BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

Accessibility help
Text only
BBC Homepage
BBC Music
Listen Live.

 Full Schedule

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

35 | Top 100
'Careless Whisper'
George Michael
One of the most enduring ballads of all time, “Careless Whisper” was George Michael’s first solo single, although it was actually co-written with his Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley. A simple song with with just four chords, the track’s charm lies in its mournful
George Michael
Song facts
Composer Michael/Ridgeley
Genre Pop
Album Make It Big
Year of release 1984
UK Chart Position 1
saxophone intro, together with George’s anguished vocals as he pleads for forgiveness from the lover he’s cheated on. George and Andrew wrote the song when they were just 17, despite George’s own admission that he “knew nothing about romance and certainly nothing about love”. By 1984, George was making plans for a post-Wham! career - and “Careless Whisper” had a big role to play in those plans. It was billed as a George Michael solo single in the UK, although in America it was credited to Wham! featuring George Michael. But regardless of the name on the cover, the single was a huge success, taking the top spot on both sides of the Atlantic. Now a last-dance staple everywhere from school discos to weddings, the irony inherent in thousands of lovestruck couples smooching to a song about infidelity appears to be lost on most people. Not George though – after all, his “guilty feet have got no rhythm”.

Wham! On Careless Whisper
George Michael and Andrew Ridgley reveal that they are less than proud of the lyrical content of Careless Whisper - " Musically I get a lot out of it, but in terms of lyrics I've always found it a little bit wanting".


Other versions
Gloria Gaynor
 Soul diva Gloria Gaynor adds her legendary vocal talents to Wham's big hit.

Fantastic song. Fantastic talent. How could he and Ridgely write this at such a young age?


Make a comment

Songwriting tips

Trying to find your feet with songwriting? Find out more at our Guide.
Test your knowledge

George Michael has been featured on a stamp in which Caribbean island? Answer this and other questions in our Careless Whisper quiz!


Like this song? Try these...

Dancing Queen


Doves Doves
Special guests on Dermot's show this week

What's on

Radio 2 Documentaries
Find out more about current and forthcoming documentaries on Radio 2.

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy