Outside (George Michael song)
|Single by George Michael|
|from the album Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael|
|Released||19 October 1998|
|Genre||Nu-disco, dance-pop, funk|
|George Michael singles chronology|
"Outside" is a song by George Michael, released on Epic Records in 1998. It was released on 19 October 1998 as the lead single from his 1998 greatest hits album Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael.
The song was seen as a fine self-deprecating public relations exercise by Michael, as it was the first single since he was arrested for engaging in a lewd act six months earlier by an undercover police officer in the public lavatory of the Will Rogers Memorial Park in Beverly Hills, California - an incident which prompted him to declare his homosexuality, which had been rumoured for some years but never confirmed.
Michael took a swipe at the incident in the lyrics, claiming he wanted an alfresco sex life because he was bored with lovemaking behind closed doors. Reference to the Beverly Hills affair came with the line "I'd service the community, but I already have, you see" (he was sentenced to 80 hours of community service for the offense) and direct samples of radio reports of his arrest.
The song was recorded at Sarm West in London with a string section and arrangement by Andrew Skeet.
The video, directed by Vaughan Arnell and filmed on 4 June 1998, was especially satirical. It features a police helicopter hovering over Los Angeles and shadowing a variety of people, gay and straight, kissing, having sex or engaging in foreplay, all in public. The scenes of public coupling are styled like real surveillance footage and interspersed with scenes of Michael and his dancers performing in a men's toilet. Michael is dressed as a police officer and clutching a baton, while the toilet is decorated like a disco nightclub, complete with flashing lights and disco balls.
At the climax of the video, two male police officers, one bald the other blonde, arrest numerous couples previously shown in the surveillance footage engaging in lewd conduct. At the end of the video, however, the two male officers, thinking that they aren't being watched, share a passionate embrace and start kissing; the surveillance video then focuses in on their public indecency.
The beginning of the video, before the song begins, is a parody of 1970s European pornography films, with on-screen test reading: "eine fulm bi Hüu Jarss", "mit Klaus Hoöd", "ünde Heidi Kóchenblauer", "ars 'Cindy'", "direktum bi Marchelo Üffenvanken", which is an introduction to the 'movie' consisting mainly of made-up names and words, most likely meant to resemble Swedish or German, but with deliberate misspellings (i.e. "Hüu Jarss": Huge Arse etc.). "Cindy" is played by SI swimsuit model Melissa Keller.
There is also the following narration, in Swedish: "Vem var hon? Vart kom hon ifrån? Hade hon ätit? Då plötsligt kom jag ihåg, det var ingen dröm: jag var... i Hollywood!", which roughly translates to "Who was she? Where did she come from? Had she eaten? Then suddenly I recalled, it was no dream: I was... in Hollywood!"
In 1998, Marcelo Rodriguez, the undercover officer who arrested Michael, brought a $10 million court case in California against the singer who has amassed an estimated personal fortune of £70 million ($140 million). The court dismissed the case, but an appeals court reinstated the case on 3 December 2002. The court then ruled Rodriguez, as a public official, could not legally recover damages for emotional distress.
- "Fantasy '98"
- "Outside" (Jon Douglas Remix)
"Outside" reached number two on the UK Singles Chart; one of many songs to be held off by a seven-week run at the top by Cher with "Believe". It was not featured on a studio album, but was included on his solo hits collection Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael - the title of which was also a sly dig at his activity in the lavatory.
Charts and certifications
- Entertainment: George Michael faces $10m lawsuit, BBC News, September 14, 1999
- "George Bust 'Bad Karma' Says U.S. Cop", Sunday Star, 5 March 2006
- George Michael - Outside (song). Retrieved 2 May 2011.
- Nederlandse Top 40. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
- Single-Chartverfolgung. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
- The Irish Charts. Retrieved 21 January 2011.
- Listas de Afyve. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
- Top 75 Releases. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
- George Michael: Dance/Club Play Songs. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
- ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 1999 Singles. Retrieved 21 January 2011.
- Certified awards search. Retrieved 3 May 2011.