memories of the ’80s – Faith by George Michael

In the late 1980s, George Michael left behind his fame from Wham! and went solo with his first debut album – and scored a number one hit for Faith.

After leaving behind Wham! in 1987, Michael focused on his first solo album of the same name, writing, arranging and producing all the songs, including this single.

He wanted to make his mark as an adult artist, leaving behind being a teenybopper obsession.

The song was propelled by the music video, directed by Andy Morahan, featuring Michael in black and white wearing sunglasses, jeans and cowboy boots, showing a masculine version of the former teen sensation.

The pop song, which is a mix of rock and a ballad, was released in October 1987 on Columbia Records, featuring organ, rockabilly riffs and mid-tempo R&B rhythms. It was the follow-up single to the lead single, I Want Your Sex.

The pop song, propelled by strong radio airplay, music video repetition on MTV and MuchMusic, climbed the Billboard Hot 100 charts, hitting the number one spot in December 1987, staying there for four weeks.

Critics were also kind with praise from Rolling Stone Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Q, Uncut and AllMusic.

With success in Canada, UK, Australia, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand and The Netherlands, Faith the single helped propel Faith the album and in the end earned Michael six Billboard Hot 100 singles in the top five, and the first since Simon & Garfunkel to have the number one single and album in a single year.

Faith the album sold over 11 million copies, while the single was certified gold in USA, Netherlands and Canada and double platinum in Australia.

Michael became the first solo British male artist to have four singles in the Billboard Hot 100 at the same time. And Faith became the best-selling single overall of 1988, and led to Michael winning the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.







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Red all over

When you enter the alley in Vancouver’s Gastown neighbourhood:
Vancouver - red tag

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memories of the ’70s – How Deep is Your Love by Bee Gees

The late 1970s became the era of the Bee Gees, thanks to their soundtrack for the film Saturday Night Fever, which included the ballad How Deep is Your Love.

The band was to go back into the studio to start working on their next album when Producer Robert Stigwood asked them for songs for his new film.

Brothers Maurice, Robin and Barry Gibb offered five songs for the film soundtrack, including How Deep is Your Love, which was written by the trio.

Recorded in France and the US, the song was released as a single in September 1977, two months before the release of the film and a month before the soundtrack release for Saturday Night Fever.

The single topped the UK charts and soon the US Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts, the first of six consecutive number one hits from the soundtrack, and two additional which are by the Bee Gees, Night Fever and Stayin’ Alive.

And the song also hit more records , as the only song (at the time) to ever accumulate 33 weeks in one run on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed in the top 10 for 17 consecutive weeks.

The soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever is one of the best-selling soundtracks of all time, certified 15 times platinum, staying on the Billboard album charts for 120 weeks until 1980 and won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year, the only disco album to ever win the top prize.

As one of the classic ballads by the Bee Gees, in an interview with Billboard Magazine in 2001, Barry Gibb admitted it was his favourite song.

The song has been used in other films and television series including Sex and the City, Donnie Brasco, The Simpsons and Parenthood.



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Miami milk + bread

Monday morning in Miami:

Miami - milk and bread graffiti

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Monster creation

Montreal is creating monsters:
Montreal - monster creation

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memories of the ’80s – Walk Like an Egyptian by The Bangles

The second studio album from American band The Bangles was the key to kicking them into the A list with their single Walk Like an Egyptian.

Written by American songwriter Liam Sternberg, Walk Like an Egyptian was first offered to Toni Basil and was recorded by Lene Lovich, but the song went unreleased when Lovich needed to focus on her family.

Producer David Kahne heard the song and thought it would work for The Bangles, asking each member to sing the lyrics. Kahne didn’t like Debbi Peterson’s vocals or her drumming and she was relegated to backing vocals while a drum machine was used in the recording.

The third single from the album Different Light, the song was released in September 1986, and hit the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in December 1986, and stayed at the top spot for four weeks until January 1987.

This was the first song with instruments played by an all women group to hit the Billboard Hot 100 number one spot. This also propelled Different Light to do well on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart as well and the song was certified Gold for sales of 500,000 in the USA.

The video of the song did very well on MTV and MuchMusic and was nominated for Best Group Video for the 1987 MTV Video Music Awards.

During the Gulf War and after September 11, 2001 attacks on the USA, this song was banned, but in its day it was the number one song in the USA as well as in Australia, Germany, Canada, Belgium, South Africa, The Netherlands and Spain.

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Parking lot surprise

A decorative parking lot in Bucerias, Mexico:

Mexico - Buserias graffiti seaworld

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