NME.com is reporting that George Michael has recorded a new Christmas song in conjunction with his recurring role on “Eli Stone”. Titled “December Song (I Dreamed of Christmas)”, the song will be sent to radio for airplay, and will be available as a free download on his website Christmas Day. It’s an interesting move, and signals his first steps into distributing his own music, which he’s threatened to do for quite a while now.
So what does George Michael and Christmas mean to me? First and foremost, it’s “Last Christmas”, which is among my top 3 favorite Christmas songs. After years of languishing on dusty shelves across America, it seems as if the song has made a major comeback over the past couple of holiday seasons. Those of you in England may be completely sick of it, but there’s a little bit of justice for me in its resurgence. Most of Wham’s musical output (and George’s, for that matter) has just faded into the mist, so it’s great to see a true gem float back up to the surface. There have been a LOT of covers of “Last Christmas”, but the original is still the best.
Of course, if you’re going to talk about George and Christmas, you also have to reference “Do They Know It’s Christmas”, the record-setting charity single released in 1984 by Band Aid. I know about the 20th anniversary re-recording, which was absolutely horrible, but turns out there was also a Band Aid 2, which hit #1 in England. How I never knew about this version, I have no clue. (Kylie! Wet Wet Wet! Jimmy Somerville!)
So now it’s 2008, and what’s the verdict on George’s new entry to the holiday canon? Well, it’s actually pretty good. The opening is a very classic sounding Christmas vocal, but it quickly switches up to a classic George Michael wistful, moody ballad. It’s no “Last Christmas”, but after a couple of listens, I REALLY like it!