Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go

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"Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"

UK sleeve by Peter Saville and Trevor Key
Single by Wham!
from the album Make It Big
Released 5 May 1984
Format 12", 7"
Recorded 1984
Genre Dance-pop
Length 3:50
Label CBS Records (US/Canada)
Epic Records (All other countries)
Writer(s) George Michael
Producer(s) George Michael
Wham! singles chronology
"Club Fantastic Megamix"
(1983)
"Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"
(1984)
"Freedom"
(1984)
Make It Big track listing
"Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"
(1)
"Everything She Wants"
(2)
Twenty Five track listing
"Everything She Wants"
(1)
"Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"
(2)
"Freedom"
(3)

"Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" is a 1984 song by the English pop duo Wham!, which became their first American and UK #1 hit. It was written and produced by George Michael, one half of the duo.

History[edit]

Michael's inspiration for the song was a scribbled note left by his Wham! partner Andrew Ridgeley for Andrew's parents,[1] originally intended to read "wake me up before you go" but with "up" accidentally written twice, so Ridgeley wrote "go" twice on purpose. Released in May 1984, it heralded the beginning of a softer, sunnier image for Wham!, who had spent the previous year as a moodier, more politically themed duo, with songs about unemployment, young marriage, and battles of will between parents and their children. With the release of "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go", they re-emerged with wider smiles, more colourful clothing, and a more positive disposition in interviews.

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 Linn drum because the drummer was late, and it was such a good track that we kept it."[2]

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.

The UK sleeve was designed by Peter Saville, with photography by Trevor Key.[3]

Music video[edit]

The music video, essentially the duo performing (it also introduced Ridgeley as a guitar player for the band) to a teenage audience, was memorable for the clothes, which became a lasting sartorial image for the 1980s as a decade. Michael and Ridgeley were wearing Katharine Hamnett T-shirt designs which said "CHOOSE LIFE". Michael was also seen in luminous gloves, which he later bemoaned as the clip of him always picked out by advertisers whenever "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" went on to a compilation album. The video was filmed at the Brixton Academy in South London.

Covers[edit]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by George Michael

7": Epic / A 4440 (UK)
No. Title Length
1. "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"   3:51
2. "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" (Instrumental) 4:03
  • Note: The US 7" single (Columbia 04552) has identical track listing.
12": Epic / TA 4440 (UK)
No. Title Length
1. "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"   3:51
2. "A Ray of Sunshine" (Specially recorded for The Tube) 4:58
3. "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" (Instrumental) 4:03

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1984-1985) Peak
position
Australia (Kent Music Report)[4] 1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[5] 6
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[6] 1
Belgium (VRT Top 30 Flanders)[7] 1
Canada (RPM 100 Singles)[8] 1
Canada (RPM Adult Contemporary)[9] 1
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[10] 1
France (SNEP)[11] 17
Germany (Media Control AG)[12] 2
Ireland (IRMA)[13] 1
Italy (FIMI)[14] 23
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[15] 1
Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100)[16] 1
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[17] 2
Norway (VG-lista)[18] 1
Poland (Polish Singles Chart)[19] 23
South African Chart[20] 9
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[21] 1
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[22] 2
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[23] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[24] 1
US Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary[24] 4
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play[24] 27

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go by Wham!". Songfacts. Tonemedia.com. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  2. ^ Connelly, Christopher (25 October 1984). "Wham! A wake-up call to the U.S.". Rolling Stone magazine (433): 48. 
  3. ^ "Sleeve designed by Peter Saville: Sleeves 1982-1984". Petersaville.info. Retrieved 2014-03-29. 
  4. ^ Worldcharts.co.uk. "Australia n°1 Hits - 80's". Retrieved 14 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "Wham! – Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
  6. ^ "Ultratop.be – Wham! – Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
  7. ^ "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go - WHAM". VRT (in Dutch). Top30-2.radio2.be. Retrieved 1 August 2013.  Hoogste notering in de top 30 : 1
  8. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 41, No. 10, November 10 1984". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  9. ^ "Adult Contemporary - Volume 41, No. 15, December 15 1984". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  10. ^ Steve Hawtin et al. "Song artist 421 - Wham!". Tsort.info. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  11. ^ "Lescharts.com – Wham! – Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
  12. ^ "Wham! - Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go". Charts.de. Media Control. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
  13. ^ "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". IRMA. Retrieved 1 August 2013.  Only one result when searching "Wake me up before you go go"
  14. ^ "Indice per Interprete: W". HitParadeItalia (in Italian). Creative Commons. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  15. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Wham! - Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
  16. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Wham! – Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" (in Dutch). Mega Single Top 100. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
  17. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Wham! – Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
  18. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Wham! – Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go". VG-lista. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
  19. ^ "WAKE ME UP BEFORE YOU GO-GO - Wham!". Nowe Media, Polskie Radio S.A. LP3.polskieradio.pl. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  20. ^ John Samson. "South African Rock Lists Website SA Charts 1969 - 1989 Acts (W)". Rock.co.za. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  21. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Wham! – Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go". Singles Top 60. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
  22. ^ "Wham! – Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
  23. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
  24. ^ a b c "Make It Big awards on Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 14 June 2013. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"The Reflex" by Duran Duran
UK number-one single
2 June 1984 – 9 June 1984 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Two Tribes" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood
Irish Singles Chart number-one single
9 June 1984 – 16 June 1984 (2 weeks)
Preceded by
"It's Just Not Cricket" by The Twelfth Man
"When Doves Cry" by Prince
Australian Kent Music Report number-one single
16 July 1984 – 13 August 1984 (5 weeks)
27 August 1984 – 3 September 1984 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"When Doves Cry" by Prince
"What's Love Got to Do with It" by Tina Turner
Preceded by
"I Just Called to Say I Love You" by Stevie Wonder
Canadian RPM Singles Chart number-one single
10 November 1984 – 1 December 1984 (4 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Caribbean Queen" by Billy Ocean
Preceded by
"Caribbean Queen (No More Love on the Run)" by Billy Ocean
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
17 November 1984 – 1 December 1984 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Out of Touch" by Daryl Hall and John Oates