Today, Wham! and George Michael are part of music history. They shook up the ’80s with their dance-pop and disco hits “Young Guns (Go for It!),” “Club Tropicana,” and “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.” But before they became a global phenomenon, Michael and Andrew Ridgeley were young schoolboys with dreams of making it big.
Prior to forming Wham! in 1982, they were in a ska band called The Executive with their schoolmates David (Austin) Mortimer, Harry Tadayon, and Andrew Leaver. The group eventually split, and Michael and Ridgeley signed with Innerversion Records and formed Wham!.
Their debut record was “Wham Rap! (Enjoy What You Do),” which was released in June 1982. It didn’t do so well, and wasn’t played on BBC Radio 1 because of the profanity in the Anti-Social remix.
Their luck quickly changed when a band unexpectedly pulled out of the BBC show Top of the Pops in October. Wham! replaced the band, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Watch the video below:
The duo gave a spirited performance of their new single “Young Guns (Go for It!),” with Michael stealing the show with his open leather jacket and dance moves. Wham! became an overnight sensation because of that performance, with the song peaking at No. 3 at the Top 40 charts. By the end of 1983, they were competing against Duran Duran and Culture Club as Britain’s biggest pop act.
They went on to release four albums before their breakup in 1986.
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