Make It Big

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Make It Big
Wham! Make It Big European cover.jpeg
Studio album by
Released5 November 1984 (UK)
StudioStudio Miraval, France; Sarm West Studios, London[1]
ProducerGeorge Michael
Wham! chronology
Make It Big
The Final
Alternative cover
Album cover in North America
Album cover in North America
Singles from Make It Big
  1. "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"
    Released: May 1984
  2. "Careless Whisper"
    Released: July 1984
  3. "Freedom"
    Released: August 1984
  4. "Everything She Wants"
    Released: December 1984
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[2]
Robert ChristgauB[3]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[4]

Make It Big is the second studio album from British pop duo Wham!, released in 1984. In comparison to their earlier work, the duo had more control over the album's production, as Michael became the sole credited producer, a position he would subsequently hold on all future releases until the group split in 1986. The album was a critical and commercial success, hitting number one in both the UK and the US and spawning four singles, all topping the charts on both sides of the Atlantic.

Outside the US, "Careless Whisper" was credited as a George Michael solo effort upon its release as a single, while "Everything She Wants" was released as a double A-side with "Last Christmas", which would later appear on the following album Music from the Edge of Heaven.

It was certified 6× Platinum in the US within weeks of the album's tenth anniversary in 1994.[5]

Background & Production[edit]

The album was mostly written and recorded at Studio Miraval in Southern France over a course of six weeks,[1] beginning in early July 1984.[6] This allowed George to escape press attention and work peacefully. According to Andrew Ridgeley, the decision to record in the south of France was made largely due to tax reasons, as well as it being the ideal place for them to spend the summer due to the hot weather.[7] Plus, it was 1 and a half hours away from London, and Michael "had to keep going back to do things for Careless Whisper".[7] Like "Careless Whisper" and "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go", most of the songs were recorded with a live rhythm section.[1]

The main album credits attribute it as having been mixed at Good Earth Studios in London and Marcadet Studios in Paris.[8] However, it turns out to be neither, as engineer Porter revealed: most of the album was mixed at Sarm West's Studio 2 (where Careless Whisper and Wake Me Up Before You Go Go were recorded), with some mixing already completed at Studio Miraval.[9]

Critical reception[edit]

Make it Big received positive reviews. Christopher Connelly from Rolling Stone wrote, "George Michael's music is an unabashed rehash of Motown", adding "Make It Big is an almost flawless pop record, a record that does exactly what it wants to and has a great deal of fun doing it."[4] Stephen Thomas Erlewine from AllMusic writes, "They succeeded on a grander scale than they ever could have imagined, conquering the world and elsewhere with this effervescent set of giddy new wave pop-soul, thereby making George Michael a superstar and consigning Andrew Ridgeley to the confines of Trivial Pursuit."[2]

Track listing[edit]

1."Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"George Michael3:50
2."Everything She Wants"Michael5:01
4."Like a Baby"Michael4:12
6."If You Were There"3:38
7."Credit Card Baby"Michael5:08
8."Careless Whisper"6:30




Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[34] 6× Platinum 600,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[35] Platinum 53,465[35]
France (SNEP)[37] 2× Gold 429,500[36]
Germany (BVMI)[38] Gold 250,000^
Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)[39] Platinum 20,000*
Japan (Oricon Charts) 821,000[17]
Netherlands (NVPI)[40] Platinum 100,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[41] Platinum 15,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[43] 4× Platinum 1,300,000[42]
United States (RIAA)[44] 6× Platinum 6,000,000^

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

The Big Tour[edit]

Wham! embarked on a world tour to promote the album in December 1984, opening at Whitley Bay's Ice Rink, before going on to dates in Japan, Australia, United States, United Kingdom, the British Dependent Territory of Hong Kong and China, ending in April 1985 at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Canton.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Classic Tracks: George Michael 'Faith' - Sound on Sound".
  2. ^ a b Allmusic review
  3. ^ "Robert Christgau: CG: Wham!".
  4. ^ a b "Wham!: Make It Big : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". 20 February 2009. Archived from the original on 20 February 2009.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  5. ^ RIAA Certification for Make It Big
  6. ^ Wham South Of France Make It Big - YouTube.
  7. ^ a b "Think Big: Wham! Interview in Record Mirror (1984)".
  8. ^ "Wham! - Make It Big".
  9. ^ "George Michael Wham/solo songs comments & research". 12 January 2021. Archived from the original on 25 January 2021.
  10. ^ a b c Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  11. ^ " Wham! – Make It Big" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  12. ^ Library and Archives Canada. Archived 2 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 26 February 2012
  13. ^ " Wham! – Make It Big" (ASP). Hung Medien. MegaCharts. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  14. ^ "Europarade". Hitkrant (in Dutch). Amsterdam: Nationale Hitkrant Productions. 9 (3). 19 January 1985. ISSN 0165-4942.
  15. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste" (in French). Archived from the original on 7 May 2013. Retrieved 26 February 2012.Note: user must select 'WHAM !' from drop-down
  16. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia – Gli album più venduti del 1985" (in Italian). Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  17. ^ a b c Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
  18. ^ " Wham! – Make It Big" (ASP). Hung Medien. Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  19. ^ " Wham! – Make It Big" (ASP). Hung Medien. VG-lista. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  20. ^ " Wham! – Make It Big" (ASP) (in Swedish). Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  21. ^ "Wham! – Make It Big –" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Swiss Music Charts. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  22. ^ "Wham! > Artists > Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
  23. ^ a b "Allmusic: Make It Big > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums". Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  24. ^ "Album Search: Wham! – Make It Big" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  25. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1984". RPM. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  26. ^ "Les Albums (CD) de 1984 par InfoDisc" (in French). Archived from the original (PHP) on 27 October 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  27. ^ a b "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Archived from the original on 11 January 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  28. ^ " – Jahreshitparade 1985" (ASP) (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 August 2010.
  29. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1985". RPM. Archived from the original on 21 October 2012. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
  30. ^ "Japanese Year-End Albums Chart 1985" (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from 1985年アルバム年間ヒットチャート the original Check |url= value (help) on 26 October 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  31. ^ " – Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1985". Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
  32. ^ "Billboard 200 Albums - Year-End 1985 | Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  33. ^ "Artist Chart History". London: Official Charts Company. 2010. Archived from the original on 3 September 2011. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  34. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Wham – Make It Big". Music Canada. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  35. ^ a b "Wham" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  36. ^ "Les Albums Double Or". (in French). SNEP. Archived from the original on 27 March 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  37. ^ "French album certifications – Wham – Make It Big" (in French). InfoDisc. Select WHAM and click OK. 
  38. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Wham; 'Make It Big')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  39. ^ "IFPIHK Gold Disc Award − 1985". IFPI Hong Kong.
  40. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Wham – Make It Big" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Enter Make It Big in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  41. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Wham! – Make it Big". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
  42. ^ "George Michael on the charts". Music Week. Intent Media. 11 January 2017. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  43. ^ "British album certifications – Wham – Make It Big". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 26 February 2012.Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Make It Big in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  44. ^ "American album certifications – Wham – Make It Big". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 26 February 2012.