Faith (Deluxe Edition)
REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 03/19/2011
Dave was my college roommate my freshman year. We were roommates the year after George Michael's Faith album was released (fall, 1988) so I clearly remember the hype. Dave changed girlfriends as often as he changed his underwear – translation: a lot - and while his name would become mud with the women in our dorm, I would often gain a new female friend. It was in my best interest that this trend continued and, for obvious reasons, a win-win for me that he was a hit with the opposite sex.
Dave would play this release so often that it must have put him in a good mood. It was probably one of his favorite releases. I’d leave for class with Def Leppard’s Hysteria in the stereo and return to George Michael. George Michael went head-to-head with Poison, Skid Row, and a slew of unmemorable hair bands on our dorm floor and did pretty well. The basketball jocks, and Dave was one of them, liked “I Want Your Sex” as an "after win" theme song while cracking open beers and welcoming females into their dorm rooms. Ah, the joys of a small Catholic college.
Fast-forward nearly 20 years and wow, this 10-song release has been remastered, repackaged, and reinvented, as the ultimate example of what an album in the ‘80s was like. There were four #1 singles in the United States – “Faith,” “Father Figure,” “One More Try,” and “Monkey” – from this album alone. MTV continued its love affair with Michael that had begun with Wham! a few short years earlier (and for those that don’t remember, played the videos too). Faith was pumped into our ears relentlessly.
So now, to celebrate its nearly 20 years of existence, out comes the two CD / one DVD release that takes me back to that Regina dorm in 1988. I can see Dave primping with George Michael singing “You’ve got to have faith” in the stereo as he prepared for a night out on the town. It opened the original release. With the re-release, on the bonus CD, an instrumental version is included. Listening to the instrumental gives a better appreciation for Michael's creative juices.
I never really understood “Father Figure” as a second track on this release. Like then, it makes this release go from one extreme to another, kind of like going from Lamb Of God to Mariah Carey. The result is rather jarring. Then you get Dave’s Theme Song: “I Want Your Sex” and on this release, it’s just over nine minutes. Why Michael’s observation “Sex is natural - sex is good / Not everybody does it / But everybody should” caused so much controversy seems odd, especially in a world that has passed through “The Thong Song” phase.
If you grew up in the era during which this release was popular, the two CD / one DVD format will be about as much as you can take of George Michael. Sure, it’s a nicely-packaged retro trip back to the age when this release ruled the charts. The book that comes with this release and the DVD with the promo videos synched up to the remix version of the song make this a nostalgia piece.
As for Dave, he flunked out of school and I haven’t seen or heard from him since May 1989. I hope he is doing well.