Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael

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Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael
Ladies & Gentlemen (Cover).jpg
Greatest hits album by George Michael
Released9th November 1998
Recorded1984–1998
Genre
Length147:25
LabelEpic
ProducerGeorge Michael
George Michael chronology
Older
(1996)
Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael
(1998)
Songs from the Last Century
(1999)
Singles from Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George
  1. "Outside"
    Released: 18 October 1998
  2. "As"
    Released: 10 January 1999
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[1]
Jam! Showbiz4/5 stars[2]
MSN Music4.5/5 stars[3]
The Daily VaultA−[4]

Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael is a greatest hits album by George Michael, released on 9th November 1998.

The collection of 28 songs (29 songs are included on the European and Australian release) are separated into two halves, with each CD of the double set containing music of a particular theme and mood. The first CD, titled "For the Heart", predominantly contains Michael's hit ballads, while the second CD, "For the Feet", comprises mostly his popular dance tunes.

Ladies & Gentlemen is notable for containing a large number of compilation tracks and duets that have not previously appeared on a George Michael album, including his US and UK number-one duet with Aretha Franklin, "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)", previously available on Aretha Franklin's 1986 album Aretha; "Desafinado", the duet in Portuguese with Brazilian singer Astrud Gilberto; and the Elton John duet "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me", from John's 1993 album Duets.

Ladies & Gentlemen was released by Michael through Sony Music Entertainment as a condition of severing contractual ties with the label (Michael departed Sony with a great deal of acrimony and publicity prior to the release of Older in 1996). He would later return to Sony to release his 2004 album Patience, however singles from Older do appear on the album as well.

To date, the album has reached worldwide sales of more than 15 million copies[5]

After his death it was revealed by Geri Halliwell on The One Show that all the British profits of the album went to Terrence Higgins Trust.

Commercial performance[edit]

In the United States the album debuted and peaked at number 24 on the Billboard 200 with 50,000 copies sold during the week of 28 November 1998, the next week it dropped to number 39 and remained on the chart for 27 weeks.[6][7][8] It was certified two times platinum by the RIAA on 5 October 2000 for shipments of 2 million units.[9] As of October 2006, the album has sold 1.1 million copies according to Nielsen SoundScan.[10] The week after Michael's death, the greatest hits compilation re-entered at number 84 on the Billboard 200 with 11,000 units sold.[11]

In the United Kingdom the album opened at number one on 21 November 1998 and stayed at the top of the chart for eight weeks, it fell off to number two on 16 January 1999 and was present on the top 10 for 23 weeks.[12] It remained on the chart for 119 weeks.[12] It was certified eight times platinum by the BPI on 22 July 2013 denoting shipments of 2.4 million units.[13] As of January 2017 the album has sold 2.5 million copies in the UK and stands as his best-selling album there.[14] The week following George's death the album had a 5,625% surge in sales and streams and re-entered at number eight on the UK Albums Chart; two weeks later it moved to number four and stayed there for two weeks.[15][12] In 2017 it was present on the chart for 23 weeks.[12]

To date the album has reached the sales of 15 million copies worldwide.[16]

Track listing[edit]

Disc one: For the Heart
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Jesus to a Child"George MichaelMichael6:49
2."Father Figure"MichaelMichael5:41
3."Careless Whisper" (7" version)
Michael5:00
4."Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" (with Elton John)Michael5:47
5."You Have Been Loved"
Michael5:28
6."Kissing a Fool"MichaelMichael4:36
7."I Can't Make You Love Me"Michael5:20
8."Heal the Pain"MichaelMichael4:46
9."A Moment With You"MichaelMichael5:43
10."Desafinado" (with Astrud Gilberto)Michael3:19
11."Cowboys and Angels"MichaelMichael7:14
12."Praying for Time"MichaelMichael4:41
13."One More Try"MichaelMichael5:53
14."A Different Corner" (new mix)MichaelMichael4:03
15."Waltz Away Dreaming" (with Toby Bourke) (cassettes only)
  • Bourke
  • Michael
  • Bourke
  • Michael
4:44
Disc two: For the Feet
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Outside"Michael
  • Michael
  • Jon Douglas
4:44
2."As" (with Mary J. Blige)Stevie WonderBabyface4:47
3."Fastlove"Michael
  • Michael
  • Douglas
5:31
4."Too Funky"MichaelMichael3:45
5."Freedom 90"MichaelMichael6:28
6."Star People 97"MichaelMichael5:39
7."Killer/Papa Was a Rollin' Stone"Michael4:16
8."I Want Your Sex" (Part II)MichaelMichael4:38
9."The Strangest Thing 97"MichaelMichael4:41
10."Fantasy"MichaelMichael5:02
11."Spinning the Wheel"
  • Michael
  • Douglas
  • Michael
  • Douglas
6:09
12."Waiting for That Day"Michael4:50
13."I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" (with Aretha Franklin)Narada Michael Walden3:58
14."Faith"MichaelMichael3:14
15."Somebody to Love" (with Queen)Freddie Mercury
  • Michael
  • Queen
5:23

New songs[edit]

Songs appearing on this set which were previously unreleased are:

  • "A Moment With You"
  • "Outside"
  • "As"

Songs appearing for the first time on a George Michael album are:

  • "Careless Whisper"
  • "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me"
  • "I Can't Make You Love Me"
  • "Desafinado"
  • "A Different Corner"
  • "Too Funky"
  • "Killer / Papa Was a Rollin' Stone"
  • "Fantasy"
  • "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)"
  • "Somebody to Love"
  • "Waltz Away Dreaming", a duet with Toby Bourke, was only included on the cassette, DVD and MiniDisc versions of this album.

Singles[edit]

  • "Outside" was the first single from the album. The song was a humorous look at his arrest shortly before the release of the album for soliciting a policeman in a public restroom.
  • "As", Michael's duet with Mary J. Blige, was released as the second single in many territories around the world. It reached number four on the UK Singles Chart. The track was left off the North American release of the album. There were rumours that Blige's label was uncomfortable with Michael being gay, but this is contradicted by Blige's embracing of her large gay fan base.

Notable mixes[edit]

Most tracks are the full, unedited original album version.

  • "Careless Whisper" is the single version.
  • "A Different Corner" was remixed for this compilation.
  • "Fantasy" is the original 1990 version, not the "Fantasy 98" remix which appeared on the 'Outside' singles in the same period.
  • "I Want Your Sex" is presented as "Part II – Brass in Love" only, without the more widely publicized "Part I – Lust" section.
  • "Monkey", which was included on the US and Japanese editions, is presented as the single version remixed by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis in the US edition.

DVD release[edit]

A DVD release followed in 1999, featuring 23 music videos from Michael's career.

Charts[edit]

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[65] Gold 30,000^
Australia (ARIA)[66] 7× Platinum 490,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[67] Platinum 50,000*
Belgium (BEA)[68] 2× Platinum 100,000*
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[69] Gold 100,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[70] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[71] 9× Platinum 180,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[72] Gold 33,000[72]
France (SNEP)[73] 2× Platinum 714,300[74]
Germany (BVMI)[75] 3× Gold 750,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[76] 2× Platinum 200,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[77] 4× Platinum 60,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[78] Platinum 50,000*
Poland (ZPAV)[79] Platinum 100,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[80] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Sweden (GLF)[81] Platinum 80,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[82] Platinum 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[13] 8× Platinum 2,500,000[14]
United States (RIAA)[9] 2× Platinum 1,100,000[10]
Summaries
Europe (IFPI)[83] 6× Platinum 6,000,000*
Worldwide 9,000,000[84]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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