Wake Me up Before You Go-Go – Wham!

THIS DAY IN MUSIC………………………………..on June 2nd of 1984 Wham! tops the UK singles chart with “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”. Andrew Ridgeley lived at home with his parents even after Wham! made it big, which isn’t as lame as it sounds: they were on the road all the time, so it was easier than maintaining his own empty household (he and George Michael used a room in the house to make their demos). One day, Ridgeley needed a wake-up call, so he left a note for him mum on his door. He wrote, “Wake me up up,” and realizing he duplicated a word, finished the sentence with “before you go go.” George Michael got a kick out of it and decided to use it as a song title. Michael put together a song called “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go,” and it became Wham’s first international hit. George Michael (born Georgios Panayiotou) and Andrew Ridgeley met at Bushey Heath Comprehensive School in Hertfordshire when both were in their early teens. They became friends and after leaving school they made a demo of “Wham! Rap” at Andrew Ridgeley’s parents’ house, which was picked up by the record label Innervision and released without success. Their next release “Young Guns (Go For It)” was more successful rising to #3 in the UK. Their first single was reworked and became their second Top 10 hit. After two more Top 10 releases, problems developed between the duo and their label. Wham! signed with former Marc Bolan manager Simon Napier-Bell, who fought to get them released from Innervision. When they finally freed themselves they signed with Epic with whom this was their first release. This was the first track Wham! recorded for the Make It Big album. It was done at Sarm West Studios in London. According to Chris Porter, who engineered the session, they didn’t work from a demo recording as was standard protocol. George Michael had the song in his head and it was recorded with a live band. The song opens with four repetitions of the word “Jitterbug,” with finger snaps in between. The jitterbug was a popular dance in the 1930s; combined with the finger snaps and lyrics that harken back to a more innocent time, it helps give the song a retro feel. Another throwback: the line “You make the sun shine brighter than Doris Day,” which refers to the singer-actress who was popular in the ’40s and ’50s. The song also reached #1 in the US.