When it’s still relevant I’m going to write a few words but firstly you must be made aware that your humble scribe has been an überfan since early 1984.
Anyway, first question is why George has decided to re-release ‘December Song’ again? Probably because of the bit of publicity he got after getting out of jail. But really? Last Christmas was released in 84,85,86 and got into the Top 50 on each occasion. Here’s where I wonder about ‘December Song’, why was it officially released? It was given away as a free download on December 25th 2008 from GeorgeMichael.com and was officially released in 2009 as a single but couldn’t be found on CD in Dublin city . It was re-released two weeks ago and low and behold I bought the two different packages. Yes, I’m a sucker.. but it’s George.
So what about the music? ‘December Song’ is a festive tune with carol singers and jingle bells, the kind of gentle song that plays as snow (nice romantic snow, not blizzards) falls. George is a master at harmonising his own vocals and coming up with great vocal melodies. Perhaps I know this track a little too well to analyse it but it has grown on me. Wasn’t too fond of it at first but listening at the right time of year with the right vibe, it’s like a fine wine that gets better with age.
Also included on the disc are versions of Joni Mitchell’s ‘Edith and The King Pin’ and the sublimely powerful ‘Praying for Time’. This sees ‘The Legend That Is’ show off his fantastic vocals to their max while accompanied by a solitary keyboard.
Having previous knowledge of the other tracks on the disc before, I was quite surprised (in a good way) to hear a new instrumental track. ‘Jingle’, described as ‘A Musical Interlewd’ is an instrumental track, quite trance-y, I’ve been listening to it on repeat for the past hour. If Mr Panayiotou ever thought of heading for soundtrack land, this is pointing him in the right direction.. I’ll let him away with re-releasing ‘December Song’, he can re-release every single and if there’s another gem like ‘Jingle’, it would be worth it..
He gets a couple of extra brownie points for being able to access a re-animated video for ‘December Song’ from GeorgeMichael.com once you unlock the bonus content. Nice touch.