A Christmas song that has stood the test of time, this is still broadcast on radio stations worldwide at this special time of year, made popular largely by its iconic video, starring snow, knitwear and perms and bouffants aplenty.
Written by George Michael and released as a double A-side with Everything She Wants, Last Christmas was released in 1984. It was beaten to the Christmas top spot by Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas?, which George sang on. To show support for the cause, Wham! donated the royalties from their hit to the Ethiopian famine appeal, which resulted in £250,000 going to the charity.
The video features George Michael (with an impressive blond bouffant) and fellow Wham! member Martin Ridgeley, plus their backing vocalists, Pepsi and Shirlie, and several more eighties types as their friends.
In the video George and friends engage in some snow fighting, the putting up of Christmas decorations, and general frolicking and merriment. However a lot of the time George seems sad and brooding. Why? Because the girl with dark curly hair, Martin Ridgeley’s girlfriend, was George’s sweetheart the same time last year, and George gave her his heart, but the very next day, she gave it away, and George is now reflecting on those times. As if to antagonise George further, she is still wearing the brooch that George gave her for Christmas last year. But cheer up George, at least now you have a new girlfriend!
No doubt it was the bittersweet video that captured the nation’s hearts and helped to fuel the song’s success. It became the highest-selling single ever to peak at number two in the UK charts, and stayed at number two for five weeks.