Make It Big
Talk about a mission statement — when Andrew Ridgeley and George Michael titled their 1984 sophomore album Make It Big, they laid their ambitions bare. The two New Wave Romeos who constituted Wham! designed their music to fit the ‘80s airwaves perfectly, and George Michael’s boyish good looks and cheeky charm gave them the added push to reach the top. Now that the hype is history, Make It Big can be appreciated for its smoothly-buffed melodies, glossy arrangements and overall hedonistic mood. Buoyant tracks like “Freedom” and “Credit Card Baby” carry an irresistible sugar rush, conveyed by gliding keyboards and Motown-inspired rhythms. Best along these lines is “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” an effervescent dollop of ear candy you can’t help but bop along to. Even more central to the album’s mystique is “Careless Whisper,” a torchy ballad that captures Michael’s blossoming charisma. Wham! slinks to a techno-funk groove on “Everything She Wants” and rides a spurt of neo-bubblegum energy on “Like A Baby.” A truly seminal example of ‘80s mass-appeal pop.