Pity the record company, Universal Music. If they don’t make a hit out of George Michael’s new single, he won’t let them release his next studio album -“ his first since 1997’s Older.
That’s where Universal’s problems begin. The single is called Freeek! and that’s precisely what some British and European commercial TV show producers did when they heard the song and saw the accompanying video. So much so that there is now a clean version as well as the uncut version. Not that the tamer version of the video is particularly clean, but it does lose the dogs having sex at the end.
In this video I explain -“ maybe it’s not clear enough -“ that we are living in a world where everything, from cornflakes to coffee, is sold thanks to sex. In my video, women are not treated like objects. And I’m gay, it’s not a secret, George said of the Freeek! video. Look at all the rap videos with all these decorative female dancers -“ that’s pornography.
Uh, yeah -“ well, regardless, his comments have fallen on deaf ears. England’s Channel Four also censored the video and the BBC would show only the first two minutes on its primetime version of the legendary chart-influencing Top Of The Pops.
Freeek! is a strange -“ and perhaps worrying -“ comeback. Is George Michael really just a sleazy, middle-aged has-been tragically penning sad masturbatory fantasies, or is he a vital kick in the pants to the lacklustre world of pop? There are arguments -“ and supporters -“ for both sides. However, in the end the public will vote with its coin and notes. And on their verdict lies his future.