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Faith is George Michael's first solo album, released in October 1987 via Columbia Records/Epic Records. The album is widely considered one of the greatest albums in pop music history, and won several awards including the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1989. The album was an instant commercial success in the United States, selling more than 1 million copies in its debut, the most copies ever sold in a week by a British pop artist. To date, the album has sold over 20 million copies worldwide, and received diamond certification from the Recording Industry Association of America. Faith spawned six top 5 singles that substantially helped it dominate the chart of 1988. In 2003, the album was ranked number 480 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

History

After the split of Wham!, Michael spent the most part of 1987 writing and recording the songs for his breakthrough project. In addition to playing a large number of instruments on the album, he wrote and produced every track on the recording except for one, "Look at Your Hands", which he co-wrote with David Austin. Using the then-revolutionary Synclavier 9600 Tapeless Studio, Faith was Michael's first digital recording. A contemporary R&B album, Faith showcases the vocals of Michael in a new-style mode. It features songs littered with introspective lyrics, generating controversies about Michael's personal relationships at that time.

The public speculated that 1988 was the year of George Michael. The success of the album put him in the mainstream, becoming the biggest artist of 1988. Others also said that George Michael might be the successor of Elton John.

The album earned George Michael numerous accolades. At the 31st Grammy Awards, he was nominated for the Album of the Year and won. George Michael racked up three wins at the 1989 American Music Awards: Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist, Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist and Favorite Soul/R&B Album for Faith.

Commercial reception

The album became a massive success commercially. Between 1987 and 1988, Faith produced an amazing string of hit singles, including six Top 5 Billboard Hot 100 hits, four of which ("Faith", "Father Figure", "One More Try", and "Monkey") reached #1, making him the only British male singer to have four #1 singles from one LP on the Billboard Hot 100. The album also had impressive staying power, with 51 non-consecutive weeks inside the Billboard 200 Top 10, including 12 weeks at #1. It was also the first album by a white solo artist to hit #1 on the US R&B charts. It also reached #1 in the United Kingdom, where it stayed at the top spot for only one week. In all, it was the best-selling album of 1988 in the United Statesmarker, and eventually reached Diamond certification by the RIAA. According to Nielsen/SoundScan, current sales stand at 11 million copies, making it the 52nd best-selling album in the United States.

The album peaked at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200, becoming Michael's first number-one solo album. Its early, and successive, success on the chart was said to be partly sustained—with help from plenty of press appearances and promotions—by its strong single releases. With "I Want Your Sex" propelling the album's debut atop the chart, "Faith", the second single off the album facilitated the album's continuing dominance as well. "Faith" was 1988's best-selling single in the United States; with "Careless Whisper" being the best-selling single in 1985, it honoured George Michael for being the first act to achieve two U.S. year-end #1 singles since 1968, when The Beatles had "Hey Jude" top the year-end singles chart after "I Want to Hold Your Hand" in 1964.

The album continued its dominance on the chart of 1988. The self-titled debut album by Tiffany ended its first week run at the top spot; however, Faith reclaimed the position the following week for five consecutive weeks. Over nine months after its release, Faith was certified five times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for 5 million U.S. shipments. To date, the album has sold twenty million copies worldwide.

Legacy

In 1989, Faith was ranked #84 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 greatest albums of the 1980s. In 2003, the album was ranked number 480 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Faith was ranked 79th in a 2005 survey held by British television's Channel 4 to determine the 100 greatest albums of all time.

With sales of more than seven million in 1988, Faith was named in the United States as the most shipped album of the year. Along with the success of the American singer Michael Jackson's album Bad, as well as breakthrough albums by many new and old artists, it was seen as a sign that US record sales were slowly recovering. By the end of 1988, the industry had sold millions of albums, an increase of approximately one percent, as recorded by Nielsen SoundScan. Compared with record sales in 1987, this showed two percent of increase.

Track listing

All songs written by George Michael, except where noted.

LP

  • Side one
  1. "Faith" – 3:16
  2. "Father Figure" – 5:36
  3. "I Want Your Sex (Parts I & II)"† – 9:17
  4. "One More Try" – 5:50


  • Side two
  1. "Hard Day" – 4:48
  2. "Hand to Mouth" – 4:36
  3. "Look at Your Hands" (featuring David Austin) – 4:37
  4. "Monkey" – 5:06
  5. "Kissing a Fool" – 4:35


CD

  1. "Faith" – 3:16
  2. "Father Figure" – 5:36
  3. "I Want Your Sex (Parts I & II)"† – 9:17
  4. "One More Try" – 5:50
  5. "Hard Day" – 4:48
  6. "Hand to Mouth" – 4:36
  7. "Look at Your Hands" (featuring David Austin) – 4:37
  8. "Monkey" – 5:06
  9. "Kissing a Fool" – 4:35
  10. "Hard Day" (Shep Pettibone Remix) – 6:29
  11. "A Last Request (I Want Your Sex Part III)" – 3:48
  12. "Done In A Beverly Hills Bathroom" – 3:48


Cassette

  • Side One
  1. "Faith" – 3:16
  2. "Father Figure" – 5:36
  3. "I Want Your Sex (Parts I & II)"† – 9:17
  4. "One More Try" – 5:50
  5. "Hard Day" – 4:48


  • Side Two
  1. "Hand to Mouth" – 4:36
  2. "Look at Your Hands" (featuring David Austin) – 4:37
  3. "Monkey" – 5:06
  4. "Kissing a Fool" – 4:35
  5. "Hard Day" (Shep Pettibone Remix) – 6:29
  6. "A Last Request (I Want Your Sex Part III)" – 3:48


† In the liner notes, "I Want Your Sex" is listed as "I Want Your Sex (Monogamy Mix)", with the parts titled "Rhythm 1 Lust", and "Rhythm 2 Brass In Love", respectively. The full 13-minute Monogamy Mix of the song can be found on the 12" and CD singles of "I Want Your Sex".

Charts

Year Chart Position
1987 UK Albums Chart 1
1987 U.S. Billboard 200 1
1987 U.S. Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums 1


Certifications and sales

Country Certification Sales/shipments
Australia 5x Platinum 350,000+
Canada Diamond 1,000,000+
United Kingdom 5x Platinum 1,500,000+
United States Diamond 10,000,000+


Singles

  1. "I Want Your Sex": June 1, 1987 (US #2)
  2. "Hard Day": 1987 (Released only in the U.S.)
  3. "Faith": 1987 (US #1)
  4. "Father Figure": 1987 (US #1)
  5. "One More Try": 1988 (US #1)
  6. "Monkey": 1988 (US #1)
  7. "Kissing a Fool": 1988 (US #5)


Awards

Year Award Category
1989 American Music Awards Favourite Album (Soul/R&B)
1989 Grammy Awards Album of the Year
1989 Ivor Novello Awards International Hit of the Year "Faith"
1988 MTV Video Music Awards Best Direction of a Video "Father Figure"


Personnel



Production

  • Arranged & Produced By George Michael
  • Engineered By Chris Porter; assisted by Paul Gomersall & Paul Wright
  • Re-mix & Addtional Production By Shep Pettibone
  • Re-mix Engineer: Steve Peck


References



See also



External links




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