WHAM!was a pop band which was formed in 1981, by George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley. Wham was known in the U. S. As Wham! UK, because of another group with the same name in the U. S.. The two boys met at the Bushy Meads School in Waterford, England, U. K. The group played rock and roll style music and they played in the band called, The Executive, in the beginning. The group changed their name and also signed with the Intervision Records label. After a legal dispute with Intervision, they signed a contract with CBS, Columbia Records label in the United States and in Canada, and signed with Epic records for the other countries.
Michael was more or less the leader of the band as their composer, producer, singer, and sometimes an instrumentalist. Ridgeley’s contribution as an image specialist and spokesman for the group was also important for the success of the group. Ridgeley talked George into changing their style of music from their first style with the songs, Bad Boys, and Young Guns (Go For It!), to the style such as Wake Me Up Before You Go Go. The group were still teens when they began and they had singles such as, Wham Rap! (Enjoy What You Do). Their record was banned for general release in the U. K. because there was a lot of profanity in it. It was the groups way of promoting themselves as kids who wanted to live a carefree life without having to work or commit to anything. They released, Young Guns, in 1982, and it almost made it to the Top 40 in the U. K. The group got lucky when they were scheduled by Top Of the Pops, to perform on the weekly BBC Chart show on tv. This appearance brought much attention to Wham!.
Wham! Made quite an impact on the public, especially the young teenage girls. Michael appeared on the tv show in rolled up blue jeans and a suede jacket slit down the front, and Ridgeley stood behind him with backing dancers, D. C. Lee, and Shirlie Holliman. The performance had as much acting in it as it did music. After this performance, the song went to number 24, then on up to number 3 on the U. K. Chart. Each of the bands songs came with music videos. By the end of 1983, the band was giving Duran Duran and the Culture Club some competition as Britain’s biggest pop act. Their first album called, Fantastic, soared to number one in the U. K..
The duo went on to release more singles and albums. They released a total of 3 albums, 3 compilations, and 19 singles during their career together.
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