George Michael: Faith (Deluxe Edition)

Perhaps no other performer epitomizes pop music like George Michael does, and now Faith—Michael’s quintessential solo debut that spawned six top-five singles upon release in 1987—has been remastered and packaged in a deluxe edition by Sony Legacy Recordings.

With Faith, Michael reintroduced himself to the pop world as a solo performer, after leaving the highly successful British duo Wham! That group’s squeaky-clean image stood in sharp contrast to the new bearded, leather-clad look Michael took on for Faith, which featured the classic title track, as well as the then-risque “I Want Your Sex.” But also with this release, Michael began to expose more of his own personal musical palette. The soulful smash “Father Figure” is rich with Stevie Wonder influence, making it an R&B classic to this day. And elsewhere, synth-funk tracks like “Hard Day” and “Monkey” show that Michael was indeed studying his contemporaries. Like Prince, for example—not just for influence, but also with the serious intention of being considered an equal alongside the great recording artists of that era. While much attention was paid to the sexual nature of the themes explored on Faith, Michael, as a lyricist, also addressed social issues in an insightful and often direct way, as heard on the deep album cuts such as “Hand to Mouth” and “Look at Your Hands.”

This reissue package, in addition to including a complete remaster of the original album, also includes a second disc of remixes, b-sides, and two Stevie Wonder covers recorded live: “I Believe (When I Fall In Love, It Will Be Forever)” and “Love’s in Need of Love Today.” Also included in the deluxe version of the release is a DVD featuring a TV special from 1987, and a hardbound book that includes an exclusive interview with Michael, rare photos, and memorabilia.

In A Word: Classic