Make It Big

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Make It Big
Wham! Make It Big European cover.jpeg
Studio album by
Released5 November 1984 (1984-11-05) (UK)
StudioStudio Miraval, France; Sarm West, London;[1]
ProducerGeorge Michael
Wham! chronology
Make It Big
The Final
Alternative cover
Wham! - Make It Big (North American album artwork).png
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: October 1984
  4. "Everything She Wants"
    Released: December 1984
Professional ratings
Review scores
Robert ChristgauB[3]
Rolling Stone[4]

Make It Big is the second and final studio album from British pop duo Wham!, released in 1984. In comparison to their earlier work, Wham! (George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley) had more control over the album's production and Michael would also be credited as a producer. The album was a commercial success, hitting number one in both the US and the UK and spawning four singles, all reaching the top three in the US and the UK.

The music video for single "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" had the duo in shirts that read Choose Life. It would be the first of several hits from the album. The second single "Careless Whisper" is technically a Wham! song as it appears on the Wham! album Make It Big. However, when released as a single, it was credited either to Wham! featuring George Michael (in North America and several other countries) or solely to George Michael (in the United Kingdom and some European countries) as it became apparent, that at some point in the near future, Michael would be embarking on a solo career. The music video for third single "Freedom" featured the duo while performing a concert in China; incidentally Wham! would become the first Western popular music act to tour China. The fourth single "Everything She Wants" was released as a double A-side with "Last Christmas"; "Last Christmas" would later appear on Music from the Edge of Heaven, an album released only in North America and Japan.

Make It Big was certified 4× platinum in the US during the time of its release, and has since been certified 6× platinum in the US.[5]

Background and 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 Michael 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, Wham's second album, would see the duo score hit singles in the United States. Their first album Fantastic was a hit in the UK but failed to make an impact in the US. Make it Big received some positive reviews. Christopher Connelly from Rolling Stone wrote that the "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] In a retrospective review 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."[2]

Track listing[edit]

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



Additional musicians


  • George Michael – producer, arrangements
  • Chris Porter – engineer
  • Paul Gomersall – assistant engineer
  • P/S/A – design
  • Tony McGee – photography


Certifications and sales[edit]

Certifications and sales for Make It Big
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[35] 6× Platinum 600,000^
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[36] Gold 10,000double-dagger
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[37] Platinum 53,465[37]
France (SNEP)[38] 2× Gold 200,000*
Germany (BVMI)[39] Gold 250,000^
Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)[40] Platinum 20,000*
Japan (Oricon Charts) 821,000[17]
Netherlands (NVPI)[41] Platinum 100,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[42] Platinum 15,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[44] 4× Platinum 1,300,000[43]
United States (RIAA)[45] 6× Platinum 6,000,000^
Worldwide 10,000,000[46]

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming 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, 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.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  5. ^ RIAA Certification for Make It Big
  6. ^ Wham South Of France Make It Big - YouTube. Archived from the original on 13 December 2021.
  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 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. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2021). "Wham!". Sisältää hitin - 2. laitos Levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla 1.1.1960–30.6.2021 (PDF). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. p. 280. Retrieved 9 June 2022.
  16. ^ "Classifiche". Musica e Dischi (in Italian). Retrieved 10 June 2022. Set "Tipo" on "Album". Then, in the "Artista" field, search "Wham!".
  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.[dead link]
  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 on 26 October 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2011. {{cite web}}: Check |url= value (help)
  31. ^ "Top Selling Albums of 1985 — The Official New Zealand Music Chart". Recorded Music New Zealand. Retrieved 3 February 2022.
  32. ^ " – Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1985". Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
  33. ^ "Billboard 200 Albums - Year-End 1985 | Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  34. ^ "Artist Chart History". London: Official Charts Company. 2010. Archived from the original on 3 September 2011. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  35. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Wham – Make It Big". Music Canada. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  36. ^ "Danish album certifications – Wham – Make It Big". IFPI Danmark. Retrieved 6 October 2021.
  37. ^ a b "Wham" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  38. ^ "French album certifications – Wham – Make It Big" (in French). InfoDisc. Select WHAM and click OK. 
  39. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Wham; 'Make It Big')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  40. ^ "IFPIHK Gold Disc Award − 1985". IFPI Hong Kong.
  41. ^ "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. Select 1984 in the drop-down menu saying "Alle statussen"
  42. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Wham! – Make it Big". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
  43. ^ "George Michael on the charts". Music Week. Intent Media. 11 January 2017. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  44. ^ "British album certifications – Wham – Make It Big". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  45. ^ "American album certifications – Wham – Make It Big". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  46. ^ "Making Wham!: Make It Big". Classic Pop. 13 August 2021. Retrieved 23 August 2022.