Faith (George Michael song)
|Single by George Michael|
|from the album Faith|
|Released||October 12, 1987|
|Format||CD single, 7" single|
|George Michael singles chronology|
"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.
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. It is claimed that the idea came from producer Dick Leahy's suggestion that Michael write a rock and roll pastiche. The song incorporates the famous Bo Diddley beat, a classic rock and roll rhythm. 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.
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.
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.
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.
7": UK / Epic EMU 2
- "Faith" – 3:14
- "Hand To Mouth" – 4:36
12": UK / Epic EMU T2
- "Faith" – 3:14
- "Faith" (Instrumental) – 3:07
- "Hand to Mouth" – 4:36
- Album version – 3:16
- Instrumental – 3:07
- Vocals: George Michael
- Bass: Deon Estus
- Guitars: Hugh Burns
- Cathedral Organ: Chris Cameron
Charts and certifications
"Beds Are Burning" by Midnight Oil
|New Zealand RIANZ number-one single
4 December 1987 – 15 January 1988
"I Think We're Alone Now" by Tiffany
"Heaven Is a Place on Earth" by Belinda Carlisle
|Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
12 December 1987 – 2 January 1988
"So Emotional" by Whitney Houston
"Walk Like An Egyptian" by The Bangles
|Billboard Hot 100 Year-End number-one single
"Look Away" by Chicago
"(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
"Got My Mind Set on You" by George Harrison
"Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley
|Australian ARIA Singles Chart number-one single
18 January 1988
Limp Bizkit cover
|Single by Limp Bizkit|
|from the album Three Dollar Bill, Yall$|
|Released||October 31, 1998|
|Recorded||May 1997 at Indigo Ranch Studio in Malibu, California|
|Genre||Nu metal, alternative metal|
|Limp Bizkit singles chronology|
American nu metal group Limp Bizkit covered the song "Faith" in their live performances, using the cover to attract attention to the band. Word of mouth attendance and energetic live performances in which guitarist Wes Borland appeared in bizarre costumes increased the band's cult following. Audiences, in particular, were attracted to Borland's guitar playing and appearance.
Despite the success of the song in Limp Bizkit's live performances, producer Ross Robinson was opposed to recording the cover for their debut album, Three Dollar Bill, Yall$, 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. "I love George Michael. and decided to cover Faith for fun. We like to do really aggressive versions of cheesy pop hits," lead singer Fred Durst told Billboard. "I didn't expect him to get busted in that bathroom but his misfortune actually helped us. We couldn't ask for more of a buzz."
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, 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. Borland stated in an interview that George Michael, the writer of the song, hated the cover and "hates us for doing it".
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (December 2013)|
- Alvin and the Chipmunks covered this song as the opening track to their 1988 album The Chipmunks and The Chipettes: Born to Rock. In this version, they changed the lyric "If I could touch your body" to "If you could be my baby."
- The Russian pop duo Smash!! produced a cover of this song on its 2004 album 2Nite and was later released as a single.
- Joel McHale's character Jeff Winger sang a different version of this song on the episode "Intro to Political Science" on the NBC sitcom Community.
- John Mayer and Keith Urban sang this song on CMT Crossroads
- The British musical comedy film Walking on Sunshine covered the song.
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