Club Tropicana

"Club Tropicana" is a song by English pop duo Wham!, released in 1983 on Innervision Records. It was written by members George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley.

"Club Tropicana"
Club Tropicana.jpg
Original UK 7-inch vinyl artwork
Single by Wham!
from the album Fantastic
B-side"Blue (Armed With Love)"
Released23 July 1983 (1983-07-23)
Recorded1983
GenrePost-disco
Length4:28
LabelCBS
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Wham! singles chronology
"Bad Boys"
(1983)
"Club Tropicana"
(1983)
"Club Fantastic Megamix"
(1983)
Music video
"Club Tropicana" on YouTube

HistoryEdit

Club Tropicana was written in 1981 in Andrew's living room, before the band or bandname had been fully established, and was the second Wham! song they came up with after the initial Wham Rap![1] Although only half finished at the time of recording, it became one of the three home demos hastily made on a hired porta-studio which led to their first record contract with Innervision Records.[2] The initial song inspiration came from their excitement over the glamour and escapism of the then burgeoning New Romantic club scene, and George, Andrew and Shirlie's occasional visits to one such club in London, Le Beat Route.[3] The song's lyrical theme was then expanded to also include the hedonism of summery Club 18-30 holidays,[4] whilst musically fusing a Latin jazz rhythm with a groove inspired by The Gap Band's "Burn Rubber on Me".[5]

SynopsisEdit

The song was a mild departure from Wham!'s previous singles, which had all been motivated by social or political issues. "Club Tropicana", however, was a satire of the boom for cheap package holidays for younger, single people of a hedonistic nature. It was specifically seen in the UK as a swipe at the very popular Club 18-30 scheme.[citation needed]

Chart performanceEdit

The song was released in July 1983 and peaked at no.4 in the UK, going on to become the 39th best selling single of 1983. It was the fourth and final single to be taken from the album Fantastic. Wham! then achieved four UK no.1 singles before splitting at their height in 1986.

Other releasesEdit

The song was also included on the compilation album The Final and on Michael's greatest hits album Twenty Five.[6][7]

B-sideEdit

The B-side, "Blue (Armed With Love)", is a semi-instrumental dub track. During their "Club Fantastic" tour in late 1983 and in 1985 in China, they performed this song live, complete with sung verses. This version was released as "Blue (Live In China)" on their 1986 LP Music from the Edge of Heaven as well as the B-side of 1985's single release of "Last Christmas." The studio vocal version of the song has never been released.

Music videoEdit

A video directed by Duncan Gibbins was made at Pikes Hotel in Ibiza, owned by Tony Pike with scenes of George and Andrew on the beach, making eyes at bikini-clad girls played by their backing singers Dee C. Lee and Shirlie Holliman. They are also seen relaxing by a pool and sipping cocktails, along with the famous scene of trumpet-playing taking place in the pool itself. A twist in the sexual tension between the two men and two women is revealed at the end, when it turns out that Michael and Ridgeley are airline pilots and Dee and Shirlie are stewardesses.

It was during this trip to Ibiza that George had his first physical homosexual encounter, confirming to himself that he was definitely either gay or bisexual. He confided at first in Shirlie whilst still on the trip, who reassured him that Andrew would be ok with it. The morning after the video shoot finished, George called Andrew to join him and Shirlie in his room at Pike's, and came out to him. Andrew was initially surprised, but ultimately OK with it.[8]

As of May 2020, the music video has received 24 million views on YouTube.[9]

Track listingEdit

7": Innervision / A 3613 (UK)
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Club Tropicana"George Michael, Andrew Ridgeley4:29
2."Blue (Armed With Love)"George Michael3:50
12": Innervision / TA 3613 (UK)
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Club Tropicana"George Michael, Andrew Ridgeley4:29
2."Blue (Armed With Love)"George Michael3:54
3."Club Tropicana" (Instrumental)George Michael, Andrew Ridgeley3:31

ChartsEdit

Chart (1983) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[10] 60
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[11] 23
Germany (Official German Charts)[12] 13
Ireland (IRMA)[13] 4
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[14] 14
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[15] 25
Norway (VG-lista)[16] 10
UK Singles (OCC)[17] 4

Certifications and salesEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Japan (RIAJ)[18]
physical 1997 release
Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[19] Gold 400,000 

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
  Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Ridgeley, Andrew (2019). Wham! George & Me (First ed.). Penguin. p. 192. ISBN 9780241385807.
  2. ^ Ridgeley, Andrew (2019). Wham! George & Me (First ed.). Penguin. p. 139. ISBN 9780241385807.
  3. ^ Ridgeley, Andrew (2019). Wham! George & Me (First ed.). Penguin. p. 126. ISBN 9780241385807.
  4. ^ Ridgeley, Andrew (2019). Wham! George & Me (First ed.). Penguin. p. 130. ISBN 9780241385807.
  5. ^ Ridgeley, Andrew (2019). Wham! George & Me (First ed.). Penguin. p. 130. ISBN 9780241385807.
  6. ^ Wham! - The Final. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  7. ^ http://www.discogs.com/George-Michael-Twenty-Five/release/881717 Twenty Five - George Michael
  8. ^ Ridgeley, Andrew (2019). Wham! George & Me (First ed.). Penguin. p. 193. ISBN 9780241385807.
  9. ^ Whamtv (24 October 2009), Wham! - Club Tropicana, retrieved 1 May 2018 CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ David Kent (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book, St Ives, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  11. ^ "Ultratop.be – Wham! – Club Tropicana" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  12. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Wham! – Club Tropicana" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  13. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Club Tropicana". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  14. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Wham! – Club Tropicana" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  15. ^ "Charts.nz – Wham! – Club Tropicana". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  16. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Wham! – Club Tropicana". VG-lista. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  17. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  18. ^ "Japanese single certifications – Wham – Club Tropicana" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved 27 March 2021. Select 1997年8月 on the drop-down menu
  19. ^ "British single certifications – Wham – Club Tropicana". British Phonographic Industry.