Fastlove

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"Fastlove"
Single by George Michael
from the album Older
B-side "I'm Your Man '96"
Released April 22, 1996
Format
Genre Dance-pop[1]
Length 5:24
Label Virgin
Writer(s)
Producer(s)
  • George Michael
  • Jon Douglas
George Michael singles chronology
"Jesus to a Child"
(1995)
"Fastlove"
(1996)
"Spinning the Wheel"
(1996)

"Fastlove" is a song by George Michael, released as a single in 1996 by Virgin Records in the United Kingdom and Dreamworks Records in the United States. The song was written by Michael and Patrice Rushen with production by Michael and Jon Douglas.

The song received positive reviews from music critics. It was nominated for Best Single at the 1997 Brit Awards. Commercially, the song topped the charts in the United Kingdom, Australia and Spain, with the first being his seventh number one single there and his seventh most downloaded track in the UK, earning him a Gold certification by the British Phonographic Industry.

Its music video which directed by Vaughan Arnell and Anthea Benton, was nominated for the video category at the Brit Awards and three MTV Video Music Awards in 1996, eventually won the International Viewer's Choice Award—MTV Europe.

Release[edit]

The song was the second single taken from Michael's third studio album Older, which was his first studio album in six years and only the third of his solo career. "Fastlove" was an energetic tune about the need for gratification and fulfillment without concern for commitment.

A re-sung but otherwise identical chorus of the Patrice Rushen hit "Forget Me Nots" was used about 70% of the way through, although no co-writing credit was initially given. This problem was rectified in the liner notes of Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael.[2]

Jon Kutner from 1000 UK Number One Hits said the line "Stupid Cupid keeps on calling me and I see lovin' in his eyes" was a dual interpretation.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Entertainment Weekly's Jim Farber gave the song an "A", he stated: "It took real guts to release a salute to a one-night stand in this, the era of abstinence," also praising its "devilishly seductive bass" and "sleekly probing horns". Ferber concluded his review by calling the track "best slow-groove dance record since Lisa Stansfield’s 'All Around the World.'"[4]

While reviewing Older, Stephen Thomas Erlewine from Allmusic said although "Fastlove" is the album's only dance track, but it still "lacks the carefree spark of his earlier work." He later still chose the song as his one of his "track picks."[5] Writing about the album for Rolling Stones, Al Weisel called the track a "bouncy disco concoction" and "flavored with Dr. Dre-style whistling synths."[6]

In 2014, Brendon Veevers from British webzine Renowned for Sound ranked the song at number 4 on his "Top 10 George Michael Hits" list, stating: "[The song] is a slick, ultra-modern dance-pop track that sits quite contrasting to the rest of the Older tracks but has held up exceptionally well over the past almost-20 years since it was offered to us."[7]

Chart performance[edit]

The song reached the number one spot in United Kingdom, where it stayed for three weeks. It also reached #1 in Australia and Italy.

In the US, "Fastlove" peaked at #8, and has since become a classic in George Michael's catalogue, and finished at #62 on the year-end chart. To date, this is the final George Michael single to enter the American Billboard Hot 100. For the single's B-side, a remake of the Wham! classic "I'm Your Man" was used. Entitled "I'm Your Man '96", it was an update of one of their last singles, a decade earlier.

"Fastlove" later became Michael's seventh most downloaded track in the United Kingdom, according to Official Charts Company in 2014.[8]

Music video[edit]

Directed by Vaughan Arnell and Anthea Benton, the music video begins with a flickering virtual reality image of a woman on a bed followed by a man sitting in a black chair using a high-tech remote control device to "flip" through a variety of sexually virtual reality characters. Michael appears in the black chair, which is equipped with speakers. At one point one of the dancers is shown wearing headphones displaying the word 'FONY' in the style of the Sony corporate logo, a reference to the contractual dispute Michael was having at the time with Sony Music Entertainment (formerly CBS Records). Throughout the video, there is a variety of men and women, who display a spectrum of characteristics, including one who is shy, another who is lustful, and another who is a complete emotional wreck (played by Rachel Williams) sitting in the chair and using the remote control to summon more sexual characters. As the video ends, Michael is seen dancing while water rains down on him. The video ends with the same flickering virtual reality image that introduces to the video.[9][10]

The music video was nominated for three 1996 MTV Video Music Awards, including: Best Dance Video, Best Choreography in a Video and International Viewer's Choice Award—MTV Europe — which it won.[11][12]

Live performances[edit]

Michael performing the song at 25 Live in 2006, with the backdrop contains scenes from the music video.

Michael performed the song on his MTV Unplugged segment on October 11, 1999 in London, the taping later premiered on the network on December 11.[13][14] Barry Walters in a review for The Advocate, describing the performance: "During 'Fastlove' he changes the melody considerably, and a huge mass of background singers drops all sorts of gospel-influenced vocal doodads."[14] The live audio of the song was then uploaded onto Michael's official SoundCloud.[15]

"Fastlove" was the opening song for his first leg for 25 Live with graphics flowed behind and beneath him on a curved, cascading screen.[16]

Usage in media[edit]

The song was included on American Idol's video game.[17] Olly Murs covered the song on the sixth series of The X Factor UK.

Track listing[edit]