988
Succeeded by
"Got My Mind Set on You" by George Harrison
Preceded by
"Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley
Australian ARIA Singles Chart number-one single
18 January 1988

Limp Bizkit cover[edit]

"Faith"
Single by Limp Bizkit
from the album Three Dollar Bill, Yall$
Released October 31, 1998
Format CD single
Recorded May 1997 at Indigo Ranch Studio in Malibu, California
Genre Nu metal, alternative rock, alternative metal
Length 2:26
Label Flip/Interscope/MCA
Producer(s) Fred Durst
Ross Robinson
DJ Lethal
Limp Bizkit singles chronology
"Counterfeit"
(1997)
"Faith"
(1998)
"Nookie"
(1999)

American nu metal group Limp Bizkit covered the song "Faith" in their live performances, using the cover to attract attention to the band. Word of mouth attendance and energetic live performances in which guitarist Wes Borland appeared in bizarre costumes increased the band's cult following. Audiences, in particular, were attracted to Borland's guitar playing and appearance.[19]

Despite the success of the song in Limp Bizkit's live performances, producer Ross Robinson was opposed to recording the cover for their debut album, Three Dollar Bill, Yall$, and tried to persuade the band not to play it on the album. However, the final recording, which incorporated heavier guitar playing and drumming, as well as DJ scratching, impressed Robinson.[19]

Peter Berg directed a music video featuring a bizarre wedding monologue for the song in promotion for its appearance in his film Very Bad Things,[20] but Fred Durst was unsatisfied with it and directed a second video which paid tribute to tourmates like Primus, Deftones and Mötley Crüe, who appeared in the video.[21] Borland stated in an interview that George Michael, the writer of the song, hated the cover and "hates us for doing it".[21]

Other covers[edit]

Personnel[edit]

  • Vocals: George Michael
  • Bass: Deon Estus
  • Guitars: Hugh Burns
  • Cathedral Organ: Chris Cameron

References[edit]

  1. ^ Simpson, Paul (2003). The Rough Guide to Cult Pop. Rough Guides. p. 144. 
  2. ^ a b Lucy Ellis, Bryony Sutherland (1998). The Complete Guide to the Music of George Michael & Wham!. Music Sales Group. pp. 38–39. ISBN 9780711968226. 
  3. ^ Huey, Steve. "Faith (album review)". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  4. ^ Bob Batchelor, Scott Stoddart (2007). The 1980s. Greenwood. p. 125. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f George Michael - Faith (song). Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  6. ^ "Canadian Singles Chart from Nanda Lwin; Top 40 Hits: The Essential Chart Guide (2000)"
  7. ^ Top Singles - Volume 47, No. 11, 19 December 1987. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  8. ^ Nederlandse Top 40. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  9. ^ Single-Chartverfolgung. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  10. ^ The Irish Charts. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  11. ^ Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  12. ^ George Michael singles sales ranking. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  13. ^ Listas de Afyve. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  14. ^ Top 75 Releases. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  15. ^ a b c Faith - George Michael. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  16. ^ Canadian Certifications. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  17. ^ Goud/Platina Muziek. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  18. ^ Gold & Platinum: Searchable Database. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  19. ^ a b Devenish, Colin (2000). Limp Bizkit. St. Martin's. pp. 21–49. ISBN 0-312-26349-X. 
  20. ^ DeSalvo, Kathy (25 September 1998). "Tool of North America signs Peter Berg". Shoot 39 (39). ISSN 1074-5297. 
  21. ^ a b Devenish, Colin (2000). Limp Bizkit. St. Martin's. pp. 51–78. ISBN 0-312-26349-X. 
  22. ^ "Harris Jayaraj - A Kollywood Copycat?". SS Music. 23 March 2013. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 

External links[edit]