George Michael Older press credit Andrew Macpherson (Sony Music)

George Michael’s mid-90’s classic is reissued in a limited-edition box, deserving of the late pop star’s fame.

For someone who grew up with 80s pop as the soundtrack, George Michael’s name is well regarded. Wham! certainly is one of the bigger groups of the time to which George Michael’s was the main voice. Even those who didn’t grow up in the era would know of a certain holiday-themed hit that the singer had recorded that still gets played every year. Point is, everybody knows who George Michael is. But since the singer’s death back in 2016, George Michael’s music, at least for this writer, had been stuck to his output from the 80s.

Which is a shame, because GM is an incredibly prolific music act whose career spanned more than 3 decades and whose artistry had evolved with the times, and successfully at that.

Enter the new Limited Edition “OIder” Box Set. An expanded version of his critically acclaimed 1996 album. The 2022 box is massive! It includes, for the first time, the “Older” album re-mastered and spread over two 180-gram vinyl on a gatefold sleeve. It’s accompanied by the “Upper” set which is mainly composed of single remixes, which gets the vinyl treatment as well. The set also includes a 5-CD version that includes more remixes of hits such as “Freedom” and “I’m Your Man” and a Michael’s cover of “Desafinado” as well as B-sides, previously unreleased mixes and other goodies such as the 40-page book and collectible 12” x 12” photo prints.

“Older” deserves the special treatment. During this time of his career, George Michael has already proven himself to be quite the chameleon. Starting with his reinvention during the “Faith” phase of his career, “Older” was but another step in his pop musical evolution. And while at his core, he was a soulful R&B singer, “Older” was where he embraced new styles with an emphasis on modern R&B-inflected dance tunes with club-ready beats to which “Fastlove” immediately comes to mind. Said song is ‘the’ big single from said album, and until now, new appreciation for it can be gleaned from the 2022 remastered version. We personally prefer the vinyl version, because the bassline on it just pops. “Jesus To A Child” is also an obvious highlight for its dramatic Latin barroom feel. Ditto for his swooning vocals on the title track and the inherent funkiness of “Spinning The Wheel.” New favorites that seem to pop out are the Latin pop-tinged “To Be Forgiven,” the subdued urgency of “Move On,” and grooving “Star People.”

90sMeanwhile, the “Upper” album is a throwback to 90’s club beats. “Fastlove” part II sampling Patrice Rushen’s “Forget Me Nots” makes it all the more memorable. And all mixes of “Spinning The Wheel” are 2022 Revel-ready.

The “Older” era sees George Michael at his best. And he knew it too. In the book, he said (of his stint with “Unplugged” around the same year as the album was released): “I felt something magical happen, I knew that everything that came out of my mouth was going to be in tune. I don’t know why. I suppose I wasn’t used to playing in small venues, and the fact that I could hear everything I was doing because there wasn’t much amplification – I just lost myself in singing that night.”

The set is made for the ultimate fan in mind. And for everybody else (including this writer), a reminder that there’s more to the music of George Michael than what he did in the 80s. The box set is available only through George Michael’s merch store via

Source: Manila Bulletin (