Posted Friday, Feb. 4, 2011, at 10:36 AM
George Michael was the first manI ever had a crush on, a fact that may explain certain confusing romanticentanglements I endured in my teens and early 20s.
So imagine my joy when I foundout that Epic and Legacy were putting out are-mastered edition of Faith ,Michael's multiplatinum solo debut from 1987. Hardcore fans with $142.57 tospare can treat themselves to a truly staggering DeluxeEdition , a slipcovered monstrosity that includes two CDs, an LP, a DVD fullof videos, a hardcover book, and a "memorabilia envelope" stuffed with copiesof every Tiger Beat poster that everadorned my fourth-grade bedroom wall.
Faith , of course, wasn't just a massive hit but also a culturalflash point, thanks to the single "I Want Your Sex." Tipper Gore tried toscuttle it; the BBCbanned it from the sensitive ears of its daytime radio listeners. Here'sthe video, which completely scandalized me in 1987:
Twenty-four years later, it'shard to see what everyone was getting so worked up about. Sure, there are somepretty up-close-and-personal shots of Kathy Jeung's lingerie-clad butt, whichI'd still be embarrassed to watch in front of my parents. But in a post- Skins world, it's practically quaint. Even the "uncensored" video, included on thecommemorative DVD, is pretty tame—as far as I can tell the only additionalfootage is a shot of Michael and Jeung (a makeup artist he was dating at thetime) lounging naked on some big bolts of white satin. It still makes me blush, but I think that's more of asense memory than anything else.
In fact, the video is sometimes endearingly square. At one point, Michael takes a tube of lipstick and scrawlsthe phrase "Explore Monogamy" across Jeung's haunches. And the lyrics, as youmay recall, assert the fact that sex is best "when it's one on one." It's the earnestness of the song that seems embarrassing now, with its gruntsand puppyish yelps of "Can we do it?!". "I Want Your Sex" is campy , and not always in a goodway; Michael may have been inspired by Prince on this track, but he never quitehits that Princely middle path between sincerity and smooveness.
Still, the song remains diabolicallyinfectious, so let's hope this reissue brings it back into rotation. And in themeantime: How do we get ScissorSisters to do a 25 th -anniversary cover?