Wham!
Make It Big


3.5
great

Review

by Amanda Murray STAFF
August 8th, 2005 | 39 replies


Release Date: 1984 | Tracklist


When one thinks of highlights of 1980s pop, there are a few acts that immediately come to mind. Michael Jackson, Madonna, Duran Duran, and Wham! Like the former three acts, Wham! blended near-perfect pop compositions with style. It wasn't just about the music. Their performances, videos, fashion and looks were just as important as anything. Fortunately, they also had the songs to back their image up.

Wham! was formed in London in 1979 by childhood friends Andrew Ridgley and George Michael (ne Georgios Kyrriacos Panayiotou). Andrew played guitar, but for all intents and purposes this was George Michael's show. As singer, composer and face of the group, he became one of the biggest stars of the 80s with his revivalist soul meets unabashed pop compositions.

Make it Big is undoubtedly Wham!'s flagship record. While their debut Fantastic (they were never one for modest titles) made a dot on the pop map for the duo (singles "Young Guns (Go For It)" and "Club Tropicana" showed definite promise), Michael's subsequent improvement as a songwriter was almost unimaginable after hearing this record. But with the release of Make it Big - They made it big. During a brief period in 1984 and 1985 they were the biggest band in the world, mostly thanks to the lead single off Make it Big, "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go". This track holds the honour of being one of the few songs that everyone knows. In many senses it carried the 80s pop movement as much as "Smells Like Teen Spirit" or "Anarchy in the UK" did for their movements. And don't be fooled - 80s pop was most definitely a major movement. It was associated with a style, with a sound, and aided by the recent development of MTV in the United States, many groups were becoming famous not just for their songs, but for their look and performance capabilities. Still, Wham! managed to separate themselves from the pack in some ways. While most artists of the era were relying on synthesizers as a main instrument, George Michael reached into the past and focused on soul trumpets, slap bass lines and Motown harmonies.

Unfortunately, listening to Make it Big it becomes obvious that Wham!'s main strength was as a singles band. "Wake Me Up", "Everything She Wants", "Freedom" and "Careless Whisper" - these are fantastic pop songs that are in some senses unrivaled if you consider their importance at the time and impact on the mid-80s music scene. Yet the two filler tracks on this album are terrible. "Like A Baby" and "Credit Card Baby" are next to unlistenable. It is also incredibly cheesy, but it works best if you don't take it seriously.

Despite the two low points, Make It Big is an album which perfectly captures the sound of a movement. Its worth purchase if only for posterity - its more than worth it if you consider it has some fantastic songs to boot. I only gave it a 3.5/5 - an above average rating, instead of an excellent rating - because of the short track list. When there are only 8 tracks, almost every one should be class. The fact that there are two worthless songs brings it down heavily.

3.5/5



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user ratings (40)
Chart.
2.8
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
masada
August 8th 2005


2733 Comments


Melodic death metal doesn't get any better than this.

morrissey
Moderator
August 8th 2005


1688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It does if you count Duran Duran.

masada
August 8th 2005


2733 Comments


Duran Duran is grindcore, idiot. They don't resemble melodic death metal at all. Now, Flock of Seagulls is totally black metal, and Madonna is post-hardcore. At least, that's how she likes it.

Killtacular
August 8th 2005


1314 Comments


:lol:

Good review, have thumb.

:thumb:

Rudd13
August 8th 2005


952 Comments


kidding dude. never heard but good review

:thumb:

Captain_HumpYourFace
August 8th 2005


119 Comments


This has to be the single greatest review of all time. The award for best ever first repsonse in a review goes to *drumroll* something vague!

morrissey
Moderator
August 8th 2005


1688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I hope that wasn't you, something_vague, on an alternate account. :lol:

masada
August 8th 2005


2733 Comments


It isn't me.

There's no underscore! :mad:

JohnXDoesn't
August 9th 2005


1283 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Nice comprehensive review. I don't care for WHAM, but they did write some infectious pop melodies in there day. As you said, it was George's show, though. Andrew was worthless wallpaper, of course. But he was great looking wallpaper for the throngs of swooning teen girls who made up there initial fan base. Thanks for the nice review

Iai
Emeritus
August 9th 2005


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I thought Careless Whisper was Michael solo too. It's my favourite of his songs, too.

morrissey
Moderator
August 9th 2005


1688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Most likely because unless it has that gay giddiness of a Wham! song, solo George and Wham! George are next to indistiguishable at times. Unless they are distinguishable.

Zmev
August 18th 2005


983 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Decent album, I bought it from Circuit City.

The lady looked at me weird, but screw her.

Glitterati
September 8th 2005


83 Comments


"Wake Me Up" is an awesome song. End of story.

morrissey
Moderator
October 29th 2005


1688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I do not think they need an album title for us to know what they were getting at...

Zmev
October 29th 2005


983 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

For some reason I played this tonight, Heartbeat rules.

morrissey
Moderator
November 13th 2005


1688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

4 all intensive porpoises thanx for the comment

Was the Last Christmas comment in the Comm thread about the Wham! song? It's a hot one.

morrissey
Moderator
November 13th 2005


1688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hilary Duff is an intensive porpoise.

I'll get around to it Sylvia.

morrissey
Moderator
November 13th 2005


1688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Butch Walker is the nadir of music and Christmas or whatev

morrissey
Moderator
November 13th 2005


1688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Neither is your mother what's your point imho

morrissey
Moderator
November 13th 2005


1688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

We're talking about Wham! :eng101:

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart.



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